I used to be a fashionable person.  I used to follow trends and styles, and generally conform to them within my quite lavish budget of a single soldier with no outgoings.  Then I got married and became a parent.  Out went style, in came comfort; out went £140 Diesel jeans, in came £15 flexible waist Primark.  My work didn’t demand the same standards as most when it came to what I wore, mainly because the choice was removed from me completely and I wore a uniform.  When I went to work functions it was always jeans and a t-shirt, because at my lowly level it was ‘what was expected’ of me.  As I’ve grown in the business the standards have raised too; no longer were t-shirts acceptable, you needed a collar.  Trainers were out, shoes were in – although archaic in most respects, we had moved with the times and I was still allowed denim but before you get too excited, it had to be smart tailored denim, not your ripped jean stylish sort.  But now I’m at the stage of the promotion ladder where jeans are out and corduroy or chinos are in; collared t-shirts are out, formal shirts are in.  Needless to say, I’m a little out of my depth and a little tight on cash, so I was really excited to find Samuel Windsor.  They first came to my attention when my old parenting blog was featured alongside some amazing dads in their 9 More Dynamite Dad Blogs post, and I was hooked.  Not only do they have a phenomenal online range that solves the riddle: what exactly is ‘smart casual’ but they also stock a range that would have you blending in at the Queen’s garden party.

So the time has come for me to fill my wardrobe with the sorts of clothes that would make me fit in at an afternoon tea party in Sandringham or Sandhurst.  Time to buy those mustard coloured corduroy trousers, check shirts, and tweed blazers, but do you know what?  I’m glad.  For too long now I’ve let parenting be an excuse to not throw away that shirt with the many food stains on the belly; for too long now I’ve held on to those tracksuit bottoms that are older than my eldest child, but are so damn comfortable; for too long now, I’ve put up with looking like a student who’s fallen on hard times and had to live on the streets for a few weeks just because I’d rather be “comfortable”.  It’s time for me to look smart and professional again.

One look at the range and you’ll realise that it’s just stylish clothes, tailored well, at great prices.  There’s no pomposity, or self grandeur, and I for one am planning to use it as my main source of clothing from now on.  Of course I’ll keep my comfy clothes, but they’ll be saved for those days, those rainy days when you can’t be bothered to even pick the Coco-Pop from your chin kind of days.  Only then will the old tracksuit bottoms and stained t-shirt make an appearance, and they’ll become the exception and not the norm.

As a gift for being included in the Dynamite Dads Blog Post, I was asked if I would like a pair of shoes.  I had a work course coming up and I needed to wear a dark suit with black shoes.  I only have brown suit shoes, so this was an exceptionally fortuitous opportunity that I couldn’t refuse.  Remembering the words of Harry Hart, the Kingsman, I chose Oxfords, not brogues and I haven’t regretted a single moment.  From the smell after opening the box of new leather, to feeling their suppleness, I knew these would be comfortable.  I wore them every evening for a week to break them in, but if I’m entirely honest they didn’t need it.  I haven’t had a single bit of blistering from them and as soon as the leather was at room temperature they became supple enough to mould to the foot perfectly.  What’s more, and as expected but lacking from so many other stores, they came with a free shoe horn in order to protect the backs.  I was thoroughly impressed, and as I’ve already said, I will definitely be shopping with them in the future.  I have signed up to the mailing list and receive many offers that seem too good to be true but assuredly are, I’m just biding my time; pay day is on the horizon!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of black classic Oxfords in return for allowing Samuel Windsor to profile me in their 9 More Dynamite Dad Blogs piece.  There was no requirement to write this post in return and as such have done so by my own volition. All words and thoughts are my own.

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