Q&A WITH ANDY SINCLAIR

Q&A WITH ANDY SINCLAIR

THE PERMANENT STYLE TRENCH COAT WITH CASUAL WEAR

Tell me about Andy Sinclair the individual. Place of birth? Education? First job?

Hi James, it’s my pleasure to finally meet and have a little chat with you. Thank you for easing me in with a straightforward first question. I was born in Barnstaple on the beautiful North Devon Coast, my father serving down there in the RAF. I had a pretty straightforward state education - in Leicestershire, as by this time my dad had left the forces. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except to say, looking back at it, I was a shy kid and although showed some promise in certain subjects, I was just too lazy to realize my potential. My first job was after I crashed out of the degree in Electronic Engineering I was doing and ended up in business with my dad. He was a systems engineer and I produced schematic circuit diagrams using the then new tech of Computer Aided Design.

What do you do today for business and pleasure?

For quite a while now, I have made a living as a Hydrographic Surveyor. This basically means that I map the world’s sea-beds onboard survey vessels. I get to travel the world and best of all I get around 8 months of the year off to do exactly as I please. Before this, I’ve been lucky enough to try a whole load of different things. I’ve been a bush pilot in Tanzania, flying folk to safari camps and, for a very brief period, I ended up as an airline pilot based out of Heathrow flying Airbus A320s. I’ve also lived and worked in Alaska as a surveyor and have done my fair share of work in warehouses for the likes of ASDA and Argos, etc. I’ve got lots of stories, which I guess will have to wait until another time…

For pleasure I like to keep fit. I used to be a cardio man, doing lots of running and cycling, but about 18 months or so ago I decided to start doing weights just as an experiment to see what would happen to my body and now I’m hooked.

A chance meeting with a photographer in Sweden a couple of years led to me being invited to do a photo shoot at his studio in Norway. One thing led to another and now, very unexpectedly, I regularly do photo shoots as an amateur model. I really enjoy this, going to cool places and meeting interesting people, working to get the best images and learning the craft from scratch. Slowly gaining a following on Instagram and learning just how addictive social media can be!

Just as a test of my confidence, I got into life modeling last year. So, I now pose entirely naked for artists to paint at a local art gallery. Believe me this is fantastic motivation for not skipping the gym! What does it feel like? Well it’s a potent combination of vulnerability and power. It’s really rewarding to be part of the creative process and I remind myself that if I can do this, what on earth is going to stop me in life? It’s so good for the confidence.

How has your personality, lifestyle and style evolved over the years?

As a said before, I was a shy kid. I was also on the small side and very, very ginger. I like to think these 3 things sharpened my wit and sense of humour. If nothing else, to stop me being bullied! You get a bit older and, at least in my case, I was able to shake the shyness off. My various career adventures have been out of this world but have also led to some horrendous strains on me and, it has to be said, my mental health. The end of my flying career came when I was signed off with work-related stress. This was a devastating blow to what had been my life’s ambition. The support of family and friends helped, but the reality is that it took me a good few years to rebuild my life financially and especially emotionally after this. I really wasn’t myself for quite some time.

Time passes and there comes a day that you turn around and you realize that you no longer even think about what at one stage was the thing that devastated you and dominated your life for so long. That is a great day.

A huge amount of personal growth came about for me about four years ago. It was prompted by a fortunate convergence of different decisions I made. First, I had a work contract cancelled that was going to leave me rather short of funds. For no better reason, I decided to grow out my beard until a new contract came along. Well inevitably, after a few months I got a new contract, but the beard made such and impact that I just had to stick with it. Quite extraordinary, but every single week I have people coming up to me in the street or shouting across the road: “Great beard, man!” I can tell you, getting appreciative comments like this from total strangers does your self-esteem and self-confidence absolutely no harm at all.

With incredibly good fortune, for me this coincided with another life-changing decision. Many years ago, back at university, a very good friend of mine - Julian - died in a pot-holing accident. This happened three weeks before he was due to get married. Incredibly tragic and so, so sad. Many years later, I came to a profound realization: I’ve got so many opportunities in my life that were denied to Julian. When I meet him again someday, how on earth am I going to explain myself to him if I don’t make the most of every single opportunity that comes my way? The scales fell from my eyes and now try to live my life in this spirit. Try it: positive things really do happen to positive people and I’ve never looked back.

My lifestyle has reflected my financial circumstances. I’ve spent time being as poor as a church mouse; other times I’ve had considerable resources but plowed them all into my ultimately ill-fated flying ambitions. It really doesn’t matter. You come to realize that the important thing in life is the people you share it with. Sharing a drink with friends down the pub, dinner with your girl, this is the stuff a contented life is made of and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

In many ways, I live a fairly modest lifestyle. I don’t have a big house, my car is nearly 10 years old and I get my fill of travel with work, so I certainly don’t jet off to exotic locations on holiday. I do like my clothes though!  

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that for the longest time my name and style didn’t really belong in the same sentence. Not that I was uninterested, but I had other priorities for my time and money.

They say that clothes maketh the man don’t they and that wearing good clothes makes you feel good about yourself? Well I can tell you, it’s absolutely true. It really does make a difference in your life if you respect yourself enough to wear good clothes. I say good clothes, not necessarily expensive clothes. In a very real sense, my renewed interest in style is part and parcel of my reinvention over the past few years.

My style has evolved and will no doubt continue to evolve. Plaid shirts and waistcoats inevitably accompanied my beard growth. Nothing wrong with that. This lead on to an interest in quality work wear, selvedge denim, trucker jackets, corduroy and the like. More recently, I’ve been more focused towards what you would class as the ‘British Country’ look.

 

 

I’ve not often analyzed it, but thinking about it now I can see that the objects of real desire to me are generally outerwear pieces and these do most of the work in my wardrobe. I do love to experiment with layers and it’s important to combine the outer layers with some quality staples – combinations of shirts, knitwear, tees, etc.

For me, wearing quality clothing is a joy and I especially enjoy discovering pieces that have some real provenance and heritage to them. It’s great to be able to buy something that you know is a classic design, something that will last a long time and has been made by real crafts people using the best materials.

What first drew you to PW initially and what keeps you coming back to PW?

I discovered Private White VC via Simon Crompton’s site (www.permanentstyle.com). This site gave some very useful advice when picking my first overcoat. It’s here I saw the PWVC Dispatch Motor Trench for the first time. As it turns out, Simon is responsible for designing this piece in conjunction with PWVC. I did try to resist, but it’s just so good and before too long I’d decided that I was going to invest. Why? Well, I love the swagger of the coat and I love that it’s made from Ventile cotton - a British woven fabric that saved ditched aircrew in World War Two. This fabric is perfect for a trench coat. Waterproof, so comfortable, very breathable and quiet as a mouse: it doesn’t rustle like synthetic waterproof materials tend to.

It’s true, I do keep coming back to PWVC. I now have 4 outerwear pieces from you guys. I really like that many items are inspired by military garments of the past. As such they are practical, remain timeless and are most definitely stylish. The clothing is beautifully put together in Manchester from materials made as close as possible to the factory. This includes the fabrics, which in many cases are woven in this country. For me, you can’t really beat the combination of design, heritage and quality that PWVC pieces represent. The stuff just looks so damn good and makes you feel fantastic wearing it.

What is your favourite piece and why (assuming this is the PS Trench)?

My goodness, that’s like asking me which is my favourite child! I’ll always hold special place for the PWVC Trench as it was my first purchase from you. It’s got so much style and swagger to it, you feel like a different person when you put it on. My Twin Track is so beautiful and practical to wear every day. It’s drawn many an admiring comment. For the warmer months there’s the Belted Safari Jacket, an absolutely fantastic rendition of a classic style. My most recent purchase has been the limited-edition Linen Field Jacket. Whoa, what can I say? This thing is just gorgeous.

Tell me about your Peaky Blinders squad

Peaky Blinders. Well, it's become something of a phenomenon, hasn’t it? Peaky Blinders takeovers, themed nights, etc. It’s really caught the imagination. I think a big part of this is that the clothes are just so stylish.

The shots you see here are from a shoot put together by Adrian Bramley (@solo_studio_Wigston on insta) Over two very wet days, the Trench worked perfectly. Adrian organizes different style shoots for the members of his photography club and I was only too happy to take part when he approached me. I have to say I had not met any of the photographers before. Georgie Grace (@georgiexgrace on insta) was one of the other models involved. She added some much-needed glamour to proceedings as well as providing the very well-behaved horse! Then we have Geoff Amos (@geoff_amos on insta). A fantastic character model of some repute. He is also responsible for making the totally badass Lewis gun and Thompson sub-machine gun replicas – cleaver fellow. The other models were my sometime partners in crime: Marc (@thebeardedox on insta) and Trevor (@bearded_rigley on insta). These guys are solid gold and we know each other as brand ambassadors for male grooming product company MoBros Grooming (@mobrosgrooming on insta). We get together every now and again and get to do some cool things such as filming for the likes of Amazon, Paypal, etc. All in the cause of promoting excellence in the world of beard care.

Always good fun to do photo shoots and this one was an absolute riot as we got to play with toy guns, do some play fights and work with a horse.

 

Tell me about Andy Sinclair the individual. Place of birth? Education? First job?

Hi James, it’s my pleasure to finally meet and have a little chat with you. Thank you for easing me in with a straightforward first question. I was born in Barnstaple on the beautiful North Devon Coast, my father serving down there in the RAF. I had a pretty straightforward state education - in Leicestershire, as by this time my dad had left the forces. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except to say, looking back at it, I was a shy kid and although showed some promise in certain subjects, I was just too lazy to realize my potential. My first job was after I crashed out of the degree in Electronic Engineering I was doing and ended up in business with my dad. He was a systems engineer and I produced schematic circuit diagrams using the then new tech of Computer Aided Design.

What do you do today for business and pleasure?

For quite a while now, I have made a living as a Hydrographic Surveyor. This basically means that I map the world’s sea-beds onboard survey vessels. I get to travel the world and best of all I get around 8 months of the year off to do exactly as I please. Before this, I’ve been lucky enough to try a whole load of different things. I’ve been a bush pilot in Tanzania, flying folk to safari camps and, for a very brief period, I ended up as an airline pilot based out of Heathrow flying Airbus A320s. I’ve also lived and worked in Alaska as a surveyor and have done my fair share of work in warehouses for the likes of ASDA and Argos, etc. I’ve got lots of stories, which I guess will have to wait until another time…

For pleasure I like to keep fit. I used to be a cardio man, doing lots of running and cycling, but about 18 months or so ago I decided to start doing weights just as an experiment to see what would happen to my body and now I’m hooked.

A chance meeting with a photographer in Sweden a couple of years led to me being invited to do a photo shoot at his studio in Norway. One thing led to another and now, very unexpectedly, I regularly do photo shoots as an amateur model. I really enjoy this, going to cool places and meeting interesting people, working to get the best images and learning the craft from scratch. Slowly gaining a following on Instagram and learning just how addictive social media can be!

Just as a test of my confidence, I got into life modeling last year. So, I now pose entirely naked for artists to paint at a local art gallery. Believe me this is fantastic motivation for not skipping the gym! What does it feel like? Well it’s a potent combination of vulnerability and power. It’s really rewarding to be part of the creative process and I remind myself that if I can do this, what on earth is going to stop me in life? It’s so good for the confidence.

How has your personality, lifestyle and style evolved over the years?

As a said before, I was a shy kid. I was also on the small side and very, very ginger. I like to think these 3 things sharpened my wit and sense of humour. If nothing else, to stop me being bullied! You get a bit older and, at least in my case, I was able to shake the shyness off. My various career adventures have been out of this world but have also led to some horrendous strains on me and, it has to be said, my mental health. The end of my flying career came when I was signed off with work-related stress. This was a devastating blow to what had been my life’s ambition. The support of family and friends helped, but the reality is that it took me a good few years to rebuild my life financially and especially emotionally after this. I really wasn’t myself for quite some time.

 

 

Time passes and there comes a day that you turn around and you realize that you no longer even think about what at one stage was the thing that devastated you and dominated your life for so long. That is a great day.

A huge amount of personal growth came about for me about four years ago. It was prompted by a fortunate convergence of different decisions I made. First, I had a work contract cancelled that was going to leave me rather short of funds. For no better reason, I decided to grow out my beard until a new contract came along. Well inevitably, after a few months I got a new contract, but the beard made such and impact that I just had to stick with it. Quite extraordinary, but every single week I have people coming up to me in the street or shouting across the road: “Great beard, man!” I can tell you, getting appreciative comments like this from total strangers does your self-esteem and self-confidence absolutely no harm at all.

With incredibly good fortune, for me this coincided with another life-changing decision. Many years ago, back at university, a very good friend of mine - Julian - died in a pot-holing accident. This happened three weeks before he was due to get married. Incredibly tragic and so, so sad. Many years later, I came to a profound realization: I’ve got so many opportunities in my life that were denied to Julian. When I meet him again someday, how on earth am I going to explain myself to him if I don’t make the most of every single opportunity that comes my way? The scales fell from my eyes and now try to live my life in this spirit. Try it: positive things really do happen to positive people and I’ve never looked back.

My lifestyle has reflected my financial circumstances. I’ve spent time being as poor as a church mouse; other times I’ve had considerable resources but plowed them all into my ultimately ill-fated flying ambitions. It really doesn’t matter. You come to realize that the important thing in life is the people you share it with. Sharing a drink with friends down the pub, dinner with your girl, this is the stuff a contented life is made of and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

In many ways, I live a fairly modest lifestyle. I don’t have a big house, my car is nearly 10 years old and I get my fill of travel with work, so I certainly don’t jet off to exotic locations on holiday. I do like my clothes though!  

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that for the longest time my name and style didn’t really belong in the same sentence. Not that I was uninterested, but I had other priorities for my time and money.

They say that clothes maketh the man don’t they and that wearing good clothes makes you feel good about yourself? Well I can tell you, it’s absolutely true. It really does make a difference in your life if you respect yourself enough to wear good clothes. I say good clothes, not necessarily expensive clothes. In a very real sense, my renewed interest in style is part and parcel of my reinvention over the past few years.

My style has evolved and will no doubt continue to evolve. Plaid shirts and waistcoats inevitably accompanied my beard growth. Nothing wrong with that. This lead on to an interest in quality work wear, selvedge denim, trucker jackets, corduroy and the like. More recently, I’ve been more focused towards what you would class as the ‘British Country’ look.

 

 

 

 

I’ve not often analyzed it, but thinking about it now I can see that the objects of real desire to me are generally outerwear pieces and these do most of the work in my wardrobe. I do love to experiment with layers and it’s important to combine the outer layers with some quality staples – combinations of shirts, knitwear, tees, etc.

For me, wearing quality clothing is a joy and I especially enjoy discovering pieces that have some real provenance and heritage to them. It’s great to be able to buy something that you know is a classic design, something that will last a long time and has been made by real crafts people using the best materials.

What first drew you to PW initially and what keeps you coming back to PW?

I discovered Private White VC via Simon Crompton’s site (www.permanentstyle.com). This site gave some very useful advice when picking my first overcoat. It’s here I saw the PWVC Dispatch Motor Trench for the first time. As it turns out, Simon is responsible for designing this piece in conjunction with PWVC. I did try to resist, but it’s just so good and before too long I’d decided that I was going to invest. Why? Well, I love the swagger of the coat and I love that it’s made from Ventile cotton - a British woven fabric that saved ditched aircrew in World War Two. This fabric is perfect for a trench coat. Waterproof, so comfortable, very breathable and quiet as a mouse: it doesn’t rustle like synthetic waterproof materials tend to.

It’s true, I do keep coming back to PWVC. I now have 4 outerwear pieces from you guys. I really like that many items are inspired by military garments of the past. As such they are practical, remain timeless and are most definitely stylish. The clothing is beautifully put together in Manchester from materials made as close as possible to the factory. This includes the fabrics, which in many cases are woven in this country. For me, you can’t really beat the combination of design, heritage and quality that PWVC pieces represent. The stuff just looks so damn good and makes you feel fantastic wearing it.

What is your favourite piece and why (assuming this is the PS Trench)?

My goodness, that’s like asking me which is my favourite child! I’ll always hold special place for the PWVC Trench as it was my first purchase from you. It’s got so much style and swagger to it, you feel like a different person when you put it on. My Twin Track is so beautiful and practical to wear every day. It’s drawn many an admiring comment. For the warmer months there’s the Belted Safari Jacket, an absolutely fantastic rendition of a classic style. My most recent purchase has been the limited-edition Linen Field Jacket. Whoa, what can I say? This thing is just gorgeous.

Tell me about your Peaky Blinders squad

Peaky Blinders. Well, it's become something of a phenomenon, hasn’t it? Peaky Blinders takeovers, themed nights, etc. It’s really caught the imagination. I think a big part of this is that the clothes are just so stylish.

The shots you see here are from a shoot put together by Adrian Bramley (@solo_studio_Wigston on insta) Over two very wet days, the Trench worked perfectly. Adrian organizes different style shoots for the members of his photography club and I was only too happy to take part when he approached me. I have to say I had not met any of the photographers before. Georgie Grace (@georgiexgrace on insta) was one of the other models involved. She added some much-needed glamour to proceedings as well as providing the very well-behaved horse! Then we have Geoff Amos (@geoff_amos on insta). A fantastic character model of some repute. He is also responsible for making the totally badass Lewis gun and Thompson sub-machine gun replicas – cleaver fellow. The other models were my sometime partners in crime: Marc (@thebeardedox on insta) and Trevor (@bearded_rigley on insta). These guys are solid gold and we know each other as brand ambassadors for male grooming product company MoBros Grooming (@mobrosgrooming on insta). We get together every now and again and get to do some cool things such as filming for the likes of Amazon, Paypal, etc. All in the cause of promoting excellence in the world of beard care.

Always good fun to do photo shoots and this one was an absolute riot as we got to play with toy guns, do some play fights and work with a horse.

 

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