Classy, refined, effortlessly cool, timeless, and impeachable in style…that could describe either this film or its leading star, the iconically dapper Mr. Cary Grant.
Quite possibly the most stylish movie ever made, To Catch A Thief is a visually pleasing masterpiece on all fronts — but none more so then in that of its timeless menswear aesthetic appeal. And at the tip of the sartorial spear was Mr. Grant, who not only charmingly carries this wonderfully shot and plotted romantic caper but who also sports (and helped popularize) the enduringly sought-after — and definitively chic — Riviera style that is put on full (immaculate) display throughout the film.
In it Mr. Grant plays John Robie, a reformed former jewel thief nicknamed The Cat who is happily living the retired high-life in his French villa before suddenly being thrust back into duty when a purported copycat thief begins staging what appears to be the perfect burglaries — ones in which mirror those he had previously carried out in his past life. On the run and out to prove his innocence, he crosses paths with the perpetually alluring and gorgeous (and equally stylish) Ms. Grace Kelly and various other characters along the way (all woven into the tale in classic Hitchcock manner) whilst being seemingly unnerved and undeterred by his dire predicament.
And in the process of doing so, as was his custom by this juncture in his career, Grant manages to embody the — difficult to master — gentlemanly unified coalescence of unadulterated personal style, utter charm, and unrelenting decorum — of being a truly stylish gentleman bar none.
Suffice to say, his innocence may be in question, but his stylish pedigree never is (nor was).
With that said, this film undeniably epitomizes the quintessential aesthetics of the Riviera look whilst likewise providing a sartorial masterclass unto any discerning gent who is looking towards authentically adopting this timelessly laid-back, yet unquestionably refined style into his own personal repertoire.
The scenery is stunning, the style irreproachable, the dialogue snappy, the chemistry undeniable, and the acting and cinematography brilliantly delivered. A true (style) cinema classic if there was even ever any debate to the contrary. Watching this joyous piece of art has become a yearly ritual of my own — it never fails to inspire when the mercury warms up or when the doldrums of the winter set it.
*As an aside, I felt it equally important to mention that Grant chose his own wardrobe (which was his common custom in all his roles) for this movie, opting to utilizing simple, tasteful pieces that he wore on and off set (clothing from his own personal wardrobe)
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Electing for The Weekends (who is a fellow Canadian compatriot) absolute smash album, Beauty Behind The Madness, would have represented a fine choice no doubt — but would have also been too universally common and effortless on my part. So, I ventured into digging a little deeper and was delighted in finding out that I didn’t have to go so far at all.
For you see, I have made it no secret that I like to indulge upon music in the mornings when I’m stylishly preparing myself for the day, and it just so happens that Ms. Jess Glynne has been acting as my daily (music) style muse since her debut album dropped a few days back (on this side of the pond). Her tasteful mixing of soul, pop, and disco is a breath of fresh air and is pure sonic-joy; her voice: seductively sultry and intoxicatingly thunderous. Combine those features with uplifting lyricism and an unrelenting penchant for crafting catchy hooks, and what you have is a consistent inspirational counterpoint that is great to begin ones day on a high note with.
As such, it may be safe to say that she is most assuredly set upon following the same path to success as her fellow country predecessors, Adele and Ed Sheeran; on the cusp of bursting into every room and into every set of ears in North America — and rightfully so!.
So, here’s to my musical style muse of the month, Ms. Jess Glynne and her endorphin boosting vibrations. And remember, "don’t be so hard on yourself noooo…"
Sounds Like: Adele mixed with Jessie J
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Casual fall television fanfare notwithstanding (I eagerly await the return of Peaky Blinders / Sherlock / Suits), what I do have my sights set upon this upcoming season is an “adult” reimagining of an ageless childhood mainstay from a time of yore, as The Muppets return for an grownup mockumentary-style show following their lives behind the scenes as they band together to produce a talk show for none other than Ms. Piggy herself.
But, and aside from nostalgia, what really tickles my (sartorial) fancy is the (questionable?) storied style pedigree of the muppets, with Kermit the Frog being of particular interest. I suspect (based upon passed trials) that he is sure to impress with his wardrobe (alongside the perpetually chic Ms. Piggy) in this visionally predicative atmosphere — seeing as he has managed to nail the classic formal look on numerous occasions (during his prolonged career) as well as the bow-tie and nothing else look (try sporting that one).
They may be puppets, yet — and like so many of their animated counterparts (Sterling Archer; Scrooge McDuck; et. al) — they are nevertheless the masters of the (definitive) personal uniform, demonstrating the powers (and a lesson to be learned) that lay dormant within a simplified and streamlined wardrobe that highlights a few essential pieces to be featured on a daily basis.
Howbeit, and style aside, it also certainly does not hurt that The Muppets also happen to be undeniably charming (in their most primitive of forms) — which invariably will please the long time fans of this unorthodox group, if but no one else. Yet, I have an inkling that the (contemporarily popular) mockumentary framework will help in successfully, seamlessly, and endearingly integrating them into the collective hearts of the modern TV audience.
Also, and not to be overlooked, are the stylish celebrity guests stars who are set to appear as guests on Ms. Piggy’s show; meaning that there will be formalwear and casual tailored clothing fares on full display, Muppets withstanding.
Now, if only we could fix Beaker's hair and Sam the Eagle's unibrow…
The promise of a straight talking, no nonsense shopping experience based on a philosophy that less is more is something that has always appealed to me on a personal level, and The Idle Man. delivers precisely on that branding pledge.
Yet, I’ll be the first to confess that I am a gentleman of ritualized habit (I grew up an athlete and find solace in having regimented order), and this includes my shopping preferences and the brands that I trust (comprised of a curated — via trial and error — select few). So, trusting in a new brand and shopping experience is not a matter in which I actively seek out on a daily basis.
However, I do — on occasion — venture out into the internets boundless depths of seemingly endless menswear e-retailer vendors, browsing with an open mind and an optimistic outlook in hopes of further feeding my sartorial shopping desires.
Ergo, I am happy to announce that I have found a new personal favourite menswear destination, The Idle Man., a relatively new player in the e-commerce shopping domain; one in which is tailored towards men looking for refined style at an affordable price range — and one that I would wholly recommend to all.
This U.K. based online (e)retailer + lifestyle platform not only carries its own in-house line of clothing that caters to those seeking modest key wardrobe essentials + classic staples (think along the line of Topman/ASOS, but with better ROI), but also that of roughly 90 other brands from which some personal favourites (Ray-Ban, Herschel Supply Co., Daniel Wellington; and Selected Homme…) are present and accounted for.
But, what really attracted me (aside from the quality products) is the lifestyle rich atmosphere (blog manual/style advice), the free worldwide shipping, and the international return service (which is a luxury most international brands/stores don’t offer). Simply put, The Idle Man. puts a lot of enticing propositions on the sartorial table for its patrons.
And to top it all off — and further accentuating its customer driven approach — comes a clean (easy to navigate) interface with a precise search engine that is populated by a disying array of style options/selections for any young discerning gent out there, from the classically inclined and formal to the avid streetwear enthusiast — catering to the whims and desires of both young professionals/students and creative artists alike.
Suffice to say, it has something for men of various monetary means and desires, and is a fully trusted, insured, and secured shopping destination.
So, whether you are looking for the latest up-and-coming British brand or classic American mainstays, The Idle Man has you covered: literally, figuratively, and monetarily. And if that is simply not enough to attract your attention, they also offer an enticingly generous student discount which currently resides at 20% off!
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(A/W Transition Layering Gold)
A quilted jacket (like these in navy blue fromBoden and River Island) is the perfect casual layering piece to appease the seasonally transitional needs of bridging the style gap between sporting full on winter essentials and the realization that it is just simply too cold to venture out in merely a button-up and chinos.
With its heritage feel and unstuffy throw-it-on-and-go nonchalance —which requires little thought— it is a key piece that that could be worn on array of occasions: to casual business environments; early weekend morning coffee/tea runs; on a nature hike/camping trip; or on a stroll with you dog on a late autumn afternoon/walking date in the park— to name but a few.
And, if you are so inclined as to investing in one, I would strongly recommend opting for one in a navy blue (or maybe a rich caramel/camel brown) so that the versatility of this transitional piece is fully realized. Nevertheless, and irrespective of your choice, either (recommended) palate option is predicated upon the delivery of a tonally neutral foundation that plays well with, and compliments, almost anything you would choose to wear with it.
Point being, this jacket is a ruggedly refined and simplistic option that will provide just enough warmth (and coverage) to get you through the upcoming autumn days whilst always keeping you stylishly spot-on while living off the clock.
~ FIN ~
What is inspiring you sartorially this month? What's your favourite classic film? How about your go-to A/W transitional outwear piece? Feel free to share your picks below!