Backpack style with Eastpak

November 21, 2016


Jacket ASOS Sweatshirt Albam Trousers ASOS Trainers Novesta Watch Timex x Goodhood

Photography by Natalie Jade Reading

The backpack, the school bag, or the commuter bag, whatever you like to call it, is a hard one to get right. Compliments for the backpack do not go much further than praise for its practicality and its hands free appeal. Traditionally, they are not purveyors of style. What I look for in my backpack is something that doesn’t make me look like I’m heading to school.

Eastpak have released two limited bags, the Kuroki and Boro (there’s only five of these), both made from Japanese selvedge denim and offer something different to what a backpack can be. When has something come out of Japan and not been cool?

Thinking about my school years I used the ‘cool’ sporty drawstring, which resulted in buying a bag every few months. They were not meant for carrying a pile of books, but I ignored that throughout my school years. Generally, I was never a fan of the backpack because I found it too bulky and I didn’t like the canvas material they were often made from. This pack’r style uses selvedge denim, a much more rugged and quality material and it should keep repeated purchases at bay.

I’ve been using the Kuroki dark denim pak’r to see how much easier it would be to carry around my essentials when working away from home. I’m yet to own a backpack where I’d feel comfortable taking it to meetings. Most just don’t work for meetings. However, Eastpak might be changing that. The pak’r backpack style keeps bulk at bay and is a much sleeker and modern option.

Sometimes I take a trip to Leicester to work with some fresh coffee nearby. We’ve now got four coffee shops in the city and it means I’m able to break away from the desk. The city has had a second wave of new shops and cafes ever since the success of the football. With new shops popping up, it’s taking me down new roads in Leicester I’d never been before and hopefully it’ll mean plenty more posts can be done closer to home… although that’s not going to stop me taking plenty of new city trips.

You can find the Easpak Kuroki bags online on Mr. Porter and Size?

This post is in partnership with Eastpak, but the backpack tips and views on two strapped bags are my own.


Early mornings

November 14, 2016


There’s a freedom that comes with skateboarding and being outside. In the mornings, Emily and myself will drive over to Coast, our favourite café in Dorset and enjoy pick me ups of coffee and fresh juice. We’ll scroll through Instagram and plan out our day before we head over to the beach with our Penny Skateboards.

During November the beach is relatively quiet, making it the ideal setting to skate, as it’s still dry and crisp. When dissertation stress was at its peak, Emily got me my first board and I started to learn. Having travelled this summer and now not living down in Bournemouth, I was a little slow in picking it back up. I try and make it down every month or so, meaning another chance to get that extra bit of confidence. Taking the boards out is a thing we like to do together.

I’m using the 22” Paradise Penny and Emily has the slightly bigger 27” Pastel Mint board. It’s definitely harder skating on a smaller board so I don’t know why I’m making it more difficult for myself, but who doesn’t like a challenge? It’s all part of the fun…

The coastline is where I feel most relaxed with Emily. Away from my laptop and phone, having the sea on one side and beach huts on the other

We spend so much time behind our laptops that it’s important to get outside before we start to tackle work. I find it hard to work in the morning up until late evening without being distracted or frustrated. Starting the day outside and having fun, instead of a morning torn between my bed and laptop is a real feel good thing. I’ll then get back, put the board down and get behind the desk feeling like I’ve already made something of my day before it’s started.

This post is sponsored by Penny Skateboards. However, the fun I have skateboarding and the cuts and bruises on my knees are all my own.


Menswear on Berwick Street

November 7, 2016

If you pass the hustle of Oxford Street and walk off the main road, you’ll probably find yourself on Berwick Street. Sitting just behind Carnaby, Berwick is full of market stalls and more importantly for me, stores with a strong menswear heritage. Similar to what I shared in my post on Seven Dials, this slow paced way of shopping is more enjoyable. There may be fewer stores, but you’ll find yourself making measured purchases.

Oliver Spencer, 81 Berwick Street

First on the list for this whistle stop tour is Oliver Spencer. Arguably one of my favourite designers who always makes me have one eye on London Collection Men. The store was relatively quiet meaning I got talking to Ethan, manager of the store, about the new collection. Oliver Spencer’s new collection places importance on good fabrics, more relaxed silhouettes and as always, woollen pieces. You can find this well thought on store on the corner of Livonia Street and Berwick Street.


Sandqvist, 79 Berwick Street

One thing that social media is great for, is introducing me to new brands. Sandqvist was one of these brands a while ago and since then I’ve always been keen in visiting the store. This was my first visit and it was great to see the bags up close. For me they have a great balance of practicality and style, not giving you the appearance of a year six schoolboy, but a man that has two hands free.


Nudie Jeans, 29 D’Arblay Street

Nudie Jeans was also new on my ever-growing radar that I must check in with. Their store on D’Arblay Street was a denim treat for the eyes. As you walk in, you won’t miss the in-store repair shop. Whatever the issue is with your denim, bring them in and they’ll fix them up for you free of charge. With plenty of selvedge on display, I pretty much guarantee you’ll find a pair that will fit nicely. And if you don’t, well there’s always the repair shop for a tweak or two.


Universal Works, 40 Berwick Street

One of Matthew Pike’s favourites, Universal Works was the last shop I wanted to visit on Berwick Street. Having a strapline of quality menswear, the Midlands-born brand focuses on good materials and working with trusted factories. AW16 looks and equally important, feels great. Plenty of olive and navy pieces, the later being something I’ve been wearing a lot of recently. I purchased a navy short sleeve and next time I think I’ll find myself picking up something a little more weather appropriate.


To see a full list of menswear stores on Berwick Street, head over to their website. Read my recent guide to Monmouth Street here.