My grown up Christmas list.

Walking through malls the past few weeks have been somewhat of a rude awakening. Its only October but there are Santa hats, reindeer and Christmas trimmings everywhere you turn. Seems like Christmas is coming sooner every year. Christmas is 2 months away but we’re already being manipulated to spend our money and buy gifts so I started thinking about what I would like to find under the tree this Christmas. Since I’m a little too old to sit on Santa’s lap I thought I’d make a list. Here goes…

Dear Santa,

I hope this letter finds you in time. I thought I’d take some of the guessing out of your hands and give you an idea of what to bring me for Christmas.

1. Sneakers
I have a couple that I really like but I can’t afford or I just can’t seem to find the right one in stores. I’m hoping Saint Nick will do me a solid. Mariah Carey sang it best, ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS SHOOOOOOOEEESSS.

Yeezy 500

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Nike VaporMax

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ZX 500 RM Son Goku

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One pair is enough I wouldn’t expect you to bring me all three.

2. Fragrance
My favourite perfume is almost finished Santa, and I need a new bottle so that would be highly appreciated.
Acqua di Gio

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3. Tailored suit
I’ve gained some unfortunate weight over the past few months that I can’t seem to shake. Santa, if you’re there, I’d like a brand-new suit or a summer body PLEASE!!

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4. Cellphone
Samsung Note 9
Now Santa, I don’t even think I need to motivate why I deserve this.

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5. Gift card
So, Santa if you’re not sure what to get me because I’ve been such a good boy this year, I won’t be disappointed if you just leave me a gift card under the tree. I’ll know what to get myself and I would appreciate it just as much.

I would add my Superbalist wishlist but I don’t want to break tradition.

I hope this list made it somewhat easier for you.

Sincerely,

Gareth.

What to wear when you don’t know what to wear.

For the not so fashionable among us it can be a very daunting task when it comes to matching colours together while picking out an outfit. Let’s not even talk about prints. Its Spring time and its time for bright colours and bold prints but you might have some hesitation because you’re scared that what you put together will clash. I’ve been there I’ve spent many an evening racking my brain about what I want to wear to work in the morning. Often concluding that I have nothing to wear. I hate looking boring and wearing the same outfit twice. I always try to mix it up. I never want to look like I’m wearing a uniform. You know some of your colleagues will wear one pair of pants with a specific shirt every time as if it’s a set and they can only wear those two items together. That is what I’m talking about.

We’ve seen many fashion risk takers lately. People mix patterns and colours you’d never expect and somehow manage to still look cool. The rest of us that aren’t as bold know that we’ll end up looking like fools. So, what are we to do?

I would suggest to just keep doing what you’re doing. Most of us stick to neutral colours like black, grey and white, maybe even brown and navy blue. These colours normally match well with any other colour making it easy. I usually stick to black pants or blue jeans and then add colour somewhere else in my outfit. So, Id suggest keeping the most part of the outfit neutral and then adding one item of colour that pops. If you want to add more colour wear something that’s a shade darker or lighter than the one you’re trying so that they don’t clash. The same goes for prints. I normally look at the different colours in the print itself, choose one and that’s what I match the rest of my outfit with. I try to wear at least 3 colours at a time just to make it a bit more interesting.

If you’re confused here’s a list of staples I rely on for when I don’t know what to wear.

You can never go wrong with a pair of chinos they always save the day. I have them in different colours and shades. Jeans in dark blue, light blue and black give you some variety when it comes to casual wear. Plain white shirts are timeless so they don’t have time to clash with anything in your closet. A denim jacket is essential for me it compliments any outfit. Lastly plain white, grey, or black t-shirts are an outfit saviour on those confusing days for me. Then lastly I LOVE brown leather or suede shoes whether its sneakers or formal shoes. As the song says these are just a few of my favourite things. In another post Ill share some of my outrageous or shall I say risky fashion choices

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Neutral black and white and then I opted for a maroon bomber jacket and brown shoes.
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Neutral black and olive green an then opted for a shirt with a print and again brown shoes.
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I think I was wearing a denim jacket this day (not seen here) but you can never go wrong with denim. Oh, look brown shoes.

As you can see I do have a signature (uniform) style. Sigh…

Lets get packing.

Spring is drawing to a close and the summer months are approaching and we’ve all made plans for the coming holidays. We’ve made plans with our family and friends to take some time off and escape from our everyday lives. We book our accommodation weeks or months in advance once we’ve all managed to decide on where and when we can all go. To me going on holiday usually means a road trip.

A problem that I regularly encounter when going on a road trip is being considerate of my travelling mates when it comes to the space in the boot. I can never make up my mind about what I want to wear. I always pack more clothes than I need. To me its all about the looks. If you think Im going on holiday to relax you are sadly mistaken. I want to go and explore the place Im visiting and I want to look fly while doing so. Going on holiday is an opportunity to make new memories with your family or friends. Let me also be real with you Im thinking about social media. Im not about to post up on social media looking ashy. Im gonna give the people what they want. Your friends stuck at work wants to experience your holiday with you. So your outfits need to be popping. I usually pack so that I have at least two options for each day of the holiday. Which can be a bit problematic if you are travelling with more than 2 people.

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Family trip to Mosselbay in 2017. As you can see I didn’t go to swim.
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The Point Beach in Mosselbay.
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Enjoying a sunset in Langebaan.

This blog is more self-help than it is giving advice. I decided to look at ways to minimize my luggage when going on holiday. So lets start with clothing. Your travel day outfit should be part of your holiday fashion. Try to reduce your luggage by wearing some of the heavier items that would take up a lot of space in your bag. Like a light jacket because even in Summer the evenings can get quite chilly sometimes and you want to be prepared. Pack your flip-flops in your bag and wear your shoes on the trip. Try to wear your jeans on the trip as well and put the shorts in the bag. This will save some space as well. If possible try to get everything into one bag. The boot of a car isn’t very big and we sometimes travel with up to five people and you don’t want to start your holiday off fighting about boot space.

Something else you can do is try to find out what the weather is going to be like while you’re there so that you can pack accordingly. This will save you from having to pack a summer and a winter outfit for each day. Think about packing transitional pieces. Something that’s suitable to wear for the day’s activities but will also work for dinner at a nice restaurant. This will minimise your packing. Think about packing a capsule wardrobe. A few functional items of clothing that complement each other. That means if you’re going away for a three-day weekend you can wear one pair of pants and pack in another pair and just alternate between the two and both are suitable to wear with the shirts you are planning to wear. Think about the functionality of certain items. Try to make the jacket you wear for your travel day outfit something that can transition from day to night time activities. This way you do not need to pack another for that purpose.

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Travel day outfit for my recent trip to Hermanus. Stylish, comfortable and functional.

Besides necessities you also need some gadgets to make the trip smoother. We’ve grown accustomed to our devices that we use everyday that we cannot just leave them behind. If you like to read you might want to take a book with you, ebooks don’t take up any space at all. Other things like mobile Wi-Fi and portable chargers have become essential parts of our daily lives so don’t forget to pack them. You don’t want to spend money on buying a new one while you’re there. If you want to get away from the crowd for a while take some headphones with you to listen to music.

When you’re done packing you can load up the car and set out on your road trip. Make sure you have some smooth tunes on the radio to distract yourself and your family/friends from the fatigue of being cooped up in the car for long periods of time and some snacks to keep everyone refreshed and make the journey just as enjoyable.

Colour me obsessed

When I go shopping, I don’t always buy something and its not always that I go shopping for something specific. Sometimes I just go into a store walk around and see what they have. If I see something I like I would buy it. There are certain things that always catches my eye when I go shopping. Id call it an obsession by now.

Whenever I see a nice denim shirt you can hear an audible gasp escape my mouth. I probably have about 10 denim shirts already. I cant explain it myself. I think I might be drawn to the colour because blue is my favourite colour or it might be the texture that attracts me. Ironically you would rarely see me wearing one of them. Truth be told I’m more of a t-shirt kinda guy. I don’t often wear shirts casually. But I cannot resist buying a really nice denim shirt. Especially if I find it in my size.

Another one of these obsessions are accessories. I’m talking rings, armbands, chains and sunglasses. I have a box full of those beaded armbands because I would buy them because I liked one of the bands in the bunch. Shades are another thing I can’t pass by in the store. If I see a pair I like I must try them on and if they fit me and they suit my face I simply cannot leave them behind. I’ve scaled down a lot on buying accessories over the last year I guess I’m moving out of that phase in my life now.

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My tie collection has grown a lot since this picture was taken in 2016.

Ties are another one that’s a major obsession for me. I’ve lost count on how may ties I have. This one I can actually explain. I go to a church with a very rigid structure especially when it comes to dress code. So, I must wear a suit and tie when I go to church. You can wear chinos and a blazer if you choose but I’ve chosen to wear a full suit for the past few years.

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When it comes to style I’m a peacock. I like standing out and there’s not much you can do with a suit besides wearing a nice shirt and tie. At first, I used to wear lots of colourful and printed shirts but when I started teaching and my church shirts became work shirts. I started wearing mainly white shirts to church because when I wore white shirts to school I would get confused for one of the learners sometimes even by my colleagues and I taught at a primary school!! So now its all up to the tie to make the look. I have them in all colours, textures and prints. They can give life to the most boring suit. I am also one of those people that hates to repeat an outfit exactly the same way I wore it previously and a different tie changes the look completely.

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Just add a lapel pin and/or pocket square and you look completely different in the same suit.

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Feeling myself in my favourite tie this past Sunday.

My favourite tie would have to be the maroon tie I wore to my first graduation. Its possibly one of the best nights of my life and I can still recall that feeling whenever I wear it. When I wear it I feel handsome, important and powerful like James Bond.

I think Ill continue collecting ties. I just cant stop myself when I see one that I love.

I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!!

Everyone that knows me, knows that I love fashion. Not so much fashion but clothes. I like to look good and receive compliments. Is that bad? For me getting dressed is quite the chore because everything down to the socks needs to be just right for me to be happy. I am my own worst critic.

I said I love looking good and to me that starts with a concept that I have in my head focused on either a specific colour, accessory or item of clothing that inspires me for that day. This might sound easy but it’s really not because there is a lot to take into consideration like what is the setting, dress code or the weather where I’m going. As a teacher I had to consider what I would be doing in class the next day. When I say “I have nothing to wear” I don’t mean I don’t have clothes it simply means that I cannot decide what to wear for that day or occasion. I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point.

I’m standing in front of my closet and I have picked out a specific shirt I want to wear, I just need to decide on pants and shoes. Sounds simple right? So now I’m looking for the right pair of pants and I cannot seem to find the pants that I want to wear that would make this look a winner. Now I hate every pair of pants that I own because I have to settle for mediocrity and I have to compromise on the perfect wash or fit of the jeans that would have made this look a standout. After going back and forth and having a mini breakdown over pants, I have finally picked a pair that will do. Then I need to decide which shoes I want to wear. I cannot wear the shoes I wanted to wear originally because they don’t go well with the pants I just chose. After settling on a pair of shoes my whole outfit has changed I now need to pick socks. I can only find the one sock of the pair I want to wear and I’m searching and searching and there’s socks everywhere. Eventually after turning my whole room into a ball of socks, with great relief I find the other sock but now I can’t seem to find the sock I had before I started searching. Then I give up and decide to wear another shirt and the process starts all over again. I envy those guys that can just throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and be out the door without giving it much thought.

There’s just something about clothing that can change your whole mood. It gives you extra confidence and every time someone smiles at you or gives you that second look and checks you out from head to toe it just makes you feel great no matter how your day is going. When I say I have nothing to wear, I really mean that there’s nothing in my wardrobe that will make me feel good or confident on that day. As the old saying goes, when you look good you feel good.

Keep the good vibes going!