Monday, 21 December 2009

British Army unveils new camouflage

The British Army has announced the introduction of a new camouflage design for all its soldiers in an attempt to limit the number of casualties in Afghanistan.

The move comes after complaints that the colours in the current uniform were not suitable for combat in marshlands and rural areas of Afghanistan. The new “multi-terrain pattern” is made up of seven colours, designed to help soldiers merge into a variety of terrains across the globe. The uniforms will first be used in Afghanistan in March next year but will be rolled out across all units from 2011.

Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, said: “This new camouflage will help our troops blend into different environments in Helmand Province to stay hidden from the Taliban. Patrols take our troops through the Green Zone, scrubland, desert and arid stony environments and it is crucial that the camouflage can work across all of them.”

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Two weeks to get dressed?

According to new research commissioned by the Clothes Show Live, an average woman spends a staggering 312 hours preparing for the most important social event of the year: the office Christmas party.

997 women between the ages of 18 and 45 were surveyed to determine the amount of preparation involved for that all-important party. The study revealed that, on average, 72 hours were spent shopping for an outfit and 96 hours were dedicated to getting in shape, while 12% of respondents said they would hire a personal stylist for the occasion.

Managing director of the Clothes Show Live, Gavin Brown, said: "The Christmas party is the highlight of everyone's festive calendar - the place to be and be seen and it's no wonder women across the country spend hundreds of hours making sure they look their very best."

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Londoners set to design their own tartan

A competition was launched yesterday, St. Andrew’s day, to give Londoners the chance to design the city’s first official tartan.

The Scottish Tartans Authority (STA), who opened the competition at Kings Place yesterday evening, would like the designs to reflect the colours of the capital, from the red of its famous buses, to the green of Hyde Park. Would-be designers will be able to submit their ideas via an app on the STA’s website.

Brian Wilton, of the Scottish Tartans Authority, said: “It is fantastic that tartan is getting recognised beyond Scotland’s borders. Every tartan is unique and we look forward to seeing what inspires the residents of London and the way they will approach Scotland’s most traditional textile.”

Two famous Scotts - actor Robbie Coltrane and poet Jackie Kay - will be on the judging panel.The winning tartan will be revealed on Burns night.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Label victims

According to a study carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a pair of £8 jeans has been found to be better made and longer wearing than a £123 pair.

Sceptical? Well, ten pairs of ladies' jeans and ten polo shirts underwent rigorous testing in fifteen different trials aimed at judging the garments’ colour-fastness, seam strength, shrinkage after washing and resistance to abrasion.

In general, the cheaper items fared better than their more expensive rivals, with the £8 pair of jeans coming out on top and the £123 pair lagging behind in fourth place. Full marks also went to a £12 polo shirt, while the £85 shirt came in fifth place.

Andy Garbutt, retail expert at PWC, said: 'We didn't test for fit, fashionability or brand. We purely looked at the quality of the clothes, how well made they were. And it is clear that there is no longer a link between quality and price. It may not have been the cheapest clothes that won, but it was often the second cheapest.'

While a £115 saving might seem appealing in the run-up to a credit crunch Christmas, unfortunately PWC has refused to reveal the names of the retailers tested for fear of 'damaging relationships' with clients.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Your pants offend me

Do nudists hate pants? It's a serious question. The British Naturism society are having their annual meeting at Alton Towers (Where else?! - all those rides, the fresh air, the queues...eh?) but, bizarrely, the event is being sponsored by an underwear company called Kiniki. Unsurprisingly the naturists are up in arms.

John Walker of Kiniki doesn't understand what the fuss is about though: “We’re not trying to be cheeky or step on anyone’s toes here. We simply thought it was a great event to be a part of. I can see how people who don’t like wearing clothes could get shirty about us being their sponsor. You could say it’s the equivalent of a butcher sponsoring a vegetarian event." An interesting analogy.

Established in 1976, Kiniki has grown from a backroom business for mail order men’s underwear to a company with more than 30 million sales under its belt (if the naturists were offered belts a riot could break out).

Friday, 23 October 2009

Suit up!

Going for a job interview can be a nervous experience, and as such anything you can do to make it less daunting is surely a good thing? A good, professional, suit is a great way to give you that boost of confidence; after all, clothes make the (wo)man.

So, it seems understandable to read that Job Centres are handing out almost £10m a year to job seekers for vouchers to enable them to buy suits at high street stores to help them get jobs.

Certainly we've written many times about the work that goes in to making top quality suits and, while high street suits may not be bespoke, or suitable (no pun) for working in the Bank of England, for those looking to get back in to work, a smart suit is a great way to put a spring in the step as those at the interview stage sit down behind a desk to those familiar words of "So, tell me why you think..."

Monday, 19 October 2009

There goes the sun

So summer's been and gone now - clocks change next weekend, sob. It was a good one though...well better than it seemed it was going to be at one point. With the summer gone it seems strange a group of scientists should choose now to publishing findings that dark clothing is better than Hawaiian shirts for sun protection.

Although dark clothing is usually shunned in hot weather for light, floaty, bright colours, Dr Ascension Riva, who led the study - published in the journal Industrial and Engineering Chemistry said, “The colour of cotton woven fabrics is a factor that has a remarkable influence on their protection against ultraviolet radiation." She added, "Clothing manufacturers could use information from this study to better design sun-protective clothing."

So, what are you waiting for, get to it - in time for next years heatwave!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

iPhone Glove

Technology and clothing go together like a horse and carriage (to mangle a well-known phrase) and the latest advancement in this area concerns everybody's favourite iPhone (other mobile devices are available) and gloves. Yes that's right - gloves for your iPhone.

Apparently, these help you use the touch screen more accurately or use the phone in cold climates, like Scotland. One manufacturer, US-based Dot Gloves, said its version was aimed specifically at countries where winters can be notoriously chilly.

The problem for device users is that normal gloves are too cumbersome or slide over the glossy screen, designed to be activated by bare fingers. The new gloves cost £10-£30 a pair, depending on the design. Some, like Dot Gloves, incorporate three electro-static rubber "dots" in the fingertips to connect users with their screens even in the harshest of climates. Microfibre palm grips make sure they do not slip from freezing hands.

A spokesman for Dot Gloves said: "If you own an iPhone and are in Scotland you'll know what it's like using the iPhone on those cold winter days. The screen doesn't work with gloves on and trying to use that iPhone touch screen with cold fingers is not an easy thing to do, but the gloves are a way around this."

Quite - wouldn't make a bad Christmas gift for some people actually...oh no, we mentioned Christmas - forgive us please...

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Fighting off Swine Flu while looking suave

As we head into the winter months the risk of Swine Flu returns once more. The colder conditions, people staying indoors more, all leads to the possibility of catching the dreaded disease. Fighting back could involve washing hands regularly, avoiding people who have had the illness and so on - but also you could wear this suit, which claims to keep the disease at bay.

On The Telegraph the story says, "The suit is coated with the chemical titanium dioxide, which reacts to light to break down and kill the virus when it comes into contact with it, according to Junko Hirohata. The chemical is a common ingredient in toothpaste and cosmetics."

The suit retails at £365 but with 4,100 deaths already confirmed due to swine flue around the world, it wouldn't be surprising if it found a fair few customers.

Monday, 5 October 2009

CARdigan

A car made from clothes. There's a novel idea. Well, in fact, it's been made. And in some style too, as you can see from this picture. The story on The Telegraph website gives some details of car's components: "The car is made from 1,999 items - including 1,682 t-shirts, 88 pairs of jeans, 64 pairs of shoes and 31 belts". Fan belts presumably?

A team of eight people worked for five hours at the Puma store in Carnaby Street, London, to turn the pile of clothes into a model of Kimi Raikkonen's motor. Black jeans are used for the tyres and red t-shirts give the car its classic Ferrari colour. Many fans have been visiting the store to see the car while a time-lapse video showing the team making the car has been watched more than 130,000 times on the internet.

Creative director Peter Hale, from GBH Design, said: "The Formula1 car was great fun to make and looks great.We worked like a pit crew when making it - each person piecing a different part of the car together."

Friday, 2 October 2009

Pants

What's a good way to get people to think about their health? Adverts? Leaflets? Pretty standard stuff like that at least right?

Not in China. Oh no. For them, to make men aware of the dangers of wearing pants that are too tight they hung a 12ft pair of pants from the front of a hospital in Changsha Bo Da Hospital in Changsha, southern China. Certainly an interesting marketing strategy. Although, it's clearly worked as even we are blogging about it, passing on their message. Perhaps not so pants after all!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Suits you sir

Savile row is a name synonymous with fashion and suits. It's world famous, renowned amongst those who see the suit as 'making the man' as the final word in sartorial elegance. But...there's always a but...all is not well on the row.

For, the old guard, who have been there for many years, are not happy with 'interlopers' who they accuse of selling suits under the 'Savile Row' brand, without offering the same level of service or quality. On the back of this they are going as far as setting up an Association which will bestow a 'kitemark' upon those who are regarded as genuine Savile Row tailors, to let discerning suit shoppers tell who will offer them, the genuine experience.

This is the trouble though isn't it - a world where costs are high, margins are tight, and pennies need to be watched will undoubtedly lead to people wanting high-quality products for the cheapest possible price, and if there are companies willing to offer this, there will always be customers to buy. Still, if the new association does its job, at least everyone can be clear who is offering what and after that it's down to the consumer as to where there heads, hearts and wallets lead them.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Uniforms on stamps

The Royal Navy is to have its history of uniforms documented on a new set of six stamps that will feature all manner of uniforms, beginning with the gold-crested frock coat of an Admiral from 1795, through to the high visibility uniform of a 2009 Flight Deck Officer, reports the Daily Telegraph.

They also feature an 1805 Royal Marine, an Able Seaman from 1880, a 1918 Women's Royal Navy Service Officer and a Second World War Captain.

Julietta Edgar, head of special stamps at Royal Mail, said: 'Some of our most significant commemorative issues have highlighted the bravery and sacrifice of the UK's servicemen and women, and they continue to play a key role in the stamps that we issue.'

Vice Admiral Sir Alan Massey added: ''These stamps reflect the great history of the senior service and uniquely represent changes in the Royal Navy, from the development of the fleet air arm to the introduction of women at sea. The importance of mail to the morale of our personnel deployed around the world cannot be overstated, and Royal Mail continues to provide us with a terrific service.'

Monday, 21 September 2009

A decision on swimsuits

We've covered swim suits before here, here, here, and even here and now a decision has finally been made by the sports' governing body in the States. Watch a video about it on the BBC site here.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Um Bro, should we stop fighting?

In a little piece of clothing history you may not be aware of Puma and Adidas, two of the biggest sports brands in the world, were formed in spite by two brothers in Germany after a feud between them meant they refused to work together. They set up factories on either side of a river and refused to make up ever since.

The reason for the feud has its origins in the World War II and the moment that triggered the split was an offhand remark that was interpreted badly by the other. It's all faintly comical actually.

Thankfully though sixty years on and the two companies have at last made peace and will be celebrating this event with a football match. Only trouble is though, what if one of the teams win and starts to claim it's because of its superior clothing and football boots, what then? Another rift could be on the cards.

Pictured: Adi Dasler (Adi Das = adidas) in his factory.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Tall tales

The BBC's top story today, ironically enough, is about the world's tallest man visiting London. A massive 2m 47 he is, or 8ft 1". Tall. Top shelf items, not a problem. Lightbulbs? Changed. Stars on Christmas trees? Placed.

Of course, for the chap himself, many things we all take for granted are suddenly made a lot harder. Clothing for instance. He has to have a lot of things specially made, such as his suit and even his bed is designed for him, and comes in at a massive three meters long. Talk about bespoke tailoring!

With his new found world record status though, perhaps the offers of specialist clothing will come flooding in, leaving him with a full wardrobe of clothing to choose from.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Return to the past

A fascinating article on the BBC Website today concerns a fashion designer in India who is calling on Indians to return to clothing made from traditional home spun khadi, rather than indulging in western style clothing.

His reasons, listed in the article, are that, aside from the beauty of the fabric, whose history in India goes back well over 5,000 years, he says he finds it odd that Indian designers tend to steer clear of local hand-woven fabrics and that khadi is refined, sophisticated, eco-friendly and comfortable, and has too long been regarded as the poor man's fabric.

The cyclical nature of fashion means many fashions from the past are being reappreciated so it will be interesting to see what further ideas, from abroad and here in the UK, become part of both the high-street and corporate industry.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Scotland the brave

You can't have failed to notice the recent furor over events in Scotland concerning the Lockerbie bombing and the subsequent fallout. Part of this including people calling on others to boycott Scotland and products associated with them.

Harris Tweed, the famous clothing brand, was reportedly going to tone down its Scottishness, in order to avoid any adverse business arising from this boycott. However, Betty Davies, the Edinburgh-based designer and fashion consultant, said that any strategy downplaying the origins of the fabric would be a “serious mistake” and maintained that the claims could instead be motivated by an attempt to harm the Scottish government, said an article by The Times.

It's an interesting point. Any company or brand that uses its country of origin as a selling point does risk the (admittedly rare) chance the brand could become devalued in the eyes of the population. The Boycott Scotland movement doesn't seem like it will go far, and it would be harsh to subject hard-working people to a boycott over a decision they had no involvement in, but it's been enough of an issue that the company has become involved in the news in this way.

Monday, 14 September 2009

200 not out

Hello! We're very excited here today, *hic*, for you see - oh, slice of cake, don't mind if I do - this is our 200th blog post! Hooray!

A year after we first started and we've covered all manner of topics, gone through a global recession, hosted a star-studded awards, and had a website relaunch. Busy busy!

And blog 201 will be along later today...

Friday, 11 September 2009

Stone Age Clothing

Since human's made clothes, they liked fashion. Who doesn't like looking good? From the ice age to the dole age (thanks Morrissey) we humans have been fickle folks when it comes to colours, shades and lines, and now we have the proof to prove it. Sort of.

Archaeologists have uncovered a haul of pink, turquoise and black fibres that were used to make thread more than 34,000 years ago in caves the hills of the Republic of Georgia. Pink and turquoise? Hmm, suspect cavemen fashion. Then again, I guess if they saw some of the things we wear, they'd be a little shocked.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Let me introduce to you...

The Beatles! Marvellous band. So says, well, everyone. In fact, in honour of the launch of these remastered albums and The Beatles: Rockband, we thought it would be fun to look at some of the fantastic outfits worn by the fab four.

There were the suits from the pop period - a look that has been copied many times over by earnest boybands.

The awesome military style suits from the Sgt Peppers period.

The dark and brooding look - arty.

The Abbey Road ensemble; complete with undertaker's suit.

What do you think? Any Beatles memories or clothing thoughts? Share the love...

Monday, 7 September 2009

If the shoe fits...

Buying shoes is a love it or hate it event. Mostly, cliches in use, women love it and men hate it. But of course, life is far more multi-layered than that. However, an interesting survey of some 2,000 people has shown that around four out of 10 women often buy shoes in the wrong size, and 17 percent of men do as well.

Quoted in the article Lorraine Jones, from the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, said: "Many of us find it hard to resist a bargain and the latest fashion must-have, but it's important to remember that by buying ill-fitting shoes, you're not only going to end up in discomfort, but you are also putting your health at risk."

Sample comments, justifying wearing ill-fitting shoes, include this piece of honesty: "Yes, I have worn shoes that hurt, just because they were beautiful. Gorgeous shoes make you feel better, complete an outfit and give you a special "buzz". It is only afterwards that your feet hurt - badly."
Wildmint, Liverpool

Shoes for a night out are one thing though, but at work good fitting shoes are surely a necessity to help people do their jobs correctly and stay comfortable throughout the day. Particularly important if you work in a shoe shop as well.

Friday, 4 September 2009

It's a tie (or is it)

A fascinating article on the BBC Magazine website today about the ways in which school pupils undermine the wearing of a tie by coming up with weird and wonderful ways to make them look rebellious and, er, cool.

But, as you'd expect, teachers are not happy. Quoted in the article a principal called Ruth Harker at Shenley Court Academy in the West Midlands says that they they have made the decision to switch to clip-on ties. She said, "It is basically to ensure consistency in the way the ties were tied. It is also to try and avoid this half tied look."

Kids eh! What do you think? Willful defiance or just kids being kids?

Thursday, 3 September 2009

A hot suit

Government ministers in Bangladesh have been told, nay, ordered to stop wearing suits to work in an effort to save energy. Due to the heat of the country many offices run air-conditioners all day long, causing mass energy use and often power outages too.

To combat this dress codes have been re-written so government workers may wear just shirts and trousers, and the shirts can be worn untucked. Businesses across the country will be asked to consider implementing similar dress codes to help save energy too.

An interesting development no? Someone Company Clothing knows was most perturbed to be told by his employee that wearing shorts in to work - even on the hottest day(s) of summer - was not acceptable, despite not being a customer facing worker. Perhaps he should move to Bangladesh?

What do you think? A wise move? Would you be happy for staff to wear shorts or untucked shirts if it helped save energy, or does it remove a layer of professionalism that the suit brings? Let us know below!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Suit Rock

News today has revealed the leader singer of popular youth band Maximo Park has his own tailor to make sure the designs of his suits are able to withstand his energetic leaping around on stage.

Paul Smith (the singer - not the designer), said, "He's really good at adapting to my needs because I jump around quite a lot - there's certain places on my outfit where there's some stretchier little knots and fabric."

Paul said he uses the outfits to stand out at heavier festival so crowds remember the band:"We've played at heavy metal festivals in Slovakia where nobody knew who we were, and I am wearing a white suit and a white hat trying to deliberately stand out."

He should just be thankful he's not Patrick Wolf whose cape (yes, cape) has gone missing, and he wants it back. These rock stars eh?

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Underground thoughts

A lovely little piece of art and journalism we stumbled across on the weekend was this series of interviews with London Underground staff, to 'put a face to the people behind the stations'. A clever concept and nicely carried out too, and one interesting thing to note was the fact that each member of staff interviewed was asked about their uniform.

The responses seem to focus on the negative aspects 'Don't like the trousers - unflattering', or 'least favourite uniform item is the shoes', which is interesting to hear, but perhaps it would be nice to hear about their favourite items too and what they like about wearing the uniform.

Either way though it's useful feedback for the supplier of the uniform and if the shoes really are the least favourite item then at least that means the garments are liked.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Mayor steals undies?

A mayor has been charged with stealing underwear in Lancashire. This bizarre tale came to light after several female residents contacted the police about the missing underwear. The man, Ian Stafford, has been charged on three counts of burglary and has, reportedly, resigned his position as Mayor. Which makes sense.

Why he didn't just go to shops to buy the underwear isn't mentioned, but it seems an extreme length to go to in order to avoid having to buy underwear in public.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Ashes

We won! We won! Oh isn't it good to have won the Ashes back!

Did you hear Lily Allen on the Test Match Special (TMS) lunch time show being interviewed by Johnathan Agnew? It was quite an interesting interview, underlying the sports wide appeal to people of all generations, and it was intriguing to hear the thoughts of Ms Allen on the game, and its appeal. One of these she noted was the simplicity of the kits, the colour of the "whites on the green", and her dismissal (ha!) of Twenty20 and its kits.

It's true indeed that the sight of cricket whites against lush green grass, standing in the field, and the sound of leather on willow, is an classic piece of English heritage. It's nice to see that even a live-fast rock-hard youngster like Lily Allen can appreciate this, and the simple white clothing of the game still retains its charm, even as day-glo kits are fast becoming the norm.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Dr Doolittle

We've often seen how ingenious humans can be when it comes to helping animals out with clothing. Here's another story we can fill away in under the same category - a penguin being given wet suit.

Clearly this isn't to help him swim. No, bizarrely, the poor chaps feathers all fell out and this put him at risk of sunburn. So the staff at Penguin World (where else?) put together a wetsuit for him from the legs of a man size wetsuit.

Now he can swim about to his hearts content, keeping safe from the sun, and nice and warm too. Warms the cockles of your heart doesn't it?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The right look?

A woman with a prosthetic arm has been awarded £8,000 after winning an employment tribunal against clothing giant Abercrombie and Fitch. She claimed she was "diminished" for not fitting the "look policy" at the Savile Row store in central London.

We've often looked at the importance of having the right look for customer facing staff in high-street stores, after all they're representing a brand and need to convey a certain look. However, as this case shows, sometimes it can go too far. It would be hard to imagine that any shopper would really be so turned away from a shop by a worker with a fake arm. The thing any clothing company should be worrying about, from the smallest one-off shop to worldwide multi-nationals, is the quality of the clothing. Wouldn't you agree?

Monday, 10 August 2009

All aboard the wedding train

A bride in China went slightly over board on her wedding dress last week, making the train of the garment a mere 1.4 miles long. Yes you read that right. 1.4 miles. The groom's mother said, a touch harshly, 'It is a waste of money in my opinion," She's got a point.

The guests had to helped unroll the dress too. It took 200 of them almost three hours to do so. Three hours?! Unrolling a wedding address? Still, not a day you'd forget in a hurry. How does this compare to other clothing excesses? Got any funny, interesting examples? Did you go a touch overboard on your big day in the dress department? Let us know below.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Barred?

A story on the front page of the Metro, and in the Daily Mail, reports that a group of soldiers were turned away from a pub because they were wearing their military uniforms.

This is not actually a new thing and in some instances you can understand why a bar or pub might ban a large group of drunk, uniformed soldiers. However, in this case it was just four people and they were having a drink after a funeral for a fellow soldier. Therefore, perhaps a little discretion was needed?

What do you think? A little too far or fair enough?

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Whiter than white

When you've got a tan the best thing you can possibly do, to annoy those who remain white as a sheet at least, is wear a white shirt. Showing off your healthy, glowing skin (you've sun creamed and after-sunned correctly, etc) is augmented with a nice crisp white shirt.

And, perhaps that's why one shirt seller has reported a massive 50% increase in the sales of white shirts in 2009. Others though, suggest it's a way to appear professional (or go unnoticed) during these tough economic conditions. But other shops have reported no sharp increase. So why has this happened? Any ideas fair readers?

Monday, 3 August 2009

Summer breeze

So another washed out weekend comes and goes in the damp squib that is the British Summer. From Cornwall To Carlisle the rain comes pouring, ruining BBQs, crickets matches and picnics.

And for the organisers of a world record attempt, it somewhat hampered their efforts too - well, the 'most amount of women in bikini's photographed' was going to require good weather wasn't it? Why this qualifies as a world record we don't know - seems pointlessly random. However, it was for charity, so that's good and overrules concerns on the nature of 'what is a world record'.

How about you; any great summer plans washed out by the rain and wind?

Friday, 31 July 2009

Under the cover of darkness

Some Friday fun as it's Friday.

A powercut in Lincolnshire has been blamed on underwear that was carried into pylon's on helium balloons. The underwear - a thong if you want to be specific - was attached to the balloon and then must have floated up into the transformer. The local polo club's summer party is thought to be the most likely place of origin for the offending article. Polo players are always the ones to blame aren't they?!

What a bizarre story. Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Drowning, not waving

We've covered swimsuit technology before, and the problems it's causing for the sport of swimming as it helps swimmers smash world records they might not otherwise have broken, and now, with the swimming world championships taking place, the debate has reared out of the water once again.

An in-depth piece on The Guardian underlines the extent of the problem, and the sports governing bodies indecision as to how best deal with it. It's hard to know which side to fall on. In many ways the evolution of technology is as much a part of sport as rule changes and nutritional improvements. If the suits are available to all then surely it's still a level playing field? But, then again, if the suits give an unnatural advantage against the very element that is supposed to make the sport what it is, then the essence of the sport, the competition and, at a basic level 'fair play' is scuppered.

It seems as if the suits will be scrapped for 2010, meaning the next Olympics will not be involved in this dispute. However, it seems unlikely, given the regularity with which this topic is covered, that 2010 will see all the problems simply washed away.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Hello hello hello

The importance of the correct clothing for those operating on behalf of the public is one Company Clothing has looked at before - from traffic wardens to police officers. However, while the correct PPE or right image if important, so too is it important to respect customs and beliefs of those you wish to talk to and engage with.

Consequently Avon and Somerset Police have provided their female officers with head scarves that will allow them to enter Mosques and talk to Muslims, without the risk of offence.

They have already been issued to eight PCSOs and seven police officers, including Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Roberts. Ms Roberts said, quoted in The Telegraph: "Producing head coverings for our officers and staff to wear in places of worship is part of our commitment to engage with all our communities. It recognises and respects the cultural and religious practices of our communities."

The Muslim response was such (again, from The Telegraph): Rashad Azami, Imam and director of the Bath Islamic Society, said: "It is highly pleasing to see that the Avon and Somerset Constabulary is introducing specially designed head coverings for female officers as part of their police uniform. This will go a long way in encouraging a trustful relationship between the police and the Muslim community."

The importance of the correct clothing once again being highlighted.

Monday, 27 July 2009

The return

Hello all. You may have noticed a lack of updates on the blog for the last two weeks or so. This was due, of course, to a summer holiday. Even bloggers have them. Hopefully you too have been off sunning yourselves in foreign climes.

The blog will resume regular daily updates, and we're still as keen and interested as ever to hear what you have to say about it all, so don't forget to use that comment button below!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Caught on camera?

Technology and clothing go together a lot as we cover on both this blog and in the magazine on a regular basis. This latest story from the BBC News website underlines this with the potential for clothes being able to take photos a possibility.

Of course such technologies are only in the development stage and before any tangible end uses were discovered we'll have all aged several years. But it's a fascinating concept to consider: Police officers would have images of criminals, you'd never miss a perfect photo opportunity. The only problems is - where would you store everything?

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

15 love?

Did you notice that when Roger Federer recieved the Wimbledon trophy on Sunday (for the sixth time...) he had a gold 15 on the side of his jacket? He must have been presented with it before the match by Nike in case he won. Which he did. Just.

As you can read in the link above, some people have seen this as a sign of arrogance, but if he was given the jacket and had it tucked away in his bag, to only be shown if he won, then it's hardly that bad, is it?

What do you think? Is a man who's won 14 grand slams allowed to preempt another possible victory, or would it be better to just be happy enough with another win, another title, another massive pay cheque, and leave it at that? Let us know below.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Building a future

While economic conditions continue to be uncertain, some good news came from the government recently with the announcment that a £1.5bn building scheme would go ahead.

The news will be welcomed in the construction industry and in turn by clothing companies who provide all manner of garments and PPE in to these industries, ensuring future turnover. With many fearing public spending will be cut back in future years to pay back the government's debt, areas such as construction risked seeing budgets cut, but if the £1.5bn scheme goes ahead as planned, it should provide some much needed support.

What do you think? Is this enough, or is more need to safeguard industries such as construction - and in turn the sectors that provide to them - in the midst of the current climate.

Friday, 3 July 2009

UnBAAleviable

Sheep are shrinking?! What the Dickens. IS there no END to this madness in the world right now?!

With sheep shrinking wool shortages will become common, knitting will become a dark art, practicsed underground by knitting junkies looking for their next hit of wool to weave;, needle abuse will have a whole new meaning; nice thick jumpers to keep out the cold will become mythical, like a golden fleece, and we'll all be freezing.

Or maybe we won't, who knows.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Under the skin

A New Zealand airline company has hit upon an ingenious way to make the flight safety video a little more entertaining: present it in the nude! But, while having the uniforms painted on to look as if they are wearing clothing. Confused? Take a look here



As you can see those in the video can barely contain their laughter and it's testament to some clever camera work that more intimate areas are not exposed. But you have to say, the ties and scarves are certainly well done; they do look quite real.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Hot Hot Heat

My word it's hot out there. Almost unbearably so. Have you got any tips for staying cool?

We were interested note a little article in the Metro today about calls for office workers to be allowed to wear shorts to work in such hot conditions - we were interviewing people about the pros and cons of this style of office wear just last issue; don't ever say we don't follow trends!

And not only that, but on the way to work this morning, we spotted someone wearing those weird looking feet glove flip flops (see post below), and have to say in reality they look a little better than they come across on just a blank image.

What do you think? Are shorters and the like an acceptable dress code in the office in such hot conditions? Or are wearers being too quick to find any excuse to subvert dress codes? Let us know using the comments form below.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Water a load of madness

A school in Devon has banned pupils from wearing swimming goggles because they get slippery when wet. You think?

They are acting on advice that informs, correctly it must be said, that goggles are often unnecessary but the plastic can slip and injury due to the water making them slippery. Which is true. However, surely the best part of swimming at school was being able to dive around in the water, peering at everyone underwater and so forth. That's why we wear goggles, to see the underneath of water. Something you can't very well do in British waters can you?

Ah well, never mind. The main thing is the children get to have a nice swim. Who knows, perhaps there's a future swimming champion in there.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Summer footwear

Hello all! It's summer! It's Glastonbury! It's...going to rain!

But we don't care. Footwear in summer is an odd conundrum. Flip flops? Trainers? Barefoot? Why not combine them all together and make a weird piece of footwear called the Vibram FiveFingers (no, not a funk guitarist) but a shoe that offers protection and comfort when you're clambering over rocks and the like.

People do, apparently, have a bit of a love/hate reaction to them, and we have to say in the Company Clothing office find them "deeply disturbing". Still, if you've got a pair let us know what they're really like below.

Enjoy the sun!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Wimbledon! Tennis! Ace!

Have you been enjoying the tennis? Dash awful fun we must say. This Murray chaps a bit good what what? The outfits worn by the players are certainly something too - Federer was in some lovely military style jacket and the ladies appear to be taking part in some 'who can wear the shortest dress' competition alongside the main tennis competition.

Right, sorry for updating so late today, still sleeping off yesterday's Pimms.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Cycled clothing

Cycling is going through a bit of a cultural revolution (ha!) as people seek to escape the daily commute and expand their lungs by cycling hither and thither. Unfortunately cycling does mean you can have to don some rather ridiculous clothing - yellow jerseys, lycra and the like.

However, a new clothing range from TfL (Transport for London?!) is proving to be a bit of a hit with some people. The range is called, and you'll like this, Bspoke and the range features names that reference various parts of London - Kensington, Richmond, Holborn for example.

It's great to see clothing being used as part of a promotional push(bike) and if it gets people out on their bikes, then we're all for that.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Spacemen

Did you see James May in Space last night? If not we would urge you to head to the iPlayer when you get a spare hour and enjoy one of the most moving, interesting and brilliant bits of TV from the year so far.Link

One bit that did catch our attention in particular was all the information about the space suits they have to wear to survive in space. It's all well and good building rockets and having men willing to fly them, but to survive you need clothing that can withstand pressures and forces like nothing anywhere on earth. That NASA did this is a marvel in itself.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Star Trekking

As you will remember for the Awards back in March (can it be that long ago?) we asked companies to design Star Trek uniforms for the Design Innovation Challenge. They were all awesome, and were placed on display as guest entered the champagne reception - if you weren't there you missed out!

Therefore we were pleased to see the trend continued, with the recent story about corsets designed in Star Trek colours and piping. Have a look at a couple of pictures here on the Telegraph website.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Sockaholic

With Father’s Day - the ultimate sock-gifting day just around the corner - results from a survey by Peter Jones confessed that they like receiving socks as a gift – shattering the sock’s reputation as a traditionally boring and un-inspirational gift.

The results from the survey, carried out by Peter Jones, the Sloane Square branch of John Lewis, were revealing:
  • 69% of British dads enjoy receiving socks as a gift
  • 67% of men never buy socks for themselves
  • 76% said that the quality, colour and expense of socks given as a present far exceed their own standard when buying socks for themselves
  • 80% of dads also admitted that it was a treat since socks are not something they buy for themselves
  • The average British dad owns 22 pairs of socks and receives an average of 9 pairs as gifts annually
  • When asked what they look for in a good pair of socks, 50% chose quality, mainly thickness, 36% said colour and 20% thought price was most important –
  • The average spend is £5
  • Only 34% of men colour co-ordinate their socks to their outfit with ‘black for work, white with trainers and anything at the weekend’ being the overriding rule of thumb

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Charitable television

A programme that caught Company Clothing's eye last night was Mary Queen of Charity Shops; in which Mary Portas a 'fashion guru' turned a run of the mill charity shop into a thriving, £2,000 a week business for Save the Children.

She made a big effort to try and get people to donate clothing that was fashionable and looked good, citing the fact most women have a piece of clothing they have never worn; something that would surely be good for a charity shop. She visited magazine publishers Emap, where assembled fashionistas were told to 'Donate, Don't Dump' (D-Day - should have been 3D Day really).

At the end the Save the Children head honchos revealed that with the revamp and the far more enticing product lines, the shop was bringing in the required £2,000 a week and that they would be rolling out the changes in design and product stock to many more stores. So, next time you're passing a charity shop, have a think about the bargains you could snap up!

And of course, if you're company has bundles of good quality clothing that could be given away, think charity shop first, before recycling.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Eco friendly?

A story in today's Daily Mail sheds light on a move by Kirklees Council to insist relatives dress deceased relatives who are to be cremated in 'environmentally friendly' clothing so that chemicals harmful to the environment are not released into the atmosphere during the process.
Unsurprisingly this has led to some complaints: the below is an extract from the article:

One man, who did not want to be named, was shocked to find his relative could not wear the 100 per cent cotton outfit she had chosen before she died.

He said: ‘We knew it had to be natural fibres so she chose a top and slip that was 100 per cent cotton. ‘But when the funeral director came we were told she would have to wear a special shroud. He pulled out a swatch of different colours to choose from.

‘We didn’t know what it looked like and when we went to see her in the chapel of rest, we couldn’t believe it. It was all fluffy and frilly. The deceased would not have wanted to have been seen dead in it - unfortunately she was.’

A drastic move it seems; is it one that can be justified? Does every aspect of life (and death) need to be subject to rigorous environmental controls? Or is this a step too far? What do you think?

Friday, 12 June 2009

Saved by the footwear

Just a quick Friday story; how four-inch high heels helped a woman forgo community service work on a building site.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Outfoxed

City foxes are becoming more and more populous and so their interactions with humans are bound to increase. In Germany, one such city fox has become a notorious shoe thief, 86 pairs of shoes beings found in the fox's den, and more nearby.

Why would a fox want shoes? Are its own feet not suited enough for city living so it decided some human footwear was necessary? If so, that's a fairly clever piece of work by Fantastic Mr Fox. In fact, perhaps there are tunnels all over the place that old Foxy Loxy's set up to reach the bakers, the butchers and so on to save on the effort of catching his food.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Back to school

Okay, so Company Clothing doesn't cover children's clothing, as they don't work, but news that ASDA is to sell an entire 'back to school' wardrobe for £4.75 is certainly blog worthy.

Yet again, low prices are sure to be met with questions of 'how can they afford to make it so cheap?' But, for cash strapped parents in the middle of a recession, it's likely the sound of the packets hitting the bottom of supermarket trolleys will be taking place up and down the country.

Monday, 8 June 2009

The roaring 40s

Twenty 20 cricket is upon us - with England doing their best / worst to make the start of the tournament more dramatic than it needed to be - but what we particularly like is the kits the teams wear. Ostensibly mere variations on their traditional colours - dark blues, greens, yellows etc - they're adorned with numbers like footballers (many seem to have random ones like 99 or 45 - eh?) and their names emblazoned across the back.

Of course, with such loud, bright colours the potential for kit clashes is high. If Pakistan play India you get sky blue v dark green. Urgh.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Football shirts = money

This time last week fans of Manchester United were rueing a, let's be honest, pretty terrible display from their team in the Champions League final. While their detractors were of course smiling from ear to ear.

Still, no point wasting time dwelling on such defeats, thought the board, and promptly secured a deal worth £80 million over four years for the next shirt sponorship, with financial firm Aon. Isn't that amazing? A brand can make £80 million from selling space on their shirts. Only sport could provide such power to a brand to be able to secure such huge revenue - indeed this is the largest ever football sponsorship deal, vastly eclipsing Bayern Munich's £56.5 million pound deal from a few years ago.

But, whatever the value of the space, it can't help you play any better. As Barcelona proved - they let Unicef use their shirts for free.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Golden Oldies

Another quick link here - these stories really don't need rewriting, just linking you see - to a story on the BBC website about technology used in clothing that could help old folks, the elderly etc, by sending information back to their doctor should it detect anything that could become a problem, or even monitoring the temperature in a room and adjusting the thermostat remotely. You gotta love technology that can do that.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Water talk

More here on the BBC website about the pros, cons and debates over high-tech swim suits - and a nice bit of history on the gradually rise of swim suit technology. Nothing's ever simple is it?

Monday, 1 June 2009

Hat's off

Just a little link - article on hats on today's BBC Magazine section.

Urgh Factor

As you may have seen on Have I Got News For You this weekend, policewomen have been complaining that their trousers make them look like, gulp, Simon Cowell. Ouch.

The story from The Times says, "The British Association of Women in Policing is lobbying the Government and the Association of Chief Police Officers for better-fitting uniforms. Liz Owsley, of the BAWP, said: “Women police officers have constantly brought up the fact they do not have a proper uniform. If you are going out there, protecting the public and being in confrontational circumstances, you need to feel professional and confident. If you are going out there looking like a sack of spuds, you are not feeling confident and you are not going to do your job properly."

Which is all very true. In fact we covered a similar story a while back in which we looked at how Nottinghamshire Police were in constant communication with their female officers to ensure they were happy with the quality of the garments they were issued with.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Summer fashions / new issue

The new issue should be with you shortly - if you're a subscriber, and if not a click on the cover image to the right will set you on your way to a few cheeky freebies in the form of PDFs of some of the articles in the issue.

In one article we talk to people about dealing with changes to dress code staff often take upon themselves to stay cool in the summer heat; and this weekend looks to be a "Phew what a scorcher!"

Does anybody have any good tips to beat the heat? Let us know, we're melttiiiinnnnnggggg.....

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Hoodwinked

Not one to go seeking controversy, but we were also slightly disappointed to see a PR company use the misfortune of Danielle Lloyd as a cheap way to get some promotion for their hoody range that she was seen wearing on leaving the hospital.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Shop floor

We've been very busy lately, especially with a lovely bank holiday cropping up, so the blog got a little neglected. Sorry blog.

As a peace offering we bring you this link to the experiences one Guardian writer had working on the shop floor of a M&S store. Her line about the uniform being 'black nylon two piece' has that air of the dismissive fashionista assuming all uniforms are of such bland, lifeless design - when we know of course nothing could be further from the truth. Is the M&S uniform nylon? If you know let us know below.

Back tomorow, we promise.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Word of mouth

The trouble with letting people write their own opinions on things online is that they can abuse the system for the purposes of comedy. This can lead to some odd occurences, perhaps none odder than the story that a T-shirt on Amazon has risen 2,300% through the Amazon rankings in the last few days.

This happened after users started to read endless positive, 5-star, tongue in cheek reviews of the T-shirt, in a collective joke that has had unforseen consequences. This is not the first time this has happened on Amazon - a photo of Paul Ross has equally positive reviews, although we don't think the reviews have increased sales. People still have some sense.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Pants Man!

Ah Tuesday...lovely lovely Tuesd...what? It's Wednesday? That must mean we missed yesterday entirely and forgot to blog...oh dear, so we did, no blog. Doh.

Anyways...pants, they've been everywhere lately. Even the most ardent anti-Apprentice person surely heard about the infamous Pantsman - the world's worst idea - and now we hear that a footballer has been told by police not to run through a seaside resort in his underwear - after hearing he was planning to do so after losing a bet.

The footballer's defence is quite a good one actually. It's a seaside resort, people see that much all the time on the seafront...but the police are concerned it could lead to more trouble. We're surprised the footballer in question is so keen to go through with his bet. Surely any excuse to not have to humiliate yourself is a good thing?

Monday, 18 May 2009

Why Wood you?

The message is clear: don't print images of Woody Allen without permission. We've all learnt this for free, but American Apparel have had to pay $5 million for the priviledge.

Printing iconic images of people on t-shirts has long been a popular way to make retro or even ironic clothing - there's a great bit in popular comedy show Peep Show in which protagonist Mark decries the 'veneration' of Chairman Mao on a T-shirt - but as today's outcome shows, it doesn't always pay off.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Euro Vision

So Eurovision is upon us. Company Clothing has little interest in the music on offer, but the costumes, well they are something else. Often garish, rarely stylish, and almost always outlandish, it's fun to see how a nation chooses to represent itself through music and fashion.

It's unlikely anyone will ever top Lordi from Finland though - look at them in this picture with their flowers. Ridiculous! However, if you know / remember a more OTT outfit please let us know in the comments form below. Nice how that rhymes. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Gone to the head

We've covered bullet proof jackets and so forth before in the magazine - and as a result spent the day at a firing range, which was very interesting - so we were intrigued to see this story about Sikh police wanting a bullet-proof turban so they could take part in firearm deployments.

It's great that this section of the police force is keen to be involved in all areas, and we hope that the geniuses at the Home Office Scientific Development Branch and manufacturers worldwide, will be able to come up with something that solves this problem.

It just goes to show that the world of clothing is forever changing, forever being demanded more of, and forever getting talented designers and manufacturers to think of new and innovative ways around unique challenges.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

What's acceptable?

With the onset of summer the wardrobes of office staff across the land will soon be changing. Out go the overcoats and scarves, and in come the...well, what? Aside from losing items of clothing to cool down, what can office staff to do to stay cool?

It depends on each organisation, but most professional, office based workers still wear a suit, shirt and tie, or just a smart shirt with trousers and shoes. There seems little scope for change. But what about flip-flops? Should they be allowed on hot days? Or caps, or sun hats. Shorts even? How laid back does an office have to be to make shorts permissible? Or is it much safer to stick to those black trousers and smart shirt?

Perhaps now it doesn't even matter. Casual dress is such a part of so many places that many places probably won't even notice the gradually exposure of flesh over the coming months. What do you think? We'd love to hear your thoughts, opinions, stories and so on this topic as it's something we're putting together for our next print issue.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Star Trek: reviewed

Space, the final frontier. Etc.

With the Design Innovation Award at our awards being based on the release of the new Star Trek film we thought today we would bring you our opinions on the new film, just released, and take a look at the uniforms on show.

First off it's fair to say the film is fantastic. Warp speed pacing, fantastic set pieces, good characterisation and a clever, intricate plot that teeters on the edge of ludicrious but just keeps its balance. The costumes too are fantastic. The aliens, of course, are eye-catching, but even the red, blue and yellow shirts of the crew look dynamic and funky, rather than simple and plain. No doubt given it's 2,300 they have some fantastic wicking properties too. Although if you ask us, the blue should be the top colour, not the yellow / mustard number.

All in all then we feel particularly pleased that the film / cultural reference point we choose for our awards has delivered with as much verve and aplomb as the enteries we received. Certainly well worth a trip to the cinema.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Busted

Bras have been in the news quite a lot lately, what with the furore over M&S charging more for larger sizes, due to the increase material they require. They've backed down now.

Not only that, but female police officers are being told their bras could be potentially life threatening as the wire inside could cause injury if they were shot at. Ouch.

Julia Roper-Smith, the Sergeants' National Police Women's representative of the Police Federation, gave the warning in the organisation's magazine, called Police, saying 'there is no such thing as a bullet proof bra. Body armour has to be close fitting and you should wear a bra that does not contain metal objects.'

Quite. Although stories like this, in which the bra saves the life, add a certain confusion to the situation, wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Horsing around

We could probably do a 'cute animal' story every day, perhaps we should limit ourselves to one a week; but we've had no calls to stop, so probably won't.

Anyways, today's is an especially good one as it involves numerous creatures wearing traditional German dress (shrug), mostly notably a horse, but also dogs too.

Where these people suddenly get their brainwaves from is beyond us. It's enough of a challenge to look stylish and sophisticated everyday, let alone worrying about animals - and they have their own clothes anyway. Bizarre.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Jackets and knives

Yet again, the idea of offenders wearing jackets as part of their punishment has risen it's fluorescent head. This time, an offender who was made to wear a jacket has been told he doesn't have to as the ruling to wear them came in after he was convicted.

A thorny issue, and one that draws emotive responses on both sides. Ironically the young lad in question said he didn't want to wear it as it's "embarrassing and humilitating" and "you don't want the whole world to know". By protesting against the decision he has ended up with his faces plastered across papers and websites across the land. So you'd think a lot more people will now know then before. Ho hum.

What do you think anyway? Is it right to make people wear such jackets if they have committed a crime? Or is it unnecessary and degrading?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Alpaca Mac

A cute animal story to ease us all back into the working week after the joys of bank holiday Monday. A baby alpaca has been given a little high-vis coat help keep it warm in the inclement spring weather. Bless.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Running in heels (with eggs)

One thing that women often claim about high-heels is that they are 'impossible' to walk in. Well, men in China have been proving that's not quite the case, by taking part in a series of sprinting events wearing high heels - see.

A fantastic idea - take unusual or awkward clothing and see how fast you can run in it. The sack race only takes place at school and you never see it after that - but why? It's a fantastic race, testing a multitude of skills, mainly jumping, but also balance and, er, speed.

The egg and spoon race - another great race. Why do we do it? When else in life do you need that skills? Do children have an inherent love of running with delicate food? Odd world.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Police arrest their own garment manufacturers

The New York Times (we read widely) carried an interesting story about a police raid on a clothing factory that you can read in detail about here.

Interesting to note too that the factory they raided was one that made the very same garment the police were wearing; it must have been an odd moment. And having discovered the company that made the uniforms was also wanted by those wearing them the NYPD cancelled their contract with them.

The Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said that quality was the main factor in authorizing a supplier. “That is our primary consideration,” he said. “We are going to leave the other issues to the Department of Labor, which obviously they are addressing today.”

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Aporkalypse

The swine flu thing is very odd. A bit scary too. As you've no doubt seen on the news, many people have taken to wearing masks to try and stop any particles of pig enter their beings, and, being the creative bunch of people humans are, many are decorating their masks with hilarious pictures - as you can see here.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Reality bites

David Hepworth, founder of Word Magazine and Q and other magazine based things (and so a favourite of Company Clothing), has written a blog post about his experiences with the myriad styles of dress and appearence in the NHS here after a recent trip to A&E following an accident.

It's very interesting to read what he has to say about the lack of a cohesive look in the hospital;

"I can't help but think that it looked slovenly. And when things look slovenly, they can often be slovenly. When you're thrown into this kind of environment, usually in some distress, surely it has to help if you can immediately work out who the people are, what role they fulfil and, also, who's in charge."

Which is a fairly damning indictment and one which carries some weight. After all, his magazine credentials aside, he's a member of the public and as such voices, eloquantly, the concerns many may have had too. While it's just one opinion, it would do well if the NHS where aware of such criticisms and made the appropriate changes. Are they on Twitter?

Friday, 24 April 2009

Friday Fun

The end of another week and to wind down towards the weekend here are two stories to keep you intrigued for a few minutes.

First off, a lucky stop this one, a woman was shot at, but saved, when the bullet hit the wiring in her bra. She still ended up in hospital, which isn't funny at all of course, but the injuries, were 'not life threatening', so hopefully she'll be okay.

Second - health and safety officers in Liverpool have told a clown he has to stop wearing his giant, novely, funny shoes because they are a health and safety risk - to be fair this was after he had fallen from a high wire while wearing them and broke his metatarsel.

Well, enjoy. Have a groovy weekend and if you're in or around the capital of London make your way down on Sunday for the marathon!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Suit up

We've blogged a few times before about really cheap suits - for £50 and £20 - but this is one that no one could accuse of being cheap - a suit that costs, wait for it, £70,000.

The suit is a one-off creation made from the finest fabrics in the world and has taken in excess of 80 hours to complete with over 5,000 individual stitches equating to £14 per stitch. What a world. In the middle of worldwide global financial crises stories like this rightly make you question - what crises? Clearly for some people nothing is beyond their wants.

Designer Alexander Amosu said the economic crisis had not completely stopped the demand for designer fashion: "Buying an Alexander Amosu suit is the ultimate in luxury. We create the finest bespoke suits using fabrics which emphasise character, style and individuality. I firmly believe that in the wake of the recession, there is still a demand for uncompromising quality. We might not be catering to everyone, but the people who buy Alexander Amosu want to wear the very best suits in the world."

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Marathon effort

Those of you who have recieved the latest issue, and no doubt read it cover-to-cover, will have noticed that editorial assistant Dan Worth is running the London Marathon this Sunday. We've certainly enjoyed watching him suffer, train sorry, through the winter and seeing him hobble in to work each Monday after another weekend of training.

So if you can spare a few quid, please visit his JustGiving page, and sponsor him - he only needs another £231and it would be great if Company Clothing readers were able to help him reach this target!

Thanks!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Back of the net

We hope you don't mind us writing about sport too often - but it is a good source of interesting clothing related stories. Today's is that FIFA - the world governing body of football (lar de dah), is to launch a range of clothing that will use its trademarked logo.

Apparently this will definitely be cool - people love football right? - and will be on display at trade shows in the coming months. So keep a look out! Gooooooaaaaaaallllll.

Friday, 17 April 2009

What's up Doc Leaf

It's Friday, it's the weekend, it's Top of the Pops!! No wait, no it isn't. Sorry, nostalgia trip. But is Friday which means it's nearly the weekend so work is winding down (maybe?) and we're looking forward to a lie in tomorrow - why do you always need a holiday after a holiday?

This padding is partly to disguise the fact that, despite scouring the internet high and low, we haven't been able to find any amusing, interesting or...no, wait, what's this...at literally the eleventh hour (not literally the eleventh hour), we've been passed this story from Yarn Forward magazine:

De Montfort University in Leicester has developed a yarn made of stinging nettle fibres as part research project called STING (very good) Sustained Technology in Nettle Growing - fantastic coincidence. Nettles are stronger than cotton and far more sustainable and ecologically friendly and recently a dress made of nettles was worn by BBC presenter Kylie Pentelow who said it didn't sting at all and was in fact, 'lovely and warm to wear'. Using nettles in the textile world could well provide people with a more environmentally way of creating garments - how long until it enters the corporate clothing world though is another matter.

So, a last minute piece of news got the blog out of a potentially prickly situation.

What?

Thursday, 16 April 2009

It's getting easier to be green

A suit for £50? Made from recycled plastic bottles? Yes, it's true and it's available from highsteet clothing store Debenhams.

In fact we've seen this sort of thing before with ASDA's £20 'credit-crunch busting suit' for woman that drew a couple of interesting points. It's great to see though that something that is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles can be remade into something that is both highly useful, but also that can retail at such a reasonable price.

If the cost of recycling the bottles and reproducing them can be covered by selling something at £50 then it suggests the costs of recycling are coming down drastically and that business will become more and more willing to follow this route if it helps save money. We've covered the business benefits of going green, so the more this sort of thing is promoted and done on the highstreet, the more it will continue in the long run; we hope.

In these economically uncertain times producing clothing that saves money for both consumers and companies and help them save the planet is surely a good thing?

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Uping the Ante

When we started this blog there was never a time we considered we might get to write about the following - an anteater whose owner makes clothes for her beloved pet.

Words can't really do justice to this story. So just enjoy the picture.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Underpacked

A classic cliched joke in sitcoms is when a character has to sit on their suitcase to force in the huge numbers of clothing they are taking with them on holiday only for a second character to deliver the killer punchline of: 'but we're only going for a night' ( Ha hah ah hah hah hah hah, laughs the manical canned laughter).

In real life it must have been an easy spot for customs officials at Newcastle airport when they searched a Brazilian woman's suitcase only to discover it was full of nothing but lingerie and nightdresses. The suitcase would have been nice and light, not bursting at the seams or creaking - therefore indicating something was amiss.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Tie in

Credit crunch got you down? Struggling to make ends meet? Got a wedding coming up? (Bear with us)...you could sell advertising space on your tie! Seriously.

One enterprising Romanian man has decided that a good way to make some extra moola (not the currency of Romania) is to sell the space on his tie to the highest bidder - he's even set up a website and everything (how much did that cost?) that gives the breakdown of the tie advertising space rates.

€35 Euros though? Is that it?! He needs higher standards.

Grovelling apology

Sorry! In all the coming and going and general jiggery-pokery of producing a magazine yesterday's blog seemed to get overlooked. It's not to say we forgot about out (anyone who follows our Twitter will have seen our pleas for ideas) but when none were forthcoming we didn't really get much searching done ourselves.

Anyways, we promise a much better return today - we've already got a few things lined up and hope you'll enjoy them, or even just read them.

Monday, 6 April 2009

It's cool to be green

Company Clothing have always been ones to try and stay ahead of the curve, or at least on the curve, and as such for around two years now have had a dedicated "Green Room" section in each issue in which we look at green issues. In the past have included topics as diverse as a Colombian charity run by nuns manufacturing outdoor clothing, reviews of Fairtrade Fortnight and Arco joining the Ethical Trading Initiative. During this time we've seen how important ethical and environmental issues and standards have become.

Therefore we were not surprised, but were certainly pleased, to see that Mintel (a data analysis group that leaves you with fresh breath) have announced that the ethical clothing market is now worth £175 million

As the interest in our Environmental Initiative Award category showed, there is a wealth of companies in the corporate clothing world striving to do good through business and that customers and end-users are equally as keen to purchase clothing that has ethical and environmental credentials.

Our next issue will, of course, feature a look at more good work going on in this sector, including an interview with someone we met through Twitter, @freedomclothingproject.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Giddy up!

So the Grand National is upon us, with forty runners and riders ready for the off tomorrow afternoon, and across the land people will cheer on their nags, screaming at the television in the hope of winning any bets down, or the office sweepstake.

Of course clothing has little to play in this - unlike, say, swimming - but it's nice if the random gee-gee you've chosen has a rider in go-faster strips or something that looks good, it seems as if you have more of a chance.

Company Clothing wanted to pick Fleet Street (66-1) for obvious reasons, but instead has been saddled with Kilbeggan Blade (20-1), so perhaps an outside chance of victory.

Come on horse! Run!

Lifeguard hoodies to be pulled

Long-term readers of this blog may remember we wrote about the problem with hoodies in Cornwall that mimicked the design and look of offical Lifeguard clothing. This led to many people demanding the shops in question stop selling these garments, claiming they endangered beaches users who may believe more people were on patrol on a beach than there was in reality.

As a result the first shop that sold these hoodies has confirmed it will stop selling them in order to ensure 'they are working with the RNLI, not against them.'

Fashionable first lady

Apologies for the missing blogs over the last two day - we were in Birmingham - so access to internet was minimal to non-existant. Never fear though we're back and it's Friday and it's now British Summer Time.

Our first blog for today (we'll do two because we know how upset you would have been at missing out for two days) concerns that inspiring woman, Michelle Obama. Not content with delievering moving, passionate speeches to school children, she is also enthralling the fashion commentators (who are a tough bunch to please) with her stylish clothing choices for high-end functions, without ever losing the personnal touch that makes her so respected.

Tune in latter for our tips for the Grand National...

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

It's just not cricket (well, technically it is)

Looking at sport for the second day in a row and The England Cricket Board (ECB) has caused much constenation and stroking of beards among the cricketing glitterati with the announcemnet that the forth coming, and inaugural, floodlight test match at Lords could see players wearing kit that, shock horror, isn't white.

In The Telegraph's report Peter Baxter, the ex-producer of Test Match Special, warned that many of the game's most passionate supporters would be upset. He said: "I don't like the idea of the Test matches not being played in white. If you don't play in white than it's the thin end of the wedge. For many people, the attraction of cricket is the aesthetic and the sense of tradition."

In some ways you can understand the problem. For hundreds of years cricket was a sensible game played in white kits that last for five days and involved a nice lunch in the middle. Now, it's loud garish kits, 20/20 games, mad crowds, and 'referrals' allowed on decisions given by that most respected of characters - the cricket umpire. The white test kit must have been the last bastion of a world that has been rapidly changing.

But time marches on and evolution happens. No doubt the ECB will have their way, pink kits or lime green, or maybe a mixture of both (yuk!) will become the norm and that will be that. I don't know, it's just not cricket is it?

Monday, 30 March 2009

Light my fire

Since time began man has had a difficult relationship with fire. It gives us warmth, it also burns things down. Being the innovative human race that we are though, we decided a dedicated bunch of people who fought fires would be a good idea...a brigade of fire fighters if you will.

These people needed clothing - clothing that identified them and protected them from the various dangerous they would face working such a dangerous job. Which brings us to the point of this blog post - The Guardian has put together a briliant slideshow of uniforms through the ages, ending at the present day with the latest rollout. You can see them all here.

It was all white on the night

The England football team - never ones to do things by the book are they? Saturday saw them take on the mighty Slovakia in a world-ending friendly in which they won 4-0. Well done them.

The whole thing though was overshadowed by the unveiling of the team's new shirt and their 'anthem jackets' - so called because they took them off during the anthem in order to give the new shirt unveiling 'maximum impact' (a phrase which is surely copyright for the next Arnold Swarchenegger movie.)

Some people weren't happy with this, claiming it was too much of a PR stunt. Well it is 2009, what isn't a PR stunt these days? Still it's an interesting take on clothing and fashion launches, and when all's said and done the new kit does look really good; a hint of 1960s retro and nice clean, elegant lines.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

In the news, although is it news?

The day begins: shower, tea and toast / cereal, switch the TV on and watch the news. It's a standard routine. Now, taking off in the angle that is relevant for us, the dress code for presenting the news should, and was in the past, simple: suits. That was it. You look smart and you look sombre.

These days though, it's all changed and presenters are meant to be best mates, like us, and banter between themselves. This means that dress codes have changed so outfits can be more relaxed, more welcoming even.

But, it seems, there are still some boundaries left as GMTV's Kate Garraway was forced to change her outfit today as the first choice was deemed 'too bright' for bleary eyed workers at 6.06am. So before 7am rolled around she was changed again, into something a little quieter.

Kate Garment-away they could call her. Sorry, that's terrible pun. But come on, it's still early.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Getting some Zees

Sometimes work can get boring can't it? (Can it? Ed) When it does one often finds the eyes drooping, the yawns coming thick and fast and then, before you know, your slumped over the keyboard, a string of kkkkkkkkkkkkkks and lllllllllllllls running across the screen, depending on how you fall.

But, as ever, someone in the clothing world has come up with a solution - a pillow shirt. The ingenious invention is designed so that, when the sandman comes a-visiting, you simply place your head gently down into the soft, comfy pillow embedded within, and drift off into a deep, peaceful sleep.

And of course, many studies have shown a nap at work is good for you. You know, all this talking about sleep has...kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk llllllllll