I check out Ray Ban’s new prescription glasses range!Read More
If you’ve followed my blog for all of 5 minutes, you’ll know I am pretty casual most of the time. I think it comes from being suited and booted most days for work so on my off days I just want to kick back and feel ultra comfy.Read More
I was on the look out for a cool location to shoot for my Hyundai IONIQ blog post, which is coming very soon, when I found an abandoned RAF base not too far from my house. The chipped runway remains, now surrounded by fields and was once home to the Lancaster Bomber in World War II.Read More
…it certainly seems easy, there are hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of social media accounts claiming to be influencers, their high following and masses of likes makes them an attractive advertising platform but with so much fraud going undetected on Instagram...Read More
The term ‘Influencer’ is thrown around so easily and in my opinion…I hate it. Influencer seems too much like you’re getting your moneys worth out of a reader that is browsing your heavily sponsored content, after all, influencer, in marketing speak means ‘a person or group that has the ability to influence the behaviour or opinions of others’ which to me is a little bit tacky. I myself am a blogger and content creator…nothing I do is trying to influence readers and quite frankly my blog doesn't often pay me at all.
With influence comes value and with some brands paying tens of thousands to ‘big influencers’ to simply snap an Instagram picture with their product, it’s no wonder so many bloggers are trying to gain influencer status.
Unfortunately, I believe this is where the true value of bloggers is lost and it’s all down to one word…bots.
Sadly platforms such as Instagram are yet to block bots from liking and commenting on pictures on a user's behalf. If you’re not familiar with a bot, put simply you can ask it to like all photos that are published with certain hashtags. Some ‘influencers’ use this to its full potential, growing their audience by liking all manner of pictures (seriously, from sausages to knitting, it's pretty laughable), all because they might feature a hashtag such as #lifestyle or #mensstyle. It’s such a poor way of running a social media account and shows lack of understanding of best practice, sadly for the honest blogger it means some colleagues are commanding high prices for sponsored work…all because their sly social tactics have gained them 40k followers.
It’s a riddle to me how brands don’t work this out, picking an influencer that has gained 30,000 followers that are of no worth whatsoever is surely worse than working with a content creator that has 1,000 followers that engage regularly? It will ensure better ROI, better impact and importantly, better engagement rates. It’s a real shame that brands see numbers as the way forward when true, engaging content is what the internet is craving right now…it’s about time brands started to look a little deeper at how many influencers use these techniques to gain followers, and also to have a little browse of the account before sending the collaboration email.
On the most part, the blogging community is made up of honest, creative and individual creators, something I love to see as a creator myself. Sadly the industry is so overrun with people wanting to get rich quick, get a verified social media account and have their 15 minutes of fame that they don’t focus on the now.
This isn't me slating, people do what they’ve got to do and I have no qualms with people making money off their blogs, I myself have been paid for content…not that it blurs my views or opinions because as you’ll know if you read the blog regularly, my honesty is pretty clear (not going to apologise). I just wish some creators were more honest, with some, I feel like we see so much of what they’re paid to do and say that we’ve lost the true person behind the account. That’s such a shame to me.
I don’t want to alarm you, but Christmas is officially less than a month away! I have had a few people asking what I would recommend for the man in their lives so I thought I would put together my official gift guide of Squire Endorsed products for 2016! Have a browse and if you see something that inspires you, click the link to shop the product.
For the techie
The techie in your life can never get enough tech, especially when it comes to clever phone protection and the latest releases!
You might remember a few years back case maker Mophie hit the scene with their game-changing phone charger case, well now they’re back with a brand new product. Their smart ‘Hold Force’ case (seen in main article image) comes equipped with a stylish magnet on the back to hold their cool new accessories, choose between a charging battery, folio case or card wallet. Prices start from £34.95 for the case - click here to browse.
No doubt your techie keeps up with the latest tech news, Apple launched their new MacBook Pro a couple of weeks back complete with a cool new touch bar, which allows you to take control, send emojis, edit videos and revolutionise how you use your Mac. This is one of my top suggestions for the generous lot among us, I recommend the 13” in slick space grey available from PC World for £1,749 - check it out here.
For the subscriber
For the indecisive guy, the gift of a subscription box is great, whether style or comfort, there are loads out there!
With men’s grooming more popular than ever before, Toppbox set out to deliver (quite literally) a grooming solution to suit most men. Their monthly boxes allow for modern men to try out some of the latest and best products plus, their ‘give a gift’ option makes it super simple to send one as a present! Buy one month for £18 or 3 months for less than £50 - check it out here.
Finding the right style can be pretty tough, Enclothed is a fantastic option for guys that aren't sure what to buy. The online personal shopper subscription takes the stress out of shopping with a handpicked curated collection from your very own stylish. Gift vouchers are available for any amount of cash you want to spend. This is one of my favourite gifting options as he’s likely to end up with something he’ll really like. Take a look at this here.
For the headbanger
From speakers to music streaming, why not give the gift of sound this Christmas!
Ever since it launched, I have been a huge fan of Apple Music, the subscription service allows access to Apple’s huge database of over 40 million songs! Apple has launched a cool way to gift music and you can buy the recipient either 3 months for £27.97 or a full year for £99! Take a look here.
Echo probably needs no introduction, especially with the amount of TV coverage this smart speaker has had. The 360º speaker allows for deep immersive music to be streamed from the likes of Spotify, it isn't just a speaker though…ask it a question and you’ll get an answer, hear traffic and weather reports and even control your light switches, Echo is sure to transform your home! Available from Currys PC World here.
For the dreamer
Give the gift of sleep with my top tips for dreamy gifts!
A good night’s sleep seems like a money can’t buy kind of gift, which it was until now. eve Sleep has produced what might just be the ultimate pillow, The Pillow is made from high-quality memory foam to offer more support than feather or fibre for a comfortable, peaceful sleep. Available here for £59/pillow.
For the modern man
More and more men care about how they look, why not check this ultimate kit out...
Loads of guys look after their skin now, the well-groomed, clean look is definitely here to stay and modern men’s site Mankind has a great Christmas gift out this year. Their Christmas collection is full of some of their top selling products including products from Elemis, Men-U and Foreo. With a total value of £300, this is a total steal and is available for £100! Browse it here.
For the gym junkie
Gym-goers always appreciate a gift that goes along with their pastime, whether it’s new tights or some at-home gym equipment, it’s definitely a good shout!
Bjorn Borg is maybe one of the most famous sportswear brands, with more and more gym junkies wearing tights now these training tights are certain to go down well, these quality sweat-busting tights act as a second skin in the winter which is perfect for runs and outside exercise, plus the reflective tape on the back adds some extra safety! Available for £31.50 here.
When working out, tracking progress is such an important step. Withings new Body Cardio scales will help you track every inch of progress. With heart rate sensors, plus sensors that measure water and fat mass all feeding into the dedicated mobile app, there won’t be an inch of weight loss that will be missed. Available for £119.95 here.
I hope my mammoth gift guide helps you to buy the man in your life exactly what he wants, if you have any questions, suggestions or Christmas cheer to spread...drop a comment below!
If you checked out my last blog post you’ll know this is part 2 of a series of three blogs. I have teamed up with Topman for a series of three very cool and very different outfit shoots, all to celebrate the THIRD birthday of my blog! So crazy, can’t believe I have been blogging for three years now!
Today’s look is super casual, comfortable and very much the kind of look I am wearing all the time right now. I’m definitely not one of those bloggers that tries to look dapper 24/7, I am all about comfort, suits all day every day just aren't my thing!
First up is my new coat, I love this thing, it’s a hybrid between a smart coat and a bomber jacket. This longline bomber might just be my new favourite autumnal wardrobe essential, it is a wool blend so great for keeping you a bit warmer on those chilly autumn mornings. I think it looks really great, it’s got a great fit and works really well with casual and smart, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for a coat that can do it all! One of the best things is that it is currently on offer, down from £95 to £75…definitely worth taking advantage of! Check it out here.
Next up, for the past year or so, panel tees have been really popular. I love panel t-shirts but haven't been able to find ‘the one’ just yet, that was of course until Topman hit me up with this blue & white slim-fit tee. I wear it loads, and actually to share a little secret, after receiving it in the mail, I went out and bought it in other colours, too! It’s one of those great tees you can just chuck on under a jacket, definitely a wardrobe staple to use all year round! These panel tees are super cheap, too at just £12 each, check this one out here!
Jeans-wise, I opted for my trusty new stretch skinny jeans that I featured in the last blog post, these £38 black jeans have quickly found themselves a top space in my wardrobe. I love a black pair of jeans for everyday wear so these are great, plus they’re comfortable and don’t feel too tight whilst obviously still being well fit to your legs. You can check these out here!
When it comes to shoes, this time of year you want something you can trust, nothing canvas that’ll get wet and no unprotected suede that’ll get ruined. I opted for these black plimsol inspired shoes which are great for damp mornings as they’ll help to stop you getting wet socks (man that’s a gross feeling!), Topman have some great own-branded shoes at the minute, these sneaks are a real bargain too, you can bag these ones for £26, whilst they are a faux leather, they feel like pretty good quality and will last you for seasons to come! Take a look at them here.
Second blog of the week…that’s some pretty bloody good going in my books! It’s Thursday and I’m wishing I was abroad enjoying some more sun right now…so I am throwing it back to a couple of months back when I was living it up on the stunning isle of Menorca! I wanted to make full use of my snazzy new look blog with the edge to edge images and brighter, bigger pictures so I thought I’d share a little picture diary of some of the places I visited and a couple of recommendations of what to do if you find yourself on this beautiful balearic island!
Things to do...
- Visit the Cap D’Artrux lighthouse for the most amazing sunset on the island
- Take a chartered yacht around the secluded virgin beaches such as Cala Macarelleta
- Take a trip in to Cuitadella, the historic city has stunning winding backstreets!
- Visit Fornells, it has a pretty harbour and some stunning little restaurants overlooking the water!
- Take a trip to the beach, I would recommend Arenal de Castell, it’s a big sandy beach and doesn't get too busy
There's so much to see and do in Menorca, you just need to fully immerse yourself in what the island has to offer!
Oliver Cheshire is owning the menswear scene right now, there's not a single FROW he hasn't graced and is a hot favourite for mens lifestyle mags. You probably know him as the face of M&S but I wanted to delve deeper in to Oli's style, inspiration and top tips for you aspiring models. I caught up with Oliver to get an update on what he's up to right now.
How would you best describe your overall look?
My style is a variety of lots of different things. I love the preppy look, but I still have a soft spot for leather jackets and rock 'n' roll Chelsea boots with black jeans. At the moment bomber jackets are everywhere and I love them, I wore one to the Brits recently, I think you can wear them with almost anything. I also grew up around a lot of sportswear-based fashion which is massively on trend and wearable, as well as very functional in today's fast paced society.
What do you think it takes to become a successful model?
You need to feel comfortable with yourself and the way you look in front of the camera, you also need to be able to listen and take direction well. Personality plays a big part too, and obviously you need to keep in shape, you don’t want to be too slim or too muscly as your body and face are your tools. I also think determination and resilience are also key, it can take a lot of knock backs and no’s before you finally get your break, and you can’t ever give up.
How long does it take you to get ready for a red carpet appearance, what’s the process?
It takes me about 30 minutes to get ready that's including the shower hair and moisturiser. The thing that takes the longest is picking my outfit and making sure it is tailored to perfection. The key to grooming in my eyes is less is more, find what hairstyle suits you and find creams that suit your skin and stick to them.
Have you ever had a style disaster? Tell me about it…
Sometimes I look back at shirts I've worn in the past and think Oh No what was I thinking when they're too loud. Also I've had a few style disasters when I've tried to pull off trends and they haven't really worked for me or they were just awful in the first place but I thought they were cool at the time.
Who is your ultimate style icon?
David Beckham has always been a style icon of mine. I was a 90s kid and when I was younger he was everywhere. He took risks with his fashion and that is something I loved, he wasn’t scared to try new things and he managed to set trends at the same time. Now he is older he knows what suits him and he sticks to it.
What would you say is a must-have style essential that every man should own?
I think everyman should own a good quality white crew neck t-shirt because it will go with everything you own. It has to be high quality cotton though, so it feels good against your skin and doesn’t get ruined in the washing machine.
What is the one trend you’d never rock?
Being on photo shoots, I've pretty much been dressed in most trends, but there are a few I personally wouldn't dress myself in for days out, such as, socks and sandals or flared trousers. But hey, never say never.
What does casual style look like in the world of Cheshire?
I love casualwear, there has been such a lean towards the smart casual trend recently with sports luxe and athleisure trends. I love to mix casual pieces with something more formal – i.e. mixing a tracksuit with a smart pea coat or a tux with a pair of trainers. Autograph menswear is based around smart casual dressing, with a big sports luxe influence. In the summer collection short suits are introduced to create a new look with a focus on style, texture and detail.
What’s your one ultimate style tip for men the world over to help them look photoshoot ready?
The fit of the clothes is key on any photoshoot, they are often pinned back by a stylist. It's also a good idea to get a good night’s sleep before your shoot so you don't have puffy eyes on set.
What’s your all-time favourite piece from Marks & Spencer’s Autograph collections?
My all-time favourite piece is the Autograph black wool and leather bomber jacket. It is the perfect transitional, layering piece; on colder days I wear it with a roll neck jumper and once it warms up I will style it over a casual crew neck t-shirt.
The new M&S Autograph summer 2016 collection is available online and in stores now. I personally want everything...you can shop the collection by clicking here!
So today I thought I’d introduce you to a wicked new brand I have been involved with recently. The very cool folks over at TW Steel dropped a little gift in my PO BOX this last week for me to check out, and I loved it so much I thought I’d share it with you lot.
So if you haven't heard of TW Steel before here’s a quick bit of background - they are a Dutch watchmaker founded in 2005 and are renowned for their chunky industrial style watches. They very kindly sent me over a watch of my very own which I have been wearing for a couple of days and love.
I personally think a watch is so important for your style, watches finish off an outfit really well and if your collection is as huge as mine, you can chuck on a different one to match the look you’re trying to achieve. The Canteen ‘CS1’ watch that TW Steel sent me is a chunky, large-faced watch with a thigh leather strap - it feels like it’s got some real substance to it, after all it has an impressive 100m water resistance!
The look is super vintage and I think it would look great with a smart slim fit suit, maybe even a dinner suit if you’ve got a posh event coming up! This might sound weird but I appreciate the fact the ‘tick’ is pretty quiet - I hate those watches that you put on your bedside table and then have to lay awake all night and hear ticking for all eternity.
The dial is hidden under the large case, this spins off on its hinge and reveals the dial. Now, I don't know if this serves a purpose or if it’s just for show but I think it might seal it and possibly help the water resistance.
This watch is a must-have if you’re looking for a nice smart watch - you can get it straight from the guys over at TW Steel for £199 by clicking here!
It’s my favourite awards night of them all tonight, the BRITs! Whilst I was invited to go along (and go to a bloody awesome afterparty) I unfortunately had to decline…broken hearted! However I’ve done the next best thing and teamed up with my friends over at M&S to bring you some dapper award style!
When you’re on the red carpet and headed to awards, you want to look your best, dress dapper and of course, be noticed! With this look you’ll stand out and have the respect and attention of style aficionados the world over!
The Limited Edition navy tuxedo is a super modern tux in a dapper super slim fit with a jacquard pattern - it’s amazing quality and will feel comfortable all night long, no matter what parties you end up at! You can pick this up over here, it’s £55 for the jacket and £44 for the trousers, a pretty good price I reckon!
With this tux you can pair it simply with a white shirt, I’d personally recommend this Pure Cotton Slim Fit Shirt from the M&S Collection - the Collection items are such good quality and the slim fit cut will go great with your suit if you leave it unbuttoned for a really comfortable look! This is £45 and available here!
Every dapper man around knows a bow tie is the way to go…and not just any bow tie…a tie-it-yourself bow tie! This M&S pure silk bow tie will help you look the part and it’s only £12.50…now you just need to learn how to tie it!
If you’re going for the ultimate dapper look, these M&S Collection Toe Cap shoes are the perfect addition to your smooth evening outfit - and at £65 it’s a pretty good deal, too! Or, you could pull an Ed Sheeran and rock some sneakers for the casual look!