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  • The Unconventional Groom: Wedding Bow Ties

    Gone are the days of conventional weddings and although tradition is certainly not dead, we are seeing modern weddings breaking the ‘rules’ and introducing a host of more personal touches. Wedding venues are no longer limited to churches and marquees, people are venturing out and finding unique modern alternatives to put a spin on age-old tradition. So, with weddings constantly evolving and the possibilities being somewhat endless, why not experiment with your wedding ensemble and really make a mark on your big day? Neckwear, more specifically bow ties, can play a pivotal role in shaping your overall look. We have listed 4 things that you should consider when swapping out your generic bow tie to ensure you have one of the best wedding bow ties on the market.

    1.       Experiment with Texture

    Fabric choice and texture are what really tie an outfit together. It is often too easy to reach for your trusted silk bow tie, especially on your wedding day. Granted, this can often be the best choice, however, it is all about weighing up the rest of your outfit and working towards ensuring the components all compliment on another. A fantastic example of introducing texture to an outfit would be with a wool or cable knit bow tie. When opting for a wool blend or tweed suit a cable knit number can often be the perfect complementary piece, creating a more rustic and rural overall look and feel. Pairing a waffle knit bow tie with a linen suit for a more dressed down approach is great for summer or outdoor weddings.

    Smart Turnout knitted and wool bow ties in navy red and green

    Shop Knitted and Textured Bow Ties 

    2.       Express Yourself

    Weddings are one of the very few days in your life that you can be wholeheartedly unashamed that it’s ALL ABOUT YOU! So, with that in mind, there is no shame in expressing yourself through your choice of wedding bow tie. Choosing one that represents something about your character is a great way to express yourself. Here at Smart Turnout we have a whole range of options, beautifully decorated with symbols and emblems that echo some of Britain’s favourite pastimes. If you are an avid golfer or a fan of sailing, why not show this with your neckwear? Opt for one of our characterful crested dickey bows for a touch of personality.

    Far Left: Golf Cotton Bow Tie £39         Far Right: Racket Cotton Bow Tie £39

    3.       Wear Your Stripes with Pride with a Regimental Bow Tie

    Smart Turnout is synonymous with some of the most prestigious and timeless colours of regiments, schools and universities across Britain and the world. What better way to wear your colours than on your wedding day? Regimental ties have been worn for years as a mark of pride and identity. Our regimental bow ties offer a unique alternative for your big day meaning you won’t have to compromise on style or self-identity.

    Smart Turnout Household Cavalry Crested Bow Tie

    Household Division Diamond Bow Tie £39

    4.       Tie Everything Together With a Splash of Colour

    The best wedding bow ties are those that create a focal point and bring a real finishing touch to your outfit. Colour has the ability to amplify a monochromatic look or enhance already colour rich attire. Our Wellington Bow Tie would be the perfect addition to a black suit, with a black silk base it is finished with thin, multi-coloured stripes. The Wellington has enough colour to lift an otherwise flat base whilst maintain enough subtlety so as to not overpower the aesthetic.

    Wellington Silk Bow Tie £39

    Ensure to choose a colour scheme for your accessories, making an effort to carry any stand out colours through the entire ensemble. Everything from your pocket square to your socks, and of course, your neckwear should sport similar colours to give a cohesive and thought out feel.

    Smart Turnout Yale Blue and White Wedding Bow Ties on Suit and Tie Fixation

    Yale Silk Bow Tie £39

    We hope you have enjoyed reading our picks for the Best Wedding Bow Ties. Please comment below your style tips for the big day. 

    Shop All Bow Ties

  • Cricket Sweaters: Timeless Tradition and The T20 Series

    Smart Turnout Cricket Sweater worn by Preppy Model with Household Division Bow Tie

    With Cricket Season well underway and the unavoidable smell of Pimms floating through the air, it’s the time of year that the humble Cricket Sweater really takes centre stage or for those who prefer the term Tennis Jumper...centre court. Whether you are shopping for fashion or for function, this nifty piece of kit will have every well-dressed man swooning in admiration. So, if you weren’t already convinced by the Cricket Sweaters wearability and charm, here are 5 great reasons you need to get yourself one!

    They are the garment of choice for almost every sport:

    Tennis, Cricket, or even a spot of Golf? You guessed it, the trusted cable knit sweater is the uniform of choice. In fact, Cricket Sweaters are one of the only sporting uniforms that are just as welcomed on, and off the playing field. Ask any prep and they will tell you; I mean unless you can classify consuming copious amounts of Gin and Tonic whilst sitting on your freshly mown lawn a sport…we sure hope that makes it into the Olympics.


    Bill Tilden Wearing Iconic Cable Knit Tennis Sweater in Vintage Photo

    They are practically made for the ever-changing English seasons:

    Sunshine...in Summer? How ludicrous. Cricket Sweaters provide the perfect solution for temperatures that never rise above the low 20’s. It’s true, despite the current heat wave UK Summers are generally rather lacking in the sunshine department. Long sleeve sweaters are just perfect for the harsher winter months and their undeniable warmth might allow you to negotiate your layering down to just 2 garments. For the Spring and ‘Summer’ months, a sleeveless sweater is even more apt, suitably smart whilst maintaining a cool off-duty feel.  Layering a sleeveless sweater over a shirt is a timeless alternative to the blazer whilst offering a similar level of warmth that is ‘just right’

     

    Our Full Range of Short and Long Sleeved Cricket Sweaters can be found HERE

    Pictured Below: Sky Blue Sleeveless Cricket Sweater, Cream and Navy Stripe Sleeveless Cricket Sweater and Red and Cream Stripe Sleeveless Cricket Sweater.

    Doctor Who is a fan of the Cricket Sweater:

    How could we forget Peter Davison during his stint as the fifth doctor? A style icon in his own right and a man with an unhealthy love of Cricket. His devotion to colour coordination was admirable and his regular appearance in his favourite orange getup was certainly, interesting. He could often be seen donning an Orange and Black striped sweater, which has undeniable similarities to our popular Princeton Sweater (Available HERE). We give an A+ for the sweater so we will turn a blind eye to the headache-inducing pinstripe strides.

     

    Peter Davison As the Fifth Doctor Wearing Smart Turnout Princeton Cricket Jumper

    They are a piece of history:

    Dating back to the early 20th century the origins of these handsome pullovers are surprisingly quite a mystery. One might presume that they were first invented on the tennis lawns but due to the lack of documentation, their origins are actually pretty unclear. Theories range from them being born on the slopes as a go-to garment for winter sports, to having first being spotted at The English Golf Amateur Championship being worn by an American competitor. Maybe the inconspicuous history of the sweater makes it that much more appealing!

    They have the Royal seal of approval:

    We could not finish a truly British list without the inclusion of the Royal Family now, could we? Well, its hats off to The Prince of Wales for really bringing this style into the spotlight; often found sporting a classic V-Neck sweater when partaking in a round of golf. The late Princess Diana would also opt for one whilst partaking in an off-duty day playing with the young princes. Judging by their love of sweaters, tea and corgis, we can confirm the Royals clearly have good taste. We are yet to get our Royal Warrant, but we are sure it’s on its way…right?

     

    Thank you for reading, please comment any more reasons you love the Cricket Sweater below!

  • NATO Straps: A Rather Riveting History

     

    The Zulu, G-10 or trusty NATO; it’s a strap of many names and a strap of many claims; durable, interchangeable and undeniably smart, but what makes the NATO strap loved by so many? It could be its intriguing history or its synonymy with James Bond himself. Whether it’s the roots of British tradition that excited you or the thought of being one step closer to becoming the next 007 (we hear they are looking at the moment?) then this is the post, and evidently, the site for you. So if you are a ‘die-hard’ NATO fan, see what we did there, or a newbie to the idea we have put together a detailed history of the strap and how it came to be how we know it Today.

     

    Smart turnout savant watch rose gold and navy with selection of nato straps

     

    1900 – 1940:

    With Britain on the cusp of war, pocket watches were the favoured timepiece for the typical English gentleman in the early 1900’s. As World War 1 broke out, it became increasingly evident that these handsome timepieces were not suited to use in the trenches. Desperate measures called when soldiers found themselves in the midst of war struggling to make use of tools such as whistles and binoculars whilst having to manually check the time (talk about multi-tasking!) resulting in them having to improvise. They did this by attaching metal wires to either end of their watch case using a soldering technique. This technique would allow for a cotton canvas or leather strap to be fed through. In the Mid-1930's a company by the name of DuPoint introduced the invention of nylon, meaning a nylon strap could now be fitted to fasten their watch in a more functional manner.  It is this interesting part of history that inspired our Officer Watch. The watch mirrors the striking pocket watches once worn by men in Britain and emulates the watches adaptation to allow for a strap to be attached, which is also why this is our only watch that allows for both 18 and 20mm strap compatibility.

    Original military pocket watch with makeshift lugs and Smart Turnout's Officer Watch

    You can purchase our Officer Watch in both Black and Cream HERE

     

    1940’s -1960’s:

    As time moved on certain regiments, such as the Flying Corps, found themselves in dire need of a longer strap in order to fit over their bulky aviator jackets whilst remaining secure. By this point watches with lugs were more widely in circulation and straps began to adapt to suit the needs of the entire plethora of service personnel.

    Note that in 1964 Ian Flemings ‘Gold Finger’ broke on to our screens, this was 9 years before the official release of the NATO strap! Sean Connery famously sported a 16mm Nylon one piece watch strap on his 20mm lug Rolex, why? Well, it is suggested that the Rolex actually belonged to producer Albert Broccoli and was leant to Sean Connery for the scene. Sean may have had smaller wrists than Albert, meaning that the original metal strap would have been to loose on his arm. It is speculated that the ill-fitting nylon strap was a last-ditch attempt to resolve the problem in time for filming. The wardrobe faux pas didn’t divert from the unmistakable allure of the rugged stripe strap in beautiful contrast with his luxury timepiece. When you think logically this strap was a perfect choice, long enough to fit over his wetsuit and suitably durable for any circumstances a secret agent might wind up in.

    The original Bond strap featured the coloured stripes of black, red and green; contrary to popular belief that the strap was a simple grey and black colourway. Having said that, the later has become widely known as the classic 007 NATO. Available online, should you wish to purchase.

    Sean Connery's Original Bond NATO Strap and Smart Turnouts 18mm NATO Strap The original nylon strap from 1964's Goldfinger and the more widely known Bond NATO Strap

    You can purchase your very own Bond NATO Strap HERE

     

    1973:

    1973 saw the Ministry of Defence bring in an adapted version on the Nylon strap. This version that we now refer to as the beloved NATO strap. The MOD decided that it was time to bring in military requirements for the strap to make them more suitable for the unforgiving conditions of trench life. Originally known as the G-10 strap they were named after the G-1098 form that soldiers were required to fill out in order to obtain one from the NATO store. Straps were available alongside other essential pieces of kit, such as binoculars and flashlights. These NATO straps differed from their earlier counterparts, most notably due to the fact they were required to have an extra, shorter piece of nylon attached to the buckle, meaning if a spring bar were to break the watch would remain secure. Other specifications included that the straps be of a 20mm width and in the colour of Admiralty Grey. There has been wide speculation over this colour choice, maybe to match the battleship grey of the Royal Navy, or maybe as a means for camouflage, the more likely idea, however, being the significantly less exciting idea of a simple abundance of material. In 1978 a company called Phoenix took over production of the Military spec strap and are widely recognised as the pioneers for the G-10 strap as we know it today.

     

    1980’S and Beyond:

    As time moved on from the official advent of the NATO strap by the MOD, manufacturing was turned over to the Cabot Watch Company. 18mm straps were introduced to fit the new Military-spec watch that had been brought in, similar to that of our Swiss Made Military Watch, which was designed to replicate the army’s standard timepiece. Gone were the days of Admiralty Grey and straps now came adorned with the coloured stripes of One’s regiment acting as both a symbol of pride whilst adding a sense of colour and identity to those during their time serving. Since its humble beginnings, the strap has grown to now be available in a wide range of colours, sizes and finishes. Here at Smart Turnout, we like to remain true to history, which is why we provide straps in both 18 and 20mm, in one of the widest selections of historic regimental colours.

     

    Cabot Watch Company Military Watch vs Smart Turnout Military Watch The Cabot Watch Companies Military-spec Watch alongside our Smart Turnout Military Watch

    You can purchase our Military Watch HERE, 15% of all proceeds from the watch got to SSAFA the Armed Forces Charity

    The Strap of The Month: Household Division

    Smart Turnout Household Division NATO Strap on Savant Navy Blue and Silver Watch

    Fun Facts: The Household Division consists of seven regiments, The Life Guards, Blues and Royals, Grenadier Guards, Welsh Guards, Irish Guards, Scots Guards and Coldstream Guards. Both Prince William and Prince Harry, along with our Founder, Philip Turner were all part of the Household Division. The blue, red, blue colourway is instantly synonymous with all of these regiments as well as the prestigious Ivy League University of Pennsylvania.

    Get 20% OFF The Household Division Strap during the month of July with code: HD20

     

     

     

     

     

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