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Dress Like You Mean It

It has been said that “clothes make the man”. There is unquestionably a shred of truth in that statement. Maybe not for all those who read this blog out yonder but I think, I hope most men today understand the compelling connection between what we wear on our backs and how it relates to our lifestyle. Let’s be clear we’re talking about casual dressing off the clock – weekends, vacations and carefree moments.

When I first launched this web site I blogged about how many of us have looked around while standing at a bar to order a drink and we take in the surrounding blokes and how they are dressed. Are they dressed better than us – worse than us? I mean what guy wants to look dorky today? Even senior citizens aka baby boomers still give a shit – well most of us.

Dressing is definitely different today. It’s not just about wearing a shirt, sweater or pant – it’s how we put it all together. My often used expression (about the look) “it’s not what you wear but how you wear it”. Think about that for a moment. It’s not about about putting the separate pieces on your bodies and walking out the door – it’s about taking those 3 items and putting your personal spin on the look. I have seen guys make a white tee shirt look like a piece of art. Not because of the tee shirt but because of the body stance, the hair, the attitude. They transform something as simple as a white tee into art.

Case in point, on it’s own this Relwen heather grey dua this crewneck  looks very basic but the possibilities of creating different looks are endless. What we feature are items that are timeless, classic, lasting and allow you to explore your creative side.

This spring / summer season we’ve focused on acquiring brands that bring the best original design and influence to your lives.These brands are clearly under the radar and have what I call a cult following. They are original in design, detail, quality,value and philosophy.There is nothing more rewarding for us than discovering these brands and sharing them with you.

To date, since we launched the TRB in December of 2015 we continue our commitment to follow our path and that is to bring you exceptional product that sets you apart from the crowd. A product that you cherish and allows you to dress like you mean it.

We are available for one on one conversations, emails or texts about what does or doesn’t work for you or general wardrobing tips? No charge blokes!

Cheers!

Art Credit:  Shun Sudo

Relwen – One Of The Most Coveted Brands in Sportswear

As we kick off the New Year, it’s accepted practice for specialty retailers to evaluate their past season’s business. The metrics could be which brand generated the most sales, the best profit, the worst profit and so on. Well, my analysis has concluded that the most coveted brand for 2016, not surprisingly, was Relwen.

Why is Relwen so celebrated? Let me first take you back to my blog about Relwen last July. I talked about the launch of the Relwen brand and the designer, Jamie Rupp’s commitment to quality, detail and soul of the brand. There are many brands who claim they offer similar but that’s “fake news” as far as The Royal Bloke is concerned. Jamie is on top of every single detail from the proto type sample to finished production. He’s also very selective with the distribution of the brand. Study the gallery of photos below highlighting his details and you’ll understand why Jamie refers to his collections as “lasting”. He creates the kind of clothing that works and will remain relevant and lasting for years to come.

Working button holes, a nod to bespoke clothing, are meticulously hand sewn on all the blazers… adding function and attitude. Trapunto stitched placket openings with woven facing is standard on all knitwear. Horizontal button holes to reduce stress on button holes…pays respect to construction methods of the past. All shirting patterns are matching at side seams, center front and pocketing. Triangular self fabric reinforcement on shirt tails limits garment from ripping at this position. The top collar on all wovens are subtly curved to properly sit around neck. Smoked shell buttons anchored at corners finish the look.

Take note of the woven red shoulder tape strategically sewn across the back neck and shoulder seams. It provides a clean look and helps maintain the shape of the garment when worn. All raw seams are covered as well. Lastly, split tail hems with woven reinforcement and  bartack ensure lasting function. Let us not forget the embroidered barn swallow, the Relwen icon, reminding us all of our agrarian roots.

These pictures are just a sampling of the exhaustive detailing found throughout the entire collection and reinforce the Relwen mission of creating clothing that will last for years.

Some of you already follow the brand and know how awesome it is. For those of you new to Relwen, we still have an excellent selection available from the Fall/Winter ’16 collection: knit blazers, CPO jackets, sweaters, henleys and woven shirts – many at reduced prices. So hop on the Relwen wagon blokes and find out why The Royal Bloke calls this the hottest brand. For more Relwen click here https://theroyalbloke.com/product-category/brands/relwen/

Cheers!

The Royal Bloke’s Top Picks For The Holidays

The Royal Bloke’s top picks for the holidays will help you figure out what to put on your wish list. Let’s face it, we’re not kids anymore so that eliminates most toys, trains, Lincoln logs…you get the picture. It was so much easier to tell Santa what we wanted  when we were younger. As we get older, everything changes but The Royal Bloke will give you some seasonal inspiration with a few suggestions that are sure to put a smile on your face and you won’t be saying ” Honey, what were you thinking”?

For starters, everybody has a closet full of sweaters but I bet you don’t have Relwen’s navy stripe boarder polo https://theroyalbloke.com/product/relwen-navy-stripe-boarderpolo/ . Crafted in the softest lambswool, the navy stripe gives it that rugged rugby look with style. Pair with your favorite cuffed denims and btw, it’s light enough to wear on those cool evenings on the beach. Yep, a year round piece – lasting!

RELWEN-STRIPE-POLO---FALL-'16-crop-WEB

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for reversible shirts and Faherty nailed it with their Belmar charcoal plaid shirt reversing to a black & white buffalo check https://theroyalbloke.com/product/faherty-reversible-grey-plaid-buffalo-check-shirt/ – so soft and versatile. Looks awesome solo or layered over a henley.

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My favorite “go to” top when I get home from work is Benson’s heather blue crewneck https://theroyalbloke.com/product/benson-heather-blue-cotton-crewneck/ -it’s lighter than a sweater and heavier than a tee shirt…. so comfy and warm. Wear it over a crisp white or heather grey tee or over your favorite button down. The subtle red stitching on the shoulder seams kicks it up a notch. And if blue isn’t your color go for the heather grey or buy both.

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I’m always searching for that very unique hybrid jacket / outerwear piece that you can wear indoors and out. Many have tried but few have succeeded. That is until I walked into Relwen’s showroom (yes I love Relwen). It’s a double faced navy heather blazer that is knitted https://theroyalbloke.com/product/relwen-navy-double-faced-knit-blazer/ You can wear it with a tie, over a casual button down or my preference (which is very casual) is over a henley https://theroyalbloke.com/product/melange-cotton-henley-tee-shirt-benson/. Perfect for the office, your favorite speakeasy, a night out on the town, a holiday party and when you’re leaving just flip up the collars, for a little attitude, and throw on your favorite scarf. So, stop wearing  your work blazer and get into something that is more comfortable and certainly more modern. This is a great addition to any man’s wardrobe.

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For the year round jogger and cyclist we have two very cool and functional gloves by Underhanded https://theroyalbloke.com/product/underhanded-black-topography-glove/ these caught my eye at the trade shows and I said these are off the charts – a great gift for the winter sports enthusiast. Both the topography and digital designs are great. They are crafted in a 4 way stretch fleece for an excellent fit and maximum warmth. The articulated shape provides a more relaxed fit and the addition of silicon dots on the palm provide exceptional grip.

digital-gloves-webtopography-gloves-web

Last on my list is Psycho Bunny’s Anglo-American scarf….the ultimate head turner and conversation starterhttps://theroyalbloke.com/product/psycho-bunny-anglo-american-scarf/ crafted in soft merino wool (not scratchy) with the inimitable Psycho Bunny logo, Union Jack & US flags on one side and a 2 tone burgundy birds-eye pattern on the other. I know scarves can be rather boring but this scarf elevates your cold weather wardrobe to another level. Be bold – embrace the winter chill with style.

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There you have it…TheRoyal Bloke’s top picks for the holidays. This holiday, get off the grid and lean towards upgrading your casual wardrobe. It’s all about comfort, lasting, quality and dressing like you mean it – especially casually. No more crossing the fingers and hoping you like it come the “big day”. These are pieces that you will love and can start building a casual wardrobe around. And while socks and a tie would be nice – I think any of these pieces will put a smile on your face. Now copy and paste this blog and send it off to Santa now – especially since our Holiday Sale is just starting.

 

Happy Holidays and Cheers!

The Royal Bloke

 

How to Make Your Hands Speak With Gloves

Yes, make your hands speak with gloves.

As a young man, my memory of gloves is rather comical. When I was a toddler, I vividly recall my gloves were attached to my sleeves with mitten clips. Very annoying but it made my Mom happy. As a teen ager we shunned gloves because it was more macho to endure the freezing temperatures with bare hands. It wasn’t until my college days when I was attending a football game on a frigid Saturday in November that it occurred to me that if I had a pair of gloves I might be enjoying the game much more.

Fast forward, and without an argument from me, gloves rank up there as the most despised and boring holiday gift to this day. We’ve also been known to curse out loud when we leave one on the train, the bus, wherever. And, like umbrellas, it was truly the last item on our mind when we shopped for fall clothing. Things have changed my friends – big time! Gloves are an extension of us.

This year I discovered a brand called HONNS that made me say wow! These gloves are a game changer. They have a high tech element… the fingertips have tiny rubber tips for easy touchscreen capability, the shape is articulated to fit the curve of your hand and the quality is exceptional. The calf leather is from the finest time honored English tanneries. One of my favorites is the “Woodlands Camo” (used by the US Army and Marines) glove which is crafted in supple calfskin, lined in sheepskin and actually the result of an an intricate and intensive tattooing process. The color will not flake or peel and the gloves will age beautifully over the life of the glove.

camo-glove

There’s more…a “splatter glove” that will definitely let your hands speak in an eye-catching citron nylon top and and a calfskin palm

logan-gloves-splatter-ylw

If you’re more into clean lines the noir “Grid” glove, a staff favorite, is a must-have cold weather staple that weds refined styling with exceptional attitude.

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And this is just a glimpse of the collection. There’s even gloves for biking, running, sailing…..tarry not blokes… get yours now https://theroyalbloke.com/product-category/accessories/honns/ Let your hands speak! Cheers!

FAHERTY – Beachwear Inspired Brand For The City

 

The Royal Bloke is pleased to announce we have started carrying the Faherty brand this Fall. Yea!

A beachwear inspired brand for the city if you will. Read on.

It’s a brand we’ve had our eyes on that blends our love of the outdoors – be it the the beach or the mountains. We flipped for their reversible shirts. They use the highest quality cotton fabrics with that soft-hand-feel. The brand draws its inspiration and techniques from global cultures. They develop each fabric, pattern and style from scratch so that each piece is unique. And they are!

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Here’s a little bio on the twins Mike and Alex and how the Faherty brand was created.

The Fahertys grew up an hour from New York City in a New Jersey beach town, Spring Lake. They surfed Montauk, N.Y., and flew to California for sessions in Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.

After high school, Mike majored in fashion design and graduated from Washington State University in St. Louis. He worked at Ralph Lauren for eight years, designing for the Double RL line, which was inspired by the rugged outdoors on a ranch in Colorado.

Alex, who graduated from Yale University, pursued a career in private equity on Wall Street.

Though they were in different fields, they wanted a business of their own. At age 30, in 2013, they quit their jobs and started their line.

“It’s really fun to run a business together because you’re making decisions with your best friend,” Mike said. “We love our job.”

Faherty is about a relaxed style for ease and wearability — clothing for a casual weekend. Aha- this is what The Royal Bloke is all about.

The Fall collection for men is about pullovers that can be layered over collared shirts, rugged reversible plaid flannels, knit ponchos and tailored shirts.

With locations in Malibu, Nantucket, SoHo and now Newport Beach, the Fahertys said having family contribute to all aspects of the growing business builds its history, lifestyle and creation.

For more on Faherty and their exciting Fall collection go to https://theroyalbloke.com/product-category/brands/faherty-brands/

 

Cheers!

 

 

The History of the Graphic Tee Shirt

The history of the graphic tee shirt is a little ambiguous. Nevertheless, the fact is tee shirts were originally worn as undershirts. Some say it was the 1950’s that first gave birth to the graphic tee. Others say it was Disney and others say it was vacation resorts. Whenever the appearance of the graphic tees was – one thing for sure is the graphic tee had its “a-ha” moment in the 60’s and 70’s. As a boomer I can say with all confidence we wore tie dye graphic tees that expressed our opposition to the Vietnam war, rock concerts we attended or wish we attended, our favorite sports team, our schools or political position aka a nod to our rebellious spirit! Either way it’s been an inexpensive way to show one’s allegiance or general lifestyle over time.

So how has this simple piece of fabric transformed itself from a utilitarian item to a promotional item to become an elevated part of one’s fashion wardrobe? Over the years, plastisol ink and screen printing technology evolved. There was a more wide spread color palette available and specialty inks which gave graphic tees a whole new look. Throughout t-shirt history, the graphic tee turned into one of the best branding tools available, whether it be promoting a brand, a business, an expression, a belief, an alliance or artistry. It’s the best canvas to display individuality and its not showing any sign that its going anywhere.

The Royal Bloke’s personal favorite’s include the classic VW bus, surfing vans, swallow tail surf boards and Japanese baseball teams. The Royal Bloke loves the Cali lifestyle, thus the surfing theme,

STACKED VANS TSurf board van Tee REVISED APR25CROSSING SURF BOARDS 3:11osaka-tee-webhelentaiyo-tee-rev-92116

and the iconic VW bus and believe it or not, the Japanese baseball teams have the most interesting logo’s – sorry MLB. Then designers got involved and now we have graphic tees that range form $150 to $600! Now The Royal Bloke has exquisite taste but we think you can have one of the finest executed quality graphic tee shirts on the market by

THE POSTER LIST  for $24 or authentic reproductions of Japanese baseball tees by RED JACKET  for $30 bucks. Crafted in the finest combed cotton, soft as a baby’s cheeks, and the finest screen printing this side of the Grand Canyon. Check out our collection of graphic tees at http://www.TheRoyalBloke.com and start your collection now! Cheers!

RELWEN – Authentic American Casual Menswear

RELWEN – Authentic American Casual Menswear

RELWEN RED ICON

Relwen casual menswear founder and designer, Jamie Rupp is one of the brightest new stars in the menswear industry. He is all about form, function, quality and detail. Jamie and his wife Susan call the Barn Swallow their company’s icon, because it “reinforces our connection to all things lasting and real” – much like their clothing does.

Inspired by the unpretentious, agrarian lifestyle of rural America, Relwen’s modern-vintage men’s clothing is tough enough to withstand wear-and-tear yet boasts a classic, clean-cut aesthetic. Based in New York City, but rooted in the farmlands of Ohio and Michigan, Relwen uses Old World weaving and embroidery techniques, durable materials, heavy-gauge knits, and authentic military hardware in designing its authentic polo shirts and sweaters, lightweight down shirt jackets and other menswear. Relwen’s outerwear collection is particularly impressive: the brand’s waxed combat jacket, military parka, vertical insulator jacket, and cycling shells come with practical features such as body liners, contrasting zippers, detachable hoods and contrasting top stitching.

Relwen black windbreaker front resized (1)

The Relwen Spring collection features his signature Highland red linen short that’s loaded with detail from custom black oxidized zippers to a rigid nylon web belt or the navy Officer’s Fatigue short.  The fit is always relaxed but modern

relwen shortsRelwen shorts

Pair the shorts with his Lake Superior polo in super soft blended 50% pima cotton 50% poly, button down collar, split tail side seams and a deep 4 button center placket in heather grey.

Relwen shirts

If  lightweight button down shirts are your thing, check out Relwen’s ultralight Airtex madras shirts in his exclusive color ways. Possibly the lightest and most comfortable shirt I’ve ever put on. At this stage of the summer, most of us have already made our summer vacation plans but if you’re like me you’re pondering what to pack. These are just a few of The Royal Bloke’s favorite items. Relwen is a great addition to your summer wardrobe whether you’re biking, hiking, or off to your favorite beach…you’ll find the Relwen brand to be made responsibly and durable for your next great adventure. Cheers!

 

A Guide to Beach Dressing

The first holiday of summer is coming right up and The Royal Bloke has prepared his guide to beach dressing so you’ll be looking good and staying cool. If you’re fortunate to have a share in the Hamptons or have plans to hit the beach…there are a few things THE ROYAL BLOKE suggests.

  • Swimwear – it’s changed big time. Throw out those baggy “jams” because shorter and more fitted is what’s trending. Granted, not all of us have a six pack so you can compromise by wearing a board short (still an acceptable term) that is no longer than a 19″ outseam and a 9″ inseam. For example this aqua paisley board short by SAUVAGE is a fresh new look. The waist has an adjustable drawstring for a customized fit and there is a velcro closing rear pocket. They’re cut from 100% Italian nylon for quick drying.

BLOG aqua paisley swim

Or if you’re feeling buff and already have that 6 pack you can opt for one of my favorites the Aztec print snap swim short also by SAUVAGE. This bold print suit has an outseam of 17″ and an inseam of 7″,  has a button snap closing and two front pockets and a velcro closing rear pocket. Temper this eye catching bold print with one of the burnout v-neck tees below.

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  • Tops – You know it’s going to be hot and a regular cotton tee shirt is going to be just too warm. So, thanks to my friends at RED JACKET you have these ultra-soft blended cotton burnout v-neck tees in very cool colors, which just happen to work back to the swimwear above. These classic slim fit tees are ultra-lightweight which will allow air to flow around your body, which aids evaporation and keeps you breezy. Choose from 3 fresh colors: nebula, ocean or midnight. Or buy all 3 because they are not only perfect for the beach they also pair well with shorts and cuffed jeans.

F Nebula 100049_The Burnout short sleeve Tee crop X100049_The-Burnout-short-sleeve-Tee-2

  • Hoodie -If you’re the kind of guy who likes to stay at the beach until sunset or you’re invited to a beach bonfire – consider this awesome, best of class washed indigo blue cotton twill hoodie from Zenfari that will keep the chill away and add swag to your outfit. Cut for a relaxed fit. For more detail click here https://theroyalbloke.com/product/indigo-blue-hoodie-by-zenfari/.

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  • Beach Towels – that’s right, beach towels. Get rid of those mawkish beach towels you’ve been using for the past 10 years and consider SLOWTIDE’S (Cali based of course) art-inspired beach towels. There are too many to choose from; however, my favorite is the “SHINING SEA” and Mark Oblow’s (former sponsored surfer) “GRAFFITI” or you can also check out the entire selection at http://theroyalbloke.com/product-category/beach-essentials/ These are limited editions so don’t get shut out.

flag towelSlowtide graffiti beach towels

There you have it blokes. A very simple breakdown of beach essentials you must consider. Now it’s up to you to step up your fitness regime. By the way, many of the featured items are now being offered for a limited time at reduced prices at https://theroyalbloke.com/.

Cheers!

In pursuit of the best trends at fashion week

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In pursuit of the best fashion trends can be an overwhelming task at Fashion week. Having just returned, there are an insane number of shows to cover in just 4 days… there’s the PROJECT, AGENDA, LIBERTY, M-R, POOL, and CAPSULE  shows. It’s visual over-load. What’s the game plan? Answer: find out what looks are trending.

To quickly identify the “best trends” for the next season that fits The Royal Bloke’s lifestyle/wardrobe plan – you have to look beyond the decor, bells and whistles and props of each booth and focus on the product. The presentations can be quite distracting.

Check out this video which will give you a quick glimpse of what it’s like at the PROJECT show  https://vimeo.com/37528107

So what exactly did The Royal Bloke discover and what are some of his favorites?

(drum roll please)

  • Relwen – still the best outerwear designer on the planet – nobody even comes close to designer /owner Jamie Rupp’s attention to detail and sense of style. Think fashion, function and maximum detail. Jamie is a rising star. Stay tuned.
  • Citizens of Humanity – Just when you thought denim was getting stale C-O-H, an LA based jean design company continues to captivate the fashion world with it’s rigorous commitment to cutting edge denim, styling, comfort and fit without compromise. They didn’t disappoint– next Fall’s collection has plenty of surprises.
  • Benson- granted the label doesn’t have world-wide recognition – yet- judging from what I saw – they have the best casual knitwear next F/W. Detail on the knitwear is over the top and there’s great value.
  • Barque – Gilbert Chen, an emerging knitwear designer from NYC is a Parson’s graduate and just happens to be obsessed with sweaters. He unveiled the strongest collection I’ve seen in years. His colors, designs and modern fit left me speechless. I can’t wait for next fall.
  • Frank & Eileen – not exactly a name you would throw around at parties. No, it’s not a Gucci shirt it’s Frank & Eileen. What? This is what the TRB lives for.Finding the finest and most unique shirting fabrics I’ve ever seen – all from Italy – made in LA (yep) It’s not about the name – it’s all about the product.

Now the real work begins. To distill all TRB’s favorites and assemble them so that you blokes can dress like you mean it and know that what you’ve added to your wardrobe is actually quite awesome.

Fashion week is a lot of work but at the same time very energizing. You’re amongst your fashion brethren. There are great parties everywhere – it’s like after the Oscar’s ceremony. You see the most interesting haircuts, the most incredible tattoos, the tastemakers, the fashionistas, and the most of all – everyone having a great time.

I will leave you blokes with this quote by Daniele Donato “Fashion is an art. You express who you are through what you’re wearing.”

Cheers!

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Slowtide Beach Towels – The Art of Drying Off

There's a new art-based beach towel in town – Slowtide beach towels.
That's right...You can finally say goodbye to those flimsy, generic
pineapple trees and aloha prints.
The founders of Slowtide are a collaboration of creative directors
and graphic artists from brands such as Quiksilver, Hurley, Nike
and Billabong amongst others. Together, these artists-come-
entrepreneurs have years in the surf industry under their belts.
The trio of creative-minded ocean-lovers with a penchant for
provocative design have whipped up an awesome high quality
collection of beach towels that perfectly embody their modern
aesthetic and trust me, they'll stand out on any shore. To read
more about Slowtide's story, click here:
http://https://www.slowtide.co/pages/about

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For their 2016 collection, they have teamed up with Mark Oblow,
a former sponsored surf and skateboard rider from the 80's who
obviously draws his inspiration from the people, places and
objects surrounding his former sport. One of The Royal Bloke's
favorites is Mark's stylized snapshot of rolling waves and stars
that comprise an "American flag" like you've never seen before.

          SLOWTIDE FLAG IMAGE SHOT

Don't take my word for it - check out the selection for yourself
and see Slowtide's reinvention of the beach towel...
you'll find they're not just for sunbathing anymore. Grab one on
a chilly night at the beach, for a cool wrap that's sure to
stir up some good conversation.
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