First Instinct: Abercrombe & Fitch - An Exciting New Fragrance For Men

Yes I do have a clock tattoo with no clock-hands; of course, ever so obvious and uncreative the time is reserved for my first kids birth (which couldn't seem further away right now!). Move further south from my bad tattoos and you'll find First Instinct, the brand new men's fragrance from Abercrombie & Fitch. I mean you could question why I'm carrying it around whilst wandering the streets of Brixton, but lets brush that aside and focus on the product itself!

SUMMER STYLING WITH TOPMAN

It's taken its time but summer has officially arrived, which means festivals, holidays and beer gardens replace Netflix, cozy nights in and takeaways. Although the last month has been full of Autumn/Winter 2016 collection previews, I've only just started buying my Spring/Summer wardrobe! My first point of call for summer wear was Topman, I put together the above look for my recent trip to Barcelona and decided it was actually also perfect to wear for a local midday Sunday beer in Brixton.

MY ASOS OVERSIZED OUTFIT OF THE DAY

A weekend photoshoot in King Cross is great for me, as I can jump on the high-speed train to Ebbsfleet to see my parents afterwards, which also means I can bring Charlie with me on the shoot and that always makes the pictures 10 times better! There are a number of things that bloggers totally over do...copper, marble, white houses, coffee, Mykonos, Santorini and of course the walkway to St.Pancras railway station. So on true blogger form, out of all the places to shoot in Kings Cross - of course I went to the same place as everyone does! However I have my secret weapon, Charlie dog!

HOW TO FOLD A POCKET SQUARE 3 WAYS

Whether you’re attending a wedding or a school prom this summer, you can add an extra dimension to your look by playing around with accessories to create something memorable and unique. I think that a pocket square is the perfect addition to any formal attire as it exudes masculinity, confidence and class to ensure you always make a great first impression.  

TWO SUMMER TRENDS IN ONE OUTFIT OF THE DAY #OOTD

London is great. Everywhere you turn there is an opportunity to shoot and luckily for me thats what normally happens when doing photos with Rebecca Spencer, we wonder around for a bit, get lost, then find a perfect spot to shoot! This was my first look with shorts this season as we had a mini heat wave for a few days...thanks summer, it was nice knowing you! So if we end up having the hottest summer on record or if you are heading away for a holiday, this lightweight bomber jacket is the perfect choice. 

WHAT TO PACK FOR A BEACH HOLIDAY?

When you click book for your next holiday destination it can be the biggest high of the year, swiftly followed by panic (as you inevitably need a new wardrobe to take with you!), then stress (because you have spent way too much on new clothes). Fast forward a month and I'm now sitting by the infinity pool in Barcelona at the Grand Hotel Central on the same weekend as the F1 Grand Prix, well done me! Although I'm travelling with Emily Hartridge who isn't much into F1, bummer! 

ACCESSORISING MY SUIT AT WESTFIELD LONDON

Westfield London and myself believe that accessorising a suit enables a man to stand out from the crowd and put your own stamp on otherwise conventional work-wear. This is why when asked by Westfield's to take a Β£75 gift card, go shopping and personalise one of my own suits, I thought it would be a good little challenge and something that would interest my awesome readers. Accessorising a suit however is not easy, you should have a basic understanding of what colour accessories compliment the colour of your suit and also each other. You need to do this without over accessorising, remember that a suit is a masterpiece of classic tailoring so sometimes less is more.

ONE JACKET STYLED TWO WAYS - CASUAL

As I mentioned in yesterdays blog, where I styled the same grey overcoat in a formal way - read it here. Fashion is fast and expensive, so I'm forever trying to find ways to decrease the size of my wardrobe and buy pieces of clothing that can be styled in both a formal and causal way. Today I'm showing you how I styled this allsaints grey overcoat in a casual way. You might think that summer is the wrong time to be wearing an overcoat, however if you opt for light tonal colours and make sure the sleeve buttons have working cuffs, you can always roll the coat sleeves up making the look summer ready.

ONE JACKET STYLED TWO WAYS - SMART FORMAL

Fashion is fast and expensive, so I'm forever trying to find ways to decrease the size of my wardrobe and buy pieces of clothing that can be styled in both a formal and causal way. The classic overcoat is one of those staple items of clothing that is so versatile and stylish that you could probably even wear it with shorts and it would look good! As you can see, this is the first way to style the jacket in smart formal attire. Pop back shortly for the casual style.

2016 TELEVISION BAFTA AWARDS

When you get invited to the Television BAFTAS the first thing you do is say YES, before someone else nabs your spot. Then you think about what to wear. Now I can appreciate that being a guy, getting dressed for a black tie event isn't exactly complicated, I mean the dress code gives it away a little...for girls it can be a tad more difficult. However saying that, us gents still have a few things to consider when dressing for the BAFTA awards. Dinner jacket or suit, buy or hire, which tailor should I wear, a white shirt but what collar type, is a pocket square too much, what about socks, black or coloured and then we have many bow-tie choices.

A SUMMER OUTFIT OF THE DAY WITH ASOS

When you are taking photos in and around East London, you are never short of edgy brick walls and we certainly found a few in this shoot. I love shooting with Ella because we'll wonder around and she'll pluck out the most amazing spots to start taking photos. These shots were taken of the edges of east London near and around Shadwell.

THE MASTER OF MEN'S GROOMING - TOM FORD

I've been on a bit of a hunt for a new signature fragrance of late, something unique, something that not every one is wearing, something you cant buy in Boots! So I headed over to the hidden gem that is the Salon De Parfums in Harrods - tucked away on the 6th floor accessed only via the escalators near door 3. At the Tom Ford display, I was greeted by a lovely lady who knew every single ingredient in every single of Tom's created fragrances. Not only that but also the travel story that Tom Ford was on which influenced the creation of many scents.

2016 SPRING COLOUR TREND - SAND/DESERT

When going for an early morning Bank Holiday stroll with my dog, comfortable footwear is a must, socks optional! So when browsing online for my newest pair of spring/summer shoes, I came across these suede sand desert boots on allsole.com. Generally speaking I tend to opt for over the ankle boots as they offer more stability and are generally more agreeable when going for long walks, so these desert boots tick all the boxes.  

MY HOME RENOVATION PROJECT PART 2

Clapham in Summer is great, single in Clapham in Summer is even better! So the rush is on to get the flat ready for the inevitable Giggerlum after parties, although shoes off please! If you haven't already read the first part of the renovation, which was my bedroom and the hallway, you can view it here. During the last month, I have been decorating the spare bedroom and the bathroom. The spare room was quite easy, as it just required a bit of paint and new interiors however the bathroom was a major project - ripping our old tiling, flooring and starting from pretty much scratch.

THE MODERN-DAY FITTED TRACKSUIT

Maybe it's because I'm getting old (am old) that all I want to do is stay in, relax and watch catch-up TV - going out, dating, seems such a chore and my wardrobe seems to slowly be reflecting that. Loungewear and dressing down of late has certainly become the norm for me. However whether I'm dressing formal or casual I still want to wear quality clothing. After a quick web and Instagram (I'm using Instagram more & more these days to find unique brands) search, I found Rascal Clothing and trust me, there is nothing rascal about their clothing. 

HOW TO ASK FOR A PAY RISE & ACTUALLY BE SUCCESSFUL

In 2013 I founded Hawkins & Shepherd shirt makers as I decided there was more to life than a normal 8am-6pm office job. However prior to this shift in careers, I worked in IT for a commodities company over 12.5 years. As my career in IT was at its early stages, so was the company I worked for and we grew together. At the beginning of my employment there, I had the pleasure to work for some incredible mangers who inspired me (the type that are leaders rather than micro-mangers) - in many ways they have shaped who I am today. I certainly got my work ethic from them and they taught me the value of getting along with people, working hard, being creative, listening to others and most importantly respect/value your employees.

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH HYPE

A Friday afternoon in Shoreditch down the backstreets of Great Eastern street, hidden in the penthouse of a typical East London quirky office building you'll find FEELS. An App (you can download it here), where you share and discover moments with your friends and connect in a more meaningful way with brands, artists, celebrities, fashion icons and other users all over the world. As I'm building up a good reputation in the menswear industry with my blog, Instagram and YouTube channel it is essential to be able to connect and collaborate with brands and for me FEELS gives us a great opportunity to do just that. 

TOP SUMMER FRAGRANCES FOR MEN

Everyone wants a signature scent that reminds someone of you every time they smell it, ideally as a positive connection rather than a negative one. To avoid, loved ones, friends & your girlfriend associating you with the smell of damp clothing mixed with an under tone of cheap cologne. Speaking of cheap cologne, it reminds me of Christmas time when one year my dear nan brought me bottles of 'Cold Water' and 'Juup'...bless. I'm pretty sure she brought them from Catford market or maybe Deptford...in any case, these aftershaves have been doing the rounds at Christmas and have somewhat become a bit of a joke present, I'm not even sure who has them currently but one year they are guaranteed to do a full circle and come back to me! Anyway, there was a point to that, basically, smell good and avoid smelling of Juup!

POSTCODE FASHION

Whether you are spending a day in Chelsea, Shoreditch, Soho, Clapham or Peckham we are all guilty of dressing for the postcode rather than what is our individual style and choice. It was only when recently I was with a friend of mine in East London who was wearing this super cool yet cutesy baseball cap with two pom-poms stuck on the top like minnie mouse ears. Yes it sounds horrendous! But it actually was pretty sweet and looked fucking great on her. Fast forward a 25 minute Uber taxi journey across to south-west London's Clapham and off came the cap and bomber jacket and on went a staple overcoat and in her words "The cap was too cool for Clapham". Yes you are probably right. But it made me think, why change, why let postcodes dictate our fashion choices, isn't fashion about personal preference, being different and your own creativity? So when we let our perceived impressions of certain areas influence what we wear   more so than what we feel comfortable in, it's no longer fashion it's just getting dressed. 

CHESTER BARRIE AW16 - SAVILE ROW

I pride myself on having a good eye for detail, not only in clothing but in food, cocktails and even spreadsheets. That was until I met Christopher Modoo the senior creative at Savile Rows' Chester Barrie. During my personal tour of their AW16 collection, the passion showed by Chris as he meticulously explained every single design decision, flourished in their collection.