1 | Ami Suede Derbies
Before founding Ami in 2011, Alexandre Mattiussi plied his trade at such venerable houses as Dior, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs, and that clearly set him in good stead, because his eponymous label has gone from strength to strength in the few years it's been in operation. Now, in addition to its Tokyo and Paris stores, Ami has opened its first London flagship on Mayfair's Duke Street. As you might imagine, the building is aged, ornate and listed, so little has been done to the façade. But within, the space is stripped back, sparse and industrial, and akin to the other Ami stores around the world, the floor is geometrically-painted parquet. The collection that adorns the newly erected rails is equally (and joyfully) minimal – as is Mattiussi's habit – and just what Duke Street needed. My tip is to stop in and pick up these suede derbies for the warm-weather season. Bouncy-soled and soft to the touch, few lace-ups are better suited to a sockless summer.
2 | Aquascutum Trench
You know that photo of Humphrey Bogart, the one where he's holding a half-smoked cigarette and looking off to the middle distance? Well in it he's wearing a very cool trench coat, a trench coat that came to form his signature look, a trench coat that was made for him by Aquascutum. Now, the British heritage brand has teamed up with the actor's estate to create the Bogart Trench Coat, an emulation of that original piece of foul weather clothing that's now on sale in the London stores. According to Thomas Harvey, Aquascutum's head of menswear design, customers had been coming in and saying that brands only sell slim-cut, fashion-lead trenches, and no one made a good wraparound that actually kept the elements at bay. When the Bogart project arose, he had the opportunity to give those customers what they were looking for.
"I dug out the patterns for The Kingsway," says Harvey, "which was the style Humphrey Bogart wore, and based the new model on this. The placement of the pockets is the same, as is their size, the sleeves go back to a raglan style, the belt position remains unchanged, and, perhaps most importantly, it's a big old long coat – around 120cm. It even features a newspaper pocket on the lining."
£850, Available at Aquascutum's London stores now
3 | Abercrombie & Fitch Field Jacket
All good things must come to an end. For years Abercrombie & Fitch was the official outfitter to American (and yankophile British) teenagers intent on loping around campus in baggy jeans, printed collegiate hoodies and flip flops. That boom faded though, and A&F's stock fell even lower when now-ex CEO Michael Jeffries spoke out the brand's aesthetically elitist hiring policy and unwillingness to make clothes for overweight people. Now though, a new dawn has broken, and the Abercrombie & Fitch of old is no more.
Frat bro hoodies and pseudo-surf bum jeans emblazoned with the A&F logo are replaced with understated chunky knits, soft slouchy shirting and seriously impressive outerwear. At the recent press day I was blown over by the quality and cut of brown suede blouson, and the drape of a grey wool overcoat, and the general layerability of the whole collection. It really has grown up, and plaudits must go to Aaron Levine, the recently drafted-in men's designer (and former Club Monaco dynamo), who's set a once glorious old ship back on the right path. Perusing the website, the stand out piece was this green twill field jacket, which could have come straight out of army surplus. The perfect outer layer for summer.
4 | Albam Rail Shirt
A badge-carrying member of the craft-conscious-unstructured-workwear-inspired-British-menswear gang (that also features the likes of Folk, Wåven, Private White VC, Oliver Spencer etc. etc.), the focus at Albam is on fit, fabric and functionality. Think work shirts, soft collars, simple crews, linen, canvas, cotton and unstructured jackets. Think Stoke Newington dad. It's brilliant, and I'd have all of it if I could (I do live there after all), but if I had to settle for one thing, it would be this Rail shirt. It comes in cotton ticking stripe, chambray and gingham linen, but I'd opt for the former. If you too are enamored, then head to Covent Garden's Henrietta Street, stop by the new store (so many new stores) and fork over £140.
5 | Hamilton & Hare Waffle Trousers
That phrase 'athleisure' is being bandied about willy nilly at the moment, and however much it might make you shudder, it's undeniably a thing. All it means though, is cuts and fabrics, more traditionally employed in sportswear, used for casual wear or even suiting. Blazers that fit more like cardigans, trousers that drape like joggers and fabrics that wick away sweat before you've even broken one. Hamilton & Hare is a name you may not know, but one you should if you like any or all of the above. The brand works to a boxing aesthetic (more East-End than Vegas), and started out with its take on the perfect boxer short, but the collection has grown to include simply styled, technically astute sports and loungewear. A further foray into straight up apparel, these travel joggers are hefty, textured and cut slim, so they're perfect for a flight, but more than capable of meeting dress code requirements of the office, too. They're only available at the new H&H store on Chiltern Street, W1.
6 | Johnston's of Elgin Essentials
Though us Brits have a tendency to cast of all clothes at the faintest glimmer of sun glinting through the clouds, we probably shouldn't. We have hot days, yes, but by and large, our weather is decidedly chilly. And even the balmiest of afternoons can turn into Baltic evenings. Therefore, you need light but reliably warming knits at hand all through the summer, and Johnston's of Elgin's newly edited collection of essentials is the place to start. Knitted in Hawick, Scotland (the spiritual home of cashmere), this two-ply crew neck is designed to skim the body and offer a sleek silhouette. Because it's from Johnston's you know it's of the utmost quality, and because it's a crew neck cashmere sweater, you know it can be worn with everything.
7 | Ego Professional Beard and Hair Trimmer
There are those that will tell you all beard trimmers are the same, and they would be wrong. Some dull too quickly, others overheat in no time at all, some don't offer adequate precision, and some fail on all three counts. Ego Professional's, though, are wholly reliable and easy to use, plus they have a digital display that tells you how much power you have left, what length you're cutting at and even how many rpm you're rolling on. It comes with all the combs you need for your hair, but it will sculpt your beard with ease too.