Garmology podcast

Garmology is a podcast about menswear, old and new, from a perspective of buying, wearing, collecting, evaluating and appreciating. With regular co-hosts and interesting guests, the aim is to provide a non-fashion view of what men might wear if they knew more about it. Expect plenty of opinions, but pretty much no mention of tailoring or pocket squares.
Garmology is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and wherever else you usually find podcasts. Or even just listen here on the page.
Please follow, leave a nice review (or none at all!) and do let me know if you have any requests for topics or suggestions for guests.

There are currently 29 full episodes out:

My guest in this episode is Thomas A Turner, acclaimed author of “The Sports Shoe – A history from field to fashion”, the definitive book about the evolution of the sports shoe form the early days of tennis shoes, via trainers, technology, fashion, cult reissues and the current days’ hypebeast mania of the collectable collaborative investment sneakers.

David Wilkinson has had a long and varied career in retail, from a small-town hardware store, via Harrods in London and major department stores in Doha and St. Petersburg, to currently in charge of Steen & Strøm, the Oslo department store that has been trading since 1797. We talk about David’s early days in retail, how retail has changed over time and how the person to person interaction can never be replaced by online shopping. Underway names are dropped, experience reminisced and tales told. Such as how you go about selling crime novels to Michael Caine. Oh, and of course we talk about sustainability.

My guest today is John Sugden of Campbell’s of Beauly, a traditional highland tailor and accessories shop outside Inverness with a continuous history going back to 1858. We get into his background in the garment industry, the place of traditional tailoring and fabrics in modern times, how workers on the Highland estates still use unique tweeds for their workwear, doing ethical business in times of fast fashion, the role of profit margins, Royal Warrants and in general running a business far from the madding crowd.

In this episode, my guest is Holly Butterworth. Holly and her husband, Colin, have a combined 35 years in the vintage garment trade and now own a vintage clothes shop called Butterworth Vintage in Totnes, Devon, UK. We talk about the vintage trade, sourcing, picking and pricing stock, trends and fashion in the vintage world, and some tips on how to deal with the smell of old clothes. Naturally, we also touch on the topic of sustainability, and how actually using up clothes is clearly a better option than continuously making more. Also, Holly brings up one of her most remarkable finds…

In today’s episode, my guest is Ryan Mallinson, Yorkshireman and keen maintainer of the waxed jacket legacy. Ryan owns a small company offering repairs and rewaxing of classic waxed cotton jackets such as Barbour, Belstaff and John Partridge. We talk about the process of rewaxing, why it is a good thing, common problems, how to deal with smells, fashion versus function, which brands are better than others and being a fan of James Bond and “that jacket”Oh, and how taking care of your stuff and using it a long time is sustainable.

This episode finds Shaun back for another chat about, well, clothes and stuff really. More specifically the comfort we find in cloths, in which ways clothes may be comfortable and whether there is a disproportionate relationship between comfort and style.
Underway a startling revelation is made (just what does Nick wear to collect his mail?), possibly spurious allegations are put forward (does Shaun really have a Spice Girls t-shirt?) and a pause in conversation is prompted when Magnus, the keeshond puppy, decides to cause domestic havoc.
Best enjoyed with a mug of tea, or a woodland walk, or even both at the same time, according to Garment Gazers Gazette (a made-up publication that provides the best promotional quotes).

Many men find shopping for clothes both tedious, tricky and best left to a partner or mother. My guest today is Sarah Gilfillan, London-based style consultant, personal shopper and sartorial hand-holder through her business Sartorialab. We talk about how men shop, becoming aware of what suits you and not, how many clothes you need and how to get the most out of what you have. Oh, and the baffling concept of “smart casual”, so often mentioned and so rarely quite understood.

It’s easy enough to keep a narrow interest. We like what we like, more of the same can be a matter of “yes please!”. Finding an interest in something we’ve not previously been very interested in at all? Now that takes the seductive moves of a true lothario. In this weeks episode, Dachi tries to make Nick see the light when it comes to wrist-mounted timepieces. By weaving tales of history, bravery, luxury and values, Dachi pulls out all the stops. This is without a doubt another unmissable tet a tet.

S01 E21: Today’s guest is Martin Ridne of Swedish micro-brand Jernvike, literally a husband and wife brand from Stockholm. Jernvirke has been in business for around a year and I wanted to check in with Martin to hear about the experience of starting a clothing brand from scratch, what they bring to an already crowded table, being hands-on with the factory that makes for you, the trust-issues you face with your suppliers, and what sustainability means when you’re still a young business. We get into all this and more, I hope you enjoy it.

PS: The title of the episode? You’ll need to listen for the explanation 🙂

S01 E20: For this weeks episode, I’m joined again by my pal Shaun for a chat about clearing out our closets. A kind of guys version of the minimal Marie Kondo rage maybe? Well, not quite, but we get into knowing what you have before looking for more, what sort of stuff should be discarded, and what happens to it after we say farewell to our unwanted garms. Underway there are the usual tangents taken, as fruitful conversational alleys are discovered. We even get to disagree about denim: comfort or cardboard?

S01 E19: In this episode, I talk to Sophie Miller, designer at traditional British maker Yarmouth Oilskins on the coast of Norfolk. The company will shortly be celebrating 125 years of continuous history within the business of workwear. Originally supplying fishermen with their working clothes, from sweaters to oilskins, to a wider field of clothes for workers. Three years ago the heritage brand was launched, remaking designs from the archives. We talk about the history, making in Britain and being an important local business with dedicated employees.

S01 E18: Today’s guest is Jon Fowler, inveterate garmsman and collector of the weird, obscure, traditional and bespoke. We talk about Jon’s background in clothes, growing up on a farm, his love for waxed cotton and tweed, going deep into the world of army surplus and how what once was cheap and available is now rare, collectable and super expensive. The conversation takes a turn into British Made, how a real history counts, and how faking up a heritage works against brands, ending up in fast fashion. In a final twist we’re introduced to a high-end brand very few have heard about, and Jon bumped into the eccentric designer on the street in Brighton. Clearly this episode is another unmissable hour of quality chat!

Find Jon Fowler on Instagram as @heavyjon and read his Garmsmans Dozen here

S01 E17: In today’s episode, I talk to Lewis Hull of online reseller Marrkt. We talk about the business of reselling high-end menswear on consignment, whether fashion is an aspect in this segment, the current state of the denim industry and whether old gold will beat fast fashion.

S01 E16: In this episode, I talk to David Henderson-Stewart of the Russian watch company Raketa. Based in St Petersburg, Raketa is the only remaining maker of watches in Russia and their uniquely different timepieces have a long and interesting tradition. Made in their entirety in the small factory by a workforce that has seen much history happen outside. Used by Russian cosmonauts and Arctic explorers, the story of Raketa is both intriguing and fascinating.

S01 E15: In this weeks episode titled “The art of the prance”, my chum Dachi is back for another highbrow chat about a vital topic within garmology, prancing, or as some may refer to it, “pimping the fit”, “gilding the garms” or even “peacocking”. We’re talking about adding flair to the mundane, mashing up the normcore and disobeying rules with a vengeance. At least that was what we set out to do, though we may have experienced topic drift underway. Still, a vital chat featuring two opinionated guys. Possibly unmissable.

S01 E14: The guest in this episode is Bryan Shettig. Bryan owns the brand The Rite-Stuff, specialising in early 1900’s workwear. I wanted to talk to him about having garments made in Japan, whether the quality is as legends say and also about the challenges involved in finding a factory. We get into quite a lot of other stuff as well, so it made for an interesting hour-long chat.

S01 E13: The world of influencers is a strange and new one. On the one hand, it’s one of the most aspired to jobs among teens today, on the other, it’s clearly not without controversy. What exactly is influencing all about, and is it strictly above board? In this episode, I talk to influencer and social media guru Nik Speller and get the lowdown.

S01 E12: The title really does say it all. In this episode, Shaun is back for a chat and the topic is the clothing we don’t like. Garmental prejudice, if you like. There is even disagreement about certain items, so the tension is running high. Controversial topics are put on the table, only to be quickly snatched away. Some marginally sage advice is even dispersed. In a brief survey, 8/10 respondents rated this episode as “quite ok”, so clearly it’s unmissable!

S01E11: Ant Hicks owns Assembly, a small menswear shop in the idyllic market town of Frome in Somerset. We talk about the reality of being small and local when faced with the online retail mastodonts, the value of where things are made and the importance of sustainability.

S01E10: Much is said about the environmental impact and sustainability of our clothes. Which fibres are good, which are not so good. Should we upcycle, recycle, downcycle, send to landfill or wear them threadbare? What role do chemicals play, and are they all good? In this episode, I talk with Norwegian Research Professor Ingun Grimstad Klepp at Oslo Metropolitan University. Ingun researches sustainable textiles, clothing, laundry and leisure consumption and has written numerous articles and books of these themes.
The answers to the questions above are both startling and uncomfortable!

S10E09: In this episode, I talk to Iain Trickett of Trickett England. We talk about being proud of where you come from, being part of the local community, making good things for good people and is Made in England all it’s cracked up to be?

S00E08: Pretty much everything we do is influenced by what is around us and what has gone before us. Here is another rambling chat with Shaun and Nick, including a parasol that keeps toppling over and references to various subcultures.

00E07: In this episode, my guest is Miguel de Almeida, owner and creative director of British footwear brand Marcus de Shoes. Miguel takes me through the necessary and vital steps in keeping your quality footwear in good shape, so it can be enjoyed and used for its full potential lifespan. It’s both less involved and more involved than you might think, but at the end of the day, with quite a little effort, tools and products, you too can do it. Marcus de Shoes can be found on Instagram as @marcusdeshoes and the web as https://marcus-de.com/

S00E06: In this episode, my co-host is my friend Dachi from Brighton and we enjoy a Sunday morning chat about brands that find favour with us, and why that is so. We ruminate upon what may make a brand interesting and whether a designer working on his own may be more interesting creatively than design by committee.

S00E05: In this episode, I talk tweed with Rebecca Hutton, an independent weaver of Harris Tweed on the Isle of Harris on the Hebridean Isles off the coast of Scotland. We talk about the history and social significance of the tweed, what it entails to be an independent weaver and what the future of Harris Tweed looks like.

S00E04: In this episode, I talk with Nick Hussey of FRAHM Jackets about his philosophy when it comes to designing garments for his brand. We talk about jacket design, the influence of classic jackets, what needs a jacket needs to fill and more.

S00E03: In this episode, my co-host is my friend Shaun from Glasgow and we talk buying decent clothes, getting value for money, at what price point you might find “peak value” and why “buy better, buy less” may not be entirely sensible.

S00E02: In this episode, my co-host is my friend Dachi from Brighton and we talk about the various ways we look at the value of clothes and heritage, vintage and reproduction clothing. Is there a valid point to reproducing items that are still widely available?

00E01: In this episode, my co-host is my friend Shaun from Glasgow and we talk about heritage, provenance and branding. Where are things made, what is the brand history and does it really matter?