Just Another Outfit Post

It's Sunday afternoon, I'm incredibly hungover and my creativity is struggling right now, hence the title of this blog post. This outfit was taken a couple of months ago when Emily and I went to Galgorm Resort & Spa in Northern Ireland. It was pretty nippy hence the layering and scarf details. 

This outfit has been styled head-to-toe in Topman AW16 clothing, if you like what you see, shop the look below.

 

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Photography by Emily Hartridge

Bomber Jackets That are Warm Enough for Winter | Black Jamm

A puppy is not just for Christmas and bomber jackets are not just for summer, in fact they are the perfect all-year-around jacket. I can understand why a lot of us wear bomber jackets more in summer especially when the mornings are as cold as the last couple of days in the UK. A lot of this style jackets on the market are made with cheap materials and in turn have little of no insulation, padding or comfort. With Black Jamm you'll get SO much more.

Their bomber jackets are tailored with a padded inner lining, enough to make it comfortable and most importantly warm but not too much that the bomber looks too padded and out of shape on your body. The elastane material used under the arm area to make this bomber jacket is slightly elastic, which will mould perfectly to your body shape. In winter layering is extremely important, so I tested out this jacket with a thin plain white tee (as in the photos on this post) but also with a chunky knitted jumper. Whilst wearing both (the T-shirt & Jumper) the jacket felt comfortable and didn't lose shape or look too small over a big knit...in fact it actually looked great with a grey roll neck knitted jumper. It really is the perfect bomber jacket for winter.

As a fashion blogger, I have to try to critique everything and it is really hard with Black Jamm because they clearly use high quality materials throughout the whole tailoring process of their jackets - I actually think they are perfect. Take the zip for example, sometimes amazing jackets have a thin flimsy zip attached, which ruins the whole jacket - with Black Jamm, they realise the importance of this and the zip they use is heavy duty in silver, easy to do up even with gloves on. The fabric used is British waxed cotton, which makes the jacket hard wearing and finally amazingly all their bomber jackets are manufactured here in London.

Black Jamm have launched their AW16 collection recently, so check them out.

 

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Photography by Ella H

The Style Off - NEXT Menswear - Episode 5

We are back, for the 5th episode of THE STYLE OFF, a YouTube collaboration with Oli from The Tailor Fitted where we both take a single item of clothing and style it to our own personal style. We have taken two of our favourite pieces from the NEXT Menswear AW16 knitwear collection and completed the look in our own style. Watch both videos above, let us know what you think and of course, who styled it better using #Carl or #Oli with a comment on the YouTube videos. This months style off was sponsored by NEXT Menswear AW16 collection. The items we have chosen from the NEXT knitwear range is their Burgundy Textured Roll Neck and their Grey Textured Gansy Jumper. Watch both videos and let us know who styled it better.

THE NEXT BURGUNDY ROLL NECK - CARL'S LOOK

THE NEXT BURGUNDY ROLL NECK - OLI'S LOOK

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THE NEXT GREY JUMPER - CARL'S LOOK

THE NEXT GREY JUMPER - OLI'S LOOK

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Special thanks to Next who gifted the items for this Style Off.

Autumn/Fall Menswear Trends | Leather Jackets

Leather jackets are not just a trend for AW16, they are a total classic that will get better with age and if you opt for a simple style such as a bomber or biker, it will never go out of fashion. I have a few leather jackets and they are worn daily, walking my dog, to meetings, out for dinner, even dates...especially dates. Putting on a leather jacket does make you feel immediately cooler than you really are and I like that feeling, who doesn't?

You might have noticed that my Instagram ascetics have got quite dark lately, as in a dark masculine tinge to most of the photos, I love it and I feel like I've finally found my personality and point of difference. Saying that, it does limit the type of pictures I can post however leather jackets fit in perfectly - so you may find me wearing more in future posts and certainly no more white walls!

I'm wearing a leather jacket from Diesel then skinny black jeans plus a white tee from ASOS. I've layered a shirt from Realm & Empire and left undone and completed the look with a pair of black brogue shoes from Hawkins & Shepherd.

 

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Photography by Ella H

Autumn/Fall Menswear Trends | Neutral Palettes

One of my favourite looks this autumn/fall is combining neutrals and Reiss have the clothing to style this look perfectly. The look is centred around this neutral coloured over coat, which Reiss define as oatmeal, worn two ways in a traditional way or over the shoulders. Again from Reiss, I've worn this wool striped jumper and longline white tee underneath for comfort and to give extra layering. Finally I have gone for dark jeans to give to look some gradient transition paired with a pair of black brogues.

Reiss Menswear have been one of the brands I have worn since I was young and continue to do so into my thirties. I just find that their tailoring is incredible as are the fabrics used at a price that makes their clothing special. Not only that but they must have some great stylists working for them because for me they colour match outfits perfectly. If you want a Reiss stylist take on the two Reiss items I have worn in my outfit above, check out how they style them below:

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Introducing Independent Leaders

It is getting to that time of year where I'm getting a bit restless and in need of a holiday which normally happens for me over New Year or in January to help with the blues.  That made me look back at old Facebook photos and wow, was it really 5 years ago that I travelled Brazil and South America! Maybe it is time to dust off the backpack, fill it with shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops and head off on another adventure. Brazil was such an incredible place to travel, vibrant, edgy, beautiful and unpredictable.

5 Years on and I feel it is very fitting that I'm now working with Independent Leaders promoting their new AW16 collection, a brand whose story started life in Rio on Ipanema exactly where my backpacking started all those years back.

From Rio, I backpacked northwards Salvador, Maceio, Natal, Fernando de Noronha, Fortaleza, Jericoacoara, Belem & Manaus along the Amazon river - a trip that had so much diversity, which I can see reflects in the Independent Leaders collection. From Manaus, I then travelled to Guyana, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands and Costa Rica, so if you need any advice on travelling to these areas feel free to message me.

Independent Leaders - The Story

Two pals from London were looking for an escape from the predictable working life and decided to jet off to Rio to release some steam. Upon arrival things quickly got messy-drinking Caipirinhas by the gallon, they danced on tables and chained shots of Cachaça with the locals until the bar ran dry.

They realised that Rio was a city full of fun, sex, colour and freedom. It was a city that was alive, from dawn til dusk. It was then in amongst the free spirited vibe they knew, Rio loved them & they loved Rio. They felt right at home.

As the morning sun came rising up over the favelas, they strolled along Ipanema Beach and decided that it was time for a brand to exist that captured the fun and attitude of what they have just experienced.

They would take the sites, sounds and flavours from Rio back to London to create a lifestyle brand completely different from anything they had ever seen before.

Most importantly though they would adopt the independent spirit of the people they had met who lived passionately, freely and confidently beyond the rules of society.

Independent leaders was born.

Their ambition?

To inspire a movement of people who live life free from outside control.

What I personally love about this collection is the materials, the design and the small little touches that make the collection fun and different. Take my favourite tee of theirs (the cream one in the first two styled looks), the fabric is soft and light, the cut is longline with a curved hem, whilst the detail of the small embroidery on the back adds the stamp of quality from Independent Leaders. As well as this, I love the stitching down the middle of the tee, the curved yolke which matches the curvature of the hem and the pocket which is expertly tailored.

 

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Get 20% off your first order: JOIN20

Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Autumn Menswear Trends | Layering with Next

Autumn is a month to start layering your t-shirts with new autumn/winter knitwear or a jacket. It really is as simple as it sounds, so I went shopping at Next to find my perfect autumnal layers. What I look at when shopping for autumn knitwear is different to winter knitwear as I prefer a lighter wool and something that isn't too chunky. I've found that Next have really focused on these transitional pieces of clothing which is why I've chosen them for this menswear autumn trend article.

This post is all about layering, so I picked up my off-white longline t-shirt and decided to style my outfit around that in neural or achromatic colours. This is a casual look that I would wear going down the pub, maybe a bit of shopping - I mean it's a classic style that you can pretty much wear anywhere actually. With that in mind, I stuck to a grey theme and immediately found this grey wool blend flight jacket with white collar. Straight after I found a pair of white trainers with a touch of grey on the heel - perfect...someones winning today! To complete the look this Next grey roll neck knitted jumper and dark navy skinny jeans compliment the rest of the outfit perfectly and within a quick 15 minute shop I've found everything I needed - now time for a coffee.

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Autumn trends | The new Hammond & Co. collection by Patrick Grant

Who else loves autumn? Crisp mornings that make the London Underground bearable, in fact you become grateful for the warmth given off by the close proximity of the person next to you! Autumn also brings a turn in seasonal menswear trends for us to buy into. Debenhams and the new Hammond & Co collection by Patrick Grant have brought out a stylish range for AW16, consisting of beautifully cut suits, formal clothing and stylish casual wear bringing the essence of Savile Row - the epitome of men's tailoring to their new menswear collection.

Every good collection has something for every consumer spanning formal, casual and different age ranges. So from this collection, I have tried to style a casual outfit targeted at a younger audience as well as a more sophisticated look for the mature reader.

In my first look above, I've taken the dark grey tipped bomber jacket and created an outfit around this one item. I always find the bomber jacket works so much better worn with a longline plain tee underneath rather than shirts, as I find the crew neck tee and the curvature of the bomber jacket collar create a flowing clean line around the neck. Simply wear with a pair of dark navy or black jeans. Trainers work best with this look and I think any colour would work, especially whites, blacks and the burgundy ones that I'm wearing in this look.

Moving on to my second look, a complete contrast to the first but as I mentioned - from the same collection. All the pieces of clothing in this outfit are made up with products from Hammond & Co collection and accessorised with other items from my wardrobe.

When styling this outfit, I wanted to focus on a smart, formal, country look. Think classic tailoring meets country walking. So I have picked pieces with classic autumnal hues such as the dark tan fabric in the overcoat, the subtle brown weave in the grey check blazer and finally finished off with a pair of tan leather chelsea boots. Although these autumnal tones are quite dark, so to really make this outfit pop you need a touch of white, which I have added via this classic formal shirt - a wardrobe staple. I love how the double-jacket layered combo works perfectly for the autumn weather. Take the overcoat off and the outfit takes on a new personality.

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Merging Seasonal Styles

What says 'transitioning between seasonal styles' better than a random walk through a corn field on the side of a country lane?! As we are transitioning between different seasons in the high-street stores currently, it is important to get ahead of the fashion curve and be first to wear and buy this seasons trends before your mates get in there first - otherwise you only have two choices. The first - just buy the same clothes as all your mates and look like a very co-ordinated boyband or two, buy something that no one else has (but is probably last seasons stock or just not that trendy!). So get shopping people.

Saying that, don't go binning (or giving to charity) all of your old Spring/Summer clothes just yet as the key when transitioning seasons is to use what you already have in your wardrobe but styled with a new jacket, jumper or coat from the new season collections - slowly migrating over to full winter style with big comfy knits when the time is right - I can't wait.

In this look I'm wearing all my summer favourites, the jeans, the trainers, the white tee and the tortoiseshell sunglasses however I've added this Hawkins & Shepherd 100% cashmere over coat which is lightweight and very warm, again perfect for the changeable weather days and nights.  

So before it is 'winter winter', start investing now in some keys pieces such as a classic overcoat, a new piece of quality knitwear or even a pair of brogue boots.

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

The Style Off - Realm & Empire - Episode 3

We are back, for the 3rd episode of THE STYLE OFF, a YouTube collaboration with Oli from The Tailor Fitted where we both take a single item of clothing and style it to our own personal style. We have taken two of our favourite pieces from Realm & Empire's AW16 collection and completed the look in our own style. Watch both videos above, let us know what you think and of course, who styled it better with #Carl or #Oli. This months style off was sponsored by the brand Realm & Empire whose AW16 collection is centred around military history. The items we have chosen from the Realm & Empire range is their US Marine Workwear Shirt in Stone and a pair of loose fitting Diver Utility Trousers in Olive. Watch both videos and let us know who styled it better.

Commando Frogmen, the Special Boat Service and battleships designed to dazzle: for Autumn Winter 16 the Realm & Empire narrative goes deep below the ocean's surface, drawing inspiration from the divers, marines and the clandestine demolitions teams of the Second World War.

 

THE R&E US MARINE SHIRT - CARL'S LOOK

THE R&E US MARINE SHIRT - OLI'S LOOK

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With influences pulled from a US Marines original, keep a lookout for the marvellous three-button pocket detail on our cotton twill workwear shirt - an original feature found in the archive and which conceals two extra-large, additional chest pockets! With displaced forward shoulders, traditional military cross-over yoke design, front patch pocket and self-colour buttons, this shirt is also garment washed for true, vintage appearance and comfort.

 

THE R&E DIVER UTILITY TROUSERS - CARL'S LOOK

THE R&E DIVER UTILITY TROUSERS - OLI'S LOOK

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These loose-fitting R&E diver trousers are inspired by the silhouette and functionality of the uniforms worn by Britain’s Commando Frogmen during the Second World War. Constructed from a soft waxed cotton, we’ve added extra reinforcement on the knees, and a mix of hidden zip and large patch pockets, making them perfect for heavy duty casualwear. Drawstring detailing on the waist and ankles gives you the choice to wear straight-leg or tapered for a more military, fatigue-style. 

Special thanks to Realm & Empire for sponsoring this months Style Off.

 

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. 

My 3 stand out pieces of the collection were:

1. Navy pinstripe double-breasted suit. This suit has gone through so many iterations in the pattern design to get it perfect. Chester Barrie wanted to design a double-breasted suit jacket, which fastens up on the lower buttons in a 6 button design (rather than the usual middle button). Double-breasted jackets look great done up, although when open, they can seem like there is too much fabric flapping around. With their new Chester Barrie, closely guarded pattern, they have solved this issue in their design so this DB suit looks just as good undone as it does done up - a first for DB jackets?

2. Herringbone Overcoat. Wow wow wow. Okay so I'm a little obsessed with overcoats, add on some creative peak lapels and a wide herringbone fabric and you are on to a winner.  

3. Navy Dinner Jacket. Impeccable tailoring using a Chester Barrie designed fabric on the large lapels giving this piece of investment clothing the a-list factor. 

Chester Barrie is bringing accessible quality tailoring to Savile Row and their AW16 collection will be available from August 2016. You can also visit their retail store on 19 Savile Row or shop online at http://www.chesterbarrie.co.uk/

EXPLORING THE COMOUFLAGE MILITARY TREND SS16

After a recent trip along a busy Oxford street, a dash to Stratford Westfields then an Easter weekend shopping trip to Bluewater in Kent, I decided to review an unlikely Spring/Summer 2016 trend which is subtle camouflage prints. I was surprised to see the print in summer form, traditional camo colours seemed to have continued on-trend in menswear from AW15 with a few pastel camouflage prints also appearing. Maybe the factories have left over camo fabrics for previous seasons!

Digging deeper, this trend actually shouldn't have been so surprising with Michael Bastian using the print in his SS16 collection and then Christopher Raeburn, Maharishi and James Long showcasing touches of military style in their AW16 collections on the runways at London Collections Men. It seems this trend is here to stay for another year which is good because you can purchase some good trans-seasonal pieces right now and get the most out of the purchase.

With April on our doorstep and the inevitable April downpours, it is THE time to invest in a raincoat mac jacket. Why not combine an essential jacket for rainy season with touches of camouflage print? I went shopping and found this example at Guards 1843 of London Liverpool Street. For £325 these waterproof raincoats are available in navy or black, with detailed gingham inner lining and camouflage print on the pocket detail and underside of collar.

Mike Hofman wrote for GQ back in 2015 about a Spring/Summer 2016 alternative to the traditional camouflage print. The leaf print, which I love is going to be one of the look I'll explore for SS16. So check back soon as when the weather brightens up I'll be posting my favourite looks for spring/summer this year.

GQ.com article by Mike Hofman

GQ.com article by Mike Hofman

As always, thanks for reading.

THE ALL SEASON COAT LOOKBOOK

There are a number of reasons why we all need a classic coat for all seasons. The unpredictably of the British weather being an obvious one, holidays to different climates and to save money to name a few. For your all season coat, you need to go for classic styling and a colour palette that will go with most outfits. This coat will get a lot of wear so buy an investment piece that will last season after season.

Okay so you only have to compare yesterday and today to realise that our weather can be wacky pretty much all of the time. To combat these changes in temperature my choice of an all-season coat would need to have medium weight fabric such as cashmere and ideally look just as awesome buttoned up in the autumn/winter and undone in the spring/summer months. I would then look into the style of the coat. Something tailored and classic that can be styled smart, smart casual and casual with jeans - for me the long knee length overcoat is perfect. Finally what colour? You can not go wrong with navy, camel or grey...always in style and completely versatile.

Hawkins & Shepherd are currently selling these limited edition British cashmere investment overcoats. They are expensive, but they are an investment that will last season after season and will not disappoint.

 

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Hawkins & Shepherd Navy Cashmere Blend Overcoat

Hawkins & Shepherd Navy Cashmere Blend Overcoat

Hawkins & Shepherd Camel 100% Cashmere Overcoat

Hawkins & Shepherd Camel 100% Cashmere Overcoat

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Photography Sophie Milner