Best London Street Style Photographers to Follow on Instagram

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Sadly it's an occupational hazard that means I have to be in 99% of the photos on my Instagram feed, ruining the view as some might say.

Trust me, I'm much more comfortable behind the camera, but pictures of sunsets minus yours truly, doesn't keep the lights on at the Thompson household.

That said I'm a huge advocate of street photography. I've highlighted some of my favourite London Street Photographers and recommend you give them a follow on Instagram and tell them I sent you.

OMNISTYLE

Fronted by my good pal Andrew Barber. Andrew is one of London's best street photographers and has accompanied me on many shoots. He really captures the essence of people when he looks their way.

Somehow he manages to distil every moment down to its finest millisecond. Always a pleasure and a privilege to be in this gentleman's company.

DAVID NYANZI                                             

London based photographer David has an uncanny knack of capturing the most ostentatious and elaborate outfits on the London streets today.

It holds a great balance between staged and street photography. I often go to David's page to get inspiration for poses, angles and... well I was going to say outfits but a lot of those are just a bit too bananas for me.

NIKON STREET STYLE

Ran by my good friend Pete Brooker over at Human Research. He takes pictures of strangers, without permission he adds. Apparently one of the first person he asked if it was ok to take their picture turned him down flat. Today he tells me he can't face that level of rejection so has never asked permission since.

GARCON JON

No London Street Photographer's list would be complete without the addition of Garcon Jon, AKA Jonathan Daniel Price.

I've always wanted to have a middle name. Makes you sound so much more dignified when people read it aloud.

Daniel is quite experimental with his lighting. Often seeking the less obvious angles. Such as car wing mirror reflections or interrupted spaces.

THE1HARRIS

AKA Richard Harris. Has a very unique sense for capturing disturbed beauty. Almost like a magnet for identifying ones solitude.

His captions are also enchanting, lyrical, thoughtful and I'm just in love with this guy. His feed is a joy to get lost in.

Let me know if you have any other recommendations in the comment box below. Even if it's your own Instagram handle I'm always on the lookout for London Street photographers for personal paid lifestyle shoots.

 

Two Style Edits From Zalando

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Today I'm going to be talking about a few pieces I've been recently styling for Zalando. Zalando is a very interesting online e-commerce site that hosts an incredible number of brands on their site.

They have garnered a fierce reputation in the industry thanks to their fiercely competitive returns policy. (100 day return policy for unworn items).

According to WIKI at least 50% of their goods get returned as a result yet still they manage to not only survive, but thrive since their inception into the UK market in 2011.

Enough background, let’s talk shop.

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LOOK NUMBER ONE: Street Casual 

I've been needing to refresh the casual side of my wardrobe. This Columbia hooded zip is 100% fleece-polyester with a herringbone weave. It has a wonderful texture to it and a marl-fleck that makes it stand out. Currently on sale at £71.99.

I've paired the fleece hoody with these awesome O'Neill winter boots. Pairing the grey hoody with a few hues of grey and black to bookend the look. (Let’s not mention a few grey hairs shall we?). The boots have a real sporty-snowboarder look, a reinforced heel for that secure step. Importantly they're padded and flexible providing great comfort. Currently on sale £99.99

Lastly I'm finishing the look with some Pepe Slim fit jeans. Perfect for my casual style, with a hint of elastane which gives it a little stretch in the right places. Evenly priced at £79.99

LOOK NUMBER TWO: Smart Casual 

Whilst look number one is the more street/sporty look. This is more smart/casual. Again I've opted for the same Pepe Jeans slim fit that you saw in look one. You can't go wrong with a simple dark denim. Straight, no fuss no thrills. The way a jean should be. 

The textured jumper is made from acrylic by a brand called Mennace. I like the feel of this jumper, I like the fit. The elasticated waist band helps neaten the look. I also like the price point, reduced to £33.14. 

I know that white trainers are going to be high maintenance in the rainy season here in London, but these Puma sneakers just look the business and a great contrast to the dark denim. I'll wear these trainers into the ground. A decent price at £79.99. I'd expect to pay to that for branded sneakers. 

Lastly, how about this Pier One Trench Coat, only £69.99. I love the smart look, the details, the contrast amber-buttons. I know you can't beat a Burberry trench coat which this is clearly looking to replicate. But I'm paying Burberry prices and I'm still turning heads. 

 

 

A Men's Spring Wardrobe Refresh: 1 Smart & 1 Casual Look

It feels a bit odd talking about what to wear for spring and how to transition from a winter wardrobe to a spring one when it’s the 19th of March and there is still snow settled on the ground in London. If I looked out of my window this morning, I would have thought that it was bang smack in the middle of winter. Yet if you go by the astronomical seasonal calendar then spring actually starts tomorrow on the 20th March 2018 and if you follow the meteorological seasons than it already started on the 1st March!

In truth, this is exactly when you need to think about making strides away from chunky knitwear and big coats and investing in transitional pieces of clothing such as thin knits and lightweight jackets.

I’ve been online shopping at House of Fraser to produce two Men’s Style Edits for you for inspiration on how to look the part this spring. The first style is a smart casual look, which is perfect for wearing in the office Monday - Friday or for those of us who are self employed freelancers because it is warm, comfortable and stylish. The second look is casual. It’s what I would wear at weekends, meeting friends, heading to the pub, museum, art gallery or whatever you get up to in your spare time.

 

THE SMART CASUAL

This look was actually quite easy to piece together as the first item of clothing to jump out from the screen was this Linea Thames Merino Funnel Neck Jumper. It's a deep navy colour which is rumoured to be the colour of choice this spring for menswear. Although if this is not your preference, they also have the option to buy it in a charcoal colour which you could use as a substitute in this outfit and would still look great. This knit is made from soft, thin merino wool so it's breathable and therefore will keep you warm in cool days yet cool in warmer days or after drinking a coffee on a power walk through London to catch your morning tube! The zip goes from the neck area to your sternum (the breast plate bone), this gives you the ability to layer another coloured t-shirt underneath and unzip the knitwear displaying the colour contract in layers. Sticking to a navy theme I've chosen to add the Linea Hnedrick Half Lined Blazer, which is currently on sale from £125 to £65, so you'll have to snap this item up quick. I'm wearing a medium which would fit someone with a 39"/40" chest. I love the pale blue button hole which is perfectly tailored accentuating the impeccably crafted peak lapel. It's a blazer that just keeps on giving. No that is not a pocket square, it is the inner lining of the blazer pocket which you can pull up emulating a pocket square or tuck it in depending if it suits the complete outfit you are wearing. The lower half has been kept quite simple with a pair of Linea Battersea Cotton Stretch Trousers in black retailing at £39 and are also available in navy, charcoal and blue. Everyone knows footwear is the first thing people notice, so I've taken a bit more time picking out a pair of Chelsea boots, which are my boot of choice this spring. This pair from Dune have a beautiful herringbone fabric design for the elastic part of the boot which make them stand out from the huge choice that you have at House of Fraser. 

THE CASUAL

Sticking to a budget, I wanted to make small changes to the first smart-casual look and create something totally different for your weekend attire. I've achieved this by keeping the entire bottom section of the above outfit the same and just concentrated on styling my top half and accessorising slightly different with a weekend bag and sunglasses. The champion piece for this outfit is the Howick Gill Long Sleeve Jersey Polo (was £28 now £14) 50% off which mean you can now buy 2 for 1 from their colour selection of burgundy, navy and green. I did wear this jersey done up to the top button with nothing underneath and it looked good but I prefer it layered on top of a simple white pima cotton crew neck t-shirt as in the images below.

Photo Credit Omnistyle

*This is a sponsored post and was created in collaboration with House of Fraser.

 

How to Layer Clothes | Men's Style & Fashion | London Street Style

One of the main questions I get asked throughout my social media accounts is how to layer clothes, why is layering so important in men's fashion and what the hell is layering season? So in this post I'm going to address all of these questions as well as showing you an example of layering knitwear, a blazer and overcoat in my own style. 

Layering season is referred to when changeable weather conditions exist and therefore you may be required to add layers to keep warm or remove layers to cool off. Typically the layering seasons are Spring and Autumn when you can get sun, rain, warm and cold weather all in one single day. Layering can also be used in Winter as an efficient way to keep warm and if you're a snowboarder or skier you'll be familiar with adding layers to keep warm.

Layering your clothes is not only an efficient way of keeping warm, it also gives you styling options and looks great. My main tip for layering clothes in men's clothing is to keep the colour palette simple by choosing one single colour to be your main focus. In my style example, I've chosen a nude camel colour to be the main focus so out of the 3 items of clothing I've styled 2 of those items this colour. If I had worn a camel roll-neck, I would have layered with a different colour blazer and the camel coat. Try to avoid layering too many different colours of clothes as it can get more complicated to get it right and you're adding more chance of getting colours clashing. 

In this style edit, I'm layering a maroon knitted roll-neck jumper from Burton with a camel tweed blazer from Moss Bros and the final layer is a 100% cashmere camel coat from Hawkins & Shepherd. The rest of the outfit comprises of black jeans from Superdry, black shoes from John White Shoes, sunglasses from Taylor Morris Eyewear and finally a slimline leather briefcase from Launer London.

 

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Photography by Charlie Sawyer

Outfit of the Week | The British Racing Green Style Edit

This week I've been spending some time on the Spanish island of Ibiza and with a little bit of time to kill before I head off to the airport, it's time to post my outfit of the week. If packing for Ibiza the style is very much cool and casual, pack jean shorts, t-shirts and trainers. As I fly an hour across to the Spanish mainland to Marbella the fashion changes slightly, a little bit more on the lines of smart-casual tailoring, pack tailored shorts, white chinos, shirts and loafers. My outfit of the week has a touch of both styles with a British racing green colour palette.

I recently got a pair of super comfortable shoes by the brand Freakloset, whose loafers literally mold to your feet. The shoes are made from calf leather, leather lined with a line-stretch neoprene back and rubber sole - a seemingly perfect combination for comfort. Their shoes are fully customisable so you can add you own personality and style to your finalised design. These loafers are in a deep olive green colour, so I wanted to match this colour with another item of clothing, which in this outfit was a zip top by Reiss. Finally the white zip details in the top matched the white jeans perfectly, completing this look.

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Farfetch #TheOne Bag Campaign

Farfetch is an aspirational brand that stock only the best luxury brands at the forefront of fashion design and ones which use high quality materials in their sold products. So when I was asked to be involved in their #TheOne Bag campaign, of course I jumped at the opportunity. Here is what I said about my styled look for this campaign.

Stepping into spring always proves sartorially challenging with drastic changes in weather happening almost hourly and of course a change in season brings the inevitable style changes. To ease this transition, I like to phase out my previous seasons clothing by fusing together lasts season’s classics with something new season. In this outfit, I have paired my denim jacket simply with a plain white tee and tan chinos. For such a simple look, accessorising what you are wearing with a bag will totally transform your look, in fact its essential which is why this tote bag is #TheOne for me. Luxurious and versatile, this tote bag from Zanellato Postina is my go to bag from a weekend away to heading to the gym. Choose to buy in black, grey or brown colours and it will suit every outfit making it #TheOne and the perfect all-season, everyday bag that offers style as well as functionality.

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What #TheOne Bag would you choose?

Farfetch x Carl Thompson

Read the complete campaign on the Farfetch website here.

Statement Clothing by Natural Selection

As per my last blog post, it is time to up the level of my content on Instagram and my blog to another level and one way to achieve that is to be more risky with my styling. I've also shot in a new location with a new photographer, keeping things fresh and interesting. If you follow me on Instagram, in the future I'm going to try to add more lifestyle content rather than just fashion. I want to show my fun side and that not everything is as perfect as my Instagram life. I have ups and downs like everyone and sometimes with Instagram and blogging it is hard to portray anything other than perfect, which I'm far from. I want to post more in the moment type of posts and write about everyday events in my life.

In trying to be a little more risky with my styling, I've spent a lot more time researching exciting menswear brands that offer incredible statement pieces that you can style an outfit around. And with London Fashion Week Men's around the corner, it is time to start thinking about outfits to wear. I'm so glad that I've found Natural Selection as their SS17 collection is incredible, full of lightweight jackets, floral tropical shirts and a whole load of khaki, off-white and navy pieces.

This jacket is a statement piece of clothing that I will have in my wardrobe for years to come as something I'll bring out on special events. I wouldn't say it is an everyday jacket, it's way to special for that! The jacket is a bold indigo colour, collarless and slim slim fitting. It's cut from Italian jacquard denim and the pattern is designed to resemble an atlas and washed to a soft mid indigo finish. 

I've also styled this outfit with a piece of men's jewellery, something that is quite new for my style but I adore this long length, arrow chain finished in ruthenium (also available in silver & gold), made by a new, exciting men's jewellery brand Alex Orso

So if you like what I have done with this styling, it would be great if you could let me know what you think or how you would improve on what I have styled here. Of course, as always - if you like it, shop it below.

 

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Photography by Kats Films

My Spring Style by House of Fraser

I may have my heating on indoors right now as I type this but thats the unpredictable nature of our spring weather for you. What is predictable is that we are all looking forward to warmer days (and nights), a summer holiday, planning a wardrobe refresh and what to wear for this season we are in and the one coming up. In fact I've actually tried to write this opening to this blog for about 25 minutes now and just keep procrastinating by clicking on the tab next to this one 'summer holiday breaks' or playing a game where I spin my mini-globe which is on my work desk and randomly point to my next holiday destination. My last spin landed bang smack on Hong Kong (bit far for a mini-break)...okay one more spin and I'll carry on with this blog, it was Abidjan in Ivory Coast (weirdly I've already been there!) so we'll play again later on.

It's kind of a sad scenario for me not to have had a holiday for about 9 months now, as in the past I was the sort of person that would be out of the UK almost every other week either working or on holiday. Before I worked in fashion, I used to work for an Oil company for 13 years, working in almost every major city around the world as well as a ton of small, unique places in the middle of nowhere. Working abroad for so much in my twenties was incredible and gave me a massive insight into different culture, fashion, architecture, language and life. Some of which must have moulded me into how I am today and the lifestyle choices that I have made. 

Back to the globe. Okay this could work, I just picked Greece and Boston, USA...tempting.

My life right now is fashion and I love it, it is an industry of incredibly creative and gifted individuals and those at House of Fraser are an inspiration. We all know who House of Fraser are don't we? Exactly. It's because at some point in our lives, we have shopped either in one of their many UK stores or online. It's a department store that stocks it's own brands such as Linea as well as many other well respected menswear brands. It makes the store a one-stop, convenient shopping experience which is exactly what I wanted when putting together a spring outfit for this blog post. 

When putting together this outfit, I was thinking about clothes that would span spring and summer, at home or abroad. So I stuck to basic colour palettes, touching on the importance of fabrics. For example the trousers are linen, a light breathable fabric and these trousers could be worn simply with a shirt, t-shirt or even layered with a jumper, cardigan or lightweight jacket. I've paired these with a plain oxford white shirt, a wardrobe staple. The cotton oxford weave in shirts irons fantastically and is durable, so you'll get plenty of wear out of it. Roll the sleeves on warmer days to expose the contrast patterns of the cuffs. Knowing that I would photograph this outfit on the streets of London rather than Marbella, I had to layer with a jacket. As the rest of the outfit was very pastel and light in colours, I needed something that could be a bit of a statement piece and I found this suede trucker jacket again from House of Fraser. It is not padded, so layers well for SS17 and the soft suede give the jacket a luxurious feel when wearing it.

If you like it, shop it, just click on the images below:

 

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Photography by Ella H

*Monetary compensation was provided by House of Fraser for the creation of this post.

The London street style photographers that have helped transform my content

I personally love my Instagram feed right now as it really has something different to other men's fashion and lifestyle content out there in terms of ascetics. This is really helping my Instagram followers grow, getting reposted by other Instagram accounts including accounts such as New York Times Fashion and my engagement is so much better than even 3 months ago. This all translates into more brands wanting to work with myself and I would like to thank the 3 amazing photographers that I have worked with every week for the last year to help define the look and feel of my content. These are Becky, Ella & Kylie.

I love working with all three of them so much, every shoot is so much fun and that is so important when doing street style because the more fun, relaxed and confident you are the better the photos will be. So here are a few of my favourite photos from each of these amazing photographers.

 

(BECKY) REBECCA SPENCER

Website  |  Instagram  |  About

ELLA H

Website  |  Instagram  |  About

KYLIE EYRA

Website  |  Instagram  |  About

Hawkins & Shepherd x Reiss | Outfit of the Day

Reiss are great, year after year, season after season they create incredible menswear, always on-trend, tailored well and their staff in stores always look dapper. Owning my own menswear business called Hawkins & Shepherd, Reiss as a brand and a business are the pinnacle and I look up to them in awe. So I have decided to merge my favourite Reiss items with a few Hawkins & Shepherd ones in this outfit of the day.

If you watched my episode of First Dates you may remember my infamous line "I love double-breasted right now!" when speaking to the sartorial First Dates Fred. So true to form, I've worn this grey check double-breasted blazer from Reiss and paired it with a mint striped extreme cutaway shirt from Hawkins & Shepherd. Botton half I'm wearing navy jeans from Topman and John White, made-in-Britain shoes, available from HawkinsAndShepherd.com. My pocket square and tie accessories are both from Reiss, although they are last season's so you'll have to match similar styles in their AW16 range if you want to recreate this look.

 

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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.

 

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. 

When I think of what people wear in certain parts of London, I would stereotype as below:

Chelsea: Designer clothing, miu miu handbags, straight clean lines and pampered pooches.
Shoreditch: Tees, trainers, beards, oversized and anything brought from a vintage shop.
Soho: Totally casual unless you are going to one of the hidden swanky clubs, then the smartest of the smart.
Clapham: Chinos, shirts, blazers and shoes. Gym clothing even if you are not going to the gym.

Now these stereotypes are such for a reason, probably because there is some sort of truth in it. However in all areas of London, you'll get those people who want to be different, who will push the boundaries or will just be true to who they are and embrace it. Then there are those of us who follow everyone else's lead...for me, it's not about right or wrong, it's just an interesting subject (says me!).

So in the above shoot, I thought I would find the whitest, most beautiful street in the poshest part of London and shoot what I would usually wear on a casual Sunday heading off to the pub for a roast dinner, pint and an early night. For me there is something awesome about contrasts, like tattooed, bearded, dreadlocked tough guys in suits...it works right, even though it probably shouldn't.

 

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Further to that, in the work scene, more and more businesses are adopting casual dress codes 'Wear whatever you like, the more wacky and creative the better'. However even that becomes the norm....say hello to 'Formal Fridays'! Hipsters of London are now adopting this new trend and dressing up rather than down for Fridays...I just cant keep up!!

So in the above shoot, I've found the most grimy graffiti cladded street in Shoreditch and dressed up for Formal Fridays. Fuck postcodes, do what you want!

 

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Photography by Sophie Milner