A Menswear Buyer’s Favourite Things
A Menswear Buyer’s Favourite Things

A Menswear Buyer’s Favourite Things


Alexander Francis is a menswear buyer. He’s also an all-round cool guy who knows a thing or two about classic cars, new music, great restaurants and more. Here's what he's loving right now...



I’m not sure if these are strictly speaking trainers, but I got a pair of all-black Prada Americas Cup when I was in Paris for work and have been running in them quite a lot. I remember having a pair when I was 18 or 19. I sold them a few years later, but it feels good to bring them back into the rotation.


I’m trying to smarten up my act, so I’ve been going pretty deep into good knitwear. My favourite recent purchase is a Saman Amel open-collar, ribbed, cashmere polo knit. It was expensive, but I’ve been living in it ever since, and I always think about cost per wear when I buy new pieces.


I’ve tried loads over the years and I think the best is the United Athle 5942 model. Not too heavy, not too light and, importantly, not too long in the body. It comes in a selection of colours and, at £25 each, it doesn’t break the bank.


I’ve become quite a big watch nerd over the last few years. I managed to get the new Rolex Explorer 40 just after it was released last year, and I’ve worn it pretty much every day since. I think it’s the perfect go-anywhere, do-anything watch.


I’m really into leather jackets at the moment and I’m hoping to snap up the Schott NYC flight jacket with the shearling collar from its Made in USA range. It’ll be a great investment and an easy throw-on that will only get better with wear.


I really like Drake’s, especially its Tropical Wool styles. In my opinion, navy or grey will always be the most versatile options for smart occasions all year round. For a more laid-back and slightly cheaper option, Mfpen offers good tailoring separates. If your dress codes are more relaxed, it’s also worth looking at black Homme Plissé blazers and trousers, which are super comfortable.



Carter Young is an emerging New York brand I’ve been following for a little while now. I’m excited to see how it progresses over the coming seasons. I think it’s started to strike on a cool aesthetic that blends suburban, preppy Americana references and some European fashion influences (think classic Polo Ralph Lauren/J Crew meets 80s Brioni/Armani). It’s definitely a brand to watch out for.


I’m not such a big follower of individual influencers, but I love to trawl old image references from the 90s and early 00s. I like @NightOpenings and @GettyImagesFanClub for styling inspiration.


As the child of a Jamaican mother, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter is my forever body moisturiser. I’ve recently started growing out my hair again, so the Olive Oil Nourishing Sheen by ORS is an inexpensive go-to.


I stick to the classics – I’ve been wearing the same two fragrances for the last ten years or so. I rotate between Dior Eau Sauvage and Hermes Terre D’Hermès, both in Eau de Parfum formulations. I love the combination of the fresh and citrusy Dior for the day and the woodier Hermès for the evening.


Based on aesthetics alone, my favourite car of all time is a Saab 900 Turbo. If I had to jump in something modern, I’d pick something from the (fairly) new Audi E-Tron range – super nice looking cars with a lower impact on our planet.



I’ve been listening to ‘Two Star & The Dream Police’ by Mk.gee a lot. It sounds a little like Jai Paul meets Endless/Blonde-era Frank Ocean to me. Given those two guys seem to enjoy starving us all of new music, this new record has hit the spot.


It’s technically not a playlist, but I religiously listen to Benji B’s show on BBC Sounds. I think his curation of music is the best out there. His show is pretty wide spanning musically and I find it one of the best places to be exposed to good new music.


I go to the cinema once a week if work allows. I usually go to my locals, The Castle Cinema in Clapton or the Rio in Dalston, but recently I went to BFI Southbank to watch a documentary about the London band Cymande which was really good. Showings at the BFI don’t have the usual 15 minutes of adverts, and people actually stay quiet and off their phones which is cool.


I was really impressed with the menu at Donia in Kingly Court. The Plum cocktail, the Lechon pork belly and Lamb Calderata pie were very good, so definitely order those. For the vibe alone, my favourite place is Trattoria Brutto – the food is pretty good, the negronis are £5, and it’s low lit and moody.


I really enjoyed the Philip Guston exhibition at the Tate Modern. I hadn’t ever seen his Ku Klux Klan paintings in person. I know there was some controversy around the timing of the exhibition and whether the KKK work should be shown or not, but I was personally very glad to see it in person and learn about his motivations for making the works. Now I’m looking forward to the Entangled Pasts 1768 – Now exhibition at the RA in the next couple of weeks.


I love the Caribbean – all of it! I’m of Jamaican heritage and, while I find it interesting that such a small island has had such a large impact on wider popular culture, my favourite island is Saint Lucia. The vibe is much less frenetic than Jamaica. You can just lie on a beautiful beach and unwind, but there’s also lots to do if you are more restless. 


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