Fashion

Summer afternoons

July 24, 2017

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T-shirt Sunspel Trousers Initial Fashion Trainers Raf Simons

Among sporadic heat waves, summer city breaks and the morning routine of seeing what our unreliable weather is doing, summer is over in the fashion world. Focus on autumn/winter is in full swing and pressure to decide what your coat purchase should be this year is already making its way into articles. Just let us enjoy summer!

In a bid to stretch out this season for as long as possible, I wanted to get outside, enjoy a languid late afternoon – something of a modicum of late – and make sure the ‘a’ and ‘w’ words were momentarily forgotten. We drove through country roads, listened to music that feels like summer and stopped by some fields on the way back.

Warmer weather for me means peeling back the layers while not losing a sense of put-together style.

This long sleeve top from Sunspel is suitably thin and flows in the wind. It may crease slightly easier than a thicker cotton, but sometimes summer dressing should be carefree. Back on my legs again are my Initial trousers that are still serving me well. A strong pleat contrasting a floaty t-shirt adds a touch of structure and balance.

On my feet are my Raf Simons Stan Smiths. They work so well with the fields, with the similar tones being the initial inspiration for the shoot. I never used to be able to justify premium trainers, but now I get it and there’s probably a post in my reasoning for another time. Then not forgetting my most recent addition in terms of accessories, my ring from The Jewel Thief that I bought when I was in Brighton. It’s pretty discrete and has a dishevelled texture upon closer inspection. I already know what I want my next ring to be!

So while the industry may be saying summer is over, we’ve still got plenty of time to lap up the sun (when it decides to say hello) and get many more wears out of our lighter fabrics and laid-back looks. And if it does get cold, sod it, I’m not against a holiday in September.

Photography by Natalie Jade Reading

Travel

Three days in Amsterdam

July 17, 2017

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This time last year I was travelling around Asia and since I got back, the travel bug hasn’t left me. Any opportunity to travel, I try and take it. I’m beginning to tick off more places in Europe this year… Munich, Copenhagen, Florence and now most recently, Amsterdam.

The team over at TOMS asked me if I fancied visiting the city and I of course said yes! Being able to escape work longer than a few days is tough. However, if you’re a keen city guide reader and determined to beat the previous day’s step count, then I think three days for any European city is enough time to suss it out. Equipped with a dedicated Amsterdam notes page, we (I tagged my mate George in for this trip) set about tackling it.

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Where I stayed… Max Brown Hotels

When you’re away, you’ve got to get those Zz’s in a space you’re happy with. I stayed at Doris and Dicky’s boutique hotel, Max Brown Hotel Museum Square. It’s just tucked around the corner from the Rijksmuseum and though small, it was ideal for our Amsterdam stay. My bed was 10/10, though we somehow resisted the lie-ins – it’s just a waste of time in a new city! There were also some nice touches. Mustard yellow Hay throws and a helpful guide left on the side with some staff favourites noted down.

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CT Coffee & Coconuts

Now I’ve been to my fair share of coffee shops, maybe too many, but I kid you not that CT Coffee & Coconuts is hands down one of my favourites. Three floors of airy, natural light and coffee goodness. The coffee was a necessity on the first day so we left one flat white and a double espresso later. It was a very early start!

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Hutspot

I owe knowing about Hutspot down to fellow blogger Steve Booker. Hutspot brings together food, coffee, clothes and even a barbers. It’s a hub for everything you need, from your kitchen sideboard down to your wardrobe. You could tell it was thoughtfully curated, with each section having an ebb and flow to it.

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Property Of

This store is by one of the many canals in Amsterdam and it can give you sunglasses, bag and even travel envy – they stock the very handy Monocle travel guides. What I liked about the many stores we visited across our three days, was that most had a coffee machine inside with staff keen to top up your caffeine quota. Make sure you swing by this one on your way over to Nine Streets.

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Lot Sixty One

Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘another café’. I face an internal dichotomy when travelling in that I really enjoy visiting coffee shops, but at the same time question as to what extent you learn about a new country from it’s cafés. What they do provide you with is an end destination to your city walking. I also enjoy being inside different interiors and seeing how each one ticks. Lot Sixty One proved to be a favourite with the locals.

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Toki

My favourite blogging duo Cup of Couple were in Amsterdam in December last year and spoke very highly of Toki. It is a peaceful hangout away from the centre of town to work, or for a quiet moment on the tiled perch. I highly recommend the lemon drizzle!

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The Pelican Studio

For shopping, The Pelican Studio offered plenty. I wasn’t out to shop and I’m at a really content place with my wardrobe right now (though I may of bought something in the next place we visited). TPS stocks brands like Daily Paper, CMMN Sweden and personal favourite Norse Projects. Again, mentioning my fondness of interiors, The Pelican Studio lets in some amazing light when the sun was up, as you can see.

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ETQ

On our final day, we only had ETQ left to tick off from our immediate to-do list. It’s arguably one of the best store fits I’ve been in for a while. Plenty of space for the rails to breathe and not overloaded with product. Plus, it’s a concrete and minimalism haven. I’ll always prefer physical shopping to online, for stores such as this. I walked out with a current season charcoal Norse Projects long sleeve.

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In fear of this short guide turning into quite the opposite, I was selective on when I used my camera. But there are still plenty of places I urge you to go. We had a 25 strong list of places we ‘could’ve’ gone to (which I’m happy to share if you’re heading out soon) while we were in Amsterdam, but we didn’t even make a dent in it truth be told. And I’m okay with that. I’d much rather explore at a slower pace than feel like I’m going from point A to B without taking in what is in between.

Other places we stepped in that you may have seen on my Instagram story: Solebox, Tenue de Nîmes, The Avocado Show, Foodhallen and Vondelpark.

Midweek, I flew back with a new city ticked off and a good first impression of Amsterdam. The trip was made possible by TOMS, who reached out and asked where I wanted to go. With a flagship in the city, it made sense for Amsterdam to be my destination. TOMS is all about giving, which I really urge you to read about if you don’t know the TOMS story. They gave me the chance to travel and I can’t thank them enough!


This trip was supported, but not paid for, by TOMS and Doris and Dicky. Stores featured in this post no way affiliated or influenced by TOMS. Thank you for supporting the brands that aid what I do.

Fashion

Exploring Notting Hill with Oliver Spencer

July 3, 2017

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Most of what I do is built on relationships. Surrounding myself with good people, brainstorming ideas and then coming together to create content. For me it’s about being part of a wider online community and learning from others.

For brands like Oliver Spencer that feeling of community is just as important and something they consider when opening new stores. Starting off as a market trader himself, Oliver Spencer’s new store on Kensington Park Road is somewhat of a homecoming.

Due to the brand’s tie to the area, they knew all the good spots for us to try out. Oliver (Hooson) and myself spent the day with the Oliver Spencer team checking out their favourite spots, starting with Pedlars. We sat down in the café and talked about their show last month, our favourite pieces from current and future collections and our appreciation for the area we were in.

The pace and feel of Notting Hill is definitely something I could accustom myself to. It’s quieter than most places and sees people and stores coming together to champion where they live..

A slow mooch around the residential streets to envisage what it’d be like to live in one of the white townhouses and we found ourselves sat outside Electric Cinema for lunch before walking across the road to The Ginstitute. It goes without saying that if gin is your drink, I’d urge you to go.

The afternoon offered up a cloudy day, where sunshine was at a premium. Cooler temperatures meant I cloud comfortably switch into heavier fits of ecru denim and a indigo half-zip long sleeve slipped over a pocket t-shirt. There were no complaints from my end as I’m anti-shorts whenever I can. It’s all about those big turn-ups and straight fits at the minute.

The pace and feel of Notting Hill is definitely something I could accustom myself to. It’s quieter than most places and sees people and stores coming together to champion where they live. If you find yourself in London, jump on the Central Line and take a trip Notting Hill. Use this post as a base for your day, starting with Oliver Spencer of course.

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