Ben Sherman, it's Madness + Holiday Hustle


First check out the latest from one of my favorite labels..Ben Sherman then learn how to do the Holiday Shopping Hustle in Style with tips from moi!

The British Royal Air Force Roundel (Mod Target) brings to mind 2 things; The Mod subculture of the 1960s-1970s and Ben Sherman.

Arthur Bernard Sugarman aka Ben Sherman created a his legendary clothing brand in 1963 to bring American style button down Oxford shirts to London-based Jazz fans. Ben Sherman clothing soon became popular among the Mod and Ska subcultures and today has been adopted by men around the world who love the “effortless cool” look of Ben Sherman designs.

Since the 1960s the Ben Sherman brand has walked hand in hand with music, bringing together music and style.  Now this iconic brand is collaborating with one of my favorite iconic bands.

For Fall/Winter 2010 Ben Sherman launched the Madness Collection……..featuring t-shirts with album covers and  literary graphics from one of the most prominent POP/SKA  bands of the late 1970s…. Madness!

Here is a look inside “their house”:

The Madness Collection is Limited Edition and is going fast!  So put on your Porkpie hat, hop on your Vespa and get to a Ben Sherman store now!  Or check them out on the web at:

(do not click on image above…it does not enter you in giveaway..see below)

This week Ben Sherman is giving 1 lucky reader a Stylish duffle bag and a pair of cufflinks!(see photos below)


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Leave a Comment on this post between Nov. 21 and Nov. 27  naming your favorite Madness song.

(comments can be left at bottom of post (scroll past the Holiday Hustle story) or at top right by clicking the comment icon, depending on your browser).

Good Luck!  Thanks For Reading!

Spread the Word!  For additional entries Repost on your Facebook and Twitter.

Last weeks lucky winner is Krystle R.

Holiday Hustle

 Its Black Friday week which means the holidays are rapidly approaching and gift giving anxieties are kicking in!  Don’t despair I have some quick tips to help you navigate your holiday shopping in style!

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, malls packed with cranky shoppers and budget conscious frenzied gift givers trying to find the perfect gift, then finally in an act of desperation grabbing the closest cheapest thing!

 Holidays can be a frustrating and stressful time……. but they don’t have to be!

 Every year my clients, friends and family ask “How do you do it? You always give the perfect gift!” 

 Giving the perfect gift isn’t really that difficult.  You just need to calm down, take a breath and think about the person you are giving the gift to.

A HUGE mistake many frantic/frustrated gift givers make is buying something that they personally want or like as a gift for someone else.  Just because you have a love for David Hasselhoff music doesn’t mean you should give your entire HOLIDAY list his CD, keep that to yourself!

You have to think “What would the person I am giving this gift to like?”  “What are their interests?” 

 Gift giving is defiantly an art, but it can be learned!

Lets  practice.

Here are four sample “personalities” that can be difficult to select gifts for.

  • The Health Nut/Eco Friendly Shopper.  This person goes to yoga religiously, eats healthy, and has a passion for the environment. Gift ideas: A tea set and tea from Teavana (choose a sustainable tea that “gives back”).  Yoga gear at Lululemon (an amazing Yoga friendly store with clothing, yoga mats, and earth friendly accessories). 


  •  The Technology Junkie.  This person has to have the latest in new technology.  Often difficult to shop for because they buy everything as is comes out, leaving little to no room for their prospective gift givers to navigate!  This guy drives a gift giver crazy! Gift ideas:  inquire at the MAC store about new items that will be out soon.  You can pre-purchase an item BEFORE it’s out or get them on a list and give a print out of their “coming soon” gift!  Give some headphones with personality.  Fashion-up your techie with Skull Candy headphones, unique funky earphones that look super cool. . 


  • The Nerd.  Has a love for comics, Sci-fi, Doctor Who and Star Wars. Biggest mistake most gift givers make when buying for him is trying to change him by buying some chic piece of clothing he’ll never wear!  Embrace the geek! There is one amazing website that covers it all for this guy! Star Trek pizza cutter? Magic wand TV remote? Tauntaun sleeping bag?  You find them all here


  • The Foodie.  This person has a love for fine foods, wines and cooking.  Gift Ideas:   Most celebrity chefs have great cookbooks for sale, and many restaurants have “cooking nights” that you can purchase a class for your gift!  For the very adventurous gift giver try giving a wine making class at Grape Expectations your foodie will LOVE it!

Once you start really thinking like a true gift giver it’s not that hard!  Ideas just start flowing! 


  • Don’t pile on all the pressure and stress by trying to do your holiday shopping in one day. 
  • Dress Comfortable.  Don’t wear heels when you plan on pounding the pavement!  Comfy chic is the way to go for marathon shopping!
  • Shop with a friend.  Share the experience, so much more fun!
  • Take your time!  Grab lunch, have a cocktail, enjoy the season!
  • Fuel up!  Caffinate!  My fav is a pumpkin latte!
  • Track it! Keep a list of who you need gifts for, the amount you want to spend, and any ideas you might have for the gift. 

Follow my shopping tips and you’ll be a professional gift giver in no time!

Keep up with the best Black Friday sales at :

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  1. Well, after looking up “Madness”-( because I suck at pop culture trivia)I realized they sing “our house” and “it must be love” see Christie, I knew who they are just couldn’t put a name and or face to it!! Have to say my fave song by them is “it must be love”. Love LOVE the bag- u think I got get my husband to wear a man purse? Hell, Ill use it! Love Ben Sherman!

    Also, Thanks for the Holiday tips my husband is a tech junkie ( buys EVERYTHING electronic right away, and then has to spend hours teaching me it), nerd ( we get the thinkgeek magazine weekly) , and foodie ( loves to cook). SO— Ill have to come up with a gift for all three perhaps a technologically advanced piece of electronic equipment for the kitchen?? Who am I kidding, Chrisitie is in my phone under “ask Dex” she knows everything, Ill just call her!

  2. I know this sounds corny, and I do LOVE “One Step Beyond,” but… because I am utterly in love with my husband, my favorite Madness song is “It Must Be Love.” I’m silly that way.

  3. …and that was supposed to say “I’d ROCK those cufflinks”… iPhone is pissing me off today.

  4. funny, we were just looking at the minis with the union jack side mirrors and i was thinking to myself, “self, i wish i had me a man purse with a union jack on it.”

    but this stuff does look cool 🙂

  5. Sadly, I had my heart broken by a Madness super-fan. I will have to say my favorite song by them is “Our House” because the heart-breaker loathed that one.
    Love the bag; love your blog; cheers to a happy holiday!

  6. Our House…….That song puts a little pep in my step. I think of jr high, childrens asprin( Don’t ask)( well, you could but then you would know how seriosly wierd I am) tape recordings off the radio from one boom box to the recorder , hoping your mom wouldn’t yell for you or you little brother to come barging in and screw up your recording…. I think of slate chalkboards and real music television.I love Our House…. in the middle of our street….our house…..

  7. “House of Fun!” The whole Mod thing takes me back to HS. My brother & about 5 of his friends were doing the Mod/ska thing. They all had Vespas and cruised around in their debonnaire clothes. Me and my friends tried to hang with them whenever we could. We thought we were so grown up smoking cloves. It was awesome! I always felt soooo cool when my brother would let me ride on the back of his Vespa. It didn’t happen often enough. Oh! The good ‘ole days.

  8. I have to say my favorite is “One Step Beyond” brings back fond memories of living in Camden Town, actually meeting Suggs, and riding my Vespa. If it means anything in this competition, I could really use a new duffle bag and cuff links would help me get sussed for one of our local mod dance nights.


  9. “One Step Beyond” still gets regular rotation when I’m spinning for our soundsystem. Great song.

  10. By the way, I’d LOVE to win these items so I can give them to my brother for Christmas!!!!!!!!! He is the epitome of Mr. Mod 🙂 pretty please… this is me begging.

  11. Favorite??? Damn that’s a tall order – the one that first came to mind was “It must be Love” such simple smooth melody – cool – romantic – But bed and breakfast man was always a favorite – got me going. Loved growing up with a two-tone soundtrack – Social justice – racial equality – ska- reggae blue beat Mod blues some of the best music in the world shaped my world view. Madness was consistently one of the best sounds. Loved singing all their songs – cruising on the Vespa in my thrift store clothes with skateboards strapped to my book rack. – Ben Sherman style -ultra smooth and classic – just pure smooth class – Love the bag – its like an old Pan American Airlines 60’s flight bag – Would love to keep my video and film cameras in it to go see more of the world – We need more Two – Tone ideology, love and understanding in this world these days – Smashing Blog Christie – Hope to meet you one day – Peace to all – I’m glad my sis brought me here – its always an instant romp down memory lane – a good ol romp of the good ol days.
    You see Ska is the great uniter once again – Cheers All!!! — Camdog

    Kajsa Marchetti’s bro –

    Just connected with my lil’ sis Kajsa with the go feet – nuff respect…

  12. SERIOUSLY????… Just TRY saying “Our House” without the song in your head! It’s impossible!

    I love your shopping ideas.

    Here’s something I’m doing for the first time this year for my best friend, Moi ;-> : I created a massive wish list of things I really, really want. Every other Christmas until now I thought of things all year, and lost the thoughts as the months went by–I ended up asking for things that were……….boring! This year, when I’d think of something I wanted, I put it on my husband’s calendar on Dec 25, 2010. Then today I downloaded the UNIVERSAL WISH LIST on Even if Amazon doesn’t carry what you want, you can put it on that one complete list, and anyone can order your gifts from the links. Isn’t that special!!!

    It IS blessed to RECEIVE! HA!

    Merry Christmas!
    Ann Payne