Unlock your Inner Tailor – The Shirt Experience

It has been nearly 2 years since our first Tailor Store review on a made-to-measure shirt and we’re excited to have partnered with the brand again to share with you The Shirt Experience (with a discount!)

tailor store review

Whether you are a corporate warrior,  startup enthusiast or office wear is your statement weekend look, quality shirts are a necessity we can’t afford to ignore. If you have bought as many plain white shirts from high street brands as we have, you would have encountered poor fits, obscure fabrics and hours of ironing time – a trilogy we’d rather avoid. Let’s just say once you go tailored, you can’t go back.

 

Here are the 5 things that got us impressed (and we don’t get impressed easily).

  1. Our nearly 2 year-old Tailor Store shirt has been worn 25+ times and still looks as good as new –  with colours, fit and fabric unchanged.
  2.  The customisation options are endless – cuffs, buttons, sleeves, collars – you can go as conservative or as quirky as you wish.
  3. Embroidery. What’s more ostentatious than putting your initials on organic cotton fabric?  (We can think of a couple alternatives)
  4. The finish feels and looks luxurious (Male & Female shirts start from £49 pounds, so that can even beat the high street)
  5. If something doesn’t fit right, Tailor Store will give you another go to re-design and re-order at no additional cost. And we thought we give generous second chances. 

The Order

Just 3 weeks ago, we put our creative hats on, unleashed the inner tailor we’ve be hiding, took the measuring tape and choose a wrinkle-free (we’re saving the planet by not ironing, right?), caucel fabric shirt in white, with a contrast collar and cuff.

The Reveal

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The Verdict

It’s a beautifully made shirt which we’d proudly take on office walks, client meetings and important presentations. We might keep it in the ‘special’ corner of our wardrobes and that’s because the cut, the fit, the structure and the finish are luxuriously done. It has been a delightful Shirt Experience and we’d encourage you to discover your inner tailor.

Final Thoughts

Tailor Store now offers the full range of tailored clothing – from suits and shirt to chinos and accessories. The brand beats the price of many high street City Professional equivalents with one little difference – it’s done in ‘One size – Yours’. If you’re after high quality fabrics, one size doesn’t fit all approach and you want to put your personal stamp – we’ve got you covered.

As promised, we’re pleased to share with you a discount code which gives 15% off to all new customers on one custom made shirt: Spring17

Suits and Books. Our Pleasure.

This post was written in collaboration with the Tailor Store. This affects in no way what we thought of their service and products. Now challenge your inner tailor and design your next shirt. 

Karen Millen Dresses: The Spring Edit

You cannot deny it – spring has arrived, your wardrobe needs an upgrade and there isn’t a better time to go for pop up colours, light fabrics and embrace the fact that summer is just around the corner. Here are 5 Karen Millen Dresses that will boost your bright colour credentials on another level. 

 

The Spring Dress Edit 1: Coloured Texture Day Dress

We love the rich royal blue, the structured cut and the detail. Yours for £160 from Karen Millen.

The Spring Dress Edit 2: Shawl Collar Pleated Dress

We have already seen that dress all throughout the office and it has been a hit amongst bloggers too. It’s undoubtedly elegant, effortlessly chic and can be yours for £190 from Karen Millen.

The Spring Dress Edit 3: Floral-Print Minidress

As much as we care about your office wardrobe, we want to ensure you have a fun dress for your holidays too. This beauty will soon be a sold out because first, tropical prints, but also it’s currently on sale for £110.

The Spring Dress Edit 4: Lily Print Dress

Office based or not, the Lily Print Dress brings us such Spring/ Summer vibes that we’d happily book yet another holiday. Yours for £145.

The  Spring Dress Edit 5: Yellow Scuba Pencil Dress

It’s not a true Spring Edit unless you add another bold coloured pencil dress to your collection. It’s a classic Karen Millen cut and we all know how those dresses fit. Yours for £170.

What makes it all even better? Until 17th May, Karen Millen are running a promo campaign where you can win £1000 and a styling session!

Karen Millen Fashions Limited
Suits and Books. Our Pleasure.

The Investment Edit: 5 Men Suits for the Long Run

We don’t spend Thousand pounds on a suit everyday, but when we do – we make sure it’s in true Warren Buffet fashion – it’s a stable long-term investment.

The Investment Edit 1: Pal Zileri

This Pal Zileri midnight blue wool suit sends us some serious Italian vibes and if you miss the British twist, just have a look at Matthew Goode’s SS17 ad campaign.

In case you’re truly international, you can just focus on those lightly padded shoulders, notched lapels and chest pocket – we’ve got you covered.

So if you’re after an elegant and contemporary piece at a short proximity of your fabulous location – Pal Zileri is in Harrods and Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge and there is a flagship store on New Bond Street.

 

The Investment Edit 2: Armani Collezioni

We love everything about this Armani Collezioni grey wool suit – it’s textured, with button-embellished cuffs,  all the pockets you can ask for and also a true beauty. Your wardrobe is just asking for it.

The Investment Edit 3: Pal Zileri

Another Italian beauty – a traditional cut and checked Pal Zileri dark grey and light grey wool suit for your dapper wardrobe.

The Investment Edit 4: Hugo Boss

We don’t need to introduce  Hugo Boss to you, but that blue wool suit in pin-dot jacquard finish needs your attention.

The Investment Edit 5: Armani Collezioni

We like leaving the best for last and this navy wool suit is our absolute winner – it’s sharp, sleek and says the story you don’t even have to tell.

 

Suits and Books. Our Pleasure

Utopia for Realists Review – Bolder, Better, Brighter

As 2016 received the rubber stamp for the ‘worst year ever’ due to political disasters, rise of populism, ever wider inequality, many of you might be searching for an alternative offering a positive, better and brighter vision for our working lives, economic status and overall future. Utopia for Realists
can certainly cover that need for you.

Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman will attract your eye if you’ve recently walked past a bookshop. Its bold orange colour sets the tone for the book: a set of non-conformist ideas based on hard evidence. It offers a visionary but practical approach to utopian concepts such as Universal Basic Income (UBI), a 15-hour working week and free-movement world and asks the bigger question of ‘Can we build a better society by painting a picture of the kind of world we want to live in?’

utopia for realists

Bregman is a young (28!) journalist and historian with a particular interest in economics and a flare for creating page turning bestsellers. For any avid Freakonomics followers enjoying a good economic case study, his book outlines the specific policies that constitute a utopia:

  • UBI: Bregman argues that the cost of poverty is excruciating for government budgets and UBI is economically a rational thing to do. As he outlines study after study proving hard evidence that giving money with no strings attached does lead to significant improvements to poverty levels and unemployment, one may ask why the UK government hasn’t run a trial run (Political storms aside).
  • The working week: In the spirit of the good old utility of happiness argument, Bregman suggests that in the advent of robots and artificial intelligence ‘taking our jobs’, it only make sense for us to be working fewer hours and spend more time proactively seeking leisure. With 37% of respondents in a UK study admitting that their job was meaningless, Bregman’s argument for a 15-hour working week challenges many traditional views on workers bargaining power, the work life balance and indirectly, the consumerism model we have been working towards in the last century or two.
  • Free borders is probably the most utopian concept from Bregman’s realism. He argues that borders create exorbitantly greater inequality compared to any inequalities created by gender, race or socio-economic status inside one country and they hinder our common economic progress. As international trade has pushed many underdeveloped countries beyond the poverty level, Bregman argues that the net benefit of a borderless world is worth $65 trillion and we’re yet to tap into it.

But what about politics?

Even if you do not follow the UK political scene closely, you might be able to relate to Bregman’s argument that the Left has spent decades focusing on being ‘against’, whether that’s against war, capitalism, homophobia, climate change, but without offering a viable or convincing alternative. Bregman has drawn evidence from liberal thinkers, yet he seems to promote ideas of what we would traditionally call socialist. Bregman believes that the successful formula for a stronger Left is applying neoliberal rhetoric to a pragmatic social structure.

For an inspiration on implementing utopian ideas into practice, Bregman’s arguments are convincing and show a breadth of knowledge, research and evidence. Yet, none of what Bregman says has to be utopian, if realists become truly inspired to make a change.

Get a copy of Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There, £11.89

Suits and Books. Our Pleasure.

Co-author Chantal Foyer – Read her Q&A to find out more.

Getting into Product Management: 5 Questions You Always Wanted to Ask

Getting into Product Management has become one of the hottest job discussion topics in the growing London Tech market as the demand for good Product Managers has skyrocketed. That’s why we sat down with Chantal Foyer, Product Manager at Workshare, who shared her insights into the skills, background and resources you should access if that’s your next career goal.

Getting into Product Management: What is a Product Manager?

getting into management consulting

In a nutshell, a Product Manager oversees a team of engineers, designers and testers to develop a product, bring it to market and grow it. A Product Manager would sit at the interface between design, engineering and business without the need to be an expert in each of the areas. The strength of a Product Manager is having an in-depth understanding of what the customer wants, communicating frequently and gaining feedback, testing prototypes and bringing that customer need back to the team – in order to work with them to create a product that fulfills all criteria. Simple, huh!

The Should Haves:  What skills does a Product Manager require?

getting into management consulting

In terms of hard skills, an engineering or a design background can be an advantage, so are data science and SQL skills, but you’ll find many Product Managers who don’t have such technical background. The single most important skill that a Product Manager should develop is influence. While none of the people on your team report to you from a management perspective – you can’t fire them or affect their pay – your ability to win people over, to pitch ideas and to use evidence to construct convincing arguments are your most valuable assets. With experience, you can learn the capacities and limitations of the technology as well as best practices in UX and UI design. Your interpersonal skills will also come in handy in your communication with customers – from identifying a new need for a product feature to translating it in a technical business requirement in your teams. Empathy is your greatest asset here.

The Could Haves: What experience is useful to become a PM?

getting into management consulting

I have found that the breadth in experience my colleagues have, solidifies the fact that there is no clear route into Product Management. You can start in a specific role in the Tech sector, you can be in project management or you could be an engineer and realize that you would like to try Product Management. A common route is also that of a Business Analyst.

The Resources: How can you find out more about Product Management?

getting into management consulting

The advantage of Product Management being a fairly new field means that a lot of experts are offering definitions of the discipline, which is still being shaped. If you’re interested in finding out more about Product Management, this is my ultimate list:

  • If you like reading, Eric Ries The Lean Startup or his mentor’s Steve Blank’s The Four Steps to the Epiphany are a great starting point
  • If you really like reading, then you might find Facebook PM Simon Cross’s reading list the resource to upscale your knowledge significantly
  • If, like me, you have a fairly short attention span, then you may prefer podcasts or blogs, such as SVPG’s.
  • If you prefer newsletters that will come into your inbox once a week, great reads I enjoy are Ken Norton’s Bringing the Donuts, and Mind the Product.
  • Mind the Product also organizes events, there’s the conference, which comes at a price, but also free monthly events called Product Tank where they tackle different topics relating to Product Management – it’s a fantastic networking opportunity too, so sign up as soon as you can, as these events get booked up quickly.

The Perks: What’s so great about being a Product Manager?

getting into management consulting

What I love about being a Product Manager is the challenge of solving problems, of getting people rallied around a problem and of juggling multiple priorities. I get to interact with all parts of the business and it gives me a great insight into how the business is run. While not a creative role in the strictest sense, creativity is key when it comes to addressing challenges, often with limited resources.

 Chantal Foyer, Product Manager at Workshare

Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn

Do you have a career path worth sharing? Get in touch with us at suitsandbooks@gmail.com
 Suits and Books. Our Pleasure.

The Expensive London Restaurants which are Worth it

If you have had as many affairs with Mayfair as we have, you’d certainly have come across overpriced places whose menus and clientele raise your eyebrows.

Le Boudin Blanc, City Social and Sketch aren’t one of those expensive London restaurants that make you regret your professional foodie status. Think rustic Gallic food; art-deco skyline fine dining and a 2-Michelin star swanky plush retro venue that will bring your dopamine and eyebrows levels a very steady uplift.

 Le Boudin Blanc, Mayfair

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THE FEEL

Whether you think you love French cuisine or not, we found Le Boudin Blanc to be offering that charming mix of cozy unpretentiousness and personable service with food that triggers more than one of your senses. Split over two floors, this Mayfair gem brought a very special  Paris feeling to us while making our indulgence proper in a bustling atmosphere.

THE FOOD

Regardless of your Le Poissions or Le Viandes preferences, our 3-course meal was a five star experience from beginning to end.  The attentive service, divine tastes and rich wine might have helped. For £70 per head (including wine), you might be looking for a special occasion or just the regular treat you love giving yourself.

THE OCCASION  

Perfect for a ‘mother-daughter’ special time or a business meeting where you wouldn’t mind the proximity of the oyster sauce to your paper contracts. If there is one advice, we’re going to give you – leave your French lovers at home – as all waiters are authentic French speakers, they might spend the better part of the evening discussing how scarce bona fide cuisine has become.

Pas besoin d’un merci! 

City Social, Bankexpensive London restaurants

We certainly have a thing for skyline dining  – might be the adrenaline coming from the top floor or the rocket high bills.

THE FEEL

We went to City Social just a few weeks ago after some seriously good feedback from friends. Might have been influenced by the number of Bellinis we started with and the general Friday mood, but we found the decor, ambiance and staff to be one of the best we have come across. With about 6 waiters swirling around us, the direct view of the Gherkin and the special chair for our bag, we couldn’t reject the claim that sometimes fine dining can buy you happiness.

THE FOODexpensive London restaurants

At 10pm on a Friday, City Social couldn’t offer us all of the options on their menu but neither of the Tuna Tataki, Newlyn Cod or Hazelnut Plaisir Sucre left us asking for more. With a beautiful presentation a la MasterChef, rich tastes and a very gourmet feel, our evening was a great blend of divine food in a stunning setting. As we left the restaurant as the very last guests with staff being consciously patient to the deep 1.30am conversations we were engaged in, even the £95 per head felt like a solid performance. expensive London restaurants

Sketch, Mayfair

For the London affectedly grand scene, Sketch doesn’t need an introduction.

The Parlour

expensive London restaurants

The Lecture Room

expensive London restaurant

The Gallery

expensive London restaurants

expensive London restaurants

The Gladeexpensive London restaurants

THE FEEL

We must admit, it has been almost a year since our last visit to Sketch but whether you decide to visit the Lecture room, the Parlour or the Glade, this 2-Michelin star venue would increase your ‘off scale’ limits to a new high. This place can become a decadent guilty pleasure, especially if the fantasy of affordability evaporates as quickly as you enjoy the champagne taste.

THE FOOD

You might want to bring your gastronomy dictionary with you because Sketch offers a lot of French-induced dishes that might question your professional foodie status (or perhaps it’s handy to bring that French lover with you).  At about £120 per person, this wacky place is certainly pricey which can be a  ‘love it or hate it’ venue, depending on how creative you like your expensive London restaurants to be.

We’d certainly be coming for seconds.

Suits and Books. Our Pleasure.

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