Men's Outfit of the Week | Style Edit

This week has been quite a productive one already and it's only Wednesday. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about trying to sort out my life so that I have a better work/life balance rather than just work work work. Well that is coming along well, as I've already starting delegating some of my work and now have help writing articles for this publication from my &FRIENDS authors. It's really helped and now I have more time to concentrate on life and dating, which I've done this week.

Last night I headed out to Brick Lane for the all-new 2018 Aston Martin Vantage launch which was incredible. Tonight I'm off to watch Aladdin the Musical, which is a great musical to watch during the winter months especially over Christmas. Thursday night I have a Thanksgiving party with Kiehls than Friday and the weekend I'm making time for friends. It's a major step forward from working 16 hour days 7 days a week of which I did in October.

This weeks outfit of the week was taken yesterday about 4pm in quite low light as I was heading to see a friend of mine for coffee. The look was pulled together showcased by my new burgundy jumper from Sauce & Brown which is made-in-Britain, has a subtle neck detail and a branded logo. I've paired this rich burgundy jumper with a black pair of skinny jeans from ASOS, a pair of dark brown Chelsea boots from NEXT, a black overcoat from Antony Morato and finally my 24hour leather black bag from Jack Russell.

As always, if you like it, you can shop the look by clicking on the images below. 

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Brand Spotlight: How much do you know about Givenchy?

How much do we know about Givenchy? What's the first word that you associate with the brand - what images appear in your head? For many the brand evokes imagery of luxury, haute couture, high-brow paired with high prices.

Givenchy is first and foremost a fashion brand. In 1952 Hubert de Givenchy founded his own luxury house and launched a new collection Les Séparables with some floaty skirts and puffy blouses made from raw cotton. It was this signature technique which he coined 'shirting' that he used to transform raw cotton into chic and casual attire. Givenchy managed to keep his production overheads low by employing cheap fabrics, but it was the innovation in his designs that made him the talk of Paris; which was becoming increasingly progressive during the 50's.

One of the brands biggest ambassadors was Audrey Hepburn who became a loyal devotee wearing Givenchy clothes on and off the screen, most famously the black pencil skirt in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). She would also become the face for the Givenchy fragrance out of friendship, probably the last time a celebrity endorsed a fragrance for free.

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The Menswear range was launched in 1969; 'Gentleman Givenchy' with a new boutique on Avenue George V. The introduction of Menswear saw Givenchy olive branch into shoes, ties, upholstery, jewellery etc. He eventually gave up the reigns in 1995 and the fashion has house has seen a few different heirs to the throne, Alexander McQueen of course took the reins for 5 years.

The current Givenchy designs cleverly interweave tailored suiting and overcoats with hints of sportswear and streetwear. The label’s sweatshirts, bomber jackets, leather shorts and jeans, and backpacks can flex effortlessly between minimalist and redolent, displaying some of Givenchy's early restraint whilst simultaneously infusing inimitable graphic motifs.

Balenciaga, a close friend and confidant of Givenchy, would famously say that 'a woman has no need to be perfect or beautiful to wear my dresses, the dress will do that for her'. The sentiment of that statement could be translated for many of Givenchy's collections. Take this Red Plaid Cross Shirt - on its own it flourishes. The model with respect, has a deliberate everyday/normcore sensibility to him. However, the button down shirt with cotton poplin trim, ameliorates him significantly. When the outfit is then restrained by the white cardigan cable knit, his status, his prowess; is lifted immeasurably.

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Givenchy on SSENSE.com

The Mazda MX-5 RF Review

The other week Mazda called and cordially invited me to take their latest MX-5 RF for a spin around London. Cupping the receiver with my palm, I arced back on my chair and barked an order to my invisible secretary ..  'clear my schedule for the afternoon'. 

With the average speed around London being little under 8MPH, a drive in the city can be a particular doleful commute. However, a perceptibly tactile and agile car such as the MX-5 RF will certainly lend a little brevity to the experience.

Once the mulch of the London traffic subsided I was able to feel the cars true capabilities. The suspension and the steering have been mollified to compensate for the rigidity of the new folding metal hard top roof. The RF stands for retractable fastback and its intellectual armature provides a considerably more dampened sound within the cabin. You can hear what your passenger is saying which in itself, comfortably distances itself from over convertibles in its class, including its predecessor. 

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The interiors are snug, sporty and I'd definitely plump for the manual over the automatic. Many people I've spoken to extol the virtues of the Mazda gearbox and this 6-speed did not disappoint. James Batchelor of CarBuyer cited it as a gearbox that has a 'rifle-bolt action' and I solidly concur. It's slick, sexy - worthy of the laudatory praise and reputation that proceeds it. 

The drive feels dangerously effortless. Everything is in its right place, accessible, the infotainment system is sleek and user-friendly. But let’s get down to brass tacks; what about the coffee cup holders? Anyone that knows me knows I'm a coffee nut and I don't like having my coffee terms dictated to me. Luckily the MX-5 RF comes fully equipped with moveable cup holders that I can switch around the cabin at my leisure. 

It's stronger on comfort and aesthetics than it is on virtuosity and practicality. For example, you'll enjoy the extra sound deadening and clear conversations with your passenger, you'll enjoy being cosseted by the fine sporty interiors, but placed under scrutiny you might wish for larger boot space, perhaps better visibility. That said these aren't faults, nor criticisms per say, just the standard caveats that come with a sports car. 

Overall the Mazda MX-5 RF offers a frictionless, utterly gratifying driving experience. Yet it's really the superior handling ability through its sculptured yet simple look, that ameliorates this from other convertibles. It's considered, it has an exquisite absence of superfluity. It's almost the perfect date car. Available between £18,500 to £24,500 depending on the spec. 

Goodwin Smith x Carl Thompson | The London Edit

A couple of weeks ago I worked on a campaign with Goodwin Smith to showcase their new The London Edit and I'm super excited to finally be able to show you the results. The London Edit is inspired by the city, made for the man - a collection of 12 shoes and boots in classic styles and colours. What I love most about this collection is that there is a style for everyone, with designs that are an entry into the incredible Goodwin Smith brand. 

USE CODE LDNCARL25 FOR 25% OFF

 

ABOVE: THE CAMDEN BLACK

Staycation to Brighton | Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel Review

It's been a while since I've got out of London but yesterday I took a short staycation to Brighton on the Southern coast of England. There are some absolutely beautiful city, coast and country locations in our own backyard and I want to spend more time exploring and appreciating our own stunning country. Over the next few months, I'll be visiting and reviewing a number of different staycation locations, situating myself in Mercure hotels which are of a mid-range price point. For November I've headed to Brighton and in December I'll be travelling up to Scotland to visit Inverness and Aberdeen, so check back for my regular UK travel updates and hotel reviews.

Getting to Brighton from London is quick and easy, jump in your car and it'll take around 1 hour 45 minutes along the M23/A23 depending on traffic (obviously!) or get a fast train from London Victoria which will only take around 1 hour. It's actually these incredible train links that makes Brighton a legitimate commuter town into London for work and after spending just one night in Brighton, I can see why it would also be a great place to live. 

Brighton has two universities, Sussex and Brighton, which give the area a young hip vibe, combine that with a mixture of tourists and older residents and you have a truly diverse and exciting population that is Brighton. It's an exciting place to spend time being renowned for diverse communities, quirky shopping areas and a large culture, music and arts scene.   

From Brighton train station to the Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel is a short 1 mile, 15 minute walk mainly along the shopping streets then cutting down to the seafront which you'll find the hotel. The hotel is a majestic, Victorian building perfectly located on the seafront and for around £72 per night is the perfect choice for both business or leisure visitors. On arrival, the check-in was seamless, staff were incredibly welcoming and friendly and I was promptly checked-in and shown to my room, which was room 112 on the first floor. 

The room itself was perfect for a staycation, the essentials were all provided and it was clean and comfortable. Room 112 also had a huge balcony. Although it was a little chilly to spend too much time outside during this November day, it was incredible during sunset which the sun sets right in front of the hotel giving stunning views and photo oppertunities.

After sunset, Brighton comes alive and with a short walk from the hotel, you'll find a diverse  selection of restaurants and bars, something for absolutely everyone. However if you wanted to eat or drink at the hotel itself, Mercure have a very comfortable bar area and restaurant dining room serving British classics and International cuisine with a large selection of beers and wines. 

The 4 Star Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel, offers a comfortable and friendly stay with panoramic views of Brighton seafront all for a modest price. After speaking to to hotel manager, they are currently is the design phase of a complete renovation, so it is worth noting that these photos are from November 2017 and I'm most certainly re-visiting to see the changes that will be put in place for 2018.

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Getting Back to the Gym with Lean Active | Reviewed

Trying to stay fit and healthy over the winter months is something I've struggled with all of my life, along with pretty much every other 'normal' non #FitFam Londoner! Winter is party season, it's cold outside and it's just so easy to make excuses not to keep up with your fitness regime that we all had nailed in the summer. Well this year is different, I've booked myself up for a winter full of KOBOX classes as well as a monthly membership to British Military Fitness, which is outdoor high-intensity training plus I've still got my monthly membership to Virgin Active in Clapham Old Town. Yes I'm all or nothing when it comes to fitness and wellbeing! Wish me luck.

Booking all of these fitness classes is actually quite financially painful but doing it this way ensures that I'll make the most of them and keep my fitness goals up all through the cold months. To help me with my #gains I've invested in some new pre, during and post workout supplements from Lean Active. Lean are a brand that I found on Instagram, which seems to be the only way that I find new interesting products recently. I was initially drawn in by their flavours including a Cherry Cola pre-workout, my favourite fizzy drink of all time! However when digging into their products themselves they are more them just fantastic flavours. For my first order, I opted for the cherry cola pre-workout, the pineapple crush BCAA hydrate and the strawberry milkshake whey protein. 

Lean Active Cherry Cola Pre-Workout

Lean Active Lifted Focus is a pre workout powder that contains scientifically proven ingredients at optimum dosage levels and is able to provide an intense yet smooth energy boost capable of changing the way you work out.

  • Increases physical performance during high intensity exercise.
  • Helps to improve concentration and alertness for intense workouts.
  • Supports normal mental performance.
  • Stim Boost Pre Workout Drink - 200mg Caffeine per serving, plus 3,000mg Creatine per serving

Lean Active Pineapple Crush BCAA Hydrate

A truly refreshing BCAA powder blend designed to enhance endurance, performance and recovery.

  • Intra-workout formula provides 5g of BCAAs per serving.
  • Branched Chain Amino Acids also contains glutamine, coconut water and electrolytes.
  • Supports immune function during intense sport and exercise.

Lean Active Strawberry Milkshake Whey Protein

High protein recovery drink for increased muscle growth and formulated with high quality ultra-pure whey protein isolate.

  • Whey protein powder growth and recovery formula in three flavours - Chocolate Orange, Strawberry Milkshake & Vanilla Cream.
  • High protein - 24g protein per serving.
  • Low sugar - 0.8g per serving.

How to date someone who is astronomically above your pay grade?

By Peter Brooker - Men's Lifestyle Editor

It can be emasculating not being the bread winner in a relationship.
Can you conceivably date someone who is astronomically above your pay grade?
Some say money is the route of all evil. Others say money can't make you happy.

As Ben Affleck said in the movie Boiler Room "People who tell you money can't bring you happiness, doesn't have any".

Whilst it might present a dozen or so compatibility issues, relationships aren't all fostered around the amount of zeros on your pay cheque. However, often many of the personality traits that define a one-percenter are the ones that you should be looking to imbibe. If they've made it to the top of the economical food chain, chances are they've had to knuckle down at some point during their lives. This could mean a lot of study, a lot of long hours, early mornings and no weekend breaks.

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Why would I want to date a one-percenter? 

This is the question you need to ask yourself. Your answer could typically be;

1 ) I'm not money orientated.
2) All you need is love, not money. (We all know the Beatles song right?)
3) I won't have anything in common with a one-percenter, why would I actively pursue one?

The truth is if I've successfully pre-empted any of your questions then mentally you're perfectly positioned to date a one-percenter. If money is no object to you then dating someone with money will make zero difference. It won't impact your beliefs or your moral compass. Your lifestyle might change, but sooner or later the money will just become background noise. If your wish-fulfillment is merely to find love and make someone happy and your core beliefs are transparent to her with zero agenda, you can easily become her next big investment. If you're looking to date a one-percenter because you feel like it could be a free meal ticket, then it will soon start to feel like an empty experience for the both of you.

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Where do I find them?

There is an old saying that money goes to money. In this case you need to be found in the right places. The mountain will not come to Moses. Throughout mankind people and money gravitate towards the big cities where the big money-making decisions are made. Of course a lot of people that have made money will also have fled to the country for a quieter life, but even those select few still migrate back to the inner cities for those key meetings or important handshakes.

TRUE STORY

I have been dating a one-percenter for the past year and a half. I found her on a dating app before I was about to fly out for a press event in Europe and I matched with my partner at an airport. This was a very central airport, in the heart of London, what she likes to call the centre of the world. I narrowed down my search on the dating app to a 5-mile radius and when I paired with my now partner, I asked her questions about travel, about art, about fine dining. I said I was just leaving the country, heading to a city where I had a limited base knowledge, and after hearing that she’d been to that city, I challenged her to recommend some restaurants, some exhibitions. I didn't know it at the time but with her being a one-percenter, she was extensively well travelled (as the majority of one-percenters are) and she came back with an entire itinerary for my trip. And guess what, when I got back to the UK I took her out for a meal and we discussed the entire trip and the plethora of museums and restaurants on the itinerary that she had dutifully put together for me.

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What does this teach us? 

It teaches us that you need to have a bit of luck, sure. Not everyone is going to match on a dating app in an airport just before they board a flight. But if you place yourself in those situations, then your enhancing your prospects of serendipity. Airports are great for this because they're typically central. Members clubs can be quite exclusive and expensive, but if you can afford it, even just for a couple of months, you'll be gilding the lily and shortening those odds. Maybe if you're thinking of joining a gym and you have a little disposable income, join the higher bracket or shell out on some extra classes as these will be frequented by the people that can afford them.

How do I live within her circle of friends? 

The biggest advice I could give anyone who finds themselves in a relationship with a high earner, is to read, read and read some more. If you're hoping this relationship will be of the perennial kind, then you need to learn a few things about how the world operates. If you have a base knowledge of who the main players are within the Oil and Gas industry, what the economic climate is currently for some of the major banks and investment firms, and politically, what is happening around the world, then at least you'll be able to tread water in some of these conversations. Maybe offer an insightful opinion they haven't heard themselves from an outsider’s point of view. The world is your oyster when it comes to information. If your dating a one-percenter and you'd like to know more about her world within the business sector, ask her to forward some email circulars she might be subscribed to, or recommend a podcast she listens to, or even watch some YouTube documentaries together.

Ultimately her friends might find these subjects in social situations a trite boring because they are immersed in these topics on a day to day basis. They'll probably be more entertained with ideas outside of this spectrum and you could be the facilitator. Perhaps sports gossip, fashion trends or latest movie rumours. A base knowledge of popular culture has its rewards as well as a good breadth of knowledge on some of the serious tones of conversation.

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Final Tip

Lastly, being introduced to friends and family can be daunting, regardless of which echelon of society they might be aggregated in. However, if you're making your partner happy and you're treating her with respect, you're presentable, then they'll look beyond the economic disparity. As I'm sure the two of you already have.

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Top 5 Items on my Christmas Wishlist

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I was borderline to having a flight of fancy whilst proverbially window shopping around the luxury fashion websites over the weekend, Harvey Nichols, Mr Porter and Farfetch just to name a few. These sites have got quite the portfolio - their impressive stables famously house brands like Valentino, Saint Laurent, Givenchy and Comme des Garcons amongst others. I've put together a wish list below, let me know what you think of my picks in the comment box below. 

1. BALENCIAGA - All Over Short Sleeved Shirt - shop it

Christian Dior once referred to Balenciaga as 'the master of us all'. He was a pioneer of women’s dress essentially. A visionary that was often coined the master of shape. If you haven't caught the Balenciaga exhibition down at the V&A Museum, then I implore you to down tools immediately. 

This monogram patterned short sleeve shirt has been described as Dadcore, a progression on Normcore which was essentially a return to minimalist street wear a few years back where people would wear deeply commercial brands, more out of irony than as a statement. The piece features a pointed collar, (it mentions long sleeves in the description but that’s an oversight) a front button fastening and an oversized fit. I'd love to be seen turning heads wearing this. 

2. BLOOD BROTHER on Farfetch - Cutty Zip Through Sweatshirt - shop it

There is something deftly destructive about this jacket. I've had my eye on Blood Brother for a while and whilst this zip-through sweatshirt can be paired with the matching Sark joggers, I'd gravitate towards the dark denim and black sneaker look. With my black hair I can bookend the look nicely, plus we're all thinking it aren't we? Something very Kill Bill-ish about this sweatshirt right? 

3. FENDI - Micro Houndstooth Trousers - shop it

I've recently awoken a curious interest into Houndstooth. It's a type of dual tone weave that surely has the best name of any weave, only usurped by dogstooth which is a micro version of Houndstooth. (Technically, these are dogstooth trousers). 

Italian fashion house Fendi is well known for its exquisite and elegant designs and these pleated trousers are composed from grey virgin wool. The neural hues will pair effortless with most coloured tees, shirts and outer layers. I'd actually swing for the Fendi patterned hoody. You may as well go big or go home. 

4. UNIVERSAL WORKS - Sheepskin Jacket - shop it

Universal Works is a British Brand, with two London stores and a HQ in Nottingham. All the pieces have a very honest blue collar feel to them, inspired by the founders father who would come home in workwear designs similar to ones you're likely to find in their current capsules. 

The sheepskin shearling jacket is a staple piece for the discerning man’s wardrobe. This one disparages itself from its contemporaries by having two open slanted front pockets on the front. I want to wear this, migrate to a training camp in Russia and shout DRAGOOOO from a snowy peak. We've all seen Rocky 4 right? 

5. Adidas by Raf Simons on Farfetch- Black Sprint V Trainers - shop it

Can't leave the house without something on your feet! These Black Sprint V Trainers will be just the ticket if you're looking to down scale your outfit from business to smart-scale. I did something similar recently for an afternoon tea down at Fortnum & Masons. I like the white Spirit Low version they do which is similar, but black will be less maintenance. 


Top Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Autumnal earthy clothing by Next Menswear AW17 | Style Edit

I'm never disappointed when shopping at Next Menswear, in fact it is totally the opposite as I'm always absolutely delighted by the design and quality. I've known for a few years now how good Next is but the message is still taking a while to reach the majority of men. For example when wearing this outfit I had a couple of people ask where I got the coat from and how much it was. When I told them Next and £120 they were shocked and both said that they couldn't believe that Next was that good.

All menswear fashion bloggers love autumn winter or layering season and you can really showcase your style. That can come with problems storing all of these new clothes especially the coats and knitwear! I've got to the stage now where I've hit a limit on the amount of space I have for all of my clothing. So I have a rule, which is 'one in one out'. Basically if I get gifted or buy something new it has to be better than something already in my wardrobe otherwise it's got to go. By the way, I give all of my second-hand clothing to the FARA charity shop in Balham if you ever want to pick up a bargain as I usually gift them at least 1 bin bag sack full of clothes every month.  

I really am brutal with the 'one in one out' rule but every single piece of this style edit from Next made the cut and pushed out some of my older pieces to the charity bag. Not only that but the coat and in particular the Chelsea boots have become two of my all-time favourite pieces this AW17 season. The Chelsea boots will be in my collection for years to come, I love them so much.

If you love this style edit or the Next Menswear collection in general you can shop everything by clicking on the images below.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

How to Accessorise Your Dinner Jacket/Tuxedo this Party Season

Party season is a couple of months during Winter where the majority of us have our staff Christmas parties and a fair proportion of these parties normally operate a 'black tie' dress code. Hence why brands bring out entire ranges suitable for 'Party Season' so you know how to look your best at your works staff party. I've already discussed what suits you should where for party season by styling a black tuxedo and navy tuxedo, which you can re-read here.

This post is all about how to accessorise your dinner jacket or tuxedo from socks, shoes, pocket squares, shirts, ties and scarfs. These are the small differences, that will make you transform from looking like every other person in the room into youself, your own personality and your own style.

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The Shirt

Starting from the top down so therefore lets discuss the shirt first. The only two colours you can use when wearing a dinner jacket is either white or black and personally I would always opt for a brand new crisp white shirt, straight out of it's packaging. Choosing a collar type is a little more tricky as there are more choices. When I was 18 or early 20's I thought that you had to wear 'wing-tip' collar shirts with a dinner jacket and how wrong was I. For me the wing tip collar is my least favourite, it doesn't particularly look great and just reminds my of poorly designed shirts from hire shops. 

Instead opt for a more refined elegance in your shirt collar. A simple classic spread collar or even a collar with a narrower opening will look great underneath a bow-tie. Check your dress-code but if you are after something different and from a 1920's era of exceptional dress sense then try the pin collar or the tab collar shirts which although are not designed for bow-ties, work incredible with a black silk tie and offer a different option for those who do not like wearing bow-ties.

There is only one place I would recommend getting your party season shirts from and that is of course Hawkins & Shepherd, the London shirt makers who are famed for bringing back the pin collar shirt styles. You can shop their extensive party season collection online here and below are some of my top picks.

The Tie

Naturally choosing a tie should come next, you have two options which is simply to wear a bow-tie or a tie. That decision totally depends on 1. The dress code .2. Your own personal style taste and .3. Which shirt you have chosen to wear. 

The next choice is colour and if you choose a bow-tie, what style do you choose such as a standard bow-tie or butterfly bow-tie for example. When choosing a colour of the bow-tie I would go for dark deep colours, nothing too colourful and certainly no colourful patterns unless they are subtle (such as polka-dot), you don't want to look like a clown and always think 'what would Tom Ford wear'! Here are my top picks:

The Pocket Square

Who would have thought that a square piece of silk, cotton or linen would be such a sartorial success. Personally I wouldn't match the exact colour of your tie with your pocket square, as that is just lazy and shows no creativity at all, plus it reminds me of weddings. Party season style is not wedding style, it's more refined, classic, classy and elegant. Here are my top picks:

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The Scarf

The scarf I'm wearing is from new luxury brand Fisher & Woordes who are one of my menswear finds of the year. They currently have a collection of 3 scarfs which are warm, classic and beautiful and perfect to style with your dinner jacket suit. The brand also crafts belts as in the ones below.

The Socks

Socks are often the most underrated statement of fashion similar to underpants for men as most of the time, they are not seen...so why bother right? Well that may be true depending on the length of the cut of your trousers. If you are looking to suave up your sock game then here are some good choices.

The Shoes

My personal preference for choosing the right shoes when wearing a tuxedo is to opt for a pair of patent shoes. Patent leather is a type of coated leather that has a very glossy shine to the finish. Although there are always other options and here are my top picks in the footwear department.

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Blogging Tips: How To Create a Kickass Media Pack

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As a blogger I've found the best way to optimise your time is handling the majority of conversations and introductions via email. I still like to network; do the meet and greets, press the flesh etc. But you'll find the one commodity that’s in short supply as you get more successful, is your time. 

Hence the Media Kit, will be your new business card. I like to say when you're networking, your smile is your business card. Well when you're making an introduction or someone has asked to see your portfolio, this Media Kit will be that best smile. The one you give the cute waitress when you want a table, but don't have a reservation. 

You don't need to a bachelor’s degree in IT to put together a Media Kit. I did mine on Photoshop and if you're not familiar with that software there's plenty of YouTube tutorials out there that will guide you through it. 

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Before you start compiling the Media Kit, ask yourself, if you were a brand or in PR, what would you want to know about the influencer before employing their services. I made a list before I did mine. If I was hiring someone to represent me, I'd be looking for the following qualities. 

1. Professionalism
2. Professionalism
3. Professionalism

The above means you'd need to be reliable, presentable, with a good client roster. There's no room on the Media Kits for witticisms. I know a blogger who is a good guy, but can't help himself when it comes to wanting to stand out and he has some tongue-in-cheek gags on his Media Kit. Which might work for him, but unless you're looking to get an open mic spot down the Comedy Store, you're Media Kit should be so straight laced to the point of boring.

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Why I like to keep my Media Kit straight laced is because there should be zero-ambiguity when it comes to delivering the message. Your message is YOU. Who YOU are, and what YOU can deliver. I've started with some strong images of me at the top. It greases the wheels; you're not hitting people with a lot of text to read which can be off putting. I've kept the text to a minimum, (unlike this blog haha) and have dissected the text with some strong images, site and social media stats, and client roster logos. (Logos look better than simply reeling off names).  

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You might also want to include your website. I know it sounds daft, but I've seen a dozen or so Media Kits, and it's so frustrating when I have to double back on the email and ask them to send me a link to their page. Lastly, try and show a dusting of diversity in your kit. It's important to let your potential client know that you're not a one trick pony. I've listed other interests such as interiors, photography, a cute picture Charlie made the kit. Who doesn't adore a cute dog pic right? 

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If you're Media Kit can deliver a message, that you're an influencer with many arrows in your quiver, then that versatility could pay dividends later down the road. You'll find more doors could open for you. 

Burton Menswear Autumn/Winter 2017 Collection | Style Edit

When there's a great collection it is always beneficial to shop a look from the same brand rather than a single piece of clothing. More often than not the designers have colour coded everything to make sure that the collection works as a whole and therefore making a stylists job easy. Burton Menswear have an AW17 collection that perfectly leans on this concept. Take their Burgundy roll-neck jumper for example, you can pair it with the Burton navy coat which has the same burgundy palette prevalent across the tailored details, such as the underside of the collar.

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Burgundy is a great colour to style in both attires, formally as well as casually because it works well with our two main essential colours, navy and black. My look in this Style Edit post is smart casual and using all the burgundy, navy and black tones to show you how well they all work together. 

As always, if you like the look, shop it below:

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Sophie Milner

Geared Up: Fitbit Ionic Review

Can it compete with the Apple Watch? That was the question on everyone’s lips at the recent European launch of the new Fitbit Ionic. Approximately 100 of us (press and influencers) were flown out for Majorca for 24 hours of high and low impact activity to test out Fitbit’s first step into the smartwatch market.  

We know that the Apple Watch is a juggernaut, having accounted for 80% of smartwatch sales last year so it’s no surprise that Fitbit’s latest product, the Fitbit Ionic, is clearly designed to go head-to-head with Apple. Having never owned or used an Apple Watch it’s difficult for me to compare, so this review is solely based on the characteristics of the Ionic.

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Design

The design of the Ionic is striking and unique, with a stylish, premium feel to it with a choice of three straps (classic, leather or sport). The watch screen is vibrant and colourful and easy to read even in sunlight. You can choose from a variety of watch faces within the Fitbit app, and there are currently lots of eye-catching choices. Personalisation isn’t possible yet.

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The Fitbit Ionic is a comfortable fit on the wrist and very light; so much so that you'll instantly notice how lightweight this feels on your wrist. As someone who has rarely worn a watch, I quickly adapted to wearing it while working out and throughout the day. It’s also waterproof, so you can take this in the shower or even go swimming with it.

I love the raise–to-wake feature on the touchscreen, even if it is a little slow at times. A quick raise/flick of the wrist and you van have a clear look at your stats during a workout or spin cycle.

Features

The Ionic features the heart rate tracker, which according to the company is even more accurate than on other Fitbits thanks to new algorithms and a design that means it sits much closer to the skin.

It’s suitable for running, cycling, swimming, weights and much more and comes with in-built workouts that you can follow on the watch. There’s built-in GPS and being able to look through your data after you’ve been on a long run or ride is a great feature. For running, the new automatic pause option is quite brilliant, which notices, for example, when you’ve stopped to cross at some traffic lights. It pauses your workout, then restart when you begin exercising again. That’s ‘smart’.

There are tailored workouts to show you exactly what to do, and every time you complete one you can supply feedback so Fitbit Coach can work out whether you need something easier or harder next time.

You can also upload music to the Fitbit Ionic, with 2.5GB of free space at your disposal, which allows for around 300 songs. The big plus to this is being able to listen to music on the go without having to take your phone to the gym or on a run but it’s irritating that you can’t integrate with some of the most popular streaming services, such as Spotify or Apple Music.

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Fitbit has also included mobile payments on the Ionic through its own service called ‘Fitbit Pay’ which will (it’s still to launch) allow you to use NFC to pay on contactless terminals with your wrist. Fitbit is partnering with Visa, American Express and Mastercard for this feature and ultimately it will be a useful extra way of being able to make payments when you’re out exercising.

Apps 

The Fitbit Ionic works alongside the Fitbit app on your phone, which is compatible with most modern iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. Right now it’s unclear what third-party options will be included in the future – it’s only Fitbit services for now and the Strava and Starbucks Card apps. At launch, everything on the Ionic App Gallery is free.

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Performance

The Fitbit Ionic’s battery lasts an impressive four and five days with limited usage. If you’re going to be working out a lot with the watch it’ll be a lot less, and the battery gets hit especially hard when using GPS.

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Verdict

I use it every day and on the whole find it very impressive, but as someone who hasn’t used another smartwatch, I have nothing else to compare it with. Now quite iconic yet, but definitely worth a look.

The Fitbit Ionic is priced at £299.00 https://www.fitbit.com/uk/shop/ionic

Autumnal Style Menswear Edit | Perfecting The Essentials

The autumnal weather gives life to autumnal hues in men's clothing, with luxury designers and the high-street bringing out their newest range of earthy products. As a 'professional shopper'!! I've been sitting on my sofa at home in the warmth shopping online to find an outfit to demonstrate two things. Firstly how to style an autumnal outfit without it appearing way too over the top. Secondly how to perfect the essentials of autumnal style for men.

My latest passion is finding brands that do not wholesale and therefore cut out the middleman. On occasions you can get some incredible bargains as their operating costs can be much cheaper than when wholesaling at small margins therefore (should) pass these savings on to the consumer (us). I'm also a massive fan of Scandinavian fashion, it's clean and stylish much like their exceptional interior designers. A brand that ticks all of these boxes is A Day's March which has a story that I admire and take a lot of inspiration from. A Day's March is a term used in Military for how far an army could move in a single day. A fitting name for their brand that specialises in clothing for every occasion, the every day trials and tribulations. I've found that their product is of high quality and priced fairly. I would compare it to Reiss in the UK but at a cheaper price point. I've purchased a soft casual button-down shirt from them at £65 in a tobacco/tan colour and paired it with a classic light camel overcoat in a wool blend which gives it durability - both essentials and can be styled in so many ways.

I've then styled the outfit with items already in my wardrobe which are trousers from Reiss, a tan strap watch from Rotary and luxury trainers from Harrys of London.

But the outfit wasn't complete yet and it needed something else to which I found this overnight bag a little closer to home from Jack Russell, a London based brand. Jack Russell evolved from a leather bag and accessories company into the multi-layered powerhouse that is is today. They make bags that make it easier to live and work exactly how you want. Their 24hour is the epitome of their values, the perfect bag in size and space.    

As a fashion blogger it is my duty to experiment with clothing a bit more than your everyday man would - sometimes it works and other times, not so much. I do tend to style formal wear quite well and my favourite colours to work wit hare usually black, grey and navy with only small touches of earth tones to give whatever outfit I'm styling a little punch. This style edit is a little experiment and a bit out of my comfort zone but what do you think of it? 

If this really is your style and you love layering and experimenting with these kind of colours, I've picked my favourite few bloggers who are doing exceptional things with this AW17 palette. So just click on their images below and you can follow them through this season.

 

SHOP THIS AUTUMNAL LOOK

Photography by Charlie Sawyer

Choosing the Perfect Winter Boot | Chukka vs Chelsea

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Autumn has arrived, the crisp leaves crunching under our feet, getting out the winter coats and warming yourself up with a mug of hot chocolate or spiced latte. The winter nights are drawing in quickly and with the temperatures dropping what better way of keeping your feet warm than styling a perfect pair of boots, but will it be Chukka or Chelsea? Shoes always finish an outfit off, they are the statement piece to a man’s outfit, so it’s not surprising that so many men choose to style a pair of Chukka or Chelsea boots every autumn/winter season. But what is all the fuss about? Where did they come from? What are the differences between chukka and Chelsea boots and how do you style them right?

Experts in gentlemen’s fashion and retailers of high-quality leather boots, Frank Wright is here to provide us with an insight into the differences between the boots and how to pair them with AW 17/18 trends.

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The lace up Chukka

It is thought that the name for this style derived from polo, where a ‘chukka’ is a seven-minute period of the game – although it is uncertain whether the shoes were worn throughout the game or by the players afterwards.

Following World War II, where a variation of the Chukka boot was used for soldiers marching through desert terrain, the boot was introduced into every man’s wardrobe. They went on to become a major fashion piece in England during the 1950s. Ever since, they’ve remained at the forefront of men’s fashion – wearable for casual or smart occasions.

Also known as desert boots or turf boots, a Chukka boot is recognisable by an ankle length cut and pairs of eyelets for laces. They generally have a classic, plain toe design and an open lacing system. This style of shoe is usually crafted from calfskin or suede but leather can be used too – making the shoe more durable in the colder months.

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The traditional Chelsea

Similar to the name ‘chukka’ there is also some history behind the name ‘Chelsea Boot’. The Chelsea boot dates to the Victorian era where it is believed they were designed by the Queen’s personal shoemaker – J. Sparkes-Hall. Their popularity rose in the 1960s in Great Britain as they became linked with the mod scene. They were also associated with King’s Road, a street in Chelsea, and it is thought that this is where their name derived from. Celebrities such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones helped boost their popularity.

The Chelsea style of shoe is ankle length and generally made of suede or leather. It is characterised by its iconic elasticated panels that allow the shoe to slip on and off, and often there is a tab of fabric on the back of the boot. The fit of the shoe should be a close fit, and any flexibility in the shoe should be in the side panels – not in the instep.

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How should you style for AW17/18?

Both the Chelsea and the Chukka boot are versatile styles that are suitable for many occasions. But how should you style the boots to keep up to date with the AW 17/18 collections?

Chukka

The Chukka boot is an ideal alternative to more formal leather lace-up brogues if you’re opting for a casual look.

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When matching the shoe to the occasion, look closely at the finer details of the boot. Synthetic fabrics and some suedes are more suited to a casual event whereas leather and smarter suedes can be worn more formally. Also examine the sole - the thinner the sole, the finer the shoe. More casual Chukka books can be recognised by a thicker sole and rougher stitching, giving a quirkier appearance.

It is likely that the Chukka boot will be suitable for your style, although they do sit better with narrow legged trousers. Some men prefer a shorter hem; pair with patterned socks for a stylish, casual outfit. Designs on the catwalk for this season included oversized jackets and knitwear. Wear with an extra-long, smart jacket with dark jeans and brown chukka boots to keep practical and on trend.

For a smarter look, match a rounded toe, brown Chukka boot with a navy or mid-grey suit. Or, couple the same boots with moss green trousers - a prominent colour on the AW 17/18 catwalk.

Chelsea

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Like the Chukka boot, the Chelsea boot is versatile and compatible with many items in your wardrobe. Although suede is often the material of choice for this style, to protect from the colder weather and rain, opt for a leather boot to get you through the autumn and winter.

A big trend for this autumn is roll necks. Pair a dark roll neck jumper with skinny jeans and a Chelsea boot for casual evening attire. Or for a smarter look, a grey suit with brown leather Chelsea boots and a matching briefcase.

This year, many designers went against the grain and created tailoring that wasn’t traditionally black or navy. Extend the colours in your wardrobe with an autumnal coloured suit such as burgundy or blue and pair with Chelsea boots – make sure that the trousers sit just over the top of the boot to show off the shoe but remain smart.

SHOP MY TOP PICKS

Tough Love - Why we could all do with a slice

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Sometimes rejection can be harder to give than receive. 
Why do we instinctively shy away from criticism?
How do you shoot someone down that is super-sensitive?
Sometimes we all need a bit of tough love, the key is to digest that into something positive.

In today’s article I want to address the subject of rejection and criticism and why it pays dividends to be a willing recipient. In turn, I’m going to be asking you to internalise – to think, do I take rejection well? When was the last time someone said no to me or my ideas and what did I learn from that exchange?

One of my favourite lines from the movie Jerry Maguire was when Avery told Jerry 'What was our deal when we first got together? Brutal truth. Remember?' To which Jerry quipped 'I think you added the "brutal."'

It's probably a scene that a lot of people can relate to because of the dichotomy that a situation like this can present. Do you offer someone compassion and support at a time when they have failed you so emphatically, or do you deliver some tough love; giving them a wakeup call so they learn by their mistakes. To quote a well-known aphorism from English philosopher.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
— George Santayana
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Firstly, let’s take a look at some of the key issues of why it's so hard to deliver bad news.

Why is it so hard to deliver tough love? 

1) The person might not be open to criticism and is naturally defensive.
2) They might not respect you enough to think you're in a position to criticise.
3) You're not good at taking criticism or rejection yourself, so any tough love coming from you will be hypocritical.
4) You're not the voice of authority and no one sees you as being tough.

All really good rebuttals, so let’s breaks each of these down.

How to deliver Tough Love to someone

If the subject is new to criticism or is blissfully unaware that something they're doing is out of place or inappropriate, whether that's in the workplace or in the gym, then delivering some tough love or calling them out on their behaviour is going to be a brave act.

The point of giving tough love is not to humiliate or discourage that person from their pursuits, but to correct them and allow them to re-channel their energy into places that is more aligned with the characteristics of their personality.

How do I not humiliate them? 

You have to take them aside and deliver tough love. Giving them tough love in front of a gathering, hoping that the gathering will compound your theory and support you, will make the subject feel like they're being attacked. Even if you're delivering tough love with articulate precision, based on irrefutable proof, and even if others are thanking you for addressing the potential elephant in the room, the subject will not thank you for undermining him/her in a public. I'd avoid this approach initially if your intentions are honourable. It has a higher risk bracket for backfiring and could look like you've been conspiring or manifesting a mutiny behind closed doors.

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Serve The Crap Sandwich

We've all heard of the crap sandwich, delivering different layers of news, subtly garnishing and book-ending the bad between the good. It's the common format for nearly every job rejection letter which will follow this sort of template.

GOOD NEWS

Your application was well considered and we could see potential in the value you'd offer the company. You presented yourself and your case for candidacy fantastically throughout every stage of the interview and it was a pleasure hearing about the path your career has taken you down so far.

BAD NEWS

Unfortunately, competition for the vacancy was fierce and we have decided not to proceed with your application for the job of (Fill in the Blank) as we have found someone who we believe is more in line with our company's objectives.

GOOD NEWS

Whilst this might come as a disappointment to you, you should in no way be dispirited with the way you conducted yourself throughout the application process and we're confident that an opportunity will present itself for you soon. We will keep your application on file should a vacancy come available that we believe will be more befitting your credentials.

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Who is good at delivering tough love? 

If you're an avid watcher of the TV reality show, X Factor, then you'll be familiar to Simon Cowell's method of delivering tough love. He simply calls it as he sees it, which is undeniably bullish and can often break someone’s heart, but best to tell them now and deliver this tough love rather than them invest any more time or money and find themselves in the same boat 5-10 years down the line. Clearly he has an easier gig because he is not emotionally attached to the person whose dreams he could be shattering. But let’s use this as a case study.

The hypothetical

Imagine a similar situation that requires you to talk to your friend who is hoping to become a professional singer, but they're just plain awful and magically everybody can hear it but them. How do you deliver the news that will shatter their dream?

FIRST LAYER POSITIVE – 

Isolate them from the crowd like we spoke about above. Start with something positive that will soften a defense and defuse a confrontation like 'Hey Charlie, I want to tell you something because I like and respect you and I love the energy that you bring to your music.'

SECOND LAYER CRAP – 

Now you've caressed Charlie's ego and softened his defense, it's time to deliver some tough love. 'I'm not sure singing is a good fit for you. You're a big ball of talent but you'll be pushing this rock up a hill that has no summit. I want to tell you this because you're my friend and I know you value your own time above anything else.'

Notice I didn't add the 'we all think' to this speech. In order to deliver some tough love, you have to show some toughness and be willing to stand alone and deliver your opinions, without intimating that you have a following of people that are willing to back you up.

FINAL LAYER POSITIVE – 

Now that you've given Charlie a hit to the solar plexus, you'll want to nurse those wounds a little and give him some optionality. The worst thing about tough love is that you could be ending someone’s dream, leaving them rudderless and with nowhere to turn. Now it's time to deliver the final layer and send them off with a high. Compliment them on another skill or talent that would be a worthy investment of their time and if possible, try and give them a lead. 'You know if singing isn't the thing for you why not put your other creative skills to use, I heard (fill in the blank) is looking for a choreographer over at...'

You can apply the Crap Sandwich methodology to anything. If you're having to fire somebody or break off a relationship, this delivery can be very effective.

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Men's Formal & Casual Wear by Remus Uomo

It's quite rare that I find a brand that design a collection which incorporates both formal, tailored suiting as well as casual wear and get it right on all accounts. Remus Uomo are that brand for AW17, showcasing an exceptional range of in-house design skills to suit the everyday gentleman for all of his sartorial needs. The Remus Uomo AW17 collection is just another take on their core values which are to create design-lead clothing for men who have a serious attitude towards fashion. They are often considered as understated sophistication and this resonates in their latest range focusing on a core masculine palette of navy, blue, grey and charcoal hues which are present across the collection. 

So lets take the AW17 collection by Remus Uomo to the test. I've styled a formal tailored look as well an an off-duty casual one. Which do you prefer?

When searching through their collection, for my smart formal look it was apparent that they have spent a lot of time and effort getting the fabrics right.  This season at Remus Uomo sees a continuation of print patterns in their formal and casual tailoring whilst hitting on what is a real trend in men's clothing right now.

Of course when dressing smart, the first thing to think about is the suit. I wanted something unique and I found it with a geometric patterned navy, single breasted suit. The rest was relatively easy to style. As the suit was quite a statement piece, I wanted to compliment it as best as I could using simple colours and textures. So I opted for a crisp plain white shirt and a pair of dark brown leather Oxford brogues. Time came to accessorise and I felt that it needed a little extra colour which I found in the claret wool blend houndstooth patterned scarf. You could easily add a tie to this style, although I wanted to showcase the playful aspect of the Remus Uomo casual tailored collection values.

Moving on to my casual look from the same brand and collection. With the need for greater comfort clothing, Remus Uomo have focused on the sports-luxe trend which is making a huge appearance across the collection. Each item in my casual look is versatile enough to be styled in so many other ways which is paramount when investing in casual every day, off duty clothing as it keeps cost per wear to the absolute minimum. 

I've gone for a tonal grey theme here but with a monochrome kind of twist, easy to style together and as I mentioned, individually as well. The grey geometric quilted bomber jacket is the stand out piece, lightweight and warm it is perfect for the cold season fast approaching. I've continued the grey theme subtly with each other piece (minus the jeans) having tiny touches of grey in their designs. I've layered a casual zip sweater underneath the bomber jacket, black jeans and a pair of white with grey sole sneakers.

To find out more from their AW17 collection, watch the short video below which will give you some further inspiration on how best to style their current collection. Of course as always if you like the looks, make sure you shop them by clicking on the lookbook items below. Happy shopping. 

 

SHOP MY FORMAL TAILORED ATTIRE

SHOP MY CASUAL OFF-DUTY LOOK

Photography by Charlie Sawyer

The Siam Hotel in Bangkok | An Inside Look

Thailand feels like a second home to me having travelled there 11 times for holiday, backpacking trips and even short breaks when I was working in Singapore. This is a great country which offers so much diversity for foreign tourists, culture, beaches, city life, it's all here. This month I've been thinking about where to go for New Years Eve as I'm keen to get out of London for it and Thailand was of course on that list and at the top of it! Bangkok itself is incredible and personally I could spend a lot of time here especially since researching this stunning hotel, The Siam Hotel in Bangkok. 

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For most people travelling to Thailand, Bangkok is a stopover city before either heading north to the Chiang Mai district or south towards the beautiful islands but there is also so much to see in Bangkok and it has some of the countries most luxurious hotels. The Siam Hotel is located alongside the Chao Phraya River in the historical Dusit district only 30minutes from the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. If you are familiar with backpacking around Thailand you would have spent a bit of time in Bangkok and in particular the Khao San road area. The Siam Hotel is only a 5-10 minute tuk-tuk journey from the hustle of Khao San and Soi Rambuttri, so if you are in Bangkok at the beginning or end of your trip treat yourself to a bit of luxury at The Siam Hotel.

Whether you are in Bangkok for a couple of nights stopover or you love city life, you'll have something to do. Go shopping at the Siam Centre or MBK if you are after gifts or love the hustle of bargain shopping. Visit Bangkok's sacred temples, exotic local markets, fascinating monuments and buildings. But if you are after a chilled out few days and want to make the most of the hotels facilities then you'll in great hands at The Siam Hotel. You can experiecne the best of Thai spa treatments as well as a couple of quirkey unique experiecnes such as professional Thai Boxing training and sacred bamboo tattoos.

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One thing that I've never done when visiting Thailand is Muay Thai Boxing and it's something that since training at KOBOX in Chelsea, London I'm extremely keen on doing. The Siam Hotel has a professionally equipped Muay Thai gym, complete with full sized ring and Pro-Thai Olympic Muay Thai trainer Kru Yim. Book yourself in to their 5 day course at the state-of-the-art workout space which takes a holistic approach to fitness, focussing on well-being and cultural immersion.

Because the courses are built around individual needs, guests can sign up for any duration, whether they have a spare afternoon and would like to learn some basic Muay Thai skills, or want to immerse themselves for a week. One-to-one coaching will teach techniques such as stepping, punching, blocking, the kicks, wrestling techniques and more. 

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To accompany the programme, The Siam’s Executive Chef has devised a healthy menu to fuel the training sessions and ensure guests stay in peak condition to achieve their wellness goals. The dishes are low in fat and sugar and high in protein, and could include Norwegian Salmon with Shimeji mushroom and cauliflower purée (GF); Ginger Miso pan-seared sun fish with snow peas; Siam Chopped Salad with 18 different ingredients and truffle vinaigrette and a Jasmine scented Passion Fruit Panna Cotta.

Another one of my loves is art and in particular tattoo art and The Siam Hotel have opened a specialist Sak Yant studio headed by master tattooist Arjan Boo creating traditional sacred tattoos. A craftsman of the highest order, renowned for the quality, intricacy and beauty of his work, Arjan Boo was trained in the traditional art by an esteemed abbot at the Buddhist temple of Wat Bang Phra, the prime pilgrimage spot for those who want to have their body adorned with spiritual Sak Yant ink designs.

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The 2,000 year old tradition, which is thought to have originated in ancient Cambodia, has seen it designs grown in popularity throughout South East Asia; tattoos can only be administered by specially trained practitioners. They are believed to have mystical powers, helping to protect those who bear them from evil spirits and bring good luck. At The Siam’s purpose-built Sak Yant parlour, located in the resort’s deluxe Opium Spa, every last detail has been carefully considered to ensure the traditional tattoos are executed with the utmost care given to hygiene and comfort.

Sak Yant tattoos, which are expertly engraved into the skin entirely by hand, run the gamut from ancient geometric sigils to vivid animal or magical deity figures, which have evolved into Brahmanist and Buddhist prayers. Most famous of them all, thanks in no small part to its highprofile position on Angelina Jolie’s shoulder blade, is the Hah Taew or 5 Lines Yant. This particular design goes back over 700 years to the ancient Kingdom of Lanna (now Northern Thailand) and features five meaningful lines of script, each designed to provide protection and benefits to the wearer.

After the tattoo has been applied, guests will be brought to Wat Bang Phra, a traditional temple about an hour outside of Bangkok, to have their body art blessed, before returning home with a permanent and deeply significant reminder of their time in Thailand.

Finally what about the rooms? Well The Siam Hotel offers a variety of rooms, suites, villas and cottages, each having their own unique interior design from traditional features to the best of contempary furnishings.

Find out more and book today for your next holiday abroad.

2 Great British Menswear Brands to Know This Season

Buying British is something I'm more aware of these days, it's not just about the guaranteed quality of the goods you'll be purchasing but the knowledge that you've supported the British economy in times of uncertainty with Brexit. At Hawkins & Shepherd I'm currently designing a range of shirts that will also be made-in-Britain using the highest possible tailoring and fabrics available. But here are two brands who have been manufacturing in the UK for some time and have been extremely successful in doing so. Welcome Duke + Dexter and Ross Barr.

Duke + Dexter is a British born footwear brand who specialise in premium footwear, all of which is handmade in England. Since launching in 2014 they are now selling in 100 countries worldwide  including major luxury retailers in the UK such as Liberty's, Selfridges and Harrods which signifies the power of a made-in-England brand in a global marketplace. In 2016 they opened their flagship store in Covent Garden, London and recently launched their very first Chelsea boot collection for AW17 in 4 colour-ways. Impressive. The brand wanted to champion masterful techniques dedicated to British craftsmanship and believe in exceptional quality, unique charm and authenticity that comes from traditional handcrafted products. The Duke + Dexter take on the Chelsea boot is available in 4 colours, black and brown leather as well as camel and navy suede. Constructed using Italian leather or Northampton suede, whichever style is your personal preference, they are guaranteed to tick all your sartorial needs not only this this autumn but season after season. 

Ross Barr are slightly newer, launching in 2015 in Leeds, West Yorkshire by 27 year old designer Ross Barr-Hoyland. Ross Barr specialises in knitwear using 100% sustainable British wool and also manufactures in the UK. Ross Barr is supported by the Princes Trust and is certainly one to watch. They are destined for big things for 2018 and I'll be keeping a keen eye on any new collections or colour-ways in the future as I love their knitwear so much. They are currently stocked in a handful of boutique style stores in the UK but they have big ambitions to not only crack the UK market but also take our Great British made knitwear to markets abroad. The brand started its journey perfecting a single design which they call 'The Spencer' and have expanded over the years and now have 'The Elliot' and 'The Hoyland' in their current range. My favourite design personally in 'The Hoyland' which I've styled in my look above, warm enough to wear simply over a t-shirt or dress it up a little with a blazer or some tweed.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

SHOP DUKE + DEXTER CHELSEA BOOTS

SHOP ROSS BARR AW17 COLLECTION

Photography by Charlie Sawyer

Men's Double Denim Style Edit

If I did a pool on fashion faux pas, I'm pretty sure the top few would be wearing socks with sandals, bumbags and of course double denim. But NO why oh why is double denim considered such a sin in the everyday world? The fashion industry has adopted this trend for years and with exceptionally creative individuals like John JarrettGalih Richardson & Esham Kali pioneering double-denim I'm hoping that it will become more of a statement rather than a question. Oh and PS, you need to follow these guys and their collective We Are Outlanders.

When you're a novice at styling an outfit full of denim, it is best to stick to two different tones for the top half and the bottom half, such as the way I have styled myself in this look. The easiest is to use blue and black denim, a perfect and simple combination in my eyes. The great thing about buying the denim jacket that I have used in this post is that it has a autumnal tan contrast collar, taking the edge off the fact that you are wearing double-denim whilst drawing the eye on the small detailed touches. It is currently on sale at ASOS for only £50 and all sizes are still in-stock.

Once you have mastered the basics, then it is time to start experimenting with different denim clothing and washes. For inspiration, look no further than Instagram and here are my favourites from the aforementioned trio of denim genious's.

 

SHOP MY DOUBLE DENIM LOOK

Photography by Charlie Sawyer