Dressing Up Denim With Andrew Brookes

Dressing Up Denim With Andrew Brookes

I’m certain most of you own or have owned a denim shirt in your life time. A fantastic, versatile item to have in the wardrobe, it goes with anything from chinos to denim jeans. Yes indeed the old “double denim” is something I’am an advocate of as long as they are not matching in the same colour. When it comes to popping on the shirt itself however, I would guess a good percentage of you have never worn one with a suit. With this in mind, last month I paid a visit to renowned tailor Andrew Brookes in Edinburgh to check out some shirt options and where I also found a denim shirt perfectly suited for any occasion.

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If ever you seek style inspiration or need to keep on top of mens fashion trends, look no further than Lino Ieluzzi. The undisputed king of Sprezzatura and proprietor of Milanese haberdashery Al Bazar, has become somewhat of an international style icon.

Lino seems to be more of a trendsetter than a trend follower, and believes that “style is not fashion, it is something we have inside”. A charming sentiment, and one that’s evident in the details of his style, as most have a story or a personal reason behind them. We found this out for ourselves when we recently had the chance to ask him a few questions, in particular about his signature #7 style ties.


For the readers who are unaware of Al Bazar can you give us a brief overview?

Al Bazar history starts in 1970 from an intuition: transforming the jeans-shop where I used to work into one of the most exclusive menswear boutiques in Milan. Today, after more than 45 years of activity,  we’re still having fun like the first day we opened!.


What inspires you when designing a collection, do you have a process?

I love reading books and watching movies from the 30’s, from which I take inspiration. At the same time, I always try to give my collections a more modern touch, by reshaping the garments.


We love the #7 ties that have become your trademark, can you tell us a little about their origin?

I was born the 7th of October and number 7 has always been my lucky number. Some years ago I started wearing ties with a hand-embroidered 7. My customers loved the idea and kept asking me to sell them. This is why I decided to create a 7 tie collection for my boutique.


We understand you favour style over fashion. Do you have any advice for gentlemen looking to find their own style?

Sure. Believe in yourselves!


What are your favourite materials to work with?

I prefer cashmere and wools which I use not only for suits but also for ties. These materials in fact, unlike silk, make the knot of the tie much more long-lasting.

We notice your wrist wear is always on point. What’s your favourite watch to wear?

I love wearing my Patek Philippe Nautilus.


Do you stock any brands that aren’t your own? If so what are they and are there any up and coming brands you are keen on?

I do. My favourite are Jacob Cohën, John Laing, PT – Pantaloni Torino and Schneiders.

What’s next for Al Bazar?


Who knows? The future is unpredictable!.

The nonchalance you’ll have to master on your own, but the tools can be found at Al Bazar!.


On first glance, the words of “Fisherman’s Knit” and “Summer” in the same sentence seem complete madness, however if we look back into history theres much we can channel from the likes of JFK, for example, drifting around on his yacht.

Although the jumper itself displays the cream colour found on the traditional Aran fisherman’s jumper, woven naturally on the islands that bear that name, these more modern takes are not a heavy wool with natural oils as protection, but a lightweight and breathable Pima cotton. Something which has a good weight to keep you warm as the summer nights cool down a little, yet light enough you wont be frying in the mid-day sun.

Keeping in check with modern cuts you will find that todays Fisherman Knits have a slimmer, narrower fit, so it wont look like you are wearing a thick bedsheet, yet they still contain that ribbed pattern which ideally compliments a rough fabric like your denim jeans. Take a look at our examples below of whos doing it, and how to wear it.

Italian fashion house Canali brought the knit upon us with their SS15 show in Milan. In the above image they have paired it with some tailored trousers and crisp white trainers for a fresh summer look which fits into most social occasions.

Wear it like Leonardo DiCaprio did in the recent film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. You might not have the vast linen closest he has in this scene, but you can mirror his mysterious millionaire style with this example showing the light, ribbed pattern across the chest and rolled up sleeves to give a more relaxed demeanor.

Presidential style here from one John F Kennedy. This lightweight knit was always a favourite with him and should be with you so wether its sailing off Cape Cod or drifting into town for a drink, this little number should be on your back to fend off that cool summer breeze.