Meet Craig Hammond, The Founder of That Dapper Chap
Craig Hammond is the man behind the award winning blog, That Dapper Chap. His unique view on contemporary menswear and his distinctive British style has earned him an impressive Instagram following and prestigious awards. The Fashion Times listed Craig as one of the Top Five British Menswear Bloggers of 2016. We caught up with Craig to discuss sartorial essentials, style tips and fashion faux pas...
What inspired you to start your award winning blog, That Dapper Chap, and why do you think it is so popular?
I didn't set out with a plan to start a blog, especially one that picked up 'Best Fashion Blog' award at the NBN awards last year! It all started with an Instagram account and the more fashion images and advice I posted the more interest it received. As my followers grew I was asked if I had a blog and at that time I didn't so after doing a little research I set up ThatDapperChap.com and it seems to have gone from strength to strength since.
"I'm very proud to be British and I'm so pleased to be a small part of this incredible industry."
Since setting up the blog two and a half years ago I've worked with some incredible brands and attended some amazing events. It's opened my eyes to a world entirely different to that which I was used to and I am so grateful for all of the experiences that I've had and for the people and new friends that I've met along my way.
Have you always worked in fashion? When did your fashion career begin?
No! After leaving school I worked in a factory as a sign maker before moving into the financial services sector where I still work today. I have always been creative and had a very keen interest in fashion and style and the advent of social media has created an opening for me and allowed me to express that side of my personality and creativity, which the day job doesn't do. So I have the best of both worlds.
You are one of the most influential menswear bloggers of the moment, where did you gain your style expertise?
It all comes from emerging myself in the concept. I read books and magazines, follow other bloggers and take a keen interest in trends. Working closely with some top brands I get to see new trends coming through way before they appear on the high street. I've never studied fashion and have simply picked up any knowledge I have on the go. I sometimes think it’s that which makes me more 'real' and accessible compared to other fashion people out there.
What is your top style tip?
Be you! Confidence is a key part to looking good. However you dress, wear your look with confidence and the rest will just fall into place. Yes, there are things that I wouldn't wear myself and trends that I simply do not follow. The best thing about fashion, particularly British fashion is that it is so incredibly diverse, and I am a huge fan of individuality and personal expression.
"Confidence is a key part to looking good."
So while I could give style advice, it has to come from the individual. Dressing the way I do won't appeal to everyone, and it's vital for people to be who they are, unedited, and it's vital for the continued health of the British fashion industry that we embrace that.
What is your favourite piece from the Hawes & Curtis AW16 collection and why?
As a fan of an eye catching blazer it has to be the green and red check Harris Tweed blazer. I love the bold check and colour palate and it'd be a great piece for the Christmas party season.
Who is your style icon and why?
Nick Wooster is one of the most stylish guys I've had the pleasure to meet. No matter what he wears he manages to look great. He's not afraid to test the boundaries and for a guy of a certain age I have a lot of respect for him and his approach to fashion.
What sartorial item should every man own?
It has to be a well fitted suit. If you can afford bespoke, do it. If your budget is a little smaller go for made to measure. If however you're on a budget like me and a lot of other guys, choose wisely and take time choosing a suit that fits. Many high street dry cleaners offer alterations so take your high street suit in and get it tweaked to make it perfect for you.
What do you love about British fashion?
British fashion and British designers have always led the way. Not constricted to what's 'normal' British fashion has always tested the limits and paved the way for many new trends and styles which span decades. Some of which are still referred to today as ground breaking moments in the fashion industry, not just here in the UK but globally. I'm very proud to be British and am so pleased to be a small part of this incredible industry.
What is your favourite/ worst trend this season?
I love autumn because I get to layer. I love the fabrics, the Tweed, wool and rich heavy fabrics. Merino wool knitwear and thick cotton shirting. Overcoats and fine leather gloves. Camel coloured coats are big again this season and I have just invested in a new one myself but I love your cashmere version. It's very classic in style. One trend I'm not hugely keen on are bomber jackets, maybe it's my age but I just can't bring myself to wear one.
What is the worst fashion faux pas a man can make?
Oh, there are so many! But my personal bugbear is a poorly fitting suit. Some are just too skinny and make a guy look like it's been sprayed on, others are way too big and make the wearer look like they've been at the dressing up box, or wearing their Dad's hand-me-downs.
Describe your style in three words.
I would say classic, formal and of course dapper!
Tie or no tie?
Oh, tie, without question. I have been known to even wear a tie on 'casual Friday' I just don't feel right without one.