An Enduring Wardrobe Essential: The Classic White Shirt

21 Apr 2015

Simple it may be but the classic white shirt remains the most transformative item of clothing a man can own. Crisp, business-minded and buttoned to the collar, or softly-tailored and sheer with a low Mandarin, the white shirt comes in many guises - and all are indispensable.

Cock & Bull & Co. take the white shirt to its logical conclusion with an ethical, sustainable approach to statement dressing. By no means a throw-away item, the white shirt has long had heirloom status and there’s no better way to invest in this essential item than in the form of a handmade, durable dress shirt. For inspiration on how to spin this wardrobe staple multiple ways, we have put together a Pinterest Board: A Simple white Shirt to illustrate how good a white shirt looks on various well-heeled gentlemen, including Britain’s very own Idris Elba who has come to epitomise everyday elegance in unbuttoned shirts, sharp suits and loafers - proof of how an item considered formal can be carried off with ease. You may not be blessed with his kind eyes, peppered hair or wholesome charm but the addition of a dapper shirt can transport any man from ordinary to elegant.

On the other end of the style spectrum, there’s a devil-may-care bohemian approach that takes into consideration a more free-spirited feel. Infused with a subtle ethnic flavour, these shirts work well rolled up at the cuffs, untucked, unbuttoned and draped just so. David Beckham has been known to pair this kind of shirt with a casual beanie or belted khakis. Johnny Depp adds artisanal pendants, silver rings and one-of-kind market finds to echo the eclectic mood he’s made his calling card. If going this route, make sure the end result is relaxed rather than rumpled!

Versatility is the name of this game and the white shirt is an incredible multitasker. Cock & Bull's version of this menswear mainstay, will be arriving very soon as a new edition to our repertoire that falls in line with a long tradition of British tailoring, sustainability and well-made, season-less pieces.

Put a sock in it! Men’s socks go bold – the brighter the better

19 Apr 2015
Organic Underwear

Matching your ankles to your navy pant legs may be a good idea in the boardroom, but anywhere else the new way to wear men’s socks requires colour, clash and plenty of character. Here at Cock & Bull Menswear, we know a thing or two about how to work this trend while keeping things classy.

Menswear doesn’t always allow for an explosive palette, brimming with bold pops of colour and painterly patterns. Striking the balance between elegant and extraordinary isn’t easy without going OTT but a simple pair of socks easily adds a highlight of happiness with little investment and a large impact. If you’re not sure how to introduce strong hues and statement prints, approach cautiously with classic paisley styles, argyle knits and picnic checks. These allow for a play on contrast and texture without veering too far from the safety of traditional sophistication. Minga Berlin’s Picnic Anarchy Socks in Blue Denim add a splash of azure along with classic navy and royal blue – a colourful compromise with a punch!

For a more nonconformist take on this lasting trend, the Pixelate Socks in Quartz Leaf are Minga Berlin’s answer to the pink shirt. These red, pink, powder blue and azure checked socks may stand out but they’re a great fit for pastel shirts and dark denims. There’s also more effervescent options in zesty orange and yellow for the adventurous.

Remember that while the point is to add an eye-catching element to your outfit, there are rules to accessorising with bright socks. The first is to know your audience –  office wear can easily be offset with a bright check but it’s best to leave your neon striped socks in the drawer if you’re heading to a funeral or a court room…

Also important is your choice of footwear. Black lace-ups are trickier to work with so many favour the warmer tones of tan leather brogues or pale sandy dessert boots when wearing their statement socks. Whatever you do, remember to turn up the volume on vibrancy and you’ll lift your look from ordinary to awesome.