above: Alexander Boyd
I was meeting a friend near Liverpool Street the other day and decided to go for a stroll around while I waited. Walking down some of the back roads takes you to a very narrow alley called Artillery Lane, where the small but quaint Alexander Boyd shop sits. Unfortunately it’s closing down as of next Friday, but I strongly suggest if you get an hour spare that you head over and pick up their silk ties and silk pocket squares, which are selling at bargain prices. It’s very good quality stuff - as you can see I went a bit crazy, picking up seven pieces (some which aren’t shown) and considering going back for another round. I rarely find myself wearing a tie, but when I do I am glad I’ve got this beaut sitting in the wardrobe.
As you can see I picked up a lot of paisley. It’s one of their speciality designs which are all made here in the UK. Paisley is a classic design which originates from India and the Middle East. It got brought over to Europe and adopted the name paisley, and is believed to have several different meanings such as protecting against evil spirits, a representation of life and even representing rebellion. Either way, atleast in the West it’s always had that assocation with class due to the silk materials being used. By the 60s people were cutting suits out of the stuff and it really isn’t far from clothing you could pull off these days. I’ve seen paisley on dresses, bandanas, shirts, table cloths, curtains - it’s a pretty timeless print, and with all the print craze this year infecting menswear, I’d highly recommend it as a choice for those looking to adopt a bit of print in their wardrobe.
Paisley works well for the Summer in blue hues. Uniqlo have released some yellow paisley shorts and the blue ones above, though blue is my favourite colour (boring, I know) so I’ve decided to style around those instead, as it’s a bit more accessible than the yellow shade. Blue and white is a classic look, hence the white Oxford shirt is a safe but clean option. Summer is a great excuse to wear linen, so if you can find a decent white linen shirt feel free to opt for that as well. What I would suggest against is wearing print on print unless you’re brave and selective enough. It’s easy to clash, but I’m sure a paisley print suit jacket and shorts could work very well providing the prints matched, and the shirt is as plain as can be.
I’d recommend choosing blue suede loafers of some sort, but if you’re worried about being too blue-on-blue, it’s okay for some tan brogues or even some black monk straps. Either way, go sockless. A neat trick I like to do if you don’t have those ‘invisible’ socks, I roll down my socks half way over the foot so they don’t show. I wouldn’t really recommend going sockless as it’s a touch unhygienic if you’re wearing leather shoes in the sun all day.
Paisley is one of my favourite prints and I’m eagerly looking for some white and navy paisley shorts myself. Feel free to take a look at shirts (which have to be styled quite carefully so as to not avoid looking tacky), accessories such as pocket squares (which exudes effort and ‘class’ in my opinion) and even socks (yeah I love crazy socks). I’m sure we’ll be seeing it a lot this Summer anyway!
- Mr. Boy