Outfit of the Week | Men's Style Edit | ASOS, Superdry, Serge Denimes

This week has been pretty awesome, I started off the week doing lots of fashion photoshoots with loads of new clothing that I've brought, so I've got some incredible Style Edits coming in the coming weeks. Tuesday evening was a dinner event to celebrate the launch of the new Mont Blanc fragrance attended by industry experts, press and social influencers all joined together for a tasty evening at the Ivy Market Grill in Covent Garden. 

Wednesday night brought the launch of the new male grooming brand House 99 which was endorsed by the one and only David Beckham, who also attended the event and mingled for a couple of hours before heading off. Moving swiftly on to my Thursday where I had a meeting with one of my favourite brands of all time Boda Skins who are hosting a pop-up store just around the corner from Warren Street tube station. I managed to get my hands on one of their designer leather jackets which you do not understand how happy that makes me! 

Male grooming and fragrance aside, I feel that 2018 is going to be the year of men's accessories with designer sunglasses and jewellery at the fore-front of this trend. Just look at brands such as Serge Denimes, Taylor Morris and Alex Orso who are pioneering this trend in men's fashion. 

For my outfit of the week, I'm wearing an ASOS striped t-shirt layered with a checked wool blend jacket, black jeans and black Chelsea boots from Superdry. I've accessorised with a psir of H.F.S sunglasses by Taylor Morris, a Kartel watch, rings from Serge Denimes and a pendant chain from Alex Orso.

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

 

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The H.F.S. by Taylor Morris Eyewear x Morgan Motor Company

Okay so lets not mess around with a long winded introduction here, how incredible are these Taylor Morris sunglasses and how beautiful is this Morgan Motor car? Combine the two and you've got something truly spectacular which are these H.F.S sunglasses. Taylor Morris Eyewear desired to partner with a lifestyle brand which shares the same British sensibilities, has a luxurious and certain eccentricity to their designs, and a commitment to craftsmanship. There could not be a more perfect partnership.

In my eyes the H.F.S frame is where modern meets classic craftsmanship/design in perfect harmony.  When driving around London in the Morgan Motor Plus 4 people stare and it's because it's different, it's beautiful, it's refined. It's the same when wearing the Taylor Morris H.F.S. collection for the exact same reasons. Why buy eyewear from the same high-street brands that everyone buys from. Be different and support local British businesses like Taylor Morris where so much love and care has been taken to produce a different, exciting frame.

Personally I've got massive admiration for Taylor Morris Eyewear as a story and now I've experienced their product and customer care, as a global brand. They launched in 2012, one whole year before I launched my own start-up business Hawkins & Shepherd and in many ways we've both been through the same difficulties which an SME business, trying to compete with major brands with massive marketing budgets does. So there is an element of admiration and respect between us and thats why I chose to create this photoshoot with the H.F.S. by Taylor Morris Eyewear x Morgan Motor Company. 

Taylor Morris Eyewear began it's life as an idea, a journey and an adventure where the co-founders Hugo Taylor and Charlie Morris realised a dream. Combining British sartorial elegance, with timeless Hollywood glamour they come up with inspiring collections year-on-year which have a unique identity. 

Make sure you visit their website and get yourself or a loved one a pair for Christmas. They are currently offering free shipping and embossing on all cases.

Special thanks to Rebecca Spencer for the photography and Louise Bowman for being my partner in crime for the day.

Why It's Time for a Life & Body Detox

My life 'Online' is great. Just head over to my Instagram account and you'll see that for yourself, but is it really that great in 'real life'? If you peel back those Instagram filters and Photoshop layers you'll uncover the truth. Just a normal guy who experiences the same highs and lows as everyone else, battling through life. Trying to be successful in work, experiencing different cultures through travel, searching for 'the one', trying to find time for friends and family whilst forever thinking what the fuck am I doing with my life?

This weekend started on a Thursday for me, as I was an usher at one of my friends wedding which was taking place on Friday. Being freelance taking time off work is always quite stressful as you have no holiday pay, no sick pay and no pay in general if you don't put in the effort and hours. Right now I'm working so hard creating content and have a variety of different collaborations of which are focused on creating advertorial and editorial content for the brands. Interesting but time-consuming. Having a few days off work made me think about the blogging industry in general, is it really worth all the work for the reward and why I continue to do it? 

5 years ago I left a very successful career in IT working for a privately owned commodities trading house where I was the global head of networks, network security and voice communications. A role that took me around the globe, from DR Congo in Central Africa to the bright lights of Singapore in Asia and everywhere in-between. If only I knew what a travel blogger was back then! I left this career to pursue a better work/life balance, something that, looking back over the last 5 years I've yet to achieve and although blogging isn't the most challenging in terms of intellect it is extremely challenging creatively and mentally. I now work from home 7 days a week from 7.30am to about 10pm most days, if not later. 

The blogging industry is an odd one, it's relatively new in terms of a career and most of the time it is very individual, a bunch of very ambitious, competitive people all contesting in a saturated market place. I've been creating content on my blog since 2014 and built it from a handful of page views to one that now competes with some of the biggest men's lifestyle publications in the UK. I'm really proud of where I've got in this new workspace, but I'm also immensely proud for each and every single men's or women's blogger out there. The very early adopters of the blogging life deserve so much credit, they were the visionaries of what created the industry that many of us work in today. Then you have the remarkable creative bloggers who have refined blogging with their professionalism and exceptional content. This selection of people are the ones who have elevated blogging into editorial content creation, a segment of this industry that is arguably the most cost effective and desirable for brands. Finally you have the late-adopters trying to make it, who are incredible; their desire and ambition keeps us all on our toes. The way we consume data has changed year on year and is going to continue to evolve over time, so who knows where we'll all be in 5 or 10 years time. Each and every blogger deserves credit as you've seen a gap in the market and capitalised on it.

This year I've been working really long hours creating content for men's lifestyle brands as I feel things have really taken off with not only my blogging but my business too and I need to capitalise on the good times. My business is London shirt makers Hawkins & Shepherd and I'm currently in the final stages of creating a new collection of 'Country Shirts' perfect to wear with a tweed jacket and in the early stages of designing a new premium Made-in-Britain range of shirts. It is all taking it's toll on my work life balance as right now there is very little 'life' going on as it is all 'work'. Even events which seem great on Instagram Stories are actually considered as 'work'. 

At 37 and what seems like a great life, I've been successful in my career, I've started a year-on-year growing business and have capitalised on a new industry in blogging. I've met some incredible people, some intelligent people, some people that make me belly laugh for hours and some amazingly beautiful people. All that said I'm still single and spending the weekend at a wedding with incredible couples and families really hit home. Is work effecting my ability to find a girlfriend? Am I concentrating on work too much, that my life and what I desire in my future are being affected? Is work stopping me from seeing my friends and family? Why does work take up every spare hour of every day I have? And is this the reason why I can't seem to give even what 'on paper' is the perfect girl for me a chance? Am I going to be eternally single and 'Uncle Carl' to all of my friends kids? Work has taken over, fact. Which is why I've decided to take a life detox, that doesn't mean that I'm going to stop working - hell no! It just means that my priority's need to change slightly and I'm going to look at delegating more so that I can focus on life again. 

If I look back at my relationship history in the last 7 years, it's been pretty shocking on all accounts. Other than one relationship that we brought out the worst in each other I've only really had a few two months flings (I don't really know what the call them) as they had potential but went nowhere. But it's not only my love life that has taken a backseat due to work commitments but it is also my fitness. Today I felt normal again after a couple of days of insane drinking, so decided to do a boot camp class on Clapham Common with British Military Fitness. How have I got so unfit?! So it's also time for a body detox which I'm going to record my progress as of tomorrow for a couple of months and see how far I can transform in a relatively short timescale of 8 weeks.

 

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Photography by Sophie Milner

Autumnal Season Workwear | Transition Seamlessly for Work

Boy 'o' boy do us Brits love to talk about the weather all the time. Not only did I just spend 15 minutes of my life watching a Celebs Go Dating couple talk about how changeable the weather was, non-stop throughout their date, but it is also all over twitter. With people that I follow commenting the likes of "I can't believe summer is dead", "say goodbye to summer", "how on earth did it go from summer to winter so quick?" - you get the gist. Maybe they all have a point; to be fair the weather in the UK does dictate a lot. Cold days equal a lot of swiping left (and occasionally right) on Bumble, whereas a warm day and I'm down the pub in shorts and flip-flops sipping an ice-cold cider. 

Fashion is so heavily dictated by the weather and with the UK weather so unpredictable, it does make it a little bit more difficult to dress when the seasons are transitioning. Personally I'm an optimist and I refuse to believe that the warm weather is over. Yes we have had a cold snap as of late and I've been bringing out a few coats from the clothes archive but look back at 2015 & 2016 where we had days in October that recorded above 20 degrees celsius. Hello Indian Summer.

Layering is one way to combat these warm yet cold days but that works better when dressing in a casual attire. Deciding what to wear for work during these changeable months if far more difficult, especially if you work in a formal environment. What I suggest is simple, for the warmer days, dress as per the style in this post. Trousers (no socks optional), shoes, cotton poplin weave shirt (which is very breathable and lightweight), blazer and sunglasses (optional). Okay so for days when it is a little bit cooler, simply add socks and a coat. You can also change your shirt for a thinker weave, lets say an Oxford, which is still breathable but a bit weightier than the poplin weave. 

For my Autumnal Season Workwear Outfit of the Day I've chosen to shop in a variety of different places such as, ASOS, To Boot New York, Hawkins & Shepherd, Seiko and Taylor Morris. 

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Sophie Milner