Where I shop for specific items of men's clothing

Everyone has their favourite shops that you head directly to, without passing GO or grabbing a coffee, when arriving at Bluewater, London Westfield or on Oxford Street. Well I'm no different. Depending on what I'm looking for I'll head straight to the brands that I know, fit well, are within budget and that I have brought from before and loved. With this outfit I did just that and here is where I brought each item from and why.

Firstly lets discuss the specs. I have had my eyes lasered for about 8 years when both eyes were short sighted at around -4.75. For those of you who wear glasses will understand that -4.75 is blind to the extent of you can barely read size 68 font when it is right in front on you. My eyes have since deteriorated slightly and I now have to wear glasses again, but lucky for me the styles have changed from gold rimmed, thick lenses with transformers (girl's had My Little Pony) on the sides to the designs that Kite are producing now. I found Kite through Instagram and have loved their optical designs ever since. They have a store in Westfield Stratford where you can get your eyes tested and customise your own frames for a flat fee and they have some incredible modern frames to choose from.

Next up is the shirt. Now there really is only one place to get your formal shirts from and that is Hawkins & Shepherd. A Hawkins & Shepherd shirt is always handmade and are crafted in a small family run tailors who take care in their work - unlike so many other shirt makers who factory run their work with no care and attention. Hawkins & Shepherd are only available online but have recently launched their AW16 collection of new pin collar shirts, button down shirts, suits and made-in-Britain cashmere overcoats.

Reiss is my destination for mid-range priced classic coats. Every season without fail they deliver, I mean their designs don't change too much but that fabric hues they use are always on style. This coat is their GABRIEL and priced at £295 and is sure to a sell-out piece.

My jeans are from Superdry. It isn't my normal destination for jeans, although I have felt that the standards and workmanship that go into jeans recently has declined due to so many affordable pairs entering the market. I recall a time when I used to spend a minimum of £125 on a pair of Diesel jeans, although for the last 5 years my shopping habits for denim has changed to affordable and I have brought most of my pairs from Topman or ASOS. Well I was on the search for a pair of jeans what were great quality but will not break the bank and I found them at Superdry of all places for £65.

My shoes are made by John White from Northamptonshire so the quality of craftsmanship that goes into them is great and you can really feel the comfort when you wear a pair. These brogue shoes with a grain exterior in a tan colour are available through Hawkins & Shepherd.

I've accessorised with a pair of quilted dark brown gloves from Barbour and a 100% silk navy polka-dot scarf from Hawkins & Shepherd.

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

What to wear for work in Canary Wharf

Are you new to working in the city of London? Have you just got your first job out of university or college and struggling to know what to wear to the office? I've been there and had to work it all out for myself - so here are my tips on what to wear to work so you don't turn up with a Simpsons novelty tie and therefore ruin any promotion opportunities for the next few years! 

 

SUITS

Invest in a good well tailored suit, it makes a big difference if you invest in something that will last. A cheap suit will wear out quicker and the fabric will not wash as well as a higher quality yarn. 

When choosing a suit colour avoid black, as although it may feel like your first day in the office is like a funeral, it is not. Instead opt for more warming, approachable colours such as a navy or grey. You'll find these colours will also be easy to style with different colour ties, shirts & pocket squares.

Have your suits on rotation. It is always best to have 3 suits, rotate so that you avoid wearing out the fabric and for hygiene reasons. I mean wearing the same suit everyday on the tube is bound to kick up a little bit by the end of the week.

Do not iron your suits, or you'll be left with a shiny look to them and when that happens, it is time to get rid.

SHIRTS

Keep colours simple and if in doubt you cannot go wrong with white and a variety of different shades of blue. Pattern, check and striped shirts are acceptable, although they are harder to match with ties and better worn with the collar undone. A general rule would be that if you are wearing a check, pattern or striped shirt, then match it with a plain tie. 

Join a Shirt Subscription Service, so you are never running low on shirts and keep up to date with new trends and fabrics. Hawkins & Shepherd offer a variety of different Shirt Subscriptions at discounted prices.

Always have a spare shirt and tie in the office. I've lost count of the number of times I've had after work drinks and had to sleep in the office, having a crisp shirt, toothpaste and toothbrush is critical. Or what about that time when you had your yearly appraisal and spilt a whole mug of coffee down your favourite shirt? 

Have a Friday shirt, one that has a foot in formal and a foot in casual, so you can keep things professional in the office then let it all hang out (the shirt) after work.

SHOES

Wear something comfortable as the chances are you'll be doing a lot of walking to and from the office and once you are there walking too and from the coffee machine. In my work photos in this post, I absolutely love these shoes come slippers from Donhall & Bell. My footwear tip would be to have a pair of these in the office to wear around the office and use a more hardier cheaper pair to walk to and from the office. Wearing these powerful, striking shoes you'll stand out for all the right reasons.

If you are wearing leather shoes, it's simple but make sure they are polished regularly or if you are wearing Donhall & Bell suede footwear, invest in a suede brush and give them a brushing every time you have worn them - this will help keep them looking pristine.

ACCESSORISES

Wear a watch. A watch will complete any outfit and they do not need to be expensive. There are many more fashion watch brands out there producing affordable stylish watches. I've recently found this watch brand called Kartel from Scotland and every single one of their watches are modern yet classic but most importantly only around £90.

Do not be afraid to accessorise with socks and pocket squares, although keep things relatively simple and not too over powering. Subtle hints and sartorial touches should be discrete. For example don't wear a bold red tie, red pocket square and red socks - it's too much.

 

 

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Photography by Ella H

Luxury footwear by Dapper England | Donhall & Bell & Wood Watches by JORD

Who's been to Santa Monica in Los Angeles? If you haven't, then try to get out there as in my opinion quite a unique place, famed for glorious sandy beaches, the latest fitness trends and juice bars. Santa Monica have brought to London a small taste of their glorious, laid-back lifestyle to the SkyLounge situated at DoubleTree by Hilton London - Tower of London. Offering rooftop, after-work cocktails with incredible views over the city of London, weekly Yoga and incredible detox juices. A pop-up only there until the end of this month...so head on down whilst the weather allows.

Route 66 runs from Chicago, in a south-west direction towards Oklahoma City and then west all the way to Santa Monica where the route finishes. Something that is on my back-packing list for next year....yes the list is growing! I just need to blog more and more to fund the trip!

I'm pretty sure most of you have heard of Route 66 and Santa Monica, however have you heard of Donhall & Bell formally known as 'Dapper England'? 

Donhall & Bell create hand-crafted, luxury footwear with the brands signature piece being the D&B slipper, a timeless classic. Rarely do I have a pair of shoes that I don't want to wear. Now that doesn't sound like a great comment for the brand, but it is and what I mean by that is they are so pristine, soft, delicate,  & beautiful and when I put them on the comfort amazed me. I just didn't want to wear them and ruin such an amazing pair of shoes/slippers. When worn, it surprised me at how hardy they were - just give them a quick brush with a suede brush after worn and they will last a very long time. You should check out their extensive range here and shop the ones I'm wearing in the above look in the Shop The Look section below.

In this styled look it is also the first time I have worn a wood watch, something that may on paper seem quite odd as we are all used to wearing stainless steel watches or some precious metal if you are lucky enough! My first impressions were that the wood for the watch strap was crafted exactly as you would expect from a metal watch with the exact same movement - yet much more comfortable. My favourite watch was the JORD wood watches Ebony & Copper design which had a quite large watch face with amazing detail yet still extremely light-weight which is perfect if you like to wear watches but don't want to feel you are wearing one.

JORD wood watches are currently offering you lucky readers the chance to win a $75 e-voucher as well as gifting everyone that enters $20. The contest is live now, and will end on Sunday 25th September 2016. You can enter by clicking the below image:

Completing the look I'm wearing white tailored shorts by ASOS, white button-down shirt by Hawkins & Shepherd, double-breasted blazer by Reiss, navy polka-dot silk scarf by Hawkins & Shepherd and finally the pocket square by ASOS.

 

 

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Photography by Kylie Eyra

My Outfit of the Week | Men's Style

This is my Outfit of the Week because I wanted to show that there is still time to wear shorts before it gets too cold here in London. As well as that, a lot of my friends are off on holidays during September and October and need a little inspiration - so here it is, my seasonal transition outfit of the week.

On those days where it's warm enough to wear shorts however the day turns into a chilly evening -  you may need an extra layer. I always tend to keep the upper body warm as my legs don't really feel the cold too much (see last pic; maybe because of the thick hair keeping them warm!). So in the look I have styled the shorts with a perfect seasonal transition from Summer to Autumn jacket, the bomber.

The look is put together from clothes from Topman, ASOS, Rotary, Ray-Ban and Daniel Footwear. The chino white shorts are from ASOS which are fitted to just above the knees...roll up for personal styling. I've then tucked in an off white t-shirt and layered with this camel bomber jacket both from Topman. The watch is from Rotary's ultra slim collection and my Ray-Ban sunglasses were purchased from David Clulow. Finally I'm wearing these beige coloured desert boots perfect for a walk along the dunes around Camber Sands beach.

 

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Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Camber Sands Beach Lookbook | In memory of those lost

It feels quite weird to be posting a Camber Sands shoot the day after so many fatalities on the beach where we did this photo shoot a week ago...so this post is dedicated to those who have lost their lives on British beaches this year, may you all rest in peace. It really does hammer home how fragile life is and how important it is to respect life as well as living life to it's fullest. You don't have to tell me twice...watch this space! 

It feels wrong to drag this post out too long so I'm just going to explain what I'm wearing and where I brought the clothes from.

Starting from the top, I'm wearing a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses purchased from David Clulow. The breathable lightweight light blue button-down shirt is perfect for these heat-wave temperatures we have been getting and it is of course from the one and only Hawkins & Shepherd. My watch is from the ultra slim collection from Rotary. White chinos trousers are ASOS and finally you have to try these grey slip-on pumps by Daniel Footwear which are currently in the sale down to £59.99.

 

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Photography & Videography by Rebecca Spencer