Call us today to arrange a fitting on 01763 252828
Highlights of 2018

It’s that time of year again where we look back on the highlights of 2018 and anticipate where 2019 will lead us.

 

Here are the highlights of our year:

  • Styling our Customers:    One of the best parts of our business is helping guys to discover the pleasures of dressing well.  We have welcomed many new customers over the last year and introduced them to Chimney’s styling appropriate for their weddings or formal functions or just helping them to find new items for their wardrobe.  It makes the hard work so worthwhile.

 
  • Welcoming back past customers:   Nothing is more satisfying than the return of a past customer to purchase another item or hire for another event and we have welcomed back many this year who obviously needed another Chimney Fix!!!
 
 
  • New Styles:    This year has seen the arrival of new stock and styles which have extended our ranges offered to our customers and we eagerly await further new styles in the new year. 

        
 
  • Trends:    One of the exciting parts of our job is seeing the changing trends in menswear. The preferred styles of 2019 are sure to differ from those of 2018.  Dressing smart is becoming more of the norm rather than the exception, waistcoats are still popular but especially the double-breasted styles, and there will still be some demand for tweed in all its guises.
           
 
  • Winning Awards:    However, the greatest highlights of 2018 were the receiving of two very prestigious awards.  Back in September we scooped the Bridal Buyer Best Men’s Formalwear Retailer Award.  It was one of our proudest moments giving us recognition in a largely bridal-dominated industry.  This is a national award, known as the ‘Oscars of the wedding industry’ and it was a huge honour for a small business, like ourselves, to receive the award in front of colleagues, designers and suppliers from across the whole of wedding Industry.
 
        

 
  • And Another:   Just two months later we were to receive another award. We were named the Best Menswear Retailer at the 4 Counties Wedding Awards.  Receiving this coveted accolade at the regional award ceremony, again in front of friends, colleagues and wedding suppliers from across the counties of Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, was a great recognition of our team’s hard work.
        


With weddings all too often focused on the bride and her dress, our job is to make sure that the groom also receives the same special treatment.  We aim for excellence and give our customers an experience they enjoy and recommend to friends.  We are here to give men somewhere to go and find an outfit they will treasure and enjoy wearing whatever their occasion.

We are so excited about where the new year will lead us.  Looking good is a serious business for the modern man and we are looking forward to another year of providing guys with a special place where they feel confident and comfortable and helping many to discover the pleasure of dressing well.
 

Thank you to all our customer of 2018 and to those yet to visit us in 2019, we look forward to welcoming you to the Chimney Experience!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Everyone!

...Continue
2019 Wedding - A Guide to Planning the Groom's Outfit

If you have a 2019 wedding to organise you are sure to have a ‘to-do’ list, and it’s very likely that on that list is a heading that says, ‘Suits for me and the groomsmen’.


2019 is just around the corner but don’t let choosing your wedding suit be a daunting task that you put off until it’s almost too late.


Let us help you to be organised and follow our plan, ease the stress of finding your wedding suits and so cross one thing off your long list:
 
  • Research.   November and December is a good time to start your research.  Look online, read reviews, google your local retailer and book an appointment.
 
  • Appointment.  A 90-minute appointment should adequately provide you with the time to find the look for your wedding.  Use your time wisely by experimenting with different colours and styles, be open to advice and even try something beyond your comfort zone.  You may be pleasantly surprised and find a very individual style in which you feel very confident.
 
  • Take Photos: Take photos of the different styles you try and if you still need time to think over your choice you can use them to revisit styles and help you make your decision.
 
  • Decision Time:  Finalise your wedding suit, style, colour and alternatives for your groomsmen before Christmas. If your wedding is much later in 2019 there will be no need to have fittings done now, just decide on the outfit and colours and whether you want to buy or hire.
 
  • Contract:  Confirm your contract with your supplier.  A deposit usually seals your contract to hire or buy and can be done by phone, email, direct payment or a second visit to your suit retailer.

Ahh! A Restful Christmas:  With the important decisions made and knowledge of the budget you are working within, sit back and let the festivities begin!

               


It’s January 2019 and here are a few tips to help you organise your transition into the best dressed groom of the year:
 
  • Organisation:  Now that it’s January you can relax a little, you have decided on your style of suit, colour and accessories.  Use this time to contact your groomsmen to confirm that you will be asking them to come for fittings later in the year.  Find an appropriate set of dates when they are free and book these with your suit supplier and don’t forget to put it in your diary too.  Confirming dates back to your groomsmen is also wise.
 
  • Buying your suit?  If you are purchasing your suit or your waistcoat, find out when is a good time to be fitted and place your order.  If you are planning to lose weight this can be left for a while until your weight stabilises but ensure there is enough ordering time left.   Alternatively, order early and, if your weight changes, then you could have your suit tailored to fit.
 
  • Your suit arrives:  Once your suit or waistcoat arrives ensure you collect it promptly and try it on.  If you think you will need to have it tailored find a reputable tailor or seamstress in good time and check, they can do what you require.
 
  • Hiring your suit?  All fittings for hiring suits will ideally take place around 6 weeks before your wedding.
 
  • Accessories:   As the date for fittings comes closer start to decide on the extra accessories.  Source your pocket watch if you want one.  What about cufflinks?  Are you going to leave it to your guys to remember to bring along their Grandad’s ones which they have put in a safe place or are you going to treat them with a ‘Thank You’ present?  You know your groomsmen better than anyone else so choose cufflinks appropriate to their interests or trades or choose a colour to co-ordinate with the wedding theme.
              
 
  • Shoes:  Decide if you are buying for the whole party or are they to find their own.  Be clear with your instructions as to the colour required.
              
 
  • Time for your fittings:  Around 6 weeks before your wedding is the time for you and your groomsmen to have your fittings for your hired suits.  Remind them of the date and consider the following:  
  1. Bring some smart shoes with you.  You may already have the wedding shoes but, if not, bring any smart shoes.  This will help with determining the trouser length.
  2. Listen to the style advice of your wedding suit retailer. Formal trousers are usually worn higher on the waist than casual jeans and if this isn’t done then they will appear too long, baggy, ill-fitting and the sharp look you seek will be lost.
  3. Find out how to tie your tie or cravat:   If you are directed to a video or a blog, take time to have a look at it and familiarise yourself with the technique.
  4. Check your dates:  Check the dates when your hired suits are to be collected and returned and organise someone to return them for you if you are off on honeymoon.
              
 
  • A Week before your wedding:  It is now a week before your wedding and the hired wedding suits have arrived:
  1. Deliver the suits to all your groomsmen.
  2. Encourage everyone to try on their suits to ensure all fits well.  This is especially important for you, the groom.
  3. If anyone’s weight has changed tell your retailer and order replacements
  4. Practise knotting your ties or cravats.  Don’t leave it until the wedding day but practise before hand and dress in good time on the day to prevent a last-minute panic.
 

Finally, the big day has arrived.  All that planning and organisation has paid off.  You are all ready to go out there, sharp, well groomed, confident and ready to wow!


              
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...Continue
Don't Leave it too Late to Order Your Suit for the Festive Period

Needing to hire a suit over the festive period?

Here are our tips and helpful dates to prevent those last-minute panics:


 
  • Does your old suit still fit?     Don’t leave it to the day before your event to check if the suit in your wardrobe still fits you -  Try it on now and if you need to replace any of it or hire a whole new suit, book your appointment in good time.
 
  • Book your appointment early.    Whatever the date of the party or formal black-tie event, come in early to book your order -   Don’t keep postponing the time you had allocated to pop in for your fitting.  Once it is ordered you can sit back and relax and know it will be waiting for you in time for your event.
 
  • Check opening times over Christmas.   Don’t assume that over the Christmas and New Year period everyone will be open normal hours.  Check our website and social media pages for special opening times over Christmas and New Year or See Below for details.
 
  • Check the dress code.    Check your invitation to see if there is a specific dress code -  If you are unsure then come and consult us and we will advise you.
 
  • Need a quick fix?  If you feel you will end up wearing what you wore to the same event last year, then call into Chimney - Perk up your look with a new and colourful tie, a very individual bespoke bow tie, some distinctive cufflinks or even a colourful pair of socks.  
 
  • Check that shirt.  Is your evening shirt sitting crumpled at the back of the wardrobe looking as though it has seen better days? – Buy yourself a new one which will fasten comfortably at the neck leaving you able to breathe and enjoy the event.
 
  •  Last ordering dates.    If you have an event in early January then organise your items to hire now – All orders required before 6th January will be delivered mid-December.


 
 Please note:  the last date for ordering hire items for over Christmas and New Year will be

11th December with the last delivery before Christmas being on 13th December

Normal deliveries resume on 3rd January.

 
Opening times over Christmas and New Year:
 
Saturday 22nd December                 -  Open as usual:  9.30 am – 5.00 pm
24th, 25th, 26th December                 -  Closed
27th, 28th 29th December                  -  Open as usual:  9.30 am – 5.00 pm
31st December, 1st , 2nd January   -  Closed
3rd January                                             -  Open as usual:  9.30 am – 5.00 pm
Friday 4th January                               -  Open from 9.30 am – 12.00 noon
Saturday 5th January                          - Closed    (Come and see us at Bride: the Wedding Show at Knebworth Barns all weekend)
From Monday 7th January                -  Open as usual.

 
...Continue
Trends for Grooms of 2019

2019 is proving to be the year when grooms will be expressing their personality in their choice of wedding suits more than ever. 

 

More and more grooms are choosing to buy their wedding suits and are wanting something that makes a statement.

Even those grooms who wish to hire suits are looking for styles that are not ‘run of the mill’, mixing colours and textures and enjoying adding their own take on ‘wedding style’.

Here are the trends which we predict will be gracing weddings for 2019:
 
  • Tweed:  This is still proving popular and, despite being a very warm fabric, is still the choice for suits for many weddings throughout the year.

 
  • Tweed waistcoats: This choice works well for those who want to nod towards the trend without being uncomfortable in warm weather.  They look good once the jacket is removed and add texture and personality.

 
  • Checks:  Check fabrics are having their day.  They have been popular for business wear for a while and grooms are now finding the distinctive looking fabric a way to make a statement on their wedding day too.

 
  • Contrasts:  Gone are the days of matching 3-piece suits. Grooms want to stand out from the rest of the guests and a contrast waistcoat serves this purpose.  Contrasts in all aspects of the suit are trending with grooms choosing to wear a jacket in a different colour from the trousers and this looks particularly striking with tails.  It creates a modern twist on the very traditional look.

 
  • Patterned Ties:  The days of ivory ties and cravats for grooms are over.  It was never a good look as neckwear faded into oblivion. Now grooms are also standing up against the suggestion that their ties should match the bridesmaid dresses and are choosing ties with patterns and mixed colours.  Paisley and florals are popular for 2019 and especially in strong designs and colours.

 
  • Accessories:  Adding the final touches to an outfit is becoming almost as important as the suit itself.  Grooms want to co-ordinate the shoe leather colour with their belts especially when worn with tweed.   The word ‘co-ordinate’ is outweighing ‘match’ when choosing accessories such as pocket squares and patterns are again popular here.

 
  • Cufflinks:  Time is being taken to choose items such as cufflinks which reflect the interests of the groomsmen rather than the choice of traditional styles.  These are sure to please the groom’s party as they show how much effort has gone into the purchase.


Now is certainly the time to be choosing that very individual look for your 2019 wedding day.  Male grooming has never been so popular and every aspect of how you look on your wedding day is taking up more of the wedding planning and budget than ever before.

We look forward to seeing how our 2019 grooms choose to make themselves special for their wedding day.

...Continue
Everything You Didn't Know You Needed To Know About Wearing a Scarf

As a soft and warm accessory, a scarf is often overlooked as a stylish addition to a wardrobe.

 
 

How a scarf is styled can say a lot about the wearer and with so many ways to wear it, the strip of warmth hurriedly draped around your neck can become a significant item that comes out of the wardrobe for more than just keeping you warm on a freezing cold walk.

Scarves have been worn by men and women for many centuries. In Ancient Egypt Queen Nefertiti was recorded as wearing a tightly woven scarf topped with a jewelled conical headdress.  In Ancient Rome men wore ‘sweat cloths’ to keep them cool and to dry sweat and later, during World War One, scarves were knitted to keep soldiers warm and pilots wore silk ones whilst flying to protect their necks.  Only since WW1 did scarves become more of a fashion item.  Silk scarves emerged as symbolic items for fashion houses and men would often be seen with silk ‘Opera’ scarves draped over their evening wear.

The 21st century sees the scarf turn an ordinary ensemble into an eye-catching style.   Knotted correctly a scarf can take your look from business to casual and back again.

The way to tie a scarf depends on its length and some ways of knotting are more appropriate for certain events than others.
Let us show you the different ways to tie a scarf, the best fabrics to use and when to wear it:

Classic Drape:  Worn around the back of your neck with both ends hanging loosely down the front this style adds colour or pattern to a dark plain suit.  It works well for formal wear especially a tuxedo and looks best in soft, silky, lightweight fabric.



The Once Around:  Here the scarf is wrapped once around the neck and both ends hang to the front and is suitable for a variety of fabrics.  By keeping one end hanging longer than the other the look appears relaxed and more spontaneous.



The Overhand or Connoisseur Knot:   By hanging the scarf around the back of the neck it can then be tied in a simple knot at the front.  This style can be worn lose over a jacket or tucked up inside for extra warmth.  Silk, cotton or wool scarves of any length all work well in this style.



Reverse Drape:  Worn as the Classic drape but wrapping both ends over opposite shoulders makes this style the best for casual wear and suits wool and woven fabric.



Parisienne:  By folding the scarf in half, wrapping around the neck and putting both ends through the loop created, creates a neat fuss free way to wear a scarf which is clean and simple and stays put.



Fake Knot:  to create this style make a knot in one side of the scarf and then take the other side and slide this into the loop already created, pulling up both sides.  This is a sober style good for business wear.  Not ideal if the scarf is very bulky.



Reverse Drape Cross:  Wrap the scarf all around your neck and knot both ends at the front.  This keeps the scarf in place but is usually only successful with longer length scarves.



Four In Hand:  This looks complicated and is sure to get you compliments but is easy to tie.  Double the scarf and drape it around your neck and pass one loose end through the loop.  Twist the loop and pass the other end through.  This creates a plaited look which stays secure whatever the weather throws at you.  Looks good with a variety of weights of fabric.



Twice Around:  Wrapping the scarf around you twice creates a very warm cosy way to wear it.  This is good for very cold weather but again can only be achieved with a long scarf.



The Weekender:  With one end short and one end long, the long end is wrapped twice around the neck and both ends are tucked into the wrapped scarf which can be fluffed out.  This makes a great casual knot, perfect for drives with the top down.

However you wear a scarf, whichever weight and knot you choose, whether your occasion is smart or casual, make a statement with this once overlooked accessory.
 

 
 
 
 
...Continue
The Role of the Suit is Changing

A suit no longer needs to be regarded as stuffy and uncomfortable and only worn to weddings and board meetings. 

 

With careful choices your suit will become the ‘go to’ item to wear to any occasion, every day wear for work and casual occasions.

By choosing the right colours and styles it can become as versatile as any other item in your wardrobe.  Here are a few tips on how to make the perfect choice:
 
  • Choose a suit style which you find comfortable and fits well.  You are more likely to want to wear a suit if it feels unrestricted but also compliments your body shape.  Don’t buy off the rail but seek advice from a professional who can suggest fabrics and styles, correct arm and leg lengths and the flattering cuts.

 
  • Avoid the ‘skinny fit’.  This is rapidly becoming the ‘too tight’ look which is not flattering, feels very restrictive and the inevitable short jacket makes the wearer look as if he is wearing one that belongs to his younger brother.
 
  • Choose colours which are flattering to your skin tone.  Gone are the days when suits had to be navy or grey or even black.  Choose earthy tones which are muted and gentle and more exciting.

 
  • Think about texture too.  Ditch the ‘shiny look’ and try matte subtle checks or textured tweeds.  There are a wide selection of weaves and tweeds available which makes a suit more interesting, versatile and natural looking.


 
  • Once you have chosen the perfect one, think carefully about the way you accessorise it.
 
  • Don’t just assume that you should wear a classic shirt and tie with your suit.  Try wearing it with a T shirt, jersey shirt or even knitwear for a more relaxed but still stylish look.

 
  • Don’t over accessorise with tie pins, collar bars and pocket watches.  Keep the look simple and your suit and your personality will do the talking.

 
  • Think about your footwear.  Try not to follow the crowd which wears tan shoes with everything.  If trainers are more your style, then try pairing them with your suit but keep them clean and plain for the most effective styling.


 
  • Waistcoats will always have a role to play too.  Again, keep them simple and choose your colour carefully but interesting fabrics will add another dimension to your outfit.


A simple, comfortable, well-chosen suit will not stay at the back of your wardrobe.  It will become a major staple that can be dressed up or down, worn to a board meeting but also out to dinner with friends. 

Swap and change accessories to create different looks and you will not only score high in the style stakes but enjoy wearing it too.

...Continue
Awards Limelight : A Personal Message

We sat down with our founder Sharon Cousans to get her account of being a winner at the Bridal Buyer Awards:

Back in April this year we decided to enter the Bridal Buyer Awards.  After sitting down and completing a very detailed entry form we submitted it and waited for the announcement of the finalists.
We had been lucky 2 years ago when, in our first year of business, we were declared finalists, so we hoped that maybe we would be lucky again this year.  In June, to our delight, the news came that we had been made a finalist this year too.
To be a finalist in a national, prestigious award such as the Bridal Buyer Awards is a huge honour.  Entries come from all over the British Isles and you are up against the elite of the industry.  This time we were one of 5 finalists but winning was highly unlikely.

                                                                                   
 
2018 Bridal Buyer Awards:
Last Monday, 10th September, was the Bridal Buyer Awards Gala Evening at the Harrogate Convention Centre.  Having bought our tickets, packed the new dress and evening suit into the car, we headed north to Harrogate intent on enjoying a lovely evening and a stay over in Harrogate, a fascinating town with a great history and wonderful architecture.
Throughout the preparations for the evening I had pangs of excitement as I anticipated what a win would mean to us, but these were soon dowsed by a reality check.  We were up against some mighty competition.

At the Awards:
The pleasant champagne reception was followed by taking our seats at our table and meeting fellow finalists all eager to hear the results.  After a tasty meal and hilarious entertainment, the award ceremony began in earnest.  Our category was 10th in a list of 20 awards so we patiently waited, enjoying applauding fellow wedding industry colleagues, all the while the butterflies in my stomach told me I dared to hope that we might receive good news.     

 

 
 The Announcements:
As the list of finalists for the Best Men’s Formalwear Retailer were read out I held my breathe telling myself not to be disappointed if we
were not the winner. 

  

There was a pause -------- ‘and the winner is---’

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  Apparently, I screamed.  By this time everything was becoming a blur and I seemed to have gone deaf!  After a hug, I made my way towards the stage, ever careful not to trip over a chair and spoil the moment.  



​Tears welled up but were hurriedly pushed back as I knew I was about to face the camera.                                                                           

It was over so quickly.  Applause, music, camera flashes, handshakes and the golden award was in my hands.  We Had Done It!!!     

 
          
  

Post Award Euphoria:
Still in a daze I was whisked off the stage for an interview.  Shaking and overcome by the whole event I was in no state to be interviewed but fortunately the walk down the room and out along the corridor was long and cool giving me time to compose myself.
Not sure as to which questions I would be asked, I decide to react with instinct and honesty.  I really could not stop grinning with pleasure.  The interview was filmed, and I cannot truly remember my responses to the questions.  Suddenly it was over, and I could return to our table.


  
There on the table was iced champagne and glasses which had apparently, appeared almost as soon as I reached the stage.  I have to admit that the rest of the award ceremony was a blur as the reality sank in and I began to contact all those who mattered to me, to tell them the amazing news.  There were further photos, group photos, music and dancing into the wee small hours.       


 
 
Thank You:
We are a small independent menswear retailer who have received a national award at the most prestigious award ceremony in the Wedding Industry in the company of the Wedding Industry Elite.
It is unbelievable!  We are so proud and honoured!
I couldn’t have achieved this without the commitment of my colleague Graham and the support of many people not least of whom are my family.
The award sits proudly in our shop window for all to see.
Sometime soon I may come down to earth, but not yet, I hope!!

                                                                                                   




 
...Continue
Waistcoats and the Gareth Southgate Effect
A smartly dressed England Manager, looking dapper under pressure on the touch line, has created waves in male fashion stakes.

So, Gareth Southgate and Radio Cambridgeshire were my reason for an early start this morning.


Radio Cambridgeshire's twist on the impending England Match tonight was to discuss the effect Gareth Southgate and his desire to stay cool and stylish on the touch line, no matter what pressure he was under, has had on the sales of waistcoats.  They were keen to speak to a Cambridgeshire Menswear Retailer and I'm pleased to say, they chose Chimney.




It was an early start and nerves were building but at least it was the coolest part of the day.  Going live on radio is not one of the things that I do frequently so my mind raced to think of all the imagineable questions I might be asked and would there be that difficult question that I was unable to answer.

Despite my initial fears, reporter Ben Stevenson arrived but began by apologising for the way he was dressed and asked me not to judge him.
This readily dispersed the fear of intimidating reporters and there ensued an easy dialogue from then onwards.




Waistcoats are important to us at Chimney so I don't find it hard to talk about them.

How else can a guy add individuality, texture, colour and style to an outfit with one single garment?




How can you keep looking smart even when you remove your jacket?



Which item of clothing can look equally as good under a suit, or dressed down with jeans or chinos?




Where do you find one item which slims and sculpts the body making every wearer appear trimmer?



With so many different styles to choose from - collared, double breasted, scoop front, low break front with a few buttons or traditionally buttoned high to show neatly underneath a buttoned up jacket, there is a waistcoat for everyone.



My chat with Ben was brief but hopefully I answered his questions adequately givng early morning listeners to Radio Cambridgeshire, something to think about on their way to work.

If my few minutes on live radio has started a spark of inspiration in the minds of a few Cambridgshire gents and encouraged them to start to explore the versatility of the waistcoat, then my nerves were not in vane.
 

Thank You Ben, and Thank You to Radio Cambridgeshire.

Go on, find a style of waistcoat that suits your look, your personality and turns a few heads next time you walk into work or attend your next party.

For advice and inspiration contact the Team at Chimney, 01763 252828 or email us.

...Continue
Some Alternative Ideas for a Stag Weekend
 

You have been given the honour of being the Best Man at your friend’s wedding.  Of all the tasks which have now become your responsibility, not least is the organisation of the 'Stag Do'.

 

Where does the term ‘Stag Do’ come from?

In America it is known as a ‘Bachelor Party’ and in Australia they use the term ‘Buck Party’, but the ‘Stag Do’, as we know it, is a very British institution.
However, a stag party of sorts can be traced back as far as Ancient Greece where, on the night of his wedding, a celebration and feast, for the groom, was organised by his military comrades to toast the end of his youth.

Apart from tradition, what are the modern reasons for a 'Stag Do'?

Firstly, it is an opportunity to seal the bond with friends and family, who have shared the past with the groom, and seen him through thick and thin.
Secondly, it is also a time for male members of both sides of the families to meet, get to know each other, before the big day so helping to break down barriers and tensions on the day.

Although 'Stag Dos' used to be a last chance for the groom to let his hair down before the constriction of marriage, what do you, as Best Man, plan if the groom is looking for more than just a chance to consume a lot of alcohol.
 
Here are some ideas to help you decide.  These activities will involve working together as a team and some fun escapism.
 
  • We have all heard of Paintballing, Clay Shooting and Horse Racing and there are plenty of places across the country where this takes place.
  •  So, how about Football with a twist?
  • Goggle Football is a game of 5 Aside Football with everyone wearing goggles that make the ball appear 5 x further away or 5 x nearer.  This will create plenty of hilarious sporting action with ‘fresh air kicks’ after ‘fresh air kicks’



 
  • Bubble Football is another game of football with a difference.  Strap yourself into a one-man zorb suit and tackling becomes replaced by barging, both crazy and exhausting.


 
  • For those who like extreme sports, try High Ropes Courses involving an aerial obstacle course.
  • Try White Water Rafting, which requires great team work, or Jet Ski Coasteering for that maximised adrenaline rush.


 
  • Climb the O2 for those with a head for heights and discover 360-degree views.
  • For those who like to keep their feet on the ground, try Rage Buggies for the competitive among you, racing over dirt tracks with chicanes and jumps.


 
  • Learn to handle Quad Bikes over wild terrain and notch up another skill.
  • Try your hand at Hovercraft Racing where, after tuition, the time trials will bring out your most competitive side.



 
  • For a more gentler pursuit try Escape Games which prove a great challenge, requiring lateral thinking and solving of clues and problems. 
  • Surfing can take you all to some beautiful locations for wet and wild action, whilst a Whisky Tour enlightens you to the process of producing the liquor with tasting and a guidance to flavours.

                                                   


Now, as Best Man, you are fully armed with plenty of activities to channel energy and dispel nervous tension and create the most iconic of ‘Stag Dos’.
 

There is, however, an increasing trend for Grooms and Brides to have ‘Hag’ or ‘Sten’ Dos together.
Now, who is responsible for planning that one?

 
 
...Continue
Menswear - an award winning standard of service.

A full diary and happy customers are all we can ask for but recently this has been topped by being recognised for the hard work and high standards of customer service that we offer our customers.

 

The first six months of 2018 has proved to be a very busy time for us with our diary fully booked most weekends and customers visiting us from across the eastern counties but recently we have had our service recognised by being made finalists in two award schemes.

 

 

The Royston Business Awards are held every two years to reward excellence in local businesses.
Chimney has been selected as a finalist for Customer Service Excellence.  We are so excited by this as our customers are very important to us and a great retail experience for them is paramount in everything we do.

Added to this, Graham, our style consultant, has also been recognised by being selected as a finalist for Employee of the Year.  We are very proud of him.
We are so looking forward to the award ceremony which is to be a glittering occasion later in June.





Today we received more exciting news. 
We have been selected as a Finalist in the Bridal Buyer Awards as Best Mens'Formalwear Retailer.  This is a national award scheme and seeks to highlight excellence within the Wedding Industry.  This feels like a very big pat on the back and reassures our customers that the service they will receive here is of an award winning standard.  Now we have to wait until September for the winners to be announced at the Special Award Ceremony at the Harrogate  Bridal Show.

Such a great first six months of the year.
 

We will keep you updated but we can assure all our customers of an award winning standard of service whatever the results.

...Continue
We are Recruiting

Chimney’s customers demand a professional, stimulating but fun approach to styling for their special occasions.

 

If being creative with menswear and fashion is your ideal job then Chimney is the place for you

 

 

 
 Here, the choosing of suits and accessories becomes a memorable and enjoyable retail experience where helping the customer to feel incredible on their very special day is an everyday occurrence.
 
All team members can freely create individual looks for each and every customer.  The creativity doesn’t stop there.  With window displays, merchandising, fashion shows and photo shoots to be designed, there are endless opportunities for your creative talents.

 
                                                                                                                                                                   

We are looking to expand our team with a part time Style Advisor.

 
 
If you have the flair, a positive attitude, loads of energy and creativity with great customer service skills, we want to hear from you.

Contact us at sharon@chimneymenswear.co.uk
 
 
Come and join the Award Winning Team at Chimney and create something special.

 
 
 
...Continue
How to Style your Best Woman or Your Bridesman

Many couples are putting aside age-old traditions, making their wedding day tailored especially to them and choosing to include a Best Woman or a Bridesman in their wedding party. 

If a bride’s closest friend is a guy or a groom’s favourite person is a woman, why should they be excluded from your wedding party just because of their gender.

If your wedding party includes a Best Woman or Bridesman, how to dress them can pose difficult decisions. 
The bridesman doesn’t want to look like one of the groomsmen standing on the wrong side and your Best Woman doesn’t want to look like a bridesmaid. 
Don’t despair.   There are many creative ways you can include your favourite person in your wedding party.

The Bridesman could dress similar to the groomsmen but remember he is your Bridesman and what he wears should reflect that:
  • Use the bridesmaid dress colour as a source of inspiration. 
  • Match his tie to the bridesmaid dress colour.
  • The bridesman’s suit could match the colour of the dresses or maybe match his shirt to the wedding colours.
  • A light-coloured suit would also link him to you, the bride, especially if you are wearing ivory.
  • Forget the jacket and use accessories such as braces or ties to match the colour of the belt on the bridesmaid dress.
  • A waistcoat in the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses also works well.
  • Give your Bridesman a large boutonierre (button hole) that reflects the bridesmaid’s bouquets.
                         


A Groomsmaid or Best Woman are now terms frequently heard in the wedding industry and they too must be dressed correctly.  Some prefer to dress them like bridesmaids or have the same style dress but in a different colour but what if your Best Woman doesn’t want to wear a dress?
 
  • Tailoring works as well for females as it does for males.
  • This could be a skirt suit but trouser suits are proving more popular.
  • A matching tailored suit hits all the right style points especially with trends favouring men’s styling for woman.
  • Waistcoats can be very flattering and sometimes you may prefer your groom’s party without jackets.
  • Try the relaxed look of shirts, ties and braces.

                                                                  

If you want your wedding your way, with careful planning and styling advice, you can both have your favourite person next to you at your wedding with everyone looking comfortably coordinated.

To discuss the styling of your party call the Team at Chimney 01763 252828

...Continue
Is Tweed Here to Stay?

Tweed:  noun  -  a rough-surfaced woollen cloth, typically of mixed flecked colours, originally produced in Scotland.

This beautiful, hard wearing woven cloth was originally favoured by the wealthy and those who enjoyed outdoor pursuits and was perfect for keeping the wearer warm. 
It had a reputation as being rather stuffy.

Attitudes to tweed have changed over the last few years as crafted natural fabrics began to be favoured by the hipster scene and celebrities such as Gary Barlow, David Beckham and Tinie Tempah were seen to be wearing it with style.

      

Although manufactured on a larger scale elsewhere, mills in Yorkshire and Scotland continue to produce the fabric and with the popularity of television series such as Downton Abbey and Peaky Blinders tweed has, in the last few years, become the favourite fabric for wedding suits.



What are the attractions of this fabric for grooms?
 
  • It can be dressed up or down and so lends itself to a variety of wedding styles.
 
  • Rustic themed weddings are the perfect place to show off this textured fabric.
 
  • When a suit is usually worn for work or business occasions then the choice of tweed as a wedding suit ensures the groom and his men have a style very different from their everyday look.
 
  • Tweed adds character to an outfit and grooms are no longer prepared to hide in a simple grey suit but want to grasp this opportunity to express themselves in what they wear on their wedding day.
 
  • Weddings have become more relaxed in styling and with a greater number of rustic themed venues around tweed has fast become the go–to style for many grooms.
 
  • Tweed works well with both ties or bow ties so can be styled to suit your occassion.


Despite the obvious merits of wearing this fabric it's only right that some of the drawbacks are also mentioned:
 
  • Although perfect to be worn in Autumn, Winter and early Spring, tweed can be rather warm when worn in the summer months especially as a three piece.  If one of our customers has experienced wearing thick and scratchy fabric when being an usher at a friend’s wedding in the middle of summer, this can lessen their desire to choose it for their own wedding.
 
  • The way to resolve this issue is to choose it for weddings in the cooler months.
 
  •  A further approach is to mix a tweed waistcoat with a lighter suit.  This will add texture rather than warmth.  There is still a rustic look to the outfit and, on removal of the jacket, will give two looks in one.  Try tweed jackets and waistcoats with chinos for a flexible and individual look.

It certainly seems that this beautifully crafted fabric is popular enough to be around for a while yet, whether as a full suit or as accessories and can only be good news for the manufacturing mills producing a heritage fabric to be proud of.






 
...Continue
How to get more Compliments at Work

If you are tired of how you dress everyday for work and want a new ‘Business Look’, take our advice and refresh your wardrobe with a few simple changes.



The obvious answer would be to find yourself a new suit. 
Try a different colour or choose a subtle pattern or texture, be bold with checks or try a slimmer cut.  A new suit can make a real difference to how you feel especially if the seasons are about to change. Try lighter colours and fabric for the warmer months and add texture and pattern for the colder months.


However, a new suit may be something you can’t budget for right now but don’t despair. 
Here are a few ideas to refresh your look by looking at your existing wardrobe or investing in small accessories that won’t break the bank:

 
  • Start with a waistcoat.  Maybe you have never thought to add one to your outfit. It can add a new dimension of interest, texture and colour.  Try combining a waistcoat from a tweed suit with your usual smooth fabric business suit for less formal days at work or even a tweed jacket with a waistcoat from your usual suit.

 
  • When it’s warm leave your jacket at home and show off your waistcoat.  This can look equally as smart especially if the waistcoat has a collar.

 
  • Pop to your local menswear retailer and treat yourself to new tie.  Different colours can completely change the look of your outfit, maybe bringing out a colour in the fabric of the suit that was hidden before.

 
  • Try a bow tie and use it to express your personality, show your colleagues your quirkier side.

 
  • If you usually wear a waistcoat try a different style.  Scoop front waistcoats are trending at the moment and have a younger style to them, working well with tie or bow tie.

 
  • Look at your wardrobe and try mixing a pair of trousers from one suit with a jacket of a different coloured suit.  Try greys with navy, light grey with dark grey or royal with navy.  Keep both items plain and don’t mix patterns for the best effect.

 
  • Does your shirt always have to be white?  Not bold enough to try stripes or patterns? Then try soft shades of blue or pink and mixed with toning neckwear, it can really enhance your look.

 
  • Are you bold enough to try a patterned shirt and a patterned tie?  The usual advice is to put a plain tie with patterned shirt and vice versa but patterns can work together so long as patterns are of similar size and have a common colour running through both.

Your new ‘business look’ need not be a costly experience.  Tiny changes can give you a whole new look, impress your colleagues and show that you do care how you look.

With a few little changes you can step out of your comfort zone, a little, and make a statement every day.  Go on, try it for yourself and wait for the compliments.

...Continue
Your Wedding, Your Rules

Weddings are surrounded by rules and traditions but as styles of weddings change so these rules become open to interpretation.

Here we look at some of the rules and traditions that surround the groom's outfit and offer alternatives you may want to consider:

 
Jacket: Traditionally, no man could attend a wedding without wearing a jacket and especially would not be allowed into a church without one.  With current trends, many ceremonies take place in a variety of venues and dress codes have changed dramatically.  If the formal approach is not your style then consider leaving your jacket at home.  Choose braces or a waistcoat, possibly one with a collar, and distinctive neckwear.  This is where a bow tie takes on a special roll and the style chosen can open up a huge range of possibilities.



 Suit:  Why not abandon the suit altogether and wear mix and match separates but keep a common colour running through to create a coordinated but individual style.



Buttonholes:  Do they have to be made from flowers?
A buttonhole is traditionally one or more flowers arranged with foliage, worn on the lapel of a jacket but this doesn’t have to be the case.  Explore materials that work with the theme or feel of your wedding.  Try foliage on it’s own or seed heads.
One of the most effective alternatives is feathers which give a soft, informal feel and work extremely well with tweed and rustic or country weddings.  


 
White Shirt:  Traditionally a wedding shirt is white.  It shows off the neckwear colour and gives a clean, sharp base for a formal suit.  If your suit is not too formal or you are wearing a waistcoat without a jacket, then the options are endless.  So long as the overall look is not too busy or chaotic, choose patterns but remember to keep one colour running through from the pattern to the waistcoat and trousers too.  Pale shades of pink and blue also enhance neckwear colours accentuating the overall look whether the colour theme is rose or wedgewood blue. 


 
Tie or Cravat Colours:  Plain colours give a sharp formal look but for a more relaxed occasion patterns, whether floral, striped, spots or even textured tweed, may add that special touch you are looking for.  


 
Cufflinks:  Most formal shirts have double cuffs and so require cufflinks.  Cufflinks add style to an outfit and, when chosen carefully, can add personality to your look or even can express a special sentiment.  However, a button cuff on a shirt may not look any less smart.
With the preference for more relaxed styles of weddings, a distinctive style can still be achieved by rolling up shirt sleeves and then worn with an individual style of waistcoat.  In this case cufflinks are made redundant. 


 

If you believe rules were made to be broken, then also remember that it is your wedding so make up some rules of your own.

...Continue
Christmas and New Year - the Most Romantic Time of the Year

Our Congratulations go out to all of you who have just got engaged.

Statistics have proved that the Christmas holidays seem to be the busiest time of the year for people getting down on one knee. 

Apparently, Christmas Eve is the most popular time to pop the question, with New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Christmas Day coming close runners up.  Surprisingly, they totally outshine Valentine’s Day for proposals.  One of the most important reasons for this trend is that it’s a romantic time, people come together and having family close at this time of year seems to make it an ideal time to announce an engagement.



So, what happens next?

As a groomswear retailer, along with our fellow wedding industry suppliers, we know that the first three months of the year are the busiest with newly engaged couples starting to seek out those who can help to make their wedding day very special.  Wedding planning begins in earnest.

This is also a busy time of the year for Wedding Fairs.  These are a great place to find all your wedding suppliers.  With so many of them in one place and often a fashion show of bridal, groomswear and mother of the bride inspirational ideas, here is your chance to chat to suppliers, get to know them and select those with whom you feel a connection and who give you confidence that they will deliver on the most important day in your lives.

Chimney will be at: 
Bride: The Wedding Show at Knebworth Barns on Saturday 6th January and Sunday 7th January,
Newmarket Wedding Fair on Sunday 21st January,
then at Anstey Hall at the beginning of February. 
Look out for special offers at these shows which will be a welcome help towards the Wedding Fund.



Venues and ‘The Dress’ are often the first items chosen but spare a thought for the groom! 
A wedding is a union between two people of equal importance.  Don’t leave it to the last minute to decide what the groom is wearing.  Your suit and accessories should reflect the style and theme of the wedding but, most importantly, should emphasise your personality and show your individual style.

This cannot be easily found if you rely on on-line images, pages of a magazine or from a rail of grey suits. 
Here is your chance to blow away your friends and family by showing them that you have taken time and effort to seek out a style that is so you! 
Most importantly, your bride will also be impressed with the care you have taken and will be so proud of you as she sees you waiting for her, ready to start your married life together.

Our advice to you would be to book an appointment about 6 months before your wedding with a recommended groomswear supplier: (Chimney would be a great place to start!!).


 
  • Be prepared to try many different styles and colours.                                                                                                                      
  • Be aware that, if you did have an idea of what you wanted when you went into the shop, that idea may not suit you when you try it on.  The image you liked in the magazine or online may have suited the model wearing it, but that model is not you. 
  • Only by trying on colours and styles will you find what suits you. 
  • If the chosen colour of the wedding is too pale for you and washes out your skin colour, then go for a shade darker.  It will still co-ordinate and look stylish.
  • Try to think aside of convention, try something original and be open to advice and inspiration given by your gromswear consultant.
  • Finally, don’t leave it all to the last minute to make these important decisions.  If you have quite a few groomsmen, they also need to make time to be fitted so give them plenty of notice.
 
We look forward to welcoming you to Chimney.

CONGRATULATIONS to you both and HAPPY PLANNING.

From Sharon and Graham, the Team at Chimney.


 
...Continue
2017, What a Year It's Been!

Firstly, it has been our first full year of trading, January to December, and what a full and amazing year it has been.

 

Recovering from the excitement of our successes in September and November ’16 as finalist in the Bridal Buyer awards and then winning New Business of the Year at the Royston Business Awards, we plunged headlong into January which was crammed full of lovely engaged couples who were planning their wedding and, specifically, their groom’s outfit. This also was the beginning of a very busy Wedding Fair season.

 
February and March continued in similar vein. Then followed the many Spring and Summer weddings –

Rustic,           

Relaxed,        

Traditional   

Summertime brought the Prom Season and we had great pleasure in helping all you guys from local schools and colleges to look your very best.

                         

Summer turned into Autumn and brought with it, not only more weddings but also, new stock and styles in a variety of textures giving us even more inspiration to pass on to our customers to help them with their individual styling.


Early Autumn confirmed, yet again, that we were an award-winning team as Chimney was chosen as a finalist in the English Wedding Awards and shortlisted for the 4 Counties Wedding Awards.  In November we attended the 4CWA glamorous Gala Presentation Evening at Knebworth Barns where we were delighted to be awarded the 2017 Highly Commended Award for Menswear.  What a proud moment that was! 

                         

We are quite blown away by the lovely feedback we have received from our incredible customers who voted for us in the 4CWA and who supplied such amazing reviews which ensured we won our award. 

                       


This fantastic year could not have been possible without you, our customers to whom we give our greatest thanks for choosing to use Chimney’s services to help make your day special. Thanks also go to all the local wedding suppliers with whom we have had the pleasure of working and wishing you continued success in 2018.


As you can see, we love seeing how you all look in your suits on your wedding day, so if there are any grooms out there who are yet to send us a photo of how good you looked, we would be delighted to receive them and to share them with all our customers. 

                     

As we head into mid-December, with many customers with weddings over Christmas and the New Year, to whom we send our congratulations and best wishes, it remains for Graham and myself to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an exciting and Happy New Year.

We can’t wait to start styling our grooms ready for their weddings in 2018 and 2019 and anticipating what fun and surprises there may be around the corner.

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2018.

                     
 
...Continue
Success at the 4 Counties Wedding Awards

The Team at award winning Chimney Formal Menswear are, once again, celebrating success.

 

Last night, at the 4 Counties Wedding Awards held at Knebworth Barns, Chimney Formal Menswear received the Highly Commended Award for Menswear.




The 4CWA recognise and reward the hard work and dedication of local suppliers in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire who go above and beyond to make every wedding day so special.  They also support The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation who organise and fund weddings for people with a life limiting or terminal illness.



Suppliers from across the 4 Counties came together last night, at a glamorous gala evening, to celebrate their success.



Business owner, Sharon Cousans said: 'It is a great honour to receive this award as it is based upon the quality of our customers' reviews.  We cannot thank our customers enough for voting for us.  We are passionate about getting the tiniest detail right and our customers do appreciate this'.


The Team at Chimney are looking forward to providing their award winning service to even more customers in 2018.

...Continue
Our sixth Christmas Gift to You

As Christmas draws ever nearer the search for the right gift becomes more intense.

Let the Team at Chimney help you.

 
Not only do we have perfect gifts any man would be proud to own, but we can save you money too.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas we are offering 10% discount on a specific item each week.

Here is our fifth offer:

From 15th December - 21st December we are offering 10% discount on our beautiful Italian Leather Belts.



Not quite sure what he would like?
Why not buy a Gift Voucher so he has the pleasure of choosing for himself?
 


Keep a weekly watch on our social media pages and our Latest News page at www.chimneymenswear.co.uk for the special discount for that week.
 

Make 2017 a stylish and affordable Christmas.
 

...Continue
Do You Think That Men's Christmas Gift Ideas are Dull? Well, Think Again!!

You may think the old favourites of ties and socks are rather old-fashioned ideas for Christmas Gifts for the 21st Century, but take a second look. 

Which man would refuse the latest trends in tweed, patterns and bright colours?

 
With a wonderful array of stylish ties available to choose from this Christmas, 100% wool, great tweeds, silk ties adorned with checks, spots and flowers, you will be spoiled for choice.

 

Adding to this is the trend for showing your socks beneath slim fit jeans, chinos or even suit trousers.  There has not been a better time to invest in these colourful beauties whether bright plains, random patterns, striped, spotted or a modern twist on the argyle.  Socks are the perfect gift for the style conscious.

 

Who can resist a snuggly scarf?  As expected, you will not be disappointed with the choice available this Christmas.  Quietly stylish but warm scarves sit alongside cleverly reversible styles that can be switched around depending on your style for your day: bold and bright or elegant and sophisticated dark stripes.

 

Lighter weight scarves in cotton and linen are ideal gifts for those who may not just want to keep warm but want to make a statement too.

 

With guys showing a growing interest in how they dress you can’t go far wrong with choosing one of the original and bespoke bow ties now available to pop in to someone’s stocking.  The versatile bow tie can be dressed up or down, looking equally at home with jeans and waistcoat or full evening dress.

 

Waistcoats, now here’s another popular trend in fashion which is appearing on all fashion-conscious gentlemen’s Christmas list this year. So much to choose from whether it’s tweed, patterned, bright blue or double-breasted styles with collars. They are a great addition to any wardrobe that can be worn in a variety of ways.  Who can resist?

 

Leather belts (Italian of course), patterned braces (a popular trend for the rustic look), and exquisite patterned silk pocket squares make the perfect stocking fillers and are out there waiting to be snapped up.

 

 

Make someone’s Christmas this year with a carefully selected accessory and prove that Christmas Gift Shopping for Men doesn’t have to be dull and boring.

...Continue