A naturally great sense of style is not something that I was born with – although, pictures from my youth would suggest that I was rather adventurous in the choice of clothing I wanted. Perhaps one of the earliest memories I have of my own sense of style was at a primary school parents evening. I was about 6 and insisted that I wanted to dress myself for the evening, to which my ever supportive and loving mother agreed. I remember reviewing the clothing and shoes and decided that I would only wear blue and white. The magic was that I had two pair of identical socks, except that one pair was blue and one in white, and similarly, two pairs of identically style shoes, which had the identical colors to the socks. Then to finish it all off, I had a pair of white knee length shorts, a blue t-shirt, and a white jersey with blue cable finishes. Now, I could have colour blocked the standard way – but my sense of adventure lead me down the road to mix it up a bit – one white sock and one blue, and one white shoe and one blue, paired with the opposite sock on each foot. Then off my mother and I went to the parents evening – and a happy little prep-sailor I was.
I look back on that event as one where I first began to understand the link between style, a personality and making a statement in who a person was. Okay, so blue and white color-blocking at the age of 6 may not be considered genius, but it certainly got me thinking about all the different styles of clothing that a guy could go for. And it was at around that age that I began to understand that I would also love exploring styles and clothing, but also that I would more than likely get it wrong most of the time. So, it was only until I reached by early teen years that I came to understand that tailors and designers had a specific gift for creating incredible styles – and that I should perhaps start researching which spoke to me the most. This realization then further opened the door to spending more time trying on clothing and collecting ‘stand out pieces” – some of which I still have today.
Then I discovered the likes of Hugo Boss and Dolce & Gabbana, which presented a creative and sleek style that only a few could pull off. And yes, I tried, and in some cases succeeded – but it was only until I came across Thomas Pink that I realised my true style home – English gentlemanly tailoring – with a touch of upper-class whimsey. And the moment I stepped into the first Thomas Pink store (in London) I knew that my clothing collection – particularly my shirt collection – would soon be dominated by Pink.
Then, gloriously, Thomas Pink opened in South Africa – in Hyde Park, and ever since, I make regular trips through to see what’s what and try on a few things – then struggle to walk out without making an investment into a must-have shirt, tie, or jacket. Bless the assistants at Thomas Pink – they have the patience of gods and are extremely supportive as I waste their time helping me try on different things – Gayle – you are amazing!
This week Thomas Pink launched the #WSAY campaign – which simply asks “#What Shirt Are You?” Thomas Pink have various styles and cuts, but their three most popular are the super-slim cut, for guys who have extremely small and slender frames, then the slim cut, for guys with a bigger frame, but with shoulders that need a bit for cloth, and then the casual fit – for guys with a frame or build that requires even further cloth around the shoulders, as well as the stomach. Regardless of what shape you are, the style, cut and tailoring of their shirts and jackets will make you look like a million bucks – yes, they are that good. Further, shirts like these are not just shorts – they are more like investments into your personal style, investments into the man you are and want to be. A man that takes care of himself and invests to present the best parts of himself, is a man that sees intrinsic value in things and supports others to also be the best they can be (well, hopefully).
Knowing that the Hyde Park store now had a new selection of shirts to discover, I raced through to Hyde Park and spent some time trying on shirts, ties and jackets – soon realizing that my beard was perhaps a little to long, and that I needed to use a bit of product to keep the hair in place – but, to hell with it, I was enjoying myself, and Gayle was more than happy to snap a few pictures of my “play time”.
So, what style are you? If you were asked #WSAY, when what would you say? Well, having explored the new stock available at Thomas Pink I would recommend you pop in and have your own look-see. Thomas Pink has a particular style to all their designs – understanding that the modern man seeks comfort without sacrificing quality or style – and still requiring an element of ‘bespoke’. Now, by bespoke, I don’t mean that the shirts are made specifically for you, but I do mean that they understand their clients to such a degree that they have designed various styles and cuts to best meet the particular needs and likes of the men who wear their pieces. And, after all, if they have obviously spent a great deal of time and effort into creating this range of clothing, then it is only fitting that you also afford time to properly explore the range on offer.
But for me, owing a Thomas Pink item is not just a privileged, but also a responsibility, and like any investment, the items need to be nurtured and cared for to ensure that they maintain their quality standing. Therefore, as a result of owing a fair amount of Thomas Pink shirts, I have also developed a rather good relationship with my dry-cleaner, who understands exactly how I like my shirts cleaned and stored.