How Leading Contractors Deliver the Ultimate Customer Service Experience

A great company is about more than financial success. Customer experiences can make or break your business. A number of factors go into creating a positive customer experience: communication, great listening skills, perks, and more. If your customers love the product and service you deliver, your business will flourish, but if they don’t, it can mean fewer referrals and a bad reputation. Here are a few of the ways that leading contractors deliver the ultimate customer service experience to their clients.

Meet With Contractor

Constant communication

One of the easiest ways to keep your customers happy is by keeping the lines of communication open at all times. Communication is essential in any business, and clients who feel like their contractors listen to them will feel that you really care about their opinions, concerns, and concerns. This can and should be done through a variety of mediums, including telephone conversations, emails, social media updates, and of course face-to-face meetings. Just make sure to keep the lines between work and home life clear: after all, you can only provide the best customer service with a work/life balance that suits you and keeps you rested and refreshed.

Positive attitude

Home improvement projects can be unpredictable: maintaining a positive attitude even when circumstances (or clients) are tricky is important if you want to keep your customers happy. Try to look on the bright side, seeing the silver lining in everything. Your training as a customer service professional will help you to help your clients see things this way, too. How can you do this in your day-to-day business life? Be a problem solver by acting proactively rather than reactively and anticipate issues that may come up in a building project, knowing how you will go about solving them if and when they do arise.

Honesty

If for some reason a particular project does come across a bumpy road, it’s important that you tell your clients straight away. Hiding smaller problems may sound like an easy way to deal with a situation initially, but failure to reveal all the information could be disastrous if things worsen in the long run. We think honesty is always the best policy, so try to stay up front, open, and transparent about everything you do—including project issues, prices, availability of materials, and timelines. Trust goes a long way with customers, so getting this part of the client/professional relationship right is key if you want to deliver great customer service.

Dedication to quality services

If you love your brand, you will do everything in your power to make it succeed. Following your brand guidelines and ethos will not be lost on your clients; for example, if you say your brand specializes in eco-friendly builds, you can and should practice what you preach in every build. Clients will choose you because of the services you provide, so sticking to your guns will help your brand grow stronger and give customers another reason to love your work and remain loyal.

Employee morale

Contrary to popular belief, great customer service is about more than just pleasing customers. If you own your own construction business and employ subcontractors, architects, and other specialist builders, their happiness and satisfaction should be just as high a priority as that of your clients. Happy employees equal great craftsmanship and professionalism, so their attitudes will filter down through their work to your clients—and they will know whether or not your employees are happy in their jobs.

Perks and loyalty schemes

While loyal customers will stay by your side through thick and thin, a few treats every now and then never hurt anyone. In fact, introducing occasional perks and incentives to both new and existing clients will keep everyone happy. Similarly, loyalty and refer-a-friend schemes can bring in new business and further solidify the bond you have with regular customers. Try several different kinds of recurring offers and one-off promotions to keep customers pleasantly surprised and on their toes.

Satisfaction guarantee

While every contractor strives for perfection, the fact of the matter is that sometimes things don’t go to plan. If, for whatever reason, your customers aren’t 100% happy with the work you’ve done for them, they should have a right to say so. Of course, satisfaction guarantees can make a small financial dent when things go wrong, but having a policy in place from the get-go will make customers feel like they’re in control of their projects. An added bonus to this kind of policy is that it will look great on your marketing materials and draw in new clients.

The post How Leading Contractors Deliver the Ultimate Customer Service Experience appeared first on Modernize.

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32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final

For many football fans, an England-France World Cup final would have been a dream. After all, those two countries clashed the Hundred Years’ War. A ten-decade-long spat, plus a smattering of other conflicts across the ages, tends to sizzle up a soccer rivalry.

Croatia, however, had other ideas. And that’s just fine. The Blazers rallied to beat England in the semifinal, 2-1, with Mario Mandzukic scoring the deciding goal in extra time. After Mandzukic’s strike, the Croatian players trampled photographer Yuri Cortez while celebrating. Cortez, to his everlasting credit, kept snapping his camera at the bottom of the dogpile. (He got some wonderful shots.) After the Croatian players realized they almost crushed a working photographer, a few patted him on the shoulder, or made sure he was okay. One kissed him.

So Croatia’s got some underdog charm. With a population of 4.1 million — about the same as Oregon — Croatia is the second-least populated country to ever reach the World Cup final. Only Uruguay, which won the titles in 1930 and 1950, has fewer people. Croatia entered the tournament a 33-1 longshot to win the whole thing. It’s still a relatively young nation, having declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 and fought through the Balkans conflicts in the 1990s, during which thousands of Croatians were killed.

“Like many countries which had to win independence the hard way, we are proud,” says Pjer Šimunović, Croatia’s ambassador to the United States.

That pride’s now causing earthquakes. Seismic instruments in Zagreb picked up tremors after Mandzukic scored his goal, and after the ref blew the final whistle to end the game. A World Cup win could break the Richter scale. “Everybody in the world will certainly now know more about that small country which was able to go that far,” says Šimunović. “This is immeasurably important.”

But France, the betting favorite at -220 (risk $ 220 to win $ 100), would love to crush Croatia’s dreams. The World Cup final airs on Sunday, at 11 a.m. eastern time, on Fox. Here’s your handy guide to the big game.

Rainbow 2.0

France won its only World Cup 20 years ago, when it hosted the most popular sporting event on the globe. That multicultural squad, known as the “Rainbow Team,” was composed of players with roots in North Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific islands, Armenia and the Basque country. Many people in France expected the victory to win widespread support for immigrant communities. They also expected France to win more World Cups.

Neither, to this point, has happened. Two decades later, far-right populism has caught fire across Europe; in France and elsewhere, a number of politicians have taken anti-immigrant stances. On the pitch, France failed to advance to the knockout stage at the 2002 World Cup; four years later, Les Blues reached the final against Italy, but Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt of Italy’s Marco Materazzi in that game overshadowed the accomplishment. Italy took the penalty shootout.

France’s 2010 World Cup effort was disastrous. French striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home for cursing at his coach: the players boycotted a day of training, a top official resigned in disgust, and France failed to win a game. Les Blues reached the quarterfinals in Brazil four years later, and as host county of the 2016 Euros, made it to the final before losing to Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.

So France will try to take care of unfinished business. Like the ’98 Rainbow Team, the 2018 incarnation of Les Blues is incredibly diverse: 17 of the 23 players on the roster are sons of first-generation immigrants. Win or lose, dreams of a more unified France will flourish once again.

Croatia 101

Croatians have made their mark on American culture. The late Drazen Petrovic and Toni Kukoc exported their basketball talents to the NBA back in the 1990s; now, Dario Saric (Philadephia 76ers) and Bojan Bogdanovic (Indiana Pacers) are solid pros. Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic produced two bronze statues depicting mounted Native American warriors; installed in 1928, they flank the Congress Plaza entrance to Chicago’s Grant Park. Goran Ivanisevic won Wimbledon, in 2001. Before he lost his belt to Daniel Cormier last weekend, Stipe Miocic — an American who’s the son of Croatian immigrants — was the UFC heavyweight champ. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, some 400,000 Croatian-Americans live in the U.S. Game of Thrones is filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia; Star Wars: The Last Jedi also shot scenes in the city.

Still, before this World Cup, Croatia wasn’t exactly top of mind for most Americans. “Most people know of it here,” says Indiana University visiting lecturer Teuta Ismaili, who teaches Croatian at the school. “But they think the war is still going on.”

So what should you know about Croatia? First, the country’s home to some of the world’s most scenic beaches and islands, along the Adriatic coast. Travel and tourism accounts for about a quarter of Croatia’s GDP, which is well above the 10.3% average for the European Union. If you want to drink like a Croatian at your World Cup viewing party, serve Rakija, a 40% alcohol-by-volume spirit. And be sure to make some Burek, layers of dough filled with cheese.

The World Cup’s psychic lift has arrived at an opportune time. Since Croatia joined the European Union in 2013, net migration from the country has averaged around 17,000 people. Youth unemployment remains high, at 33%. Croatia came out of a six-year recession in 2015, but economic growth remains slow.

“This is the best thing the could happen right now to Croatia,” says Ismaili. “Family and friends back home say the atmosphere is positive. People were mad at the politicians, mad about the economy. But they’re finally having that feeling of ‘wow, we are important again. We really mean something.’ We really need that right now.”

Mbappé Mania

French forward Kylian Mbappé, 19, is the breakout star of this World Cup. Against Argentina in the Round of 16, Mbappé — the son of a Cameroonian father and Algerian mother — became the first teenager since Pele in 1958 to score two goals in a single World Cup match. Versus Belgium in the semis, Mbappé delivered a magical pass off his back heel to Olivier Giroud; Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois blocked the shot, but that didn’t stop the internet from losing its mind.

Both Neymar, the Brazilian star, and Mbappé joined French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) last summer for ungodly sums of money. PSG paid Barcelona a $ 263 million transfer fee for Neymar, and agreed to pay him $ 53 million a year, for five years. PSG got Mbappé from Monaco for about $ 200 million. For years, Neymar has positioned himself as the world’s undisputed best player, should Ronaldo and Lionel Messi ever decline or step aside. But during this World Cup, Neymar’s histrionics stood out more than his play. Given Mbappe’s speed, skill, and maturity, he may be a rightful heir.

“If I were a big soccer club with all the money in the world, and I could sign one player,” says former Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, an ESPN analyst, “it would be Mbappé.”

Modric Magic

On the Croatian side, Luca Modric — a midfielder for Real Madrid — is the player to watch. “He’s cool and calm on the ball, and one of the best passers in the world,” says Hislop. “You can’t pressure him into making a mistake.” He can also shoot from distance, with unexpected power. Modric, 32, does not cut an imposing figure. You can picture playing against him in your Thursday night men’s league. “If you breathe on him too strong, you can imagine flying out of the stadium,” says Hislop. “But he’s the complete package, deceptively packaged.”

Odd side note: Modric is facing perjury charges in Croatia, in connection with testimony he gave in a financial fraud case against a former soccer executive. If found guilty, Modric could face up to five years in prison. So any victory celebration might not last too long.

And The Winner Is …

“I like France to win it,” says Hislop. “France has looked very balanced throughout the tournament.” Les Blues won their first two games in the group stage, before playing Denmark to a 0-0 draw. France hasn’t needed any extra time in its three knockout round victories; Croatia, meanwhile, needed extra time and penalty shots to get by Denmark and Russia, and scored in the 109th minute against England. In all, Croatia has played 90 minutes of extra time, the equivalent of a full additional game, while France will also enjoy an extra day of rest between the semifinal and final. Croatia’s fatigue factor, plus France’s raw talent — the defensive pairing of Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti and Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane give Les Blues an advantage — make France the safer pick.

Croatia, however, hasn’t tired out yet. England was the more rested team going into the semifinal, but Croatia looked more energetic in extra time. So don’t doubt Croatia’s readiness to outclass France, and parade the World Cup trophy around Zagreb, of all places.

Sports – TIME

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Will to trump skill in World Cup’s ultimate character test

Croatia will hope that their fierce desperation to accomplish the greatest sporting achievement in the nation’s short life will enable them to lift their battered bodies for one, last assault on France in Sunday’s World Cup final.


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Fit For The King: LeBron James and the Lakers Form Hollywood’s Ultimate Marriage

It’s Hollywood’s ultimate celebrity marriage: the best and brightest star joining the league’s glitziest franchise. With his latest seismic signing as a free agent, LeBron James gives the Lakers new life. But will he ever get the help he’ll need to raise their 17th banner?

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Which Female Singer is the Ultimate Pop Diva? Cast Your Vote for the Artist Who Deserves to Wear the Crown!

Pop Divas Poll, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Ariana Grande, Britney SpearsIt’s a diva off!
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Your Ultimate Guide to the 2018 Tour de France

Cyclists from all over the globe are racing in one of the most challenging competitions in sports — the Tour de France.

The 105th Tour de France kicks off Saturday, July 7 in Noirmoutier en l’Île, a scenic, coastal town in western France. The 22 teams, which each have nine racers, will cycle the 21-stage race that spans a total of 2,082.2 miles and tours almost all of France. The last stage of the 2018 Tour de France ends in Paris on Sunday, July 29.

According to the organizers, 3.5 billion people in 190 countries tune in to watch the Tour de France each year and it is one of the best-attended annual sporting event on the planet, with 12 million roadside spectators cheering on cyclists.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2018 Tour de France, including important dates, how to watch the races and who this year’s favorites are.

When does the 2018 Tour de France start?

This year, the Grand Départ starts around 10 a.m. local time in Noirmoutier en l’Île on July 7.

The 22 starting teams will cycle through most of France and make a pitstop in Spain before finishing in Paris on Sunday, July 29.

There will be two rest days, one individual time trial, a team time trial and three mountain finishes.

Who are the 2018 Tour de France favorites?

Four-time Tour de France champ, Christopher Froome, is the favorite to take home the title this year after winning the 2017 race. The British rider, who is part of Team Sky, will face heavy competition from Movistar team member Nairo Quintana and Richie Porter from BMC Racing.

Froome nearly didn’t compete this year after organizers announced he would be banned for suspected doping — a problem that has plagued the sports world, most notably affecting cycling with Lance Armstrong’s downfall. But Froome was cleared of any wrongdoing and will be going for his fifth Tour de France win.

There will be 176 riders total from countries all over the world including five Americans cycling in the 2018 Tour de France.

How can I watch the 2018 Tour de France?

The 2018 Tour de France will be broadcast live on NBC or NBCSN and and NBC Sports Gold with commentary by Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin.

You can also watch the competition through the Tour Tracker App, a free app that lets users livestream stages of the race and get push notifications on their phones for their favorite cyclists.

What is the 2018 Tour de France schedule?

The 2,082-mile race will be divided into 21 stages, with cyclist riding through Fougères, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteuax and Houilles in France.

During the three-week race, cyclists will ride on a variety of challenging routes including hills, high mountains and dust-covered roads before finishing in Paris at the end of the month.

Each of the 21 stages has a distinctive set of challenges for cyclists. Kicking off on Île de Noirmoutier, a small island off the Atlantic coast of France, cyclists will cross a bridge to the mainland while navigating the twisting Vendée coastline.

Stage 9 is expected to be a fan favorite because of its complexities. On July 15, cyclists will ride through 15 cobbled paths from Arras to Roubaix, alongside the Belgian border. The bumpy ride can be dangerous for competitors, and is where a fall is most likely to happen — dashing hopes of victory.

Sports – TIME

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For Couture-Only Designers, Creative Freedom and Experimentation Are the Ultimate Goals

Twice a year in Paris, the few remaining couture houses — along with a small cadre of guest designers selected by the exacting committee of the Fédération Française de la Couture — present their collections on the runway.  The “haute couture” designation itself is a legally protected category …

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Your Ultimate Guide To Essence Festival 2018

Black women unite! Our festival is upon us, which means it’s time to converge at the convention center in NOLA for a weekend of empowering panels, uplifting events, beauty booths galore, concerts and so much more.

Here’s your ultimate festival guide.

What To Bring

Source: Danielle James / Hello Beautiful

First things first. Packing light, but effectively, is of the essence here (get it…essence). Girl, it’s going to be hot. We’re talking hot hot hot, which means the less clothing the better. Think white and bright colors (melanin-friendly) and comfortable but cute shoes because you’re going to be walking a lot.

The New Orleans Convention Center is the central location for the Essence experience and is where you’ll find yourself spending the most time. Bring cash, because the parking lot is full of delicious food and drink vendors. They might take cards, but who wants to be waiting for a receipt on the blacktop in the heat? Exactly.

The Panels

The most empowering part of Essence Festival is the opportunity to see your favorite motivational speakers, celebrities and personalities on panels.

Check out some of these panels and expos:

Thursday, July 5

Boss Up! – Empowering Women Entrepreneurs- Thursday, July 5: 1:00pm

“Miles & Mimosas: Back to your Roots” A conversation with RUNGRL about Black Hair as a Barrier to Wellness- Friday, July 6th: 10:00am

Ashunta Sheriff Presents “Get Glowing: Tips & Tricks For a Flawless Glow”- Friday, July 6th: 11:05

Beauty Myths Debunked: Slay, Nay or UmKay?! feat Gia Peppers, Dr. Candrice Heath and Tahira Wright of The Cut Life- Friday, July 6th: 12:35pm- 12:55pm 

Being an Editor-in-Chic with Mikki Taylor- Friday, July 6th: 12:45pm

Building and Branding The Mpire: An MPowered Conversation with Mona Scott-Young- Friday, July 6: 2:05pm

#BlackGirlsDo: How Black Girls Practice Self-Care feat, Kela Walker, Naturi Naughton and Necole Kane- Saturday, July 7th: 4:30pm-4:50pm 

Bearded Bae Showdown: The Hottest Bearded Guys at ESSENCE Fest- Friday, July 6: 2:55pm

Saturday, July 7

Source: Jeff Kravitz / Getty

Black Panther Heroic Encounter- Saturday, July 7: 11:00am

TRESemmé Summer Slay Hair Masterclass with Unilever Hair Expert, Ursula Stephen- Saturday, July 7: 11:35am

Screening of “Claws” followed by a cast Q&A, Presented by TNT- Saturday, July 7: 12:15

Cast Appearance: Insecure, Presented by HBO with Yvonne Orji & Y’lan Noel- Saturday, July 7: 12:55

Meet the cast of Power including Joseph Sikora, Rotimi & Naturi Naughton, presented by STARZ!- Saturday, July 7: 3:25

Sunday,  July 8

Cast Appearance: The Bobby Brown Story, presented by BET Networks- Sunday, July 8: 12:15pm

“What The F?” A lively, interactive, honest girl chat about FIBROIDS, FERTILITY and being a FEMALE!- Sunday, July 8: 12:30pm

10th Annual Gospel Tribute- Sunday, July 8: 12:45pm

Tasha Cobb Leonard Performance- Sunday, July 8: 2:15pm

Johnny Gill Performance- Sunday, July 8: 4:10pm

Beauty Booths

Source: Maskot / Getty

Throughout the convention center you will find beauty booths by various brands offering free hair, nail and spa services. That wristband will take you far. But be patient. As you can imagine, the lines to get these services can get long, since we’re all trying to enjoy the perks. My Black Is Beautiful always has an elaborate set-up that will immediately capture your eye. So lookout for the #MBIB logo.

Get Ready For The Turnup

Essence Festival is Black woman central. Whether you’re coming with your girls or alone, be prepared to find a fellow melanin warrior who will become your bestie. And you’ll need her because the concerts at Essence Festival are lit! Here’s a detailed schedule of who’s performing and where.

Friday, July 6

7:00 Doug E. Fresh with Special Guest Mia X- Main Stage

7:00 Ledisi- Main Stage

7:05 Pell- Superlounges

7:15 Lloyd- Superlounges

7:30 Damien- Escobar Superlounges

7:45 Miguel- Main Stage

8:30 H.E.R.- Superlounges

8:45 Kelly Price’s “For the Love of R&B” feat Keke Wyatt and Vaughn Willis-Superlounges

9:00 MC Lyte- Superlounges

9:00 Snoop Dogg- Main Stage

10:00 Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and More in a Special Curation by The Roots- Main Stage

Saturday, July 7

7:00 Doug E. Fresh with Special Guest V. Bozeman- Main Stage

7:00 Ella Mai- Superlounges

7:15 Kelela- Superlounges

7:30 Yanina- Superlounges

7:45 Jussie Smollett- Superlounges

7:45 XSCAPE- Main Stage

8:40 Queen Latifah Presents “Ladies First” with Special Guests Missy Elliott, Remy Ma, MC Lyte, Nikki D and More- Main Stage

9:00 Idris Elba- Superlounges

10:10 Mary J. Blige- Main Stage

Sunday, July 8

6:00 Roy Wood Jr.- Main Stage

7:00 Doug E. Fresh with Special Guest Ashanti- Main Stage

7:10 DJ Jubilee- Superlounges

7:15 Ro James- Superlounges

7:30 Louis York- Superlounges

7:45 Teddy Riley’s New Jack Swing Curation feat SWV, Blackstreet, Guy and more- Main Stage

8:00 Victory Boyd- Superlounges

8:15 Mali Music- Superlounges

8:30 Big Freedia- Superlounges

8:50 DVSN- Superlounges

9:40 Big Freedia- Superlounges

9:55 Fantasia- Main Stage

10:40 Janet Jackson- Main Stage

For more information, visit EssenceFestival.com.

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32 Teams Entered, 16 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Knockout Stage

Germany is gone. For the fourth time in the last five World Cups, the event’s defending champion was bounced from the tournament after the group stage, as South Korea’s stunning 2-0 victory on Wednesday sent the 2014 winners home.

The result inspired a few incredible scenes — for example, South Korea’s victory enabled Mexico to advance to the round of 16 knockout stage. So people in Mexico City did what any sane soccer fans would do: they went berserk outside the South Korean embassy while urging the consul general, Han Byoung-jin, to down tequila shots (he complied). In Brazil — which still hasn’t quite gotten over Germany’s 7-1 humiliation of the home team during the 2014 World Cup semifinals — several maniacs staged a mock funeral for Germany, parading down a street with caskets draped in the German flag.

Sometimes, sports fans are the best.

Senegal is gone, too. But how can one not feel sympathy, given the way they were eliminated? The Lions of Teranga lost their final game to Colombia, 1-0, meaning that both Senegal and Japan finished with four points in the Group stage. Only one of the teams could advance — Colombia topped the group — putting FIFA’s byzantine tiebreaker rules into play. First up: goal differential. But both Senegal and Japan scored and gave up four goals in the group stage. Next: most goals stored. That metric left them tied, too. The most logical first tie-breaker — head-to-head results between the two teams — is lower on FIFA’s list, for some reason, not that it mattered here: Japan and Senegal played to a 2-2 draw on June 24. So for the first time in World Cup history, the “fair play” tiebreaker came into play. Japan advanced because the referees issues six yellow cards to Senegal, but only four to Japan.

Sure, this World Cup has taught us an important lesson: Behave on the field, or it can cost you. Still, FIFA needs to create better tie-breakers. (Here are some worthy ideas, like results against a group’s top team, or flying both teams to a pre-game penalty shootout before the knockout stage.) Leave the cards to poker.

The group stage offered its share of excitement to be sure. But now the World Cup moves to the knockout round. Sixteen teams remain, and it’s win or go home. No more ties mean penalty shootouts — flawed but exciting — are sure to determine some winners.

Here’s TIME’s handy guide for 2018 FIFA World Cup knockout round.

You can still binge watch

American audiences will undoubtedly miss the daily group stage triple headers, which aired at convenient though perhaps productivity-stifling hours (so what?). This past week was even better: four games a day. The knockout stage is bittersweet in this regard. The stakes are higher, but there are fewer games from this point out.

Still, the round of 16 will give viewers plenty of sports-watching distraction. Enjoy the four straight days of doubleheaders in the schedule below, all times ET.

Saturday, June 30
France vs. Argentina, 10 a.m. on Fox
Uruguay vs. Portugal, 2 p.m. on Fox

Sunday, July 1
Spain vs. Russia, 10 a.m. on Fox
Croatia vs. Denmark, 2 p.m. on Fox

Monday, July 2
Brazil vs. Mexico, 10 a.m. on FS1
Belgium vs. Japan, 2 p.m. on Fox

Tuesday, July 3
Sweden vs. Switzerland 10 a.m. on FS1
Colombia vs. England, 2 p.m. on Fox

The knockout stage brackets aren’t loaded with geopolitical sizzle (thanks to American soccer incompetence, Russia and the U.S. won’t be facing each other on the field, for instance). Still, there’s plenty of intrigue on the board. Brazil and Argentina are blood rivals, and they could meet in the semifinals. How about a Denmark-Sweden semi, in a battle for Scandinavian supremacy? An England-France final would settle some scores. A Spain-Portugal rematch is worth cheering for, too — the teams played to a 3-3 tie in the group stage, with Cristiano Ronaldo putting up a hat trick for Portugal. That match was one of the finest in World Cup history. Just picture them meeting up for the championship (and fine, go ahead and picture Ronaldo ripping off his shirt after winning his first World Cup, too).

English Renaissance

In 1966, England defeated West Germany, 4-2, in the final to win the country’s first, and still only, World Cup. England hasn’t been to the semis since 1990. This underachievement — relatively speaking — doesn’t sit too well in London and Liverpool. But England has looked impressive in Russia. The Three Lions won their first two games, trouncing Panama 6-1 in the process. Even Thursday’s loss to Belgium was fortuitous: by finishing second in its group behind Belgium, England avoided Brazil, five-time World Cup champ and home to superstar Neymar Jr., in its quadrant.

An extended World Cup run for England, however, could trigger a national emergency. A carbon dioxide shortage has forced some beer rationing in the U.K.; pubs without pints for a World Cup final are like humans without hearts.

Video Star

This World Cup has introduced VAR — Video-Assisted Referees — into the global vernacular, which has been a positive development. Because for all the handwringing about delays as officials review the replays, and the intrusion of technology into what will always be a sweat-and-tears athletic endeavor, the bottom line is this: so far, VAR has helped get several important calls correct. Which is always worth it. Here’s a safe bet: a knockout stage game will come down to a controversial decision. And video review will offer a just result.

And Speaking of Betting…

Who, you may ask, is going to win this World Cup? Brazil is the favorite, according to Oddschecker.com, at 15/4, followed by Spain at 19/4 and Belgium at 15/2. A Brazil-Belgium quarterfinal would be a potential championship-level match in an earlier round: with Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany returning from an injury, don’t be shocked to see Belgium survive its challenging draw — and hoisting the country’s first-ever World Cup trophy on July 15 in Moscow.

Sports – TIME

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When is Wimbledon 2018? Your Ultimate Guide to Tennis’ Biggest Tournament

Summer is officially here, which means the start of Wimbledon, tennis’ most prestigious event of the year, is just around the corner.

Wimbledon 2018 will be held from Monday, July 2, to Sunday, July 15, at the All England Club in South West London. The first round of play will begin on the 2nd at 11:30 a.m. BST on the outside courts and 1 p.m. on the main show courts: Centre Court and No. 1 Court. The women’s singles final will take place on the second-to-last day, Saturday, July 14, followed by the men’s singles final on the 15th.

Wimbledon is not only the oldest tennis tournament in the world, but also, along with the Australian Open, French Open and U.S. Open, one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. It is the only major still played on grass.

Here’s everything you need to know—from the Wimbledon schedule to the deal with Wimbledon prize money—about The Championships, Wimbledon.

Where does the action go down?

Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty ImagesCrowds gather outside centre court on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.

Wimbledon 2018, just as the tournament has since 1877, will take place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London.

Matches with star appeal—a.k.a. those involving top-seeded players or local favorites—generally take place on the club’s two main show courts, Centre Court and No.1 Court, with the finals and semifinals of main events like men’s and women’s singles always reserved for Centre Court. But don’t be fooled, there’s still plenty of action to catch on the club’s remaining 17 courts.

Unfortunately, there were a number of player complaints last year about the condition of the Wimbledon courts, with Britain’s number one seed Andy Murray describing the playing surface of Centre Court as “not as good as previous years.”

The Wimbledon scheduling committee has also previously come under fire for assigning higher-profile courts to men’s matches rather than women’s.

Who is playing at Wimbledon 2018?

Venus Williams awaits a serve from Ana Konjuh at Wimbledon 2017
Roland Harrison/Action Plus via Getty ImagesVenus Williams awaits a serve from Ana Konjuh at Wimbledon 2017.

There’s going to be plenty of top tennis talent to keep an eye out for at Wimbledon 2018. In addition to last year’s women’s and men’s champions, Garbiñe Muguruza and Roger Federer, star players like Serena and Venus Williams, Rafael Nadal, Caroline Wozniacki, Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep are all expected to compete in the tournament.

Serena recently pulled out of the French Open ahead of a highly-anticipated fourth-round match against Maria Sharapova due to a chest injury. However, as a seven-time Wimbledon champion, she is still considered a favorite to take home the coveted Wimbledon trophy.

The official draw and seeding for Wimbledon 2018 will be determined on June 29.

Prize money

The All England Club will award a total of £34 million (about $ 45.1 million) in prize money to competitors at Wimbledon 2018, with the men’s and women’s singles champions each receiving £2.25 million ( about $ 2.3 million). This is a 7.6 percent increase on the amount of prize money awarded at last year’s Wimbledon Championships.

The club has also introduced a new “50:50” rule in an attempt to prevent injury withdrawals in the first round of the men’s and women’s singles events. Players can now claim half of their first-round prize money if they withdraw on site by the Thursday before the start of the main draw, with the remaining half going to their replacement. However, if a player competes in the first round and “retires or performs below professional standards,” they may be subject to a fine equal to the sum they received as prize money.

See a full breakdown of the Wimbledon 2018 prize money at Wimbledon.com.

Tickets

You can purchase tickets for Wimbledon 2018 through sites like StubHub and Ticketmaster—where several hundred Centre Court and No.3 Court tickets will be sold online the day before play. A limited number of tickets will also be available on the day of play to those who line up in the queue at the All England Club.

For those who can’t make it out to the grounds this year, Wimbledon 2018 will be available to stream on WatchESPN, Hulu Live, SlingTV, and DirecTV Now as well as the BBC Sport website and app.

Sports – TIME

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Jay-Z and Beyonce Pulled the Ultimate Power Couple Move and Surprised Everyone With a New Album

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jay-Z and Beyonce are keeping up a family tradition, dropping a surprise album before anyone knew it was coming.

The couple released a joint album that touches on the rapper’s disgust at this year’s Grammy Awards and features a shout out from their daughter Blue Ivy to her siblings.

The nine-track album “Everything Is Love” dropped Saturday on the Tidal music streaming service that Jay-Z partially owns.

The album features Beyonce rapping on songs more than she has done on previous releases.

One song that has a profanity in its title includes Jay-Z lashing out at the Grammys. He was the top nominee at February’s awards show, but left empty-handed.

The rapper also says he turned down the NFL Super Bowl halftime show, rapping that the league needs him more than he needs them.

Blue Ivy ends the song “BOSS” with a shout-out to her 1-year-old brother and sister, Rumi and Sir.

In 2013, Beyonce released the self-titled album “Beyonce” without any notice.


Entertainment – TIME

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Your Ultimate Guide to Watching the 2018 World Cup

The soccer World Cup kicks off Thursday in the 81,000 seater Luzhniki stadium in central Moscow. Host country Russia, ranked 70th in the world, take on 67th-ranked Saudi Arabia at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET). While unlikely to be a match for the history books, it does mark the start of the first World Cup in eastern Europe. The games will be played across 12 stadiums, spanning a huge distance—with the most eastern in Ekaterinburg, 1,800 miles east of the stadium in Kaliningrad, Russia’s European territory that borders Poland and Lithuania.

With 64 matches over four weeks, there are likely to be surprises—especially with video assistant referee (VAR) technology making its World Cup debut after a widely criticized outing in the 2017 Confederations Cup. Here, a cheat sheet of what else to watch out for in this year’s tournament.

The favorites and the challengers

The only South American team to win a World Cup on European soil was Brazil in 1958. This year, there are five teams from South America in contention. Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia all look likely to make it out of their groups, with Peru the underdog. With Brazil’s Neymar looking in form after returning from injury and scoring in both warm-up friendlies against Croatia and Austria, the Brazilians could live up to their tag as tournament favorites.

France and Germany are both considered strong challengers to the South Americans, especially playing closer to home. But with Germany’s surprise decision to leave star winger Leroy Sané at home and a loss to Austria in a pre-tournament friendly, France could have the edge. A young squad bursting with raw talent, like forwards Nabil Fekir and Kylian Mbappé, has the best chance in years of bringing Les Bleus their second ever World Cup.

Final flings

This tournament is likely soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s last shot at winning a World Cup. The 33-year-old Portuguese captain has won the European Champions League five times with two teams and set scoring records, yet the World Cup trophy remains elusive. Leading fourth-ranked Portugal to victory would cement his place as one of the game’s greatest players of all time.

Portugal v Algeria - International Friendly
Quality Sport Images—Getty ImagesCristiano Ronaldo of Portugal in action during the friendly match of preparation for FIFA 2018 World Cup between Portugal and Algeria at the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on June 7, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Egypt wasn’t considered to be a team to watch even when it last played in a World Cup, 28 years ago, but since Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah powered his way to become one of the top three goal scorers in Europe, it is attracting fresh attention. The team is already set to break one tournament record: fielding the oldest player ever to play in a World Cup. Goalkeeper Essam el-Hadary, 45, is set to captain his side. He told ESPN the milestone meant little, since “age is just a number.”

Teams for the neutrals

Although Iceland may have pride of place as tournament underdogs, Nigeria is emerging as another popular choice. According to the Nigeria Football Federation, the Super Eagles’ distinctive white, green and black patterned jersey had 3 million preorders, and London’s Nike store sold out after fans had lined up for hours. The country is hoping for a best-ever performance after finishing ninth in 1994.

England v Nigeria - International Friendly
Catherine Ivill—Getty ImagesDetail of the Nigeria badge and shirt during the international friendly match between England and Nigeria at Wembley Stadium on June 2, 2018 in London, England.

Off the pitch

Away from the stadiums, soccer officials are hoping the host nation can avoid a resurgence of soccer hooliganism. At the European Championships in 2016, Russia’s fans violently clashed with British fans in the city of Marseilles. Russia says it has created a blacklist of “known troublemakers,” reportedly of almost 2,000 people and plans to deploy hundreds of police on the streets to dispel violence. Still, fans are bracing for trouble. The British Foreign Office has warned citizens traveling to Russia to watch out for “anti-British sentiment or harassment.”

If you only pay attention to soccer every four years, you might be wondering who the U.S. is playing. Alas, the United States men’s national soccer team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, prompting much soul-searching and anger at the controversial goal that let Panama proceed instead. There’s a silver lining in the form of a squad of rising stars like Christian Pulisic and John Brooks, who are young enough to be dreaming of a resurgence in 2022. And the Americans are at least in good company: four-time winners Italy also failed to qualify.

Sports – TIME

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The ultimate guide to Princess Diana’s go-to fashion brands (and where to shop them)

princess diana fashion brands

We’ve already told you all about Kate Middleton’s fashion brands, as well as Meghan Markle’s go-to shops, so we thought it was about time we compiled a guide to Princess Diana’s favourite designers and high-street stores too.

After all, Princess Diana’s iconic style inspired future Royals in more ways than one, like the time the Duchess of Cambridge’s maternity dress was a nod to the late Princess, or when Meghan Markle wore her blue ring on her wedding day.

Diana’s style varied over the years, from her Sloane-ranger blazer and jeans combo to her sleeker 90s dresses, but there were a few brands she always went back to. You can shop them below…

Princess Diana wearing Catherine Walker

Whether it’s a power suit or an evening gown, Catherine Walker was Diana’s go-to designer no matter the occasion. Founded in 1977 by Cyrus and his wife Catherine Walker, it became famous in the 80s and 90s thanks to the Royal. Some of her most famous outfits include, but are not limited to, a powder pink ballgown (like the one Meghan Markle wore at Trooping the Colour), a Dynasty-esque green sequin dress and that pearl gown that was fondly nicknamed ‘the Elvis dress’.

princess diana fashion brands

Princess Diana wearing Catherine Walker in 1989 in Hong Kong. Picture: Rex

She famously wrote to the designer after wearing a white lace dress after her separation from Prince William, telling her ‘I was so proud and felt very confident to stride out there and deliver my first speech since the divorce.’

You can buy Catherine Walker designs in store.

Princess Diana wearing Christina Stambolian

You’ll no doubt have heard of the Revenge dress, which Diana wore for her first appearance since Prince Charles admitted to having an affair with Camilla. She wore the black design to the Serpentine gallery, paired with her famous sapphire choker (here’s what happened to it and the rest of her jewellery after she died). What you might not know is that she was meant to wear Valentino that evening, but the brand released a statement earlier that day about it, which put her off.

princess diana style influence

REX/Shutterstock

So she went with the Greek fashion designer instead, and it all blew up from there. Other fun fact: she had actually been sent this dress three years previously, but was at the time worried it was too revealing. You can buy her designs on eBay.

Princess Diana wearing Versace

Princess Diana was very good friends with Gianni Versace (‘I am devastated by the loss of a great and talented man’ she said when she found out about his death), and wore his designs a lot in the 90s. She famously posed on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar wearing an embellished blue dress, and wore a gorgeous one-shoulder silk gown to a charity ball in Sidney in 1996.

princess diana fashion brands

Photo: Rex

Shop now: VERSACE Contrast-trim crepe dress for £1,141 from MatchesFashion.com

princess diana fashion brands

Princess Diana wearing Bruce Oldfield

Princess Diana met Oldfield through her work at Barnado’s and wore his couture dresses from the mid 80s to mid 90s, when her style changed, at which point she stopped wearing his designs. Some of his dresses include an off-the-shoulder navy dress which she wore at a dinner in 1987 and a gala in 1988, and was later auctioned off for £45,000 at Christie’s.

princess diana fashion brands

Princess Diana wearing Dior

There’s a reason Dior has a bag named after Diana (the Lady Dior FYI): she was one of their most loyal customers. The bag, which had another name at the time, was given to Diana by the French First Lady, Bernadette Chirac. She loved it so much that she ordered it in every version, which prompted Dior to name it after her.

princess diana lady dior

Photo: Rex

Shop now: Mini Lady Dior bag in black patent calfskin for £2,350 from Dior

 

Princess Diana wearing Bellville Sassoon

You might not have heard of David Sassoon, but he created over 70 gowns for Princess Diana over the course of two decades, and is credited for taking her from Sloane Ranger to fashion icon status. She famously wore a bright floral-patterned dress to visit children in hospital, and a pink floral dress for Prince William’s christening in 1982.

princess diana fashion brands

Photo: Rex

Princess Diana wearing Emanuel

Diana’s fairytale showstopper from her 1981 royal wedding was created by Welsh designer duo David and Elizabeth Emanuel. The dress was made of ivory silk, pure taffeta and antique lace, with 10,000 pearls and sequins, and had a 25 ft train

princess diana

Credit: REX

Princess Diana wearing Ferragamo

Everyone talks about the Lady Dior bag, but did you know Ferragamo also named a bag after Diana? The late Princess owned over 20 variations of the chain strap bag, which was named the Lady Di after her death.

princess diana fashion brands

Photo: Rex

Shop now: SALVATORE FERRAGAMO Ginny medium leather shoulder bag for £915 from MatchesFashion.com

Princess Diana wearing Chanel

Princess Diana was a big Chanel fan, and was especially fond of the bags and shoes, though she sadly didn’t wear the brand after her divorce. The reason she couldn’t wear Chanel anymore was because the interlocked Cs reminded her of Charles and Camilla.

princess diana fashion brands

Photo: Rex

Shop now: Chanel flap bag for £4,220 from Chanel

There’s no denying Princess Diana was very loyal to the designers she loved, which included lots of British up-and-coming names, who she supported even after her divorce, which was a turning point in her style. You could even say she paved the way for Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.

The post The ultimate guide to Princess Diana’s go-to fashion brands (and where to shop them) appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Sophie Turner’s Interesting New Game of Thrones Tattoo May Hint at Sansa’s Ultimate Fate

Sophie Turner has a new Game of Thrones tattoo that may just reveal Sansa Stark’s fate in the eighth and final season of the HBO drama.

Tattoo artist Lauren Winzer of Hunter and Fox Tattoo Studio shared the first photo of Turner’s ink on Saturday, debuting the 22-year-old actor’s new House Stark direwolf sigil above the words, “The pack survives.”

The design seems to be a direct reference to the quote, “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives,” a maxim that Ned Stark shared with his children. However, it may also have a more explicit meaning in regard to Sansa’s chances for survival.

After Turner and co-star Maisie Williams got matching Thrones tattoos last year, Turner revealed that the onscreen sisters were hoping to double down on their brands.

“We got them together just the other day,” she told E! on the 2017 Emmys red carpet. “With Thrones, we were like, if we make it all the way through, hopefully we could all get a matching wolf but we don’t know if we’re going to make it, so Maisie and I were like, ‘Let’s get this before anyone kills us.’”

Interesting, very interesting indeed.


Entertainment – TIME

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From real estate to diplomacy, Trump chases the ultimate deal in Singapore

Donald Trump had made up his mind.


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How Iceland Became the World Cup’s Ultimate Underdog

The hopes of an entire soccer-mad nation will soon be riding on the hands of Hannes Thór Halldórsson. But on this chilly morning in late May, Iceland’s goalkeeper uses his powerful mitts not to stop a blast from Lionel Messi but to gently tap the tiny shoulder of a Reykjavík kindergartner. Halldórsson asks the boy, who’s wearing a blue Iceland soccer jersey and has his country’s flag painted on both of his cheeks, to move a little to his right. Halldórsson then glides back across the floor–shoes off in the classroom, even for national team stars–and peeks at the video camera. Now the shot looks better.

He would know. Until about four years ago, when he finally received a professional soccer contract to play in Norway, Halldórsson, 34, was a full-time filmmaker. So when Coca-Cola sought a director for its World Cup commercial in Iceland, the smallest country ever to qualify for the World Cup–its population, about 350,000, is barely bigger than that of Corpus Christi, Texas–the team’s goalie got the nod.

To read the full story click here

This appears in the June 18, 2018 issue of TIME.

This appears in the June 18, 2018 issue of TIME.
Sports – TIME

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Ultimate Design Challenge – Vote Today!

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The Design Challenge: We asked two designers to create a modern space using popular pieces from the SwitzerCultCreative design collections.

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Kim Bartley’s Miami Meets Mid-Century Dining Room

design challenge

This dining room emanates a Miami meets mid-century vibe. The black and white palm wallpaper packs a punch with it’s modern tropical design. The dining room table and chairs sit perfectly atop a dark heirloom disintegrated rug. Add some sparkle with a mirror and slim framed chandelier for a space that boasts an edgy look. Click here for more details!

Trish Knight’s Luxurious Living Room for Entertaining

design challenge

Every design has a starting point and this room was inspired by the walnut credenza, created by Sholto Design Studio to hold a cocktail bar, wine rack and turn table. White walls and Carrara marble paired with warm camel and gray tones, luxurious textures and layered lighting create a relaxing mood for this living space. Click here for more details!

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The post Ultimate Design Challenge – Vote Today! appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Find your favorite Toy Story toys, apparel, , collectibles and more in the Toy Story Character Shops at the online Disney Store.

Opening Ceremony Unveils the Ultimate Disney Collaboration, Complete With a Runway Show at Disneyland

Disney fashion collaborations are a dime a dozen: In the past couple of years alone, we’ve seen Coach do both Mickey and Minnie Mouse pieces, Kenzo x “The Jungle Book,” Donald Duck at Gucci, Disney princesses at Dolce & Gabbana, countless “Star Wars” apparel drops and Uniqlo has been …

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A Wrinkle in Time: An Inside Look and Ultimate Character Guide

A Wrinkle in Time: An Inside Look and Ultimate Character Guide

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Fans of A Wrinkle in Time have been waiting a long time for a big-screen adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's novel – and now thanks to Disney, it's almost here.

The epic adventure, hitting theaters March 8, is directed by Ava DuVernay and features an excellent cast, including Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and newcomer Storm Reid as the intrepid young Meg Murry, who sets out on a journey to find her…

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Jillian Michaels’ 13 Most-Loved Products for Ultimate Relaxation

When I’m stressed, I find positive ways of nurturing and comforting myself instead of engaging in self-destructive behaviors like stress eating and spending money on crap. Ahead, you’ll find my favorite beautifying products, healthy snacks, and self-care obsessions. You can find even more recommendations on my curated page on Amazon. —Jillian Michaels

Health – Good Housekeeping

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Table Manners – Ultimate Guide to Dining Etiquette

We begin our periodic series Rules of Civility with a detailed guide to table manners & etiquette in informal dining events.

The Importance of Learning Proper Table Manners

At any age, regardless of your station in life or your salary, table manners are essential for two reasons. One is to make others comfortable. How many of us have been forced to dine with someone who may have filthy hands, coughs all over the food and forces us to observe the as yet undigested bits of their food as they roll around gobs of food in their open mouths? Would we wish to visit such vexatious behavior on others?

The second reason is to keep us from embarrassing ourselves. I know my water glass is on my right and won’t drink from another’s glass. By learning manners, I know to wait until the host begins eating so I won’t be halfway through my soup when the host says, “Bon Appetit!.”

All of us should feel confident when we sit down at a table, whether it is a formal dining setting with a six-course menu at the country estate of a Duke or your sister-in-law’s fortieth birthday party. That confidence comes with knowledge and practice.

In the United States, most dinners are informal, but informality should focus on our relationships with others, and never mean that we talk with food in our mouths, or dress as a five-year-old boy (i.e., shorts and sneakers and t-shirt) when invited to someone’s home for a barbecue.

A typical informal place setting in the U.S. In Europe you would get another fork

A typical informal place setting in the U.S. In Europe you would get another fork

Before the event

R.S.V.P.

It literally means “répondez s’il vous plaît,” or please respond. Therefore, Inform your host or hostess within 24 hours of receiving your invitation; 72 hours if you have a legitimate reason for delaying (travel, family emergencies) your response. Of course, a delayed response is always better than no response but never reply maybe, as yes or no is expected.

If you have food allergies or restrictions, indicate them when you reply, as it is rude to request menu changes after you are seated.

If you have informed your host that you will not be attending, but your plans change, it is not appropriate to ask the host if the invitation is still open.

Unless you experience a family or personal emergency or are called out of town because of work, attend the dinner if you have indicated you will do so.  If such an emergency arises, inform your host as soon as possible, so they do not worry about your safety.

10 Great Hostess Gifts

10 Great Hostess Gifts

Gift Giving

Purchase a host or hostess gift, such as flowers, wine or something special, but don’t expect that present will be shared or used at the event. In Japan, gifts should always accompany the guest and given to the host with both hands, preferably with the bag where you bought the gift underneath the gift.

Know Your Context – Dress

Who has invited you to dinner? Where? In the United States, guests are frequently entertained in the host’s home. In East Asia, notably Japan and China and Taiwan, entertaining is done almost exclusively at restaurants.

By knowing your context, you will also have a good idea about what to wear. Here is a great look for spring, with jeans included. In the summer months, jeans may be too hot. So consider seersucker. And in this guide to better dressing in the fall, remove your tie, and voila, elegantly casual.

Is your partner invited?  Don’t assume so unless it is stated in the invitation.  Never assume your children are invited.  Employ the services of a babysitter if you will be attending the event. You, your hostess and your children will thank you.

While it is rude to ask who else is invited, perhaps you were asked to attend by email or by an internet service such as Facebook or Evite.  If so, take a moment to look at the guest list.  This will allow you to determine if this is an occasion for friends to get together or if it will be a more business-oriented event.  Keep the guest list in mind during the week leading up to the event. Take note of current events of potential interest to the group you can bring up in conversation.

Turn your cell phone off

Table Manners mean: turn your cell phone off

The Cell Phone Dilemma

All dining experiences with others are social events where food is served. The focus should always be on conversation. Therefore, turn off your smartphone off and don’t use it at all because that implies you are more interested in your device than in the people around you.

If you cannot miss a call, turn your phone on silent and excuse yourself when you take the call in another room. We show you how in the video above. For general cell phone etiquette, take a look here.

Table Manner Basics

If we had to distill it down to just a few points, we’d settle on these six.

  1. RSVP promptly and explain any food restrictions or concerns
  2. Focus on others
  3. Eat from the outside in
  4. Eat with your mouth closed
  5. Send a handwritten thank you card
  6. While not explained in detail above, discretion is the better part of valor. Do know it is never appropriate to post pictures of the event on social media without the express permission of both the host and the person or person(s) in the picture.

Informal Dining No Seating

Don’t expect to eat a full meal. At informal parties, olives, nuts, small pieces of cheese, meats, crudite and finger-sized desserts may be eaten with the hands.  Ensure to grab a napkin and never lick your fingers that would be a faux pas.

If utensils or forks are provided, use them even if the food is “finger food” because the rules of civility in the West require us to shake hands with people we’ve either just met or whom we’ve not seen in a long while. Who wants to shake the hand with olive juice, pork fat, and salt all over it?

Do your best to mingle and make light conversation with everyone. Do not talk excessively loud. Give others equal opportunities for conversation.

Before leaving the event, always find your host and thank him, personally.

Dining table place card

Dining table place card

 

Informal Dining Seated

Place card

Place cards tell guests where to sit and may be used at dinners with more than six people as they avoid delay and confusion.

No place card

Either the host will inform guests where to sit, or he will request they determine where to sit on their own. Proper table manners prohibit you from just sitting down as you please. If you can’t see a place card, wait for a clue from the host.

Observe proper posture

Observe proper posture

When to begin eating

In an informal dinner, eating commences when the hostess picks up her fork unless she has instructed the guests to eat without her.

If a host chooses to say grace, accept the gesture for what it is, but don’t volunteer to say grace because you are the guest. If you are a nonbeliever, just remain quiet.

The host has gone to considerable expense and time to prepare food that he wants to share with you. At the very least, you can respect their table rituals & etiquette.

The Napkin

Place the napkin right after being seated. The purpose of the napkin is to wipe food away from one’s mouth. Unless one is explicitly given a bib to place around the chest, the napkin never goes on the chest.

If you need to wipe your mouth, wrap a section of the napkin around your index finger and remove the offending article. Using a large portion of the napkin makes it more difficult to use it again if needed.

What to do with the napkin when leaving the table mid-meal?

First of all, try not to leave the table mid-meal. If you have to, excuse yourself. Leave your napkin either on a chair or place it to the left of your plate.

When finished, place the napkin gracefully on the table, and do not place it on top of your plate that would be a table manner faux pas.

Make sure to always push your chair back in when you leave the table. It is an often overlooked detail but it’s part of proper table etiquette.

Utensils and Glassware

In an informal setting, you may not be confronted with multiple utensils.  Your meal may not require more than a single fork and knife.  However, even at an informal dinner, your host may place multiple utensils at your place setting.  Regardless of the construction of the place setting, always eat from the outside in. A salad fork on the outermost left followed by your dinner fork etc.

When unsure, wait to see what others do, particularly your host. A delay of two seconds won’t be noticed by others but should give you enough time to determine which utensil to use.

Do not immediately dig into your food.  Make sure everyone has had the opportunity to be passed every serving plate and has their dinner selection on their plate.  Remember, an informal dinner is a social event with food. Your focus is always on others. Wait for your host to begin and moderate your eating pace with his.

Your soup spoon will be on your outermost right, followed by your beverage spoon and then your dinner knife. A dessert fork may be placed closest to your dinner plate or, instead, is placed on the dessert plate above your dinner plate or brought to you when dessert is served. How you eat with spoons varies slightly by location. While some eat from the side of the spoon, others eat from the front. Just bear in mind to never slurp your soup, and you’ll be fine.

Proper Table Manner dictate The correct resting and finished position for a fork and knife.

Proper Table Manner dictates the correct resting and finished position for a fork and knife.

Eat to the left; drink to the right

Any plate to the left and above your main plate(as opposed to the right in front of you) is part of your place setting as is any glass to the right.

Once picked up, utensils do not touch the table again – that’s simple table manners 101. If you have a knife rest, use it otherwise leave your utensils in the resting position of the five o’clock finished positon. Watch out Table Manners Video on top to get the best understanding of how it is done properly.

Chopsticks

If you are at a restaurant, you can always ask for knife and fork when you encounter just chopsticks. In a private setting, you should use the chopsticks unless you really have no clue how to use them. However, it’s even better to practice at home, so you can never be surprised.

Manners For Children

Obviously, a three-year-old won’t be able to display all table manners but as a parent it is your job to your kids basic table manners because bad manners are never acceptable.

Don't reach over

Don’t reach overv

Passing Dishes of Food and Serving

Pass food from the left to the right. Do not stretch across the table, crossing other guests, to reach food or condiments.

If another guest asks for the salt or pepper, pass both shakers together, even if they only asked for one of them. Dinner guests won’t then have to search for orphaned shakers.

If, as the bread basket or salt and pepper shakers pass in front of you on their way to another guest, do not partake. Wait until the initial guest is done, then request the bread basket or salt shaker be passed back to you.

Always scoop food, using the proper utensil, away from you.

Always use serving utensils to serve yourself, not your personal silverware.

Basically, that’s all you need to know about passing etiquette at the dinner table.

Table Manners 101: How to eat soup, hold a fork and knife, cut meat and propose a toast.

Table Manners 101: How to eat soup, hold a fork and knife, cut meat and propose a toast.

How to Eat Properly

Portion size

Take a small to moderate portion size – you are not the only one at the table, and in case you dislike something you won’t have to eat much of it.

Try to eat as much as possible from your plate even if you find the taste unpalatable.

Always taste your food before seasoning it.  Doing so honors the culinary efforts of your host and suggests restraint. From a practical perspective, the food may be seasoned to your taste as it is served to you. How comfortable will you be if in seasoning the food before tasting it you make a dish too salty or overly peppered? Table etiquette and manners also help us.

Eat in small bites, one morsel at a time. I cannot emphasize this rule enough. In his 97th rule,  George Washington writes:

Put not another bit into your mouth till the former be swallowed. Let not your morsels be too big for the jowls.

Always keep in mind that meal & dining etiquette is largely about making others comfortable. Most of us are not comfortable watching someone masticate on a glob of food golf-ball sized or larger; nor are we comfortable watching them speak with food in their mouths.

Food in general and meat, in particular, should be cut up into bit size pieces as they are eaten. Only meals for children are all cut all at once. Ensure you use fork and knife and not just your fork, no matter what others do. Whether you are using an American style of eating (fork in left hand, knife in the right, which are switched after the food is cut) or a Continental one (no switching), one should never, ever place so much food in one’s mouth, they must chew with their mouth open.

Don’t hunch over your plate nor use your fingers to move food around the plate (unless eating in a culture where eating with one’s hands is permissible).

In the United States, these foods may be eaten with one's hands, even when seated at a table.

In the United States, these foods may be eaten with one’s hands, even when seated at a table.

When I was in Paris, I watched a very chic woman eat an entire multi-layered club sandwich with a fork and knife. Once done, she departed with an equally elegant male companion and did not need to wash her hands. After that I experience, I learned to eat everything with a fork and knife. No matter how finger-friendly the meal is, it pays to be able to eat it with silverware.

Do not gesticulate with your utensils, it is considered impolite.

If you drop a utensil on the floor in a restaurant, do not pick it up. Ask your server for a new one. If you drop a utensil at a private party, ask the host for a new one and pick up the dirty one from the floor.

How To Eat Bread The Proper Way At Mealtime

If you are dining in a country where bread is buttered before being eaten, first place a slab of butter onto your butter plate using your butter knife. Then tear the bread and butter each piece. Do not butter the entire roll or bread piece.

Otherwise, in countries like France where bread is not buttered, tear into small pieces and, use the bread to sop up the lovely sauce your host has prepared. Gotta love French table manners!

Butter spreads or dips should be transferred from the serving dish to your plate before spreading or eating. This practice ensures a man won’t double-dip, which is unsanitary.

Eat With Your Mouth Shut

It goes without saying that loud eating noises such as slurping are very impolite in the West. Burping is also impolite.

Do not use a toothpick at the table nor blow your nose. Cover your mouth with your napkin if you cough.

Say “Excuse me,” or “I’ll be right back,” before leaving the table. Do not say that you are going to the restroom.

If a woman excuses herself, stay seated. The older practice of rising upon her departure and return is outmoded and confuses people nowadays.

What To Do With Your Elbows? It Depends

Keep your elbows off the table during the meal. You won’t interfere with the meal of the guest next to you, and you will be less likely to dirty your clothing. If you are conversing after dinner, it is ok to have your elbows on the table, even though it is probably better the just have the wrists or forearms on the table. Just ensure you have a positive body language.

When You Are Finished Eating

When you are done, do not push your plate away from you. At a restaurant, the waiter will remove them. In someone’s home ask the hostess is she needs assistance with clearing the table.

 

The shapes of various stemware that may or may not be used at an informal dinner party.

The shapes of various stemware that may or may not be used at an informal dinner party.

Wine

The wine you bring as a gift is just that, a gift. If you have an especially treasured bottle you want to share, call your host in advance of the dinner to ensure a good match.

Hold both wine and champagne glasses by the stem.

If you are being served two different wines during dinner, it is acceptable to leave one glass unfinished as you drink the other.

Do not get wasted

Do not get wasted

In an informal setting, you should not ask for the bottle and refill your glass. Instead, wait for your host to refill your glass. Dining is a social event with food and wine, but you know your limits best, so say no thank you when you had enough. Even if you have displayed the best table manners throughout the evening being tipsy or even drunk will ruin everything.

If you spill wine on a table cloth, immediately notify your hostess and offer to pay to have it cleaned or replaced discreetly.

Abstinence

If you do not drink, politely refuse the offer of alcohol, no further explanation is required.

Say goodbye with a handshake

Say goodbye with a handshake

Leaving the party

It is best to leave when others do. Thank your host personally. The following day, without fail, write a handwritten thank-you note to you host. Don’t linger and when the host starts to do the dishes, it’s time for you to leave.

Conclusion

Others may find different table manners more appropriate, particularly in the UK and the Continent, where the tradition of more formal eating and formal public behavior has existed for much longer. In the U.S., these rules of table etiquette will put you in a distinct category of a civil and mannered gentleman. If you are traveling to Europe and other destinations, you will be acting in ways different from most American men, which, in this case, is a good thing. At the end of the day there is not just one set of good manners.

In the next article, we will discuss the rules of formal dining etiquette, which is far more ritualized than informal dining.

If you have the same or different opinions on the matter, please leave a comment, thank you.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Is Pad Man the ultimate feminist superhero movie?

This Bollywood film tackling period poverty is EVERYTHING

pad man
Akshay Kumar, star of new Bollywood film, Pad Man

Dubbed the world’s first feature film on menstruation, Pad Man, which hits cinemas on February 9th, is based on the true the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a welder from a rural village in Tamil Nadu, who twenty years ago invented a low-cost machine to produce sanitary pads after he realised his wife was using old rags because she couldn’t afford to buy expensive imported sanitary products from shops.

Considering the taboo that still exists in India – periods are rarely talked about, even behind closed doors – the film is shining a much-needed light on the issue of period poverty for millions of women around the world. In India, only 12 per cent of women have access to sanitary products and the rest are forced to use old newspapers and rags, which risks infection and harming their reproductive health. Meanwhile, a quarter of all girls in India drop out of school after hitting puberty because of the shame of menstruation, impacting their education and development for a lifetime.

Taking on the lead role of Muruganantham is one of India’s most celebrated Bollywood stars, Akshay Kumar, who recently produced and starred in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (Toilet: A Love Story), the world’s first feature film on the open-defecation crisis – which philanthropist Bill Gates named as one of 2017’s ‘amazing moments of hope and progress’.

pad man

Pad Man writer and producer, Twinkle Khanna, and lead actor Akshay Kumar

The significance of Pad Man is huge – and in an unprecedented wave of He For She badassery, it has triggered thousands of men in India (and the rest of the world) to take to social media and share sanitary pad selfies in a bid to debunk the stigma of silence. Before the film had even been released, the hashtag #PadMan had racked up 31.5k Instagram posts and rising, with a further 10.8k posts for #PadManChallenge, to encourage more men to pose with a pad.

With the conversation around period poverty already gathering pace in the UK, thanks to initiatives such as activist Amika George’s #FreePeriods campaign, and the news that Scotland is to give free sanitary products to women with low incomes, it is the plight of women in India that will be brought to the forefront thanks to this ground-breaking film.

pad man

Men in India are sharing sanitary pad selfies in support of the #PadManChallenge

The main character’s long-suffering wife is played by 32-year-old actress Sonam Kapoor (whose father is the Slumdog Millionaire actor, Anil Kapoor) and she has said of the film: ‘It’s a very compelling story about a very ordinary man who did something extraordinary not for himself, but for women and for the woman he loved.’ She added: ‘It’s so relevant to what is going on around the world at the moment yet it has barely been spoken about internationally, let alone in India. I know girls from very progressive backgrounds like mine that still have a sense of shame and secrecy about it.’

And it all began with the bravery and ingenuity of one man: Arunachalam Muruganantham – a so-called ‘lower caste’ man who dropped out of school at 14 and went on to revolutionise menstrual hygiene for thousands of women, before he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. We could all learn a thing or two from Muruganantham. Let’s all be more Pad Man.

The post Is Pad Man the ultimate feminist superhero movie? appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Jermyn Street: The Ultimate Shopping Guide

London’s St. James district is internationally renowned for its menswear, but the highest concentration of gentlemen’s clothiers in the city can be found on the single half-kilometer stretch that is Jermyn Street. In this article, we present the most comprehensive guide to shops on the street, providing information on all of its important addresses to help you plan your own excursion to this style destination.

This article was originally written by Dr. Cindy Lawford and edited and updated by Dr. Christopher Lee. It is a massive article with 15,000 words, so we created subdivisions so it is easier for you to read.

Get to the store of your choice here

 

Store What It Is Price Range Jermyn Street Location
Getti Restaurant $ $ Nos. 16-17
Jermyn Street Theatre Theatre $ Nos. 16b
Grosvenor Shirts Haberdashery $ -$ $ $ Nos. 18-19
Sunspel Haberdashery $ $ No. 21a
Joseph Cheaney Shoes Shoe Store $ $ -$ $ $ No. 21
La Martina Haberdashery $ -$ $ $ No. 23
Waterstones Bookstore $ -$ $ $ No. 30
Hawes & Curtis Haberdashery $ -$ $ $ Nos. 33-34
Bates Custom Hats $ -$ $ Nos. 37
Barker Shoe Store $ $ No. 38
Tramp Members-only Club $ $ $ No. 40
Fortnum & Mason Restaurant $ -$ $ No. 45
Alfred Dunhill Haberdashery $ -$ $ $ No. 48
Boggi Haberdashery $ -$ $ $ No. 49
New & Lingwood Haberdashery $ -$ $ No. 53
Wilton’s Restaurant $ -$ $ No. 55
John Smedley Haberdashery $ -$ $ No. 55
Sladmore Art Gallery $ $ $ No. 57
Dickinson Art Gallery $ $ $ No. 58
Weiss Gallery Art Gallery $ $ $ No. 59
Bespoke Cycling Bicycle Store $ -$ $ $ No. 59
J.M. Weston Shoe Store $ -$ $ $ No. 60
Franco’s Restaurant $ -$ $ $ No. 61
St. James’s Street, Davidoff Cigars Cigar Shop $ $ No. 35
Emma Willis Haberdashery $ $ -$ $ $ No. 66
Tricker’s Shoe Store $ -$ $ $ No. 67
Duchamp Haberdashery $ -$ $ No. 68
Crockett & Jones Shoe Store $ -$ $ $ No. 69
Turnbull & Asser Haberdashery $ -$ $ $ No. 71-72
Hilditch & Key Haberdashery / Tailoring $ -$ $ $ No. 73
Taylor Of Old Bond Street Luxury Grooming & Accessories $ -$ $ $ No. 74
Edward Green Shoe Store $ $ -$ $ $ No. 75
Longmire Haberdashery $ $ $ No. 75a
Franses Textile $ -$ $ No. 80
Hawes & Curtis Haberdashery $ -$ $ $ No. 82
Foster & Son Shoe Store $ -$ $ $ No. 83
Thomas Pink Haberdashery / Tailoring $ -$ $ No. 85
Hackett Haberdashery $ -$ $ No. 87
John Lobb Shoe Store $ $ -$ $ $ No. 88
Floris London Luxury Fragrance & Toiletries $ $ -$ $ $ No. 89
Roderick Charles Haberdashery $ $ -$ $ $ No. 90
Paxton & Whitfield Artisan Cheese $ -$ $ $ No. 93
Links Of London Jewelry $ $ -$ $ $ No. 94
Russell & Bromley Shoe Store $ -$ $ No. 95
Harvie & Hudson Haberdashery $ -$ $ $ No. 96/97
Charles Tyrwhitt Haberdashery $ -$ $ No. 100
T. M. Lewin Haberdashery $ -$ $ Nos. 103-106
Aquascutum Haberdashery $ -$ $ $ No. 106
Church’s Shoe Store $ $ -$ $ $ No. 110
Jones Bootmaker Shoe Store $ -$ $ No. 112
Emmett Shirts Haberdashery $ -$ $ No. 112
Rowley’s Restaurant $ -$ $ $ No. 113

 

Jermyn Street is a one-way street originating at Regent Street, Saint James’s Place, which is also closest to Piccadilly Circus and its Underground station, so we will begin our virtual walk there, heading to the end of the street and looping back.

Nos. 16-17, Getti

Nos. 16-17, Getti

Nos. 16-17, Getti

The first establishment of note is the Italian restaurant Getti on the north side of the street. It offers the best dining on Jermyn Street and is perfect for those who are watching their wallets after spending more than intended on clothes and accessories. Offering excellent, fresh Italian food at moderate prices, Getti is a family-run business with a cool, contemporary setting that feels welcoming for business lunches and family meals alike. The restaurant gets very busy at lunchtime, so it is advisable to book ahead. It has two floors; the upper story overlooking Jermyn Street is usually quieter. Getti is situated next door to the Jermyn Street Theatre and offers discounts for those who attend a show there. The service is quick, especially if you ask the waiters or speed; the wines are very good; the salads creative and the pastas, risottos and pizzas light and tasty. I can recommend most of their pasta and risotto dishes, because I’ve tried them. Two special favorites are the bruschetta with tomatoes and basil (£4.95) followed by the fresh tagliatelle with truffle cream and porcini mushrooms (£16.50). Their lasagne always pleases as well; indeed, I’ve never come to the restaurant with friends or family when any food was left on any plates. Getti also offers entrees of sirloin, steak, liver, veal and grilled chicken, as well as several intriguing seafood dishes.

Nos. 16b, Jermyn Street Theatre

Since 1994, this 70-seat theatre has been lighting up the evening’s activities on the street after the shops close, providing an often brilliant way to close out the day. The space used to be part of a restaurant and club in the 1930s and then served as a changing room for the staff of the Spaghetti restaurant next door (now Getti). It is London’s smallest West End Theatre by a very long way, and there is not a bad seat in the house. It offers varied one-night-only performances, stand-up comedy, readings, drama, and both new plays by contemporary playwrights and stagings of classics like Chekhov and Tennessee Williams. Plays with two or four actors are often staged, but small-scale musicals make their way here as well. Experiencing the power and drama of great performances in such intimate surroundings is quite wonderful. Matinees are sometimes available, as are Sunday performances, and the ticket prices are very reasonable, usually ranging from £15 to £30 regular price with various discounts for students, under 30s, and seniors.

Nos. 18-19, Grosvenor Shirts

Though Grosvenor sells a range of classic business shirts (£110), the company stands out among the shop windows of Jermyn Street for its distinct designer shirts (£139): large lined and crisscrossed colorful panels are often countered by opposing colors in the same pattern or opposing patterns in the same color. These shirts get noticed immediately. Even the white ones have colored trim, cuffs and plastic buttons. Designed by Panamanian Juan Credidio, almost all of the fabrics are woven exclusively for Grosvenor, and each stock is limited to just fifteen shirts. Karl Dunkley and John Quigley started the business in 1999 with the determination to make all of their shirts in UK. Buying a factory in Strabane, Northern Ireland has made this dream possible and helped Grosvenor win the prized royal warrant from the Queen. Interestingly, Grosvenor has stores in both Ghana and Nigeria, its colorful shirts having a wide appeal to African customers who often do not wear jackets. The sole UK store opened on Jermyn Street in 2013. Its two gleaming white floors and striped walls stand out as much as its high-quality business shirts. According to Dunkley, their twill weave allows them to remain largely wrinkle-free throughout a working day. Made with an extra piece of fabric to prevent movement, there is a stiffness about the collars that is at times perhaps slightly echoed in the shop’s initial atmosphere, but the commitment to excellent service is evident and absolute. The made-to-measure suite is downstairs, where customers are offered a drink and invited to take their time ordering shirts that start at £150 (minimum order of 2; three weeks delivery) and, while not bespoke, can be made to fit to a fairly exacting standard. Ties, cufflinks, scarves likewise complement a range of fairly-fitted jackets and bright chinos.

No. 21a, Sunspel

Sunspel is mainly about simple T-shirts, boxer shorts and polo shirts made from luxury fabrics. So there is nothing formal in this shop, one of five men’s shops in London, with others in Japan and Berlin. Though several Jermyn Street outfitters stock some of these items, Sunspel’s dedicated focus on the clothing closest to the skin has earned it, I think, a claim on the attention of anyone strolling down the street, if only to stop in and feel the smooth, lightweight cotton: either Egyptian or Sea Island, woven and gassed, or passed over a flame, to help it retain a matte finish rather than become shiny over time. A majority of the products are made at the bursting old Long Eaton factory, with others coming from similarly high-skilled small factories in Turkey and Portugal. A lot of handwork and special skills go into their making. Two salesmen tell me of the abilities of one woman charged with handling the precious and difficult Sea Island cotton. Fitted T-shirts from the stuff sell for no less than £165, in contrast to those made from Egyptian, at £65 to £80. It is all expensive casual wear that is made to last as much as feel fabulous.

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne wearing a Sunspel shirt.

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne wearing a Sunspel shirt.

Customers can at least know that they are helping a company survive that supports British manufacturing and has deep Victorian roots in Nottinghamshire. Trained to make women’s hosiery, Thomas Hall decided in 1860 to find a way to create luxury men’s undergarments. His was one of the first firms to produce T-shirts. In the 1930s, Sunspel developed a cellulock fabric using the old lace-making machines in Long Eaton, and it is that same light breathable fabric that they are now making for their open-mesh T-shirts. Thanks to U. S. Army influence, Sunspel is also famous for first introducing boxer shorts to the UK in 1947 and for a 1985 advertisement where Nick Kamen took off his Levis to reveal Sunspel boxers, convincing the majority of the nation’s young men that boxer shorts were better than briefs. Sunspel boxers are one inch shorter than the originals. Despite its success with European and rock star royalty and its international market, particularly in Hong Kong and Calcutta, Sunspel was still just a wholesale business when Nicholas Brook and Dominic Hazlehurst bought the company in 2005, having no retail stores and producing no outerwear. It started growing almost immediately and is still a family-run business. The next year brought the James Bond film, Casino Royale, with Daniel Craig wearing Sunspel’s navy blue Riviera polo made of warp-knit cotton (£85). This shirt is based on Sunspel’s 1950s Riviera polo, with a soft-collar and three buttons. It now has only two buttons. Simplicity is in everything Sunspel does. There are no logos, no decorations, no prints even.

Cheaney's James II wingcap brogue in three tones of brown

Cheaney’s James II wingcap brogue in three tones of brown

No. 21, Joseph Cheaney Shoes

I have to be honest, I love these shoes and this shop with its friendly staff. It opened in September 2014, one of five Cheaney shops in London. The shop has won a fair amount of praise in the press for a design that is focused entirely on the making of the shoes, with wooden lasts hanging on the walls, two displays showing the distinct parts of the shoe, one from the side and one above, and a model of the Northamptonshire factory placed in the center of the shop. A portrait of the business’s 1886 founder, Joseph Cheaney hangs with one of his son in Perspex plastic boxes, and his long white beard marks him out in another photo on the factory floor, where in apron and hat, he is clearly just pausing amid work and piles of leather. The range and quality of the shoes could hardly be more impressive, and, for the quality, Cheaney’s prices are among the lowest on Jermyn Street, which is quickly becoming as known for its shoes as its shirts. Cheaney has long made shoes for other brands, like Gieves & Hawkes of Savile Row. With their beveled fiddleback waists, the hand-painted soles of their Imperial range are almost as beautiful as the distinguished black or brown uppers (£433). Since cousins Jonathan and William Church bought out the brand from Prada in 2009, Cheaney has sought to sell their fine shoes at a lower price than their competitors (about £70 less than Church’s for the same style) while providing a wide variety of shoes, from classic to unfamiliar twists on brogues and loafers. You can find at the Jermyn Street shop everything from James II three-tone wingtip brogues  (£292) and Berkeley whole cut oxfords in blue calf leather(£354) to burgundy penny loafers (£292) and burnished olive balmoral boots (£354).

La Martina

La Martina

No. 23, La Martina

Opened in February 2015 as part of the St. James’s Gateway redevelopment project, La Martina is one of the newest and largest stores on Jermyn Street, with two dark wood-paneled floors devoted to everything polo, including of course, the elegant casual dress of the polo spectators. Unlike the other newer shops on Jermyn Street, La Martina is not British but Argentinian, founded in 1985 by Lando Simonetti in Buenos Aires. But Polo is popular in the UK, especially among the royals and at Oxford and Cambridge, and for some time La Martina has been selling its wares at Harrods and its Pro-Shop at Windsor Park’s Guards Polo Club, the grandest polo club in Europe. With the new store, La Martina now has the space to showcase not only its gorgeous saddles, buffalo boots and other highly technical polo equipment, but also a small womenswear range and, designed by Simon Lloyd Fish, its new St. James’s Collection. This collection of refined casual menswear is being made in London’s East End, which is in keeping with Crown Estate priorities for the redevelopment. La Martina executives repeatedly state in the press that they chose to locate in St. James’s because of its tradition of high-quality tailoring. When I met Simon, who trained on Savile Row, he took pains to show me not only the braces and silk ties of the new collection but also how it incorporates equestrian features, such as the fishtail backs and lycra in its trousers and the shaping in its blazers. Unusual on Jermyn Street, the menswear range and the sporting goods are designed to appeal to sports-minded men in their twenties as well as the street’s more traditional clientele.

No. 30, Waterstones

Though Waterstones is part of a chain, it would be a mistake to walk by this multi-story bookstore and not give it at least a look. It is the largest bookstore in the UK, the largest Waterstones in Europe and the building is considered one of the finest built in Britain in 1936, when it famously opened as Simpson’s, a department store devoted to menswear. The 1970s British TV series Are You Being Served? is indeed based on this store. Today it houses an excellent range of books on men’s fashion and style, including a fair amount of historical material, as well as enough books on the rules of dress and etiquette to satisfy the most punctilious gentlemen in St. James’s.

Hawes

Hawes

Nos. 33-34, Hawes & Curtis

For those who don’t want to spend more than £100 for four shirts and especially those who are looking for a little or a lot more color that can be found at T. M. Lewin or Charles Tyrwhitt, Hawes & Curtis would be the desired destination. Recently, some individual shirts were on sale for as little as £17.95, the lowest price I have seen for a shirt on the street for a while. Both Hawes & Curtis and T. M. Lewin shirts come in four fits, with the Hawes & Curtis slim fit being slightly less small in the waist than the T. M. Lewis fully fitted; but the Hawes & Curtis extra slim fit providing a slightly smaller waist than that of the T. M. Lewin super-fitted. So if a certain kind of fit is a priority, then the only answer it to visit all three stores and try on the same size shirt. I have heard that Hawes & Curtis shirts tend not to last quite as long as those of T. M. Lewin, being of a slightly thinner material. Most of the shirts are two-ply cotton 100s, so there may be no truth to the story of their relatively shorter lifespan. Plus, the fantastic variety in fabric styles provides customers with the chance to buy limited edition shirts in floral, paisley, check and spot designs — some with rounded white cutaway collars even — that will definitely make a statement.

Like Charles Tyrwhitt and T. M. Lewin, these shirts are not made in the UK, but that goes without saying because of the low prices. It is a brand with a great history, having been founded by Freddie Hawes and Ralph Curtis in 1913 and providing bespoke shirts for the likes of the Earl of Mountbatten, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Noel Coward and the dandyish Duke of Windsor, a lover of colorful shirts if ever there was one. It also introduced the backless evening waistcoat. No longer does the company make bespoke shirts, but it values its history and still seeks to provide a unique and somewhat daring flair. Merino V-neck sweaters in a range of hues including burgundy, sky blue, and green are going for £29 each, and braces (including those with pin dots) sell for £32. You can find navy suits with a large windowpane pattern; a brown and orange Harris tweed; and a dinner jacket with a satin peak lapel (£319). There are herringbone overcoats for as little as £159. Like an increasing number of products on the street, Hawes & Curtis’s shoes are made in Portugal. These sell for around £100.

No. 37, Bates

This is one of my favorite shops on Jermyn Street for three reasons. One, the staff are equally knowledgeable and delightful.  Two, in a glass case near the entrance, there is a stuffed cat in a black silk top hat named Binks who used to roam the shop until his death in 1926. Three, I adore hats; this is the only hat shop on Jermyn Street, and, though it is officially a man’s hat, I have been wearing one of their chocolate brown trilbies (called a “Charlie”) for most of the last year, about three times a week. I feel great every time I put it on. Bates only sells men’s hats (with the bows on the left), and it has been selling hats on Jermyn Street since its opening in 1898. The world almost lost Bates in 2009 when it needed to be closed and moved for the block to be redeveloped, and its owners could not afford the move. It was saved by Michael Booth, the owner of the shirtmaker Hilditch & Key, who had been wearing Bates hats for years and preferred to buy the business rather than see it go under.

Bates's Poet Fedora in green antelope fur felt.

Bates’s Poet Fedora in green antelope fur felt.

Bates remains a family business dedicated to providing both the highest quality hats and capturing the latest trends. The felts are all made from animal fur:  Spanish rabbit for some trilbies and medium-sized fedoras (£145-£225); extra-wide brimmed Czech antelope fedoras (£225); or the luxurious Canadian beaver trilbies (£450) that keep water out and heat in and can exist 36 hours rolled up in the coat pocket without losing their ability to snap back into perfect shape. Although they do brilliantly sober blacks and greys, Bates has always been known for providing more colorful hats than its closest competitors. You can find amazing fedoras in wine red, forest green or creamy beige, as well as flat caps in flashy stripes. The bulk of their caps are attractive tweeds but they do them as well in leather and cashmere (£120-145), and in every style imaginable, deerstalker, baker boy, Donegal, slouch, Tam O’Shanter. Summer brings flat caps in cotton, silk and linen (£60-£80) and the most exciting range of Panamas conceivable, including the world’s most expensive at a whopping £12,000. It sits in another glass case and is brought out regularly so that all can admire the miraculously fine weave of its toquilla straw. There are Panama trilbies and fedoras of several grades, from the superfino at £3500 to soft bleached fedora that can be rolled up (£245) to narrow-brimmed trilby with a teardrop crown that looks decidedly fashionable (£225). I must not fail to mention the homburgs, bowlers, top hats and velvet smoking caps. No tradition is lost here.

Barker Shoes' contemporary "Detroit" derby sneaker

Barker Shoes’ contemporary “Detroit” derby sneaker

No. 38, Barker

Attractive, well-made, and reasonably priced for Jermyn Street, Barker shoes compete directly with those Goodyear-welted ones of Cheaney and Church’s, and the best way to decide between them is simply to see and try on the shoes. Barker shoes have their own unique flair. The toes seem a little more pointed, a little more continental. The Barker McClean Paisley, a brown brogue with laser-etched paisley designs, caught my eye (£230). Go upstairs in this shop to seek out the most contemporary designs — like the blue suede Detroit, a derby sneaker with cross-hatched stitching, broguing and an electric blue rubber sole (£225). Besides the two in Moscow, Barker has four stores in London, with a larger Regent Street store nearby. The company began in 1880 with one Arthur Barker, a bootmaker in Earls Barton, Northamptonshire, whose peg-sole boots won wide approval for being fairly waterproof, as the pegs would swell when the boots got wet. By World War I, Barker’s factory was furnishing the British army with boots, and today its large factory in Earl Barton draws on highly-skilled local workers to produce over 200,000 shoes a year. Barker is owned by an international group.

Rod Stewart and company at the Tramp

Rod Stewart and company at the Tramp

No. 40, Tramp

With its little brass plates to the side of the blue doors, this highly exclusive, members-only club is easily missed, but it’s worth a mention as the noteworthy haunt of the celebrity A-list from the 1970s. Mick Jagger, Joan Collins, Rod Stewart, Keith Moon and Michael Caine were all regulars at the club, known for its fantastic music and popular owner, Johnny Gold, who kept the place swinging for over thirty years. Opened in 1969, the club’s relaxed dress code and slightly louche air gave it an advantage over perceived stuffier places.

No. 45, Fortnum & Mason

Replacing the old restaurant on this site, 45 Jermyn St. opened in 2015, declaring by its name and its style that Fortnum & Mason sees Jermyn Street as a place where people like to stop for a little while, have light but exquisite and good wine, and then rush back out to the busy world again. Surrounded by large windows, its interior decorated with comfortable orange leather booths and lots of brass and glass, the restaurant possesses a distinct glamour with a soft retro feel.  Everything I’ve eaten here is excellent and creative, though so far I have only ordered vegetarian dishes and some rich desserts, like the Valrhona Caraibe chocolate bomb, which I sadly could not finish. I can highly recommend the pumpkin ravioli with pine nuts and sage, as well as the roasted aubergine with wilted Treviso and goats cheese. The prices strike me as a fraction less than the smart restaurants on the west end of the street, but the servings tending here to be smaller as well. It has such pleasant, open setting, and its bar stools invite one to a very classy drink, far from the crowded pubs nearby.

No. 48, Alfred Dunhill

Come here first for the luxury leather bags; secondly, for the incredible range of accessories smoking and otherwise; and thirdly, for the clothes, which are of course what you mainly see when you walk by the display windows. The manly fragrances are likewise well worth a sniff (£57 – £90). Made in nearby Walthamstow, some of the world’s finest leather bags are available through the bespoke service offered here. There is likewise a fabulous range of leather bags made in Italy that are available in the store, from large suitcases and alligator holdalls to all sorts of briefcases to small, classy backpacks and toiletry bags. The chassis billfolds and cardcases are a Dunhill feature, recalling the firm’s historical roots in the business of “motorities”, or accessories for motor vehicles.  The early twentieth century saw the company expanding into tobacco products and accessories so that the gentleman driver could enjoy a smoke at the wheel, and although the Jermyn Street store no longer sells cigars, it continues to contain a range of noteworthy pipes and lighters. For £2125, you can buy a pipe adorned by the head of a silver tiger with real ruby eyes, and the least expensive pipe sells for £295. All pipes are made in Dunhill’s London factory. Alfred Dunhill supplied the Sean Connery’s James Bond with gunmetal cigarette lighter in 1962, and the Rollagas lighters continue to be some of the most elegant on the market. Regarding their tasteful, subdued line of suiting, Dunhill offers both a bespoke and made-to-measure service, along with a solid number of dark, high-quality, ready-to-wear business suits. Some of their overcoats are to die for. I drooled over a double-breasted camel coat at £1650. Similarly subdued are the shirts and ties, the latter coming mainly in olive, navy, burgundy and brown. There are proper tweed (£1250) and corduroy sports jackets in tan and navy (£1425). Some of their big striped winter sweaters are most appealing, especially a navy and bronze one made of cashmere, mulberry silk and mohair (£590), to be worn with a navy corduroy shirt (£190).

Typical Boggi Milano styling

Typical Boggi Milano styling

No. 49, Boggi

Boggi has one of largest retail spaces for menswear on Jermyn Street, with two floors that carry just about every item of dress needed from smart casual to formal, from leather jackets to dinner jackets, and just about everything else in between, including business suits, belts, shoes, shorts, polo shirts, knitted ties, jeans, sweaters, cologne, and, of course, shirts.  You won’t find a vast range of shirts here, but you’ll find affordable ones between £69 (made in China) or £99 (made in Italy). Boggi considers itself a classic brand, not a chaser of fashion, but with enough Italian style always to seem on trend. The lightweight unstructured summer jackets caught my eye, in linen, cotton, or a mixture of the two, one with a patch pocket at £495.  In general, Boggi’s clothes are cut for relatively slim men, what the store manager calls “average” size. Also, they are among the most affordable and stylish outfitters anywhere, less expensive than the British brand Hackett, which also has a shop on the street. There is a wide price range, with cashmere fused jackets selling for £495 and fully canvassed ones made of Loro Piana cloth for £795. Boggi does not make its own clothes, and a growing percentage of their things are made in Romania or China, though its renowned suppliers are all Italian, like Lardini, Lubiam, Tagliatore, Caruso, and Flannel Bay. Boggi is relatively new to the U.K, although the company was founded in 1939. Its takeover in 2003 by the Zaccardi brothers signalled a huge international expansion, now counting well over a hundred stores worldwide. One of Boggi’s two stores in London, the Jermyn Street store opened in 2009, when several more stores were predicted. On Jermyn Street, Boggi’s offerings represent a sleek, relaxed alternative to the somewhat more structured and, in some cases, more colourful British styles.

No. 53, New & Lingwood

Straddling both sides of the Piccadilly Arcade, New & Lingwood is perhaps most noted for its eye-poppingly decadent dressing gowns, very interesting socks,  fabulous striped boating jackets in the spring and summer and, in the autumn and winter, the most distinctive tweed and tartan jackets on the street. There is more color in this small, two-story store than in any other, with Turnbull & Asser running a close second. Some of the corduroy trousers and raincoats seem to leap out in purples, oranges and lime greens. But there are plenty of subtler tones for the less adventurous.  New & Lingwood can be very serious and sober, but it is the evident fun in so many of the clothes that makes it stand out. It is said to have the largest collection of different styles of braces in any shop in Europe. My eye was drawn to ones that are navy and lavender striped; burgundy with tan trip and blue and green peacock feathers; boxcloth felt in yellow, pink and red (most selling around £95). Those who are convinced that trousers always hang better with braces rather than a belt can find all the support they need here. Scarves in delicious colors and designs made from Italian or Macclesfield silk (£195-£295) are tied up ladders. On the counter, next to a bowl of bright pocket squares, a small leather case contains every color of cufflink, plus miniature bow ties selling for £15. It’s almost a sweet shop of menswear. The online catalogue doesn’t begin to give a fair representation of what can be found here.

Lingwood

Lingwood

For absolutely stunning dressing gowns decorated with flowers, fruits and geometric patterns, New & Lingwood again carries home the trophy on the street, but be prepared to spend between £995 and £2500 for the privilege of owning one. Jackets tend to be priced between £595 and £795 with trousers at £155-£350, including a range of tartan and check designs. If you’d like a black cape of cashmere and wool with silver clasps in the shape of lion heads, look no further (£995). Moreover, this is the only shop offering a frock coat this season, and its red and burgundy tapestry design is accompanied by matching waistcoat and trousers. The shop’s history goes back more than 150 years to Miss Elizabeth New and Mr. Samuel Lingwood, who opened their first shop in Eton, soon becoming official outfitters to Eton College. Sitting dashingly across from Beau Brummell’s statue at the entrance of the Piccadilly Arcade, New & Lingwood’s Jermyn Street shop is the company’s one other store. It has maintained a presence on the street since 1922, and one can hardly imagine it anywhere else. Don’t forget to climb the stairs past all the old Eton photos and see the classic boots and shoes.

No. 55, Wilton’s

I have only good things to say about this legendary restaurant, whose origin can be traced back to 1742 when George William Wilton was selling oysters, cockles and shrimp in nearby Haymarket. Wilton eventually opened a small shop that catered to such costermongers who in turn fed the poor when shellfish was a staple of their diet. Though it cannot in fairness be called London’s oldest restaurant since Wilton’s Oyster Rooms in St. James’s did not exist until 1840, Wilton’s lays fair claim to serving the finest oysters in London. Whether eaten at the bar with champagne or at table before the main meal, the oysters are guaranteed to be flawlessly served, as renowned oysterman Sammy Tamsanguan, winner of several British oyster-opening competitions, cracks open and checks every single one.

Wiltons Oysters

Wiltons Oysters

Wilton’s has a reputation for great oystermen, ever since Jimmy Marks was employed by Olaf Hambro during World War II.  Owned by the Hambro banking group since 1941, Wilton’s was acquired by Olaf Hambro when a Luftwaffe bomb fell on St. James’s Church while he was sitting at the Wilton’s bar, having his daily serving of oysters. Owner Mrs. Bessie Leal declared the restaurant closed indefinitely, so Hambro asked her to put Wilton’s itself on his tab. Stuffy this restaurant is not, but it can seem old-fashioned in a pleasant, courteous sort of way. During my lunch, I only saw one use of a mobile phone, and that was when a man sitting alone looked at his rather secretly on his lap under the table while waiting for his guest. Wilton’s is expensive and it obviously caters to the financially and politically successful, many of whom are regulars. The service is fabulous because, I think, the staff genuinely enjoy their work and there is a real family feeling to the place, watched over attentively by manager Michael Stokes, who has been at Wilton’s for 19 years. When I emerged from the restaurant after a chat with Michael and after dining on an oyster and three courses (tomato salad; gammon, spinach and mashed potatoes; raspberry and passion fruit sorbet), I was sure it must have been 2 pm, when in fact it was nearly 3. The hostess just smiled and said, “That happens here all the time.”

No. 55, John Smedley

Sharing a street address with Wilton’s is John Smedley, one of two London locations specializing in knitwear for men and women. The shop, which opened in 2016 and is one of the newest on Jermyn Street, features virtually any knitted garment you can imagine from socks and hats to polos, cardigans and waistcoats, in a variety of materials, including Sea Island cotton, extra fine Merino wool, cashmere and silk. The company’s items are made in Great Britain and have been for 230 years through eight generations of the Smedley family, receiving a Royal Warrant of Appointment from the Queen in 2013.  Nearly all items are available in the same wide range of staple colors–charcoal, indigo, midnight, silver and feather gray among others–making Smedley the perfect place to pick up coordinating items to create a variety of layering possibilities. Short sleeve polos run £120 to £155 depending on the material and line, with knit waistcoats also around £155 and long-sleeved cardigans running £160-£175.

Fall 2017 Exhibition at the Sladmore Gallery

Fall 2017 Exhibition at the Sladmore Gallery

No. 57, Sladmore

The Sladmore Gallery is the first of several art purveyors clustered together on Jermyn Street; it specializes in bronze sculpture, particularly works by 19th- and 20th-century artists like Rodin, Maillol, and Degas. For more than fifty years, Sladmore has been making these works available to collectors, with contemporary artists represented at its other London location on Bruton Place. Exhibitions featuring specific artists take place annually.

No. 58, Dickinson

Directly next to Sladmore is Simon Dickinson’s London branch (their other is in New York). Dickinson facilitates private sales of fine art from the Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary works and provides advisory services to collectors seeking the right art investment.

No. 59, Weiss Gallery

Weiss is third in the sequence of art galleries on the street. It specializes in paintings by Northern European Old Masters (16th to 18th century) including those from the Tudor and Stuart periods in Britain.  Some of the most widely known are Van Dyck, Watteau, Hals, Gentileschi, and Holbein the Younger. In addition to selling these masterpieces, the gallery prides itself on producing catalogues of its collection that are consulted by scholars and collectors alike.

No. 59, Bespoke Cycling

Located below the Weiss Gallery is Bespoke Cycling, whose name plays on the prevalence of custom tailoring in St. James. It is perhaps the one shop that you’d least expect to find on a street dedicated primarily to menswear. The company builds custom bicycles designed to fit the needs of its customers both in terms of their usage requirements and physical fit. This can involve a fitting session of 1.5 to 3 hours where the customer’s injury history, posture, and optimal riding position are taken into account. Data is collected using 3D mapping to calculate the rider’s optimal position and adjust the bike accordingly. Thus, given its emphasis on concern for fit details and the needs of the customer, its place on Jermyn Street is not so unusual after all.

JM Weston

JM Weston

No. 60, J.M. Weston

This light, welcoming shop is J. M. Weston’s only one in the UK, so it’s a real destination place for those seeking out classic styles with an energetic French twist. One example is the company’s new Le Moc Weston range of penny loafers in soft, pliable leather in red, white, blue, sandy brown and light turquoise (£430). Made from a last that took two years to design, these loafers look like they would caress the foot beautifully without socks. Plus, they have a bit of history, as the original 180 Weston loafer developed in 1946 became de rigeur for the Dandies of La Bande du Drugstore, the rebel French mods of the early sixties who first wore them “barefoot”.  Artistic director Michel Perry seeks out this energetic creativity through regular collaborations with guest designers. I have to admit I got excited by the results of his past work with Charlie Casely-Hayford, a hip menswear designer working in London’s East End with a real appreciation for Britain’s fashion heritage and an interest in imparting aspects of men’s dress to classically styled shoes: quilted blue or black loafers inspired by padded shooting jackets; and the double sole Derby in black and white Prince of Wales check; or triple sole with metallic calfskin edging — all purely leather, no fabric involved (from £490). In the back of the shop, by way of the glass-cased blue sharkskin loafers, exists an elegant private salon for made-to-order buying, where the customer can pause at length over such matters as perforation patterns and admire the French police boots. J. M. Weston is well suited for Jermyn Street, its heritage going back to 1891 when Edouard Blanchard founded a workshop in Limoges, where the factory is today. J. M. Weston is likewise the only shoemaker who owns two tanneries, one for uppers and one for soles. In 1922, Blanchard’s son Eugène met the flamboyant dandy Jean Viard at a Paris horse race, and this chance encounter led to the founding of the Parisian brand. Hence, Michel Perry’s interest in shaking things up through more quasi-cultural clashes is actually in keeping with a great tradition.

Francos

Franco’s

No 61, Franco’s

Great décor, excellent service, a hum of energy from the well-dressed clientele and beautiful Italian-accented dishes are what can be expected at Franco’s, which is owned by the Hambro family, like Wilton’s.  In case its Englishness were any in doubt, tales of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin were being played over speakers in the downstairs lavatory when I went for lunch, enough to set anyone in good spirits between courses.  I went with a very choosy friend, so we took the opportunity to enjoy ourselves and sample quite a few dishes. We began with a beautifully creamy cheese burrata with mixed vegetables, followed by a tasty salmon tartare. The beef carpaccio captivated on a bed of rocket, enhanced by generous slices of parmesan, and the asparagus and truffle risotto was a thing of beauty in its texture and delicately balanced flavours. I can also recommend the grilled halibut, but tender veal medallions were beyond praise. Neither I nor my companion could think of any way on earth they could have been better.  We had excellent prosecco and white wine, though Franco’s is famous for its rosés. Franco’s keeps moving all day, efficiently serving morning coffees, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and, it is said, the best breakfast on Jermyn Street. A wide range of newspapers are on hand in the morning, and a room with presentational facilities is available for business meetings. Moderately expensive for the St. James’s area, Franco’s is well worth a visit. The outdoor tables are highly prized and speak of a relaxation and pleasure that seems a world away from the hurry of Piccadilly. Story has it that the restaurant began in 1946 as Frank’s café, and then was sold to one of its waiters who happened to be Italian, hence, the name change.

Davidoff's Signature 2000 Corona cigar

Davidoff’s Signature 2000 Corona cigar

No. 35, St. James’s Street, Davidoff Cigars

Though technically on St. James’s Street, Davidoff Cigars’ flagship location has been a Jermyn Street institution for 35 years, and as such it remains the last of cigars shops on a street that had four in when it opened in 1980. Davidoff  is owned and run by a father-and-son team, Edward and Eddie Sahakian, and it is rare that I stop by without receiving a friendly greeting from one or both of them. They know I am no cigar smoker, much less the kind of aficionado that can tell the difference between a Cohiba and a Montecristo. But this wonderful store caters to everyone, as members of the sales team are happy to enter into detailed conversations about how tobacco is grown or cigars rolled by hand. They will discuss cigar flavors at length, often in the walk-in humidor at the back of the shop, where the price of cigars ranges from about £8 to over £200 with 24 ct. gold leaf that will not melt when smoked. There is even a cigar over 80 years old. The store stocks a great number of Cuban cigars. Its Davidoff cigars are made in the Dominican Republic, however, ever since Zino Davidoff gave up on the Cubans in 1990. Along with the cigars and cigarillos, there is much to admire and even to amuse here. There are stunningly sleek lighters and pipes, plus humidors selling for several thousand pounds each. There are cigar-box guitars with three strings handmade by a musician. There is a wide range of rare single malt whiskeys. And there are canes with uniquely handles; one sports a pheasant’s head and another three frogs carved from a stag’s horn (£560). An Armenian refugee from Iran in 1980, Edward Sahakian playfully told a young lawyer between puffs of a Davidoff cigar that he would like his next career to be selling Davidoff cigars in London, as there was no franchise here at the time. The lawyer contacted the Switzerland headquarters, and the Sahakians have been selling cigars at the corner of Jermyn Street and St. James’s Street ever since. Cigars can be sampled on the premises or across Jermyn Street at one of Franco’s outdoor tables, where Davidoff’s cigars are regularly on display near faces beaming in enviable contentment.

No. 66, Emma Willis

Perhaps the most important things to say about Emma Willis’s shop is that it is her only shop and that, with her ready-to-wear prices starting at £200, she carries some of the most expensive shirts on Jermyn Street.  You need to get to the shop to see and feel the quality of these shirts, made of Irish linen or Egyptian or Sea Island cotton (as opposed to “Sea Island Quality” cotton). The cotton is entirely milled in Switzerland by Alumo. Combining cotton with 15% cashmere, Willis’s cashmerello shirts were so appreciated by Colin Firth when he made The Railway Man that he bought two. Lightweight and cool, Willis’s shirts literally hang in the window, their sleeves rolled up, so you can admire the texture before walking in to the entirely female-staffed shop and basking in a heaven of pastel fabrics. The shirts are cut generously for clients who tend not to be looking for slim fits. Made-to-measure shirts start at £240 per shirt, and bespoke at £310, with a minimum order of three necessary and a four-week waiting time. In 2017, Emma Willis began offering a full bespoke tailoring service, with suits taking approximately two months to complete.

Bespoke cutter Anette Akselberg, pictured on the Emma Willis blog.

Bespoke cutter Anette Akselberg, pictured on the Emma Willis blog.

Perhaps the least important thing to say is that Emma Willis’s shop is the only shirt shop on Jermyn Street owned and run by a woman. Having trained as a shirt-tailor at Turnbull & Asser and then started her own business in 1987, Willis opened her shop on Jermyn Street in 2000, and she has learned to focus solely on offering the best quality shirts imaginable, and let that quality and the kind attentiveness of her staff sell the shirts. Her base of loyal customers is testimony to the accuracy of her vision. She likewise has gained a lot of worthy press and public praise for her charity, Style for Soldiers, which provides encouragement to injured servicemen and women returning to civilian life by means of bespoke shirts and walking sticks.  In 2010, Willis opened her own factory in Gloucester, where her staff of 25 make all the luxury shirts, ties, boxer shorts, pyjamas dressing gowns and shooting socks available in her Jermyn Street store. Sponsored by Condé Nast, she has also started a sewing school because sewing is no longer taught in the fashion colleges, and her factory has so far employed five of its graduates.

A typical country brogue boot in the Tricker's style

A typical country brogue boot in the Tricker’s style

No. 67, Tricker’s

This is the shoe store for country brogues, for big, chunky shoes that are sturdy and long-lasting while remaining cheerfully stylish. They have a unique, unmistakable look that is not for those who define elegance as understatement. Tricker’s solid country boots are popular with hunters, hence the fact that they sell leather rifle cases as well. Tricker’s has one store in the world. From 1925 on it was on Jermyn Street; since 1939 it has been where it is today. It has retained its charming original wall of wooden cabinets stretching from floor to ceiling, built in, of course, to hold all the shoes. In the hands of the fifth generation of the founding family, Tricker’s is the oldest independent shoe retailer on the street, started in 1829 by Joseph Barltrop in Northampton and named Tricker’s when his son married a woman with that more salable surname in 1862. The little shop is very proud of its royal warrant from the Prince of Wales, which hangs on the back wall to indicate they have been serving His Royal Highness for over twenty years. Its Northamptom factory with 90 employees produces 1400 shoes a week. Seventy percent of its business is in exporting its shoes around the world. The shoes are all Goodyear-welted, with the added strength that the layers of the dainite sole can be built up to 13 mm thick. These are fairly roomy shoes, with rounded lasts and more depth and width than most shoes, attracting the feet of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s among others. Thanks to its connection with another shoemaker, Tricker’s even can create bespoke shoes for a mere £1200, which is peanuts around here where bespoke shoes start at £3000, but you need to allow six months for  them to be ready. Tricker’s does sell some proper city shoes as well, like its black Dunlop oxford, that are perfectly respectable, with a sturdy beauty all their own (£395).

Duchamp's typical shirt and tie style

Duchamp’s typical shirt and tie style

No. 68, Duchamp

Duchamp’s shop on Jermyn Street is tiny and perhaps too easily overlooked. It’s often open when its other competitors at the high end of the street (near St. James’s Street and St. James’s Palace) are not, such as when I took shelter there from the rain to admire its blazingly beautiful ties and shirts printed with little race cars, flowers, butterflies or paisley motifs. That’s what Duchamp is known for, uniquely vibrant ties and shirts and, of course, cufflinks, which are still made today by the same Birmingham craftsman. Mitchell Jacobs was inspired to found the business back in 1987, when he came across 10,000 vintage cufflinks in a Paris flea market.  He was studying Dadaism at the same time, so he opted to name his very British company after the French surrealist artist Marcel Duchamp. He has been quoted saying in an Oscar Wildean way:  “Duchamp turned everyday objects into art and I turned everyday icons of men’s fashion into wearable art.”  People still make the mistake of thinking Duchamp is a French brand; it is now run by a Scottish couple, Marc and Alison Psarolis, and has an Italo-Edinburghian as its designer, Gianni Colarossi. At their Jermyn Street boutique (opened in 2008), Duchamp manages fit in a few suits, trousers, and some very fashionable jackets, along with the socks, pocket squares, shirts, ties and cufflinks. The bold silk ties (£80 to £110) are woven by an 18th century Suffolk-based company, one of the oldest silk-weaving businesses in the UK. The shirts are largely made in Portugal from cotton woven in Italy (ready-to-wear prices range from £85 for a pale poplins to £150 for floral jacquard prints. Some have high, contrast collars, and the solids often have fabulous prints on the contrasting inside collars and cuffs, with contrasting blue buttons or bright yellow stitching on a single cuff buttonhole. In the little details Duchamp has so much of its fun, like the silk rims on the inner shirt collar.

No. 69, Crockett & Jones

One of two Crockett & Jones shoe shops on Jermyn Street, this is the company’s very first retail shop, opened in 1997. It is much smaller than the flagship store in the centre of the street. See no. 92, Crockett & Jones, for more information.

Sean Connery wearing a signature T&A shirt

Sean Connery wearing a signature T&A shirt

Nos. 71-72, Turnbull & Asser

T&A, as it is affectionately known, has a long and storied history that goes back to 1885 when it was founded by Reginald Turnbull and Ernest Asser as a hosiery shop. It moved to its current location on Jermyn Street in 1903, eventually focusing on shirts before expanding to offer a full range of menswear. Though uncredited, Turnbull & Asser was catapulted into the public eye by word of mouth after outfitting Sean Connery in all his James Bond films, particularly in spread collar shirts made of Sea Island cotton with turn-back “cocktail” cuffs. Prince Charles also obtains his shirts there and issued his very first royal warrant to the company in 1980. These days, T&A are still primarily known as shirtmakers, with their Sea Island versions running £255 and both classic and slim fit cotton sold at £195.

No. 73, Hilditch & Key

Because it possesses an outstanding shirt tailor, David Gale, Hilditch & Key may arguably be the best place in London to have a bespoke shirt made. When Gale arrived from next door Turnbull & Asser several months ago, Hilditch & Key decided to make him visible from the shop window as he measured and cut shirts on a large glass table, his working figure framed by displays of a wide variety of named collar styles and cuff styles. It is impressive, as is the price for bespoke shirts:  £225 with a minimum order of four. Their competitors in this rarefied market – Turnbull & Asser, Harvie & Hudson, New & Lingwood, Emma Willis, Budd in Piccadilly Arcade — all charge more.  For those concerned that Mr. Gale will retire in the not too distant future, the good news is that Hilditch & Key has hired a young apprentice, Wil Whiting, who is currently dedicating himself to learning all he can from the grandmaster.

Hilditch shirts

Hilditch shirts

Hilditch & Key began as a shirt company back in 1899, when Charles Hilditch and Graham Key opened their own shop on Tottenham Court Road and soon made a name for themselves by travelling to the universities to meet and measure undergraduates keen on maintaining a smart appearance. They soon moved to the St. James’s area and in 1907 felt prosperous enough to expand to Paris, where the one other Hilditch & Key store remains. Discretion and understatement are trademarks with Hilditch & Key. The staff refrain from mentioning celebrity shirt-buyers past and present – though it is hard online to avoid images of Karl Lagerfeld in H&K high collars – and, with the exception of Lagerfeld’s, the shirts on the whole refrain from calling attention to themselves. The website proclaims that “a shirt shouldn’t shout . . . it should whisper,” a strong suggestion to men seeking bold bright stripes and patterns to look elsewhere.  With tiny stitches and triangular gussets, the quality of the shirts is strong for ready-to-wear and the prices reflect that (£135 for classic up to £195 for Sea Island quality). Beautiful understated accessories abound as well, including ties, belts, cufflinks, undershorts, umbrellas and, for the man who enjoys keeping some of his elegance to himself, collar stays in mother-of-pearl or real silver.

No. 74, Taylor of Old Bond Street

Proof that Jermyn Street really does cater to almost every male need lies here, at one of London’s oldest shaving establishments, where a man can buy the finest imaginable products for shaving, brushing and nail clipping, plus get a haircut (£40) and hot-towel wet shave (£40) in the back of shop from one of a team of friendly, long-serving barbers. The shop is truly crowded with shaving accouterments, and there are always three or four members of the sales staff on hand to discuss all types of badger hairbrushes and shaving cream. They know the products pretty much sell themselves. I am told that most people go straight for the traditional sandalwood shaving cream (£10.95), whose scent is said to perfume any bathroom. Great things are likewise said about both Taylor’s avocado and lavender creams, and it has recently introduced a fragrance-free organic shaving cream (£13.95) that can claim to be 95% made of raw materials.   There are over thirty different shaving brushes available, all but a single synthetic one made of badger hair and ranging in price from £21.95 (for a comparatively coarse brush made from the back or leg hair) to £145 (for the extra-large handmade super badger brush made from silver-tipped neck hair). Along with aftershaves and colognes, a wide variety of Fusion and Mach 3 razors is available, some with real ivory and nickel handles, for which elegant little stands are provided to hold razor and brush. There are likewise honeycomb sponges, deodorants, soaps, fine manicure sets, leather toiletry bags, mirrors, clothes and shoe brushes and long shoe horns made from actual horn. Like so many of the wonderful businesses on the street, Taylor has been in existence since the mid-nineteenth century and is still in the same family’s hands. The current chairman is the great grandson of founder Jeremiah Taylor, whose son Sidney first opened the Jermyn Street store. This store is the company’s sole retail outlet.

No. 75, Edward Green

There are only three Edward Green shops in the world, one in Tokyo, one in Paris and this one on Jermyn Street; yet, if you didn’t know the reputation of the shoes for beauty and high craftsmanship, this little shop could so easily be passed by as one that does not look particularly inviting and may seem even a little stuffy. Yet I was delighted to meet one salesman who could not only explain when to wear patent evening pumps (£400) but then enlarge upon how Beau Brummell — whose statue is in sight of the shop window — set this intriguingly persistent fashion. What must be said right away is that Edward Green shoes are the most expensive ready-to-wear shoes on the street, so I asked how the price was justified.  There is a lot of time involved in making a shoe, I was told, with the Northampton factory only producing about 300 pairs a week, compared with somewhere like Crockett & Jones, which could make a few thousand. Goodyear welting was mentioned, but then Cheaney, Crockett & Jones, and J. W. Weston do that. The soft leather lining and backing around the heel cup is admirable, as is the hand-stitching on the Norwegian uppers.

Edward Green Westminster

Edward Green Westminster

The range of shoes in the shop is very good, including rugged country boots and velvet slippers as well as those patent evening pumps, one pair even with red trim and red bows. Belts, wallets and wispy soft grey cashmere scarves also caught my attention. Then we talked lasts, the chiseled toe, how the shoes are stretched over the last and kept there for some time to retain their discreetly elegant shape. Edward Green customers often report that no other shoes provide a better fit around the heel or more support for the arches, and that their Edward Green shoes have endured as long as 25 or 30 years. Established in 1890, Edward Green can claim to have served the feet of Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway and the Duke of Windsor. When Czech émigré shoemaker John Hlustik bought the company for £1 in 1982, he improved the quality and began to burnish and antique some of the shoes, techniques you can now find evidence of in the less expensive Cheaney shoes at the other end of Jermyn Street. Hlustik is also reputed to have made brown shoes acceptable to British gentlemen. Nowadays they might prefer the bluette suede on offer.

No. 75a, Longmire

There are just two Longmire shops and they are around the corner from one another, one at 12 Bury Street and the other here, on Jermyn Street and almost wholly devoted to gold, silver and steel cufflinks, many of them beautifully enameled. Reputedly one of world’s top designers of cufflinks, Longmire’s merchandise is priced from £90 for contemporary steel designs, to just over £200 for silver hand-enameled pairs, like the solid red, green or blue Grid, to as much as £23,400 for the Diamond Square, a one-off item comprised of 21 diamonds that sits in the back of the shop alongside other fantastic gem sets. The ruby snake cufflink with emerald eyes or the jade snake with diamond eyes (£7,700) might catch your eyes first, though. Longmire makes 4 or 5 cuff links of some designs, such as their quirky animals ones, which include Cool Pig, a hand-carved pink opal pig head wearing onyx sunglasses (£3,900); and Fox, a hand-carved yellow opal head with an onyx nose, both mounted with 18k yellow gold (£4,470). One of the most popular is the stunning orange-and-white Clownfish, in cornelian and cachalong (£4,470). The ladybird/bug cufflinks are equally striking for the color and curve of the enamel: a Longmire signature piece hand-painted in red and black enamel on hand-engraved white gold (£4,240). An even more prominent signature set is the stirrups, based on a 1930s design that’s updated and available in silver and rubber (£550), rose gold or yellow gold (£2,940), a giant-sized rose gold (£6,700), to stirrups inlaid with rubies and sapphires for as much as (£20,000).

Longmire

Longmire cufflinks

Longmire’s top seller at the Jermyn Street shop is its blue-and-gold basket cuff links, a rich hand-enameled royal blue oval spotted and framed in 18k gold (£2,500). A similar design in silver is available for just over £200. For gifts, the steel snooker set does well, providing 20 different spheres in 10 colors, so that the wearer can change wear a different color every day (£350). Independently owned, Longmire began in 1980, when Paul Longmire decided to buy out another jewelry business on Bury Street that had been supplying the Royal Family for many decades. Cufflink sellers abound in the nearby arcades, but for those looking for the highest possible quality in a cuff link, Longmire reigns supreme.

No. 80, Franses

This is the place to go if you’re interested in buying a historic tapestry or rug, for this is one of the world’s foremost dealers in textiles, and their collection is vast and glorious, spanning centuries . No one should miss the chance at least to pause and look at the window displays, which are always stunning and replete with historical description. Eighteenth century Chinese tapestries may be hanging one month, only to be replaced with 1930s modernist rugs the next.

No. 82, Hawes & Curtis

Everything at this store is also sold at the larger flagship store, no. 33-34, including the range of suits and formal wear.

Foster & Son Bespke Co-Respondent spectator shoe

Foster & Son Bespke Co-Respondent spectator shoe

No. 83, Foster & Son

Go here just to think about buying bespoke shoes. Take long perusals over the archival shoes in the glass display cases, some of them over 100 years old. Note the tiny number of stitches per inch. You won’t see handsomer historic models anywhere, the faded leather toes being a special Foster & Son trademark. Mounted by the front door, the lasts belonging to Paul Newman, Clark Gable, Fred Astaire and Charlie Chaplin declare the name this firm had for itself by the mid-20th century among the Hollywood elites. Royal warrants on the walls confirm the firm’s prestige, its back room filled with ledgers listing such clients as J. J. Astor, Edward VII, the Royal Hussars, and Viceroy of India’s bodyguard.  Foster & Son claims to be one of the oldest bespoke shoemakers in London, its history going back to 1750, when Henry Maxwell began as a spurrier before becoming a bootmaker. Its own name dating from 1840, Foster & Son bought out the bootmaker Henry Maxwell in 1999, and ever since its fine collection of antique spurs have likewise claimed attention.

Foster & Son is the only bespoke shoemaker on Jermyn Street, and those shoes are still largely made on the premises, in the little workshop above the store, reached by stairs crowded with hanging lasts and rolls of strong smelling leather. Having personally trained under the legendary Terry Moore, Foster’s Jon Spencer is one of the few lastmakers in the world still using the traditional large blade to begin carving the last for clients. The following steps — making the paper patterns, sewing the uppers on an ancient sewing machine, punching out the holes by hand for brogues, carefully stitching together the oak-tanned leather soles to the Goodyear welt, polishing the finished product – are just some of those that happen on site. Bespoke shoes cost £3000 and upwards and take at least eight months to make, thanks to the backlog of work. Shoes from the ready-to-wear are all Goodyear-welted, made in Northamptonshire factories and sell around £410. The “semi-bespoke” shoes are made with a higher grade of leather on specially designed Foster lasts with the famously elegant chiseled toes and fiddle waists in the soles (£725). You can even order some of these shoes like the Fawley specially faded for an extra £125, thus imitating Foster’s 1960s bespoke Classic, “The Chaves.”

Among the ankle boots, spare a thought both for the Lambourne, a Jodhpur riding boot with a strap and buckle around the ankle, and for the Montrose Edwardian (£495), with suede around the ankle and laces and leather toes, inspired by an old Foster button boot. There are also beautiful leather belts (£85 to £135) plus stunning leather briefcases, portfolios, soft leather bags (£475) and a range of suitcases (£2150) which can be repaired at the shop. Handsome wallets (£165) and card cases (£85) likewise proclaim outstanding quality. Made slim for the dinner jacket with three slots for credit cards and a small notepad, the evening wallet came from an idea of the chairman and owner Richard Edgecliffe-Johnson and is exclusive to Foster & Son (£220). Edgecliffe-Johnson is determined to keep the Foster & Son brand unique:  “The only place you can buy our products is in our shop and at our trunk shows.”

No. 85, Thomas Pink

On Jermyn Street, Thomas Pink is in the middle in every sense, in price, quality and location. Its lowest price shirt is of the non-iron variety at £70, with the rest its shirts starting at £90 up to £225. Thomas Pink’s closest competitors in terms of price are New & Lingwood, Duchamp, and Grosvenor, with Harvie & Hudson coming in a little less and Emmett a little more. Of course Thomas Pink is better known internationally than these competitors, so a trip to Jermyn Street provides an easy opportunity to compare and discover if any one shop seems to be providing a better fit or better value for money. The bulk of Thomas Pink’s criticism online surrounds this one question, whether their shirts are actually worth their price, but again, on Jermyn Street, their price does not look the least excessive. The store itself is impressive, large and open, with light wooden floors and dark wooden cabinets, the shirts displayed without sizes so that speaking to a member of the staff for help is an immediate necessity. That’s the way Thomas Pink likes it, encouraging customer engagement with the attentive sales team. Thomas Pink provides four different fits for its shirts, classic, slim, super slim and athletic. Made with 3% elastane, the athletic shirt is made with a larger chest than the super slim and can stretch itself to suit bulging bicep if necessary.  With longer tails and French or button cuffs, the Imperial Shirts are their most expensive, priced between £175 and £225, and, unlike all other shirts Thomas Pink sells, these two-fold 200s are made in the U.K., by Smyth & Gibson in Londonderry. If you need a white shirt but have few priorities beyond that one fact, the White Shirt Bar at Thomas Pink is a great place to start, with 18 different styles of white shirts. The casual shirts are also worth looking at, with a range to suit both the conservative and those who like a bolder, brighter check (£89-£99). There is also a made-to-order service.

The typical Hackett jacket cut

The typical Hackett jacket cut

No. 87, Hackett

Ever since its founding in 1983, Hackett has been closely associated with its namesake, Jeremy Hackett, who together with Ashley Lloyd-Jennings began selling second-hand clothes found in markets when the trends of the 1960s and 1970s had made traditional styles outmoded and traditional workmanship underrated. Today there are four Hackett stores in London, worldwide there are over 70, and Hackett is partly owned by a LVMH subsidiary. The clothes now are not made in the UK, and, partly as a result, the prices tend to be in the middle range for Jermyn Street, with business suits costing around £550 and up, sweaters just over £100, and not very vibrant ties between £65 and £100. True to their old slogan coined by Hackett himself declaring that “Essential British Kit” is on offer, traditional-looking clothes with a slightly Edwardian flare are always available, including tweed jackets and full morning dress, as well as a nice sampling of hats and pocket squares. There is usually a nice £500-plus Loro Piana jacket or two on offer as well.

John Lobb Jodhpur Boots with upside-down alligator strap

John Lobb Jodhpur Boots with upside-down alligator strap

No. 88, John Lobb

John Lobb began his business in the mid-19th century making and selling boots to Australian gold miners (hence the company’s original name “John Lobb Bootmaker.” Bolstered by his success, Lobb opened a London shop in 1866, and the company expanding to Paris in 1902.  All John Lobb stores were bought out by the Hermès Group in the 1970s with the exception of bespoke location at 9 St. James’s Street, which is still run by the Lobb family. The Jermyn Street shop only offers ready-to-wear shoes. Traditional styles are available with loafers £640 and up (£7,335 for a crocodile loafer) and monk straps at £895, but some designs tend toward the contemporary and edgy: double monks sporting thick lug soles (the William II, £495), a minimalist whole cut single monk strap (the Swyre, £1,355) and the Levah fashion sneaker with gum rubber sole (£465). Customers can also avail themselves of a unique “By Request” service where they can have shoes made from an archive of 100 archival Lobb styles. For those not seeking shoes, Lobb also sells belts and small leather goods.

No. 89, Floris London

Enough good things cannot be said about Floris, the oldest shop on Jermyn Street and the oldest independent perfume house in the world. Floris, moreover, actually introduced the perfume business to England. In 1730, Juan Famenias Floris realised a dream he had had ever since coming to England from Minorca and working as a barber on Jermyn Street. With the dowry from his marriage, he and wife Elizabeth opened the shop across from St. James’s Church and there it has remained ever since, undergoing a refurbishment in 2017. Spanish mahogany cabinets from the 1851 Great Exhibition fill both sides of shop space across a sloping red-carpeted floor. Time would almost seem to have stopped, but wave upon wave of recently sprayed fragrance fills the air, and giant fresh bouquets declare that attention is being paid to details.  Floris’s first major success came from a unisex scent called Limes, introduced in 1760 and still sold today. Indeed, three-fourths of Floris’s fragrances are regularly bought by male customers, one-fourth being devoted entirely to men. The company’s bestselling fragrance is No. 89 (the shop’s address), created in 1951 to the delight of its most famous buyer, Ian Fleming. Thus, it only takes a spray of the sampler and the scent of an eternal James Bond can be appreciated. Two other must-tries are Elite and JF, which contain, like No. 89, woody or musky base notes. People are often surprised the fragrances are not more expensive. A large bottle of eau de toilette sells for £80, and a smaller one for £60. Aftershave and aftershave balms are also available in the scents particularly for men. A unisex favorite is No. 127, created by the Russian Duke of Orloff in the 1890s and beloved by both Winston Churchill and Eva Peron. Oscar Wilde’s Malmaison has had to be changed to Malmaison Encore because of ingredient regulations, but the White Rose that Lord Nelson bought for Lady Hamilton is still much loved. Its façade topped by the country’s most ornate outdoor royal warrant complete with lion and unicorn, Floris has won an astounding 17 royal warrants and had created special fragrances for a number of royal jubilees and weddings.

On any given day, you might just run into the 9th generation of the Floris family, Edward Bodenham, who can remember watching his grandfather make perfumes in the old cellar, or ‘mine’, beneath the shop, which has a bricked-off passageway rumored to lead to St. James’s Palace. Bespoke fragrances take about six months to make and cost £4,500, but if you have a spare two hours and £450, you can meet with one of Floris’s perfumers to customize a fragrance to take away with you.

No. 90, Roderick Charles

One of six outlets in London, this small store is perhaps best visited for its tweed, its shooting coats, paddock jackets, and long overcoats made in traditional, hard-wearing cloths. Colorful corduroy trousers can delightfully complete the outfit. Sales are frequent, so it is worth waiting for them. There is an extensive range of dark wool business suits, full priced close to £500, but on sale for £379. The suits are said to be better for men with heavier builds as they are cut with more volume. There is a decent selection of ties with animal prints, cufflinks and braces as well. On my few visits to the store, I have not found the staff very willing to discuss their products. The store claims to offer a bespoke service at a price that is quite inexpensive (a suit for £899), but when questioned on this fact, the Roderick Charles salesman gave answers which seemed to suggest that the service was actually closer to made-to-measure. Indeed, the website indicates their “bespoke service” “combines the quality and cut of our ready to wear suits with the flexibility that only bespoke can offer.”

No. 92, Crockett & Jones

Spacious and beautiful, this is Crockett & Jones flagship store. It was chosen by Esquire as one of the top 50 shops for men, and one only needs to stroll in to be dazzled by the rich leather of the shoes on offer. Be prepared to spend upwards of £400 for most of the shoes. Their most popular shoe in the main collection is the standard, safe black Oxford Hallam (£395), made with both leather and rubber soles. All Goodyear welted, derbies, loafers, single and double monks — many with varying degrees of brogueing — likewise abound in this collection. If softer leather and gorgeous shades of brown are of interest, take a look at the Hand Grade collection, made from calfskin as young as three months and soles of oak-barked tanned leather.  These leathers are heavily antiqued and burnished to achieve a gorgeous finish. Taking two weeks more to make in the Northampton factory, these shoes are on average about £100 more than those of the main collection. The Hand Grade black Oxford Audley, for example, sells for £520. Next to check out are the Shell Cordovan shoes, particularly the dark brown loafers. Rich in oils, these marvelous shoes made from horse leather from Chicago’s Horween tannery will never crack, never need to be polished and should last twenty years.

Crockett and Jones

Crockett and Jones

On the whole, Crockett & Jones styles are very traditional, never seeking to be a fashion brand, so you won’t find a wide range of bright colors or fabrics here – unless you go in search of a pair of velvet Albert Slippers with quilted linings. Made by Bowhill and Elliott for Crockett & Jones, these slippers can come with an unadorned vamp (£200) or regal motifs in wire thread (£250).  The shop also sells belts in calf and crocodile leather, along with every possible tool to care for shoes, including brushes, suede brushes, narrow and regular shoe trees, and a variety of shoe kits, including a luxury one in a large wooden box. It remains worth saying that this is one of precious family-run businesses on Jermyn Street, founded in 1879 and today under the watchful care of the fourth and fifth generations. The company can boast that in 1914 its shoes were used for the second time in the Shackleton Polar Expedition, that it made over a million pairs for the armed forces in World War II, and that both members of the Royal Family and a number of James Bonds have worn their shoes. Interestingly, in the early 20th century, the company was predominantly devoted to making women’s shoes and boots. Display cases in the back of the shop show off some of these past beauties, and a small but expanding range of flat women’s shoes deserve notice, their styles all modeled on those of traditional men’s shoes.

No. 93,  Paxton & Whitfield

Winston Churchill did truly say, “A gentleman only buys his cheese at Paxton & Whitfield.”  Mr. Churchill was clearly seeking to lead by example, and since we know that he bought his bow ties from Turnbull & Asser and his perfume from Floris, it seems only natural that he would frequent the nearby cheese shop as part of his customary round of shopping. To this day, people wonder why there is a cheese shop on a world-renowned menswear street, and the simple answer is that men looking for clothes have, for nearly two hundred years, continued to stop by and keep the shop in good business. The oldest cheesemonger in the UK beginning with Stephen Cullum selling cheeses in Aldwych Market in 1742, Paxton & Whitfield received its first royal warrant from Queen Victoria in 1850, holds royal warrants from the Queen and Prince of Wales currently, and, as a result, delivers cheeses in a sack on foot to Buckingham Palace every morning. Over 60% of their cheeses are from the UK, as the company has worked dedicatedly to promote artisanal cheeses from farms at all ends of the British Isles. There are likewise an enormous range of cheeses from the continent, particularly France, Switzerland and Spain – like Langres, a French soft cheese with a depression to be filled with champagne; or Dorstone, a delicious Swiss goat cheese rolled in ash. There is a wide range of hard (£5.25 to £11.75 per 250g), soft (£3.25 to £15 per cheese, with the exception of Brie de Melun, at £86), and blue cheeses (£5.75 to £19.50 per 250g). Paxton & Whitfield actually helped introduce Stilton to the English consumer, and at Christmas the hordes descend on the little shop, demanding Stilton above all others. The shop has a good number of washed rind cheeses as well, known for their strong aromas and excellent melting capabilities.  American customers particularly like the shop as they can enjoy the unpasteurised cheeses that cannot be bought in the States, but of course they can’t take them home. To accompany all this cheese, the company likewise makes its own chutneys, fruit confits, biscuits and crackers. Free samples are usually on offer, and the knowledgeable staff is happy to explain the history of any cheese in the shop. Every imaginable cheese accessory lies on shelves in the back of the shop, from boards and knives to cheese curlers and camembert bakers. Also, fresh sandwiches and scotch eggs are available daily. Paxton & Whitfield is currently owned by Andrew Brownsword.

No. 94, Links of London

There are Links jewelry stores all over London, and 80% of this particular shop’s customers are men. Most come to Links on Jermyn Street for gifts for their wives, teenage daughters and girlfriends. Having said that, there is a nice supply of men’s watches (£350-£800), cufflinks, fountain pens, money clips, travel clocks and passport wallets, many of which are bought as corporate gifts. Especially popular is the silver-plated nodding bulldog with an 18 ct. gold crown (£130) and the salmon cufflinks (£150 in sterling silver), which are in the same design as the original pairs that founded the jewellery store chain in 1990. Their sweetie charm bracelets started a minor craze not long ago, and, for travelers, they sells charms with little London icons. They also have an appealing Wimbledon collection, in traditional greens and purples. You can also buy sapphire bubbledrop earrings (£130) or Hope white topaz earrings (£295) similar to those worn by the Duchess of Cambridge at the time of her engagement.  While much admiring the bracelets for men, especially the leather ones, I did not manage to escape without a friendship bracelet, handmade in Greece in sterling silver, with a 20% discount (£76). There is a reliably attractive range of modern, elegant items here at all times. I just better not visit too often.

Know-How Toe-Cap Oxford from Russell and Bromley

Know-How Toe-Cap Oxford from Russell and Bromley

No. 95, Russell & Bromley

Out of more than 40 stores in the UK, this shop is Russell & Bromley’s only one devoted solely to men’s shoes. They do sell English shoes, made by Barker, but since Barker has its own shop on Jermyn Street, the Russell & Bromley one will probably most please those looking for something more continental and less expensive than much that is on offer on the street, avoiding what one salesman claims is the £100 that is added to shoes made in the UK.  Italian shoes are a real strength with Russell & Bromley, namely shoes by Moreschi and Sebago, but there are also some Portuguese casual shoes. Russell & Bromley are Moreschi’s only retailer in the UK. In general, Russell & Bromley’s business shoes are a little longer and sleeker than can be found in most shops on the street, a little more fashionable and less classic, and largely selling for between £185 and £375. Some have such narrow waists, so the soles can hardly be seen, adding to the sleekness of the effect. Check out the Birch double monks (£235), the two-tone toe-cap oxford (£375) in collaboration with Moreschi and the antiqued brogue (£235). For casual wear, they have some nice woven slip-on shoes (£135-£185), long and sleek Italian Chelsea boots (£185), plus drivers with a rubber stretch up the back that look much like moccasins (£165-£265). Similar to most shops on Jermyn Street, the service is very good, the small sales team experienced and friendly. There is a great family history behind Russell & Bromley, which is based in Bromley and goes back more than 135 years, when George Bromley took over the management of the Eastbourne shop owned by his father-in-law, Albion Russell. Because of George’s poor health, his son Frederick assumed the reins of the business in 1898 and radically changed the business’s direction, away from making and toward the retailing of shoes. The family still owns much of the business and are deeply involved in its operation. They clearly are making sure that Russell & Bromley’s reputation for quality shoes is maintained.

No. 96/97, Harvie & Hudson

In 1949, Thomas Harvie and George Hudson opened the first Harvie & Hudson store specializing in fine shirts, and today, three generations later, Richard Harvie and Andrew Hudson can be found daily in their store on Jermyn Street, providing that extra personal touch that makes this firm one that retains many of its customers over their lifetimes. They are a small team, with only 18 employees, and most have been employed with the firm for a decade or more. So there is a lot of experience in this firm and a lot of good feeling.  With their only shop on Jermyn Street, Harvie & Hudson have remodeled their flagship in recent years, giving it shiny wood floors and a lot more space, so that the jackets, ties and shirts clothes can finally be seen better and appreciated. Stop by no. 96 just to admire the store’s exterior tiles, some of the finest from 1900s London, and the window displays, which are always colorful and full of panache. The story goes that in the 1960s, Thomas Harvie once used pajama materials to make some made-to-measure shirts for the window displays and they caused a sensation on Jermyn Street, so that strong colours and stripes became a Harvie & Hudson trademark.  With this color, they offer a very English, sharp cut style in their business suits (£325), and they are much sought after by American customers for their bold house exclusives, like their tweed jackets in winter (£395) or, in summer, their linen waistcoats (£135). The jackets regularly feature Colombian stitching, piano facing and melton undercollars. You can also find a wide range of pajamas (£85-£100), boxer shorts (£30), braces (£55-95), silk pocket squares (£30) and bright ties (£50). Plus, Harvie & Hudson puts on numerous sales, competing as they are with the likes of nearby Charles Tyrwhitt. The quality of the both the fabrics and the manufacturing (largely in Malta or Portugal) is very high, and most seem to agree that the merchandise is fairly priced.

Harvie & Hudson style, photographed by Jay Clark.

Harvie & Hudson style, photographed by Jay Clark.

Harvie & Hudson is particularly well known for its shirts, its 2-fold, 100 poplin being the most popular. There are two fits available, classic and slim, with the latter a nod toward their increasingly young clientele. The shirts all have mother-of-pearl buttons, wide plackets, and semi-cutaway collars (ready-to-wear £75-£115). They pay special attention to their collars, producing ones that sit up well and will not fly about. To discover the range of shirt materials on offer and what Harvie & Hudson can do with cuffs and collars, one must of course get the shirts made-to-order (£195) or bespoke (£245 each, minimum order of 4). Having been with the firm over 35 years, shirt tailor Kerry Ford is a legend on Jermyn Street and in the film and theater world for the shirts he has created for the likes of Bill Murray and Tom Cruise. But Kerry would give all the credit to the women at the Walthamstow factory who make the bespoke shirts, one woman making one shirt from start to finish.

No. 100, Charles Tyrwhitt

Charles Tyrwhitt (pronounced “Turret”) is the busiest store on Jermyn Street, any hour, any day of the week, and it may also be the most widely known from its ubiquitous mail order catalogues. This is its flagship store, which expanded in 2016 into the adjacent space formerly held by DAKS. It’s the one with the widest selection of shirt and ties, a growing range in Northampton-made shoes, and the only Charles Tyrwhitt store to offer personal shopping, where the customer can sip a refreshing drink while selected clothes are brought to him. The service is excellent; there is a real energy about the place, surely propelled by the needs of busy businessmen who pop in to buy four shirts for £100, and just might, on impulse, buy a tie or sweater that is on special offer. Indeed, special offers are largely what Charles Tyrwhitt is all about, and it is the sense that you are getting great value for money that draws to the shop its enormous number of customers. The non-iron shirts are especially popular, and I’ve heard many men swear by them.  Here you can buy not only slim fit, but extra slim fit shirts; slim suits as well as classic fitting, for as low as £150 at sale price. And there always seems to be some kind of sale on. You will not get the range of colours and patterns available elsewhere on the street, even from Charles Tyrwhitt’s closest competitors, T. M. Lewin and Hawes & Curtis. There is a definite conservatism about the brand, a sense that the customer will emerge well-dressed but not the least flashy. Having said that, I heard that this particular store was the only Charles Tyrwhitt store – there are eight in London, plus stores in New York, Washington DC, Chicago and Paris — to offer green overcoats last year and they sold very well. The Jermyn Street customer is expected to be looking for that little extra bit of style that he cannot find anywhere else, and Chairman Nick (Charles Tyrwhitt) Wheeler, who founded the company in 1986, is said to have a deep appreciation for the street’s heritage. It is therefore only fitting that belts, braces, cufflinks, pocket squares and even hats are also on offer at most reasonable prices.

Nos. 103-106, T.M. Lewin

For someone on a limited budget who wants to buy shirts for work on Jermyn Street, the burning question is whether to shop at T. M. Lewin, Hawes & Curtis or Charles Tyrwhitt.  They all offer good value for money. T. M. Lewin is currently selling four shirts for £100. Like Charles Tyrwhitt, T. M. Lewin’s fabric patterns tend to be more conservative, or absolutely safe for work. But here you have a greater choice in collar styles, with curved collars, pin collars, and contrasting white collars available in a wide variety of colors. They even sell tunic shirts with detachable collars. T. M. Lewin’s collars are not fused like Tyrwhitt’s, so they do not stand up as much and look more relaxed when worn without a tie. Also, T. M. Lewin offers four fits of shirt (regular, slim, fitted and superfitted) compared to three at Charles Tyrwhitt. T. M. Lewin’s non-iron shirts are a little more expensive (£120 for four) because, so I’m told, they are double baked and can therefore dry flat after washing, retaining the crease along the sleeve.  Their turn-back cuffs can be worn buttoned of with cufflinks. There are some nice silk ties (£30-40 with three for two offers) as well. You can also find white formal shirts with pleats or a boxweave, including wingtip collars, and the bow ties can be matched with a silk scarf whose other side is plain velvet. The casual range of shirts, trousers, sweaters and jackets is more trendy and colorful.  All that you’d want from an outfitter is likewise supplied, including leather and tweed gloves (£49.50) and long black umbrellas (£49.50). Next door is a separate shop devoted to suits, and again the price is extremely reasonable, the suits mostly charcoal grey and navy, single or double button (starting at £229 but on sale for £199), available in regular or skinny fit, with the latter’s jackets having slimmer lapels and being slightly shorter. Sales are so frequent here that buying shirts or suits at full price would seem rather unnecessary. There are over sixty T. M. Lewin stores in London now, and most of their clothing is not made in the U.K., so the consumer at least benefits from economies of scale. Yet the store on Jermyn Street still attracts back the old-timers who return for school, club and regimental ties. Begun in 1898, T.M. Lewin has maintained a constant presence on Jermyn Street for over a hundred years and can boast that it made popular the “coat shirt” in around 1905, the shirt that buttoned all the way down the front, allowing men for the first time to put on a shirt without messing up their hair.

Aquascutum Kingsgate Trench Coat

Aquascutum Kingsgate Trench Coat

No. 106, Aquascutum

For great trench coats from a British heritage brand, Aquascutum (“water shield”) cannot be beat. The company formerly occupied a smaller space at 78-79 down the street but relocated its flagship menswear-only shop here in 2016. Burberry may sell a lot more because their buttons are bigger and famous models have worn them, but the black and tan trench coats here are discreetly impressive. Single-breasted, double-breasted or overtly smooth with no visible buttons (like the one Cary Grant wore), the trench coats are lined inside and under the collars with the house check. The quality of the suits, jackets, sweaters and checked bags is also evident to the eye and hand.

No. 110, Church’s

There are eleven Church’s stores in London and similar stores throughout the world. Plus Church’s shoes are sold at many department stores, so the Jermyn Street store cannot claim any kind of uniqueness. Owned largely by Prada since 1999, Church’s is rapidly expanding its factory-size, number of employees (around 650 now), output (5000 a week at present) and number of stores — without, it seems, any sacrifice in quality, despite unsubstantiated rumors to the contrary.  These are attractive, well-made shoes. Like Cheaney’s, each pair is Goodyear welted which lengthens the life of the shoes by allowing for refurbishment. Each pair takes about 8 weeks to make. There is great range of sizes, going up to 13, and styles, including some styles in line with the company’s Prada connection: fringe monk straps in calf and linen (€850) or sneakers with red rubber soles (€450). Church’s is one of few places that sell selections like these on Jermyn Street – a sign of the street’s growing power to attract a younger clientele.  Excluding boots, there is probably a wider range of styles at Church’s compared to Cheaney’s. Along with the latest forays into fashion, Church’s carries a strong collection of derbies and oxfords that seems to include all possible variations on the solid black shoe (£310-£525). Both rubber and leather soles are available.  The shop likewise carries umbrellas, macs and leather wallets. Church’s can trace its origin back to 1873 in Northampton when Thomas Church and his wife and two sons set up a factory. His son William is said to have introduced the idea of right and left shoes and was the first to offer half sizes and a variety of widths. James Bond haunts so many Jermyn Street shops, so it’s no surprise to learn than Pierce Brosnan wore Church’s when he played Bond.

Church's tonal fringe monk strap in calf and linen.

Church’s tonal fringe monk strap in calf and linen.

No. 112, Jones Bootmaker

Jones represents the bargain basement of Jermyn Street shoe shops, a place that lacks all the style and comfort of the pricier places, but can possess the odd Barker, Loake or Ted Baker shoe selling for much less than could be found anywhere else on the street. Perhaps as important is the fact that Jones sells a good number of reasonably priced shoe care products, from shoe trees to brushes, polishes and even soft cloths. It also must be said, however, that many of their shoes are glued and hence not made to last.

No. 112, Emmett Shirts

Perhaps Emmett is the Ozwald Boateng of Jermyn Street, even though Emmett is far from Boateng’s intensely bright colors.  The shop is dark like Boateng’s on Savile Row and unlike anyone else’s on the street. Plus, the solids and prints stand out almost like Boateng’s silky gems, but they require a bit more effort at discovery, so that when you encounter the blue ski print cord shirt  or white tonal stripe with butterflies printed on the inside (both £121) you feel a sense of frisson that anyone could make a print so beautiful and somehow pleased that it wasn’t in the shop window. But then this is Jermyn Street and classic whites and blues always sell best to the working man looking for a working shirt. The quality of the material of Emmett shirts is most comparable on the street, I think, to those of Emma Willis, and starting at £79, they are certainly more affordable than hers.

Robert Emmett began the business in 1992 with a shop on the King’s Road, opening his Jermyn Street shop in 2006. Creative director James Harvey Kelly believes that it remains a “fun, modern, small family business”, retaining, for instance, the different material under the shirt cuffs that has been a signature feature since the beginning while also exploring other less traveled avenues. Harvey Kelly’s passion and intelligence regarding shirtmaking certainly came through in our interview, as he took pains to explain that Emmett combines Italian “soft tailoring” with “the gravitas of [an English] formal wardrobe; in other words, shirts that are less “austere” and “static”, “more rich and showy.” Here you can find a softer collar than anywhere else on the street, plus pleated backs and shoulders that more conservative men might find somewhat feminine. Emmett shirts are made in Italy, Poland and Morocco in limited editions of 25, so with four shops in London, you are only likely to find four shirts of one pattern at a time in the shop. Harvey Kelly is also proud of the buttons, Australian mother-of-pearl, cut from the thickest part of the shell. Most of the ready-to-wear collars are semi-cut away but a few other styles are on offer, like the high two-button Amalfi collar.  With the made-to-measure service, more than 100 collar styles and a 1000 fabrics are available to choose from, with shirt prices starting at £195. Made-to-measure suits (£1100), jackets (£750) and trousers (£250) are also available.

No. 113, Rowley’s

For an excellent steak served with Roquefort butter and chips, Rowley’s cannot be beat, though it must be said that it is expensive. My lunch for two, with one order of steak, one of salmon, two sides each, plus one glass of wine, one of prosecco, bottled water and service charge, came to just over £95. Having said that, everything about the meal was excellent, including the service. It clearly attracts a strong business following during the week. What I love most about the place is the décor. It once was a grand butcher shop, probably the finest in London when built in 1834 by Richard Wall, and those beautiful 1834 tiles are still in place, as well as the grand old clock that hung in the back of the butcher shop. With wooden floors and lots of mirrors reflecting the tiles, Rowley’s has a bright ambiance. Wall began his working career apprenticed to a pork butcher in nearby St. James’s Market in 1786, and, after he won the royal warrant in 1812, his ambition was to build this butcher shop. The business continued to grow under his descendants, and Wall’s remains a well-known supplier of pork sausages to this day. Rowley’s restaurant has been on site since 1976.

CONCLUSION

And thus we have completed a loop of Jermyn Street from one end to the other. Whether you are local to London or visiting from overseas, you can easily spend a day exploring the shops on the most famous menswear street in the world.

What are your favorite places on Jermyn Street? Let us know in the comments below.

 


Gentleman’s Gazette

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The ultimate holiday cookie round-up: 25 of our favorite recipes

by

BabyCenter Staff

posted in Life

Who’s ready for holiday baking?

If you’re looking for something new or you just want to add some options to your holiday party repertoire, check out some of our most popular cookie recipes from the last few years.

Enjoy!!

Great round-up of BabyCenter's 25 most popular cookie recipes of all time

1. Grasshopper Chocolate Mint Bark

2. Cookie Butter Blossoms

3. Salted Caramel Thumbprints

4. Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark

5. Chocolate Chip Nutella cookies with sea salt

6. Nutella Fudge with sea salt

7. Santa Hat Strawberries

8. Gooey Salted Caramel Bars

9. Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate Cookies

10. S’mores Cups

11. White chocolate peppermint krispie treats

12. Candy Cane Kiss Brownie

13. Pecan Pie Cookies

14. Choco-chiffon Fudge cookies

15. Shortcut Sour Cream Coffee Cake Cookies

16. Browned Butter Snickerdoodles

17. Peppermint Pillows

18. Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars

19. Turtle Thumbprints

20. Mint Marshmallow-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

21. Sparkling almond sugar cookies

22. Cookie dough fudge

23. Lemon Drops

24. Salted Caramel Pretzel Fudge

25. Snowflake Peppermint Bark

Still hungry? Try:

10 chewy-gooey holiday treats you can’t resist

7 quick-and-easy Christmas cookie recipes

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Your ultimate guide to Meghan Markle’s favourite fashion brands

And how to shop them

meghan markle interview
Getty Images Portrait

Well it’s official, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged. So if you weren’t already familiar with the Suits actress, you will be, as you’re about to see a lot of her – and her wardrobe – once she takes on royal duties.

So what exactly is Meghan Markle’s style like? Well, much like her future sister-in-law Kate Middleton, she has a love of tailored dresses, her go-to for red carpet events.

Being from Hollywood, she doesn’t shy away from a bit of glitz, but is equally happy to dress down in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

And much like Kate, who has her own favourite fashion brands, Meghan is often spotted wearing these designers and labels. Scroll down to shop her wardrobe.

Meghan Markle wearing Line the Label

When it was announced that Harry and Meghan would make an appearance shortly after they announced their engagement, everyone was wondering what she would wear. She opted for a white coat by Canadian Line the Label, and their website immediately crashed.

Meghan Markle white engagement coat

Meghan Markle wearing Parosh

Under her white engagement coat, Meghan opted for a green Parosh dress, which she revealed more of during her interview with the BBC later that day. The dress featured a bow belt which accentuated her waist.

Shop now: P.A.R.O.S.H. bow detail midi dress for £462 from Farfetch

Meghan Markle wearing Mother Denim

When off duty, Meghan loves wearing a white men’s shirt, teamed with a pair of ripped jeans by Mother Denim – a Californian brand favoured by many celebs. She sported this look when she attended the Invictus Games with Prince Harry this summer.

Rex

Shop now: Mother The Pixie Fray jeans for £187 from Revolve

Meghan Markle wearing Misha Nonoo

As mentioned previously, Meghan loves a men’s style white shirt, and the one above is by her designer friend Misha Nonoo, who is tipped to design her wedding dress.

Shop now: MISHA NONOO ‘The Shack’ shirt for £262 from Farfetch

Meghan Markle wearing Wilfred by Aritzia

This is another Canadian brand that appears a lot in Meghan’s wardrobe. She wore this pretty pleated dress earlier this year at the Invictus Games.

Getty

 

Shop now: Wilfred Beaune Dress for £140 from Aritzia

Meghan Markle wearing Aquazzura

Meghan’s shoe designer of choice for red carpet events if often Aquazzura, and she even wore a pair for her engagement photocall.

Shop now: AQUAZZURA ‘Dolce Vita’ pumps for £837 from Farfetch

Meghan Markle wearing Veronica Beard

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the name of her TV show, Meghan loves a good suit, especially one that involves shorts. Veronica Beard is her go-to brand for this.

Shop now: VERONICA BEARD Steele cady blazer for £640 from Net-A-Porter

Meghan Markle wearing Missoma

Meghan has supported London-based jewellery brand Missoma for years, often wearing their delicate stackable gold rings and necklaces.

Shop now: GOLD BAR NECKLACE for £115 from Missoma

Now that she’s engaged to Prince Harry, Meghan is expected to take on many more official duties, so keep your eyes peeled for more fabulous outfits, and to discover new fashion brands.

The post Your ultimate guide to Meghan Markle’s favourite fashion brands appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

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We’ve found the ultimate high street aviator jacket (and it’s 25% off)

We’re OBSESSED

womens aviator jacket

Now that we’re well and truly into chilly season, we’ve been on the hunt for the perfect winter coat and we think we may have found it at a massive discount. New Look has just kickstarted their Black Friday 2017 offer where you’ll be able to get everything 25% off and we’ve just found our new favourite outerwear staple in the racks.

This faux shearling aviator jacket is absolutely dreamy, with fuzzy oversized lapels, an off-centre zip and cuff details for extra badassery. Toss it over some skinny jeans, simple white tee and statement heels and voila – you have a chic, edgy look that’ll keep you at the front of the fashion pack.

Black Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket

Was £49.99, now £38

Buy now

If black is a little too severe for your wardrobe, it’s also available in a more classic tan, burgundy, pink and a barely lavender mink. (Not going to lie, the burgundy’s my favourite of the lot.)

Tan Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket

womens aviator jacket

Was £49.99, now £38

Buy now

Burgundy Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket

womens aviator jacket

Was £49.99, now £38

Buy now

Pink Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket

womens aviator jacket

Was £49.99, now £38

Buy now

Mink Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket

womens aviator jacket

Was £49.99, now £38

Buy now

If you’re looking for a slick outfit to pair it with, we’ve gone and curated the best Black Friday clothing sale deals available from luxe Black Friday designer deals through to high street Topshop Black Friday bargains. We’ve got your back homies, just think about the commercial damage later.

If you wind up rocking this jacket, snap a picture and tag us @marieclaireuk to show off your new threads.

Amelia Earhart, eat your heart out.

The post We’ve found the ultimate high street aviator jacket (and it’s 25% off) appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

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Why Olivia Benson Is the Ultimate Crime Fighter

The last remaining original character from the first season of Law and Order SVU, Lieutenant Olivia Benson has featured in all 19 seasons of the show. She’s risen through the ranks to become the commanding officer of the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit.

A child born of rape, Olivia was raised by an alcoholic, abusive mother which gives her the ability to sympathise deeply with the victims of sex crimes. It’s both a plus and a minus in her job, and it’s put her in serious danger on more than one occasion. She’s affected deeply when a victim lies to her.

Her compassion for women has sometimes clouded her judgement. She’s skeptical when it comes to women perpetrators and male victims, and she was once so convinced of a man’s guilt that she forced his confession to a crime he was innocent of.

One of Benson’s finest moments was escaping from serial killer William Lewis who kidnapped her and held her for days as his sex slave, proving herself to be a total badass.

See Olivia Benson in Law & Order: SVU on Universal Channel’s Autumn of Crime Fighters.

The post Why Olivia Benson Is the Ultimate Crime Fighter appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

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