Earlier in the summer, the TTKS mob met the team behind Ryan James and checked out some of the store’s SS18 collection and, boy, were we impressed. The independent boutique (which landed its cool Osborne Street premises back in July 2017 after a successful pop up venture with Eponymous) has something really fresh going on – an expertly curated range of menswear, accessories and grooming products, all arranged in suitably Hygge fashion on light, floating shelves and minimalist rails. Between discovering Ardeus‘ zingy Grapefruit Salt Spray and Cedar & Lime Beard Oil, eyeing up Asyeu’s sharp, block colour socks and crushing on Niki Fulton’s graphic print ties, it was an education in covetable, niche brands. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, this is where to shop.
As the brains behind this trendy haven, you can bet savvy owner James Rennie knows a thing or two about men’s fashion and, unsurprisingly, is bursting with tips for nervous grooms-to-be, as well as product recommendations.
So what’s new in the world of groomswear? Well, apparently we’re going to be more chilled and relaxed in future. Trust and believe. “As more and more couples go for a casual vibe at their wedding, their wardrobes will begin to follow suit,” he reckons. “Especially if it’s a beach-based big day. It’s now totally acceptable for a groom to go tie-free and wear shorts as he says, ‘I do’.” Controversial!
If you’re taking James’ word for it and ditching the traditional gear, how would you go about it? “With or without a tie, a crisp, collared shirt is key and my favourite colour has got to be white,” he says. “Try Hymn London for understated yet interesting pieces in cotton. And when you’re wearing shorts at the altar, a well-fitting, tailored number is a must. These pleated shorts from Far Afield [above] are perfect, cut just above the knee.
“With such a simple outfit, we can add interest with accessories. For instance, I would chose this navy woven cotton belt from Brydon Brothers and pair it with Kochiba’s Lomond watch (made from real wood) [both above] to finish off the look.”
Can’t quite face forgoing formalwear altogether? James has some sage advice for you too. “If you do decide to go more conventional, focus on the details when building your tailoring,” he suggests. “Have some fun by matching your tie to your socks: two of my preferred brands to mix are Niki Fulton and Asyeu [above], both of which are made in Britain. Niki’s silk ties feature stand-out, attention-grabbing patterns, while Asyeu’s brightly-coloured Stacks socks come in lightweight cotton, which is ideal for the summer months.”
Last, but not least, James has a few pointers to keep your grooming in check. “Making sure your hair is in tiptop condition on the big day is vital and for that I prescribe Ardeus,” he says. “Created by a barber and scientist, it’s the ultimate range of men’s products. And the best part? It’s made right here in Scotland.
“For a textured, beachy style, go for the Grapefruit Salt Spray, and for those with a beard, opt for a shine-boosting oil, either in a spicy Grapefruit & Black Pepper blend, or invigorating Cedar & Lime.”
Next stop? The aisle!