flatlay of my beach holiday essentials
Fashion, Travel

BEACH ESSENTIALS

At this time of the year with all the rain, snow, or whatever Mother Nature sees fit to throw your way, you can escape it all with a holiday. Unless of course you like the bad weather, in which case you can probably skip this post.

So in all it’s technicolour glory is my beach holiday edit. I normally play it down colour-wise with clothing, but I do like a bit of colour whilst on the beach – too much sand can be oh-so bland.

A good quality beach towel is a must; if you invest wisely not only do they dry you off much quicker, but are easier to spot on that sun lounger you poached at 6am (if you’re that way inclined). My garish colourful choice is the Giacomo towel by Missoni, with it’s distinctive pattern you’ll certainly be making waves wherever you choose to go. Available as part of a set here, or similar here.

My Goyard St Louis tote is not only water resistant, but also extremely hardy. I’ve dragged this particular one halfway round the world and back and it still shows no signs of wear. Pricey, yes, but well worth it in my opinion. Plus you can chose from a myriad of colours to suit your mood. More affordable options can be found here and here.

For swimwear, I recently purchased a pair of Orlebar Brown Setter shorts in Magenta. Not too loud and actually the perfect tone to wear with both light and dark clothing. They extremely comfortable, fantastic quality and they too are quick drying. Perfect for a quick dip. You can find a similar pair here, or a slightly longer version here.

Accessory wise, I am never without a pair of sunglasses. I stick to Tom Ford for holidays as they are sturdy and provide excellent sun protection, but buy within your budget. The only advice I will give is to make sure that they have good quality lenses to prevent damaging your eyes. You may also notice a bandana, granted it’s an Hermès one, but they do come in handy for covering the back of your neck or sea-swept hair if you’re vain like me. Just be careful how you tie it.

Lastly my iPhone. Perfect for some tunes, social media stalking, or checking the weather back home and dreading your return to normal life.

flatlay of beach essentials with orange goyard bag tom ford sunglasses and coconut water
Travel

SERENITY IN ST LUCIA

Just after 24 hours from landing back from San Francisco, I was back on a plane again; this time to the Caribbean island of St Lucia. I told you my life was busy at the moment, but the good kind of busy.

So for a few days it was ‘me’ time. I turned off my global roaming, ordered no calls to my room and relied solely on the intermittent wifi; which actually comes in rather handy when it pours with rain and you’re stuck in a hotel room…

Rain aside (it was only shorts bursts – I’m just being dramatic) it was lovely to relax by the pool, loaf chill out on the beach sipping coconut water and take time to collect my thoughts. Just what I needed.

There was of course time for Instagram and blogging, but what else’s is a non-drinker going to do for 12 hours a day? One of the best parts however was sat watching the sun set over the Caribbean sea. A humbling example of the beauty of nature and a moment of pure serenity.

Here’s a few of my favourite photos, including a pretty jazzy looking caterpillar – now this guy has style.

 

turquoise sea and golden sands on a beach in st lucia brightly coloured caterpillar on a tree in st lucia palm tree in a clear blue sky sunset in rodney bay st lucia the sails of a boat show from below against a clear blue sky sun shining on the caribbean sea beautiful sunset on the caribbean sea

black and white shot of the golden gate bridge san francisco
Travel

WINTER OF LOVE

I promise this is the last post from when @lornaluxe and I recently visited San Francisco. In the spirit of recovery, I am keeping it simple – my favourite photographs that weren’t outfit/selfie related.

I’ve published them in black and white as a little nod to the swinging sixties, where the Summer of Love started. After all I’m a little bit in love with this city.

 

black and white shot of traditional victorian san francisco houses contrasting black and white buildings in san franciscoblack and white shot of the transamerica pyramid san francisco black and white shot of san francisco buildingsblack and white shot of lombard street san francisco

posing on filmore street against a bright blue shop
Fashion, Travel

I’M FEELING FILMORE

Or San Francisco style part deux. Apologies in advance for the shameless selfies. Sorry ’bout it.

Filmore Street has long been one of my favourite places in SF. It’s got a gazillion good places to eat – I gravitate towards The Grove for breakfast (as shown in my Instagram pic here), although The Filmore Bakery puts up a seriously good fight with their amazing macarons. Perfect for anytime of the day. Or as a midnight snack for jet-lagged souls…

The other great thing about Filmore is the shops; unique boutiques, vintage delights, handmade treasures and some of the bigger names too. It has a relaxed bohemian-cum-cool-kid vibe that just can’t be described in words. So I shan’t even try.

Outfit wise, the details remain the same as in my previous post, apart from the carrier bag. The Marc by Marc Jacobs shop is another whoppingly awesome reason to visit. My credit card statement will disagrees on that part however.

 

walking down filmore street san francisco sat down outside the shops on filmore street san francisco sat on curb outside susan howell filmore street san francisco shameless selfie wearing red and black check shirt against a cerulean background

samuel from styleoversubstances.com walking through the streets of San Francisco
Fashion, Travel

SAN FRANCISCO STYLE

Christmas shopping is such a bore (unless it’s for yourself) and not to mention horrifically busy if you leave it this late; therefore Lorna and I decided to do ours further afield. New York is always great, but a little clichéd, plus it’s fucking super cold there at the moment. So where else better than sunny San Francisco? It has all the shops you need possibly think of, amazing restaurants, beautiful scenery AND loads of attractive men. Oh some of the buildings are really pretty too.

For this post I chose to wear my beloved Balenciaga ‘Join a Weird Trip’ t-shirt with a custom check flannel shirt over the top (you know I’m cray cray for custom shirts), distressed Balmain biker jeans, and white Louis Junior Spikes shoes by Christian Louboutin. I accessorised with my new Dior ‘So Real’ sunglasses, Hermès cuffs and a Marlboro menthol. Sometimes you just have to.

Thanks to my girl Lornaluxe for being a kick-arse friend, photographer and director all rolled into one. She even tolerated my constant selfie taking. Now that is what I call a keeper.

 

sat on the curb smoking looking at pictures on a camera taking a selfie as seen by someone else stood outside the cliff hotel San Francicsco shot from afar selfie sat on the curb smoking with lornaluxe

wooden table with colourful macaroons coffee and teapot
Travel

MACARONED

Yesterday the fabulous Simon (of  www.theverysimong.com) and I met in London to talk about blogging, fashion, food; and everything in-between. So what better place than Ladurée Burlington Arcade? It’s charmingly quaint, not to mention a stone’s throw away from all the shops I love; and their famous macarons are like nectar. Of course I Instagrammed a picture (along with quite possibly every other ‘fashion blogger’ on the face of the planet has – cliché much?), but it was impossible to resist, they really do taste as good as they look.

me in Hong Kong wearing Christopher Kane galaxy top and holding Fendi bag
Fashion, Menswear, Travel

HONG KONG STYLE

Another day, another eight hour time difference (or sixteen from this time last week). Cue forthcoming insomnia. Tiredness aside, I spent the day shopping ambling the streets of Hong Kong.  Admittedly, I do prefer Shanghai, but if you read my last post, you’ll know my fondness of anywhere in China.

It wasn’t unbearably hot for this time of year and the humidity didn’t play too much havoc with my hair; so after swapping my trousers for shorts, I was ready to go. Whilst I did feel a little outside of my Mandarin comfort zone, I was happy just exploring the bustling streets, drooling at the many designer boutiques and salivating over the street food. It’s a city like no other and if you ever get the chance to go – do.

Outfit wise, I wore a Christopher Kane Galaxy print t-shirt (an oldie but a goodie), the modal blend means it’s both comfy and light. The shorts are from the Vivienne Westwood ‘Drunken’ collection – easy and breezy (gents you’ll get what I mean)… Christian Louboutin white studded toe-cap trainers – my luxe interpretation of the Stan Smith; socks from COS and my trusty Fendi By The Way bag, with accompanying Funich.

 

me wearing christopher kane galaxy tshirt westwood shorts and tom ford sunglasses Fendi-Hong-Kong white-studded-Louboutin Hong-Kong-street-food

 

Travel

MID-AUTUMN

It’s no secret that I love China – it’s one of the countries that will always hold a special place in my heart. Yes the shopping is fantastic and yes the food is delicious (even if you have to be a little adventurous sometimes); but for me it’s the people that shine the brightest.

My parents told me whilst visiting a foreign country, it’s only good manners to learn the language basics. So when I first visited China I took to it with gusto. I have a thing for languages. Admittedly it was mainly just to be polite at first, OK it may have cut down the haggling and it may have got me better service, but it wasn’t all self-seeking behaviour. When I saw the gratitude shown for a foreigner attempting to learn the native tongue, despite English being widely spoken, it spurred me on even further.

Over the last eight years I have learnt as much Mandarin as can and it has given me the opportunity to make both life long friends and embrace a different culture. Thanks to the warmth and hospitality shown to me by my Chinese chums, I came to learn about the Mid-Autumn festival, and the delicious Moon Cake.

Falling on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, the festival is traditionally a time when families come together, pray and share offerings with each other. Nowadays Moon Cakes are given, as their spherical shape signifies union – and my gosh are they delicious. Rich, sweet and satisfying.

Whilst I may be in Hong Kong this September the eighth, I’m buying boxes to share with both my friends in Shanghai and my family at home. As the famous local poem says: “May we live long and share the beauty of the moon together, even if we are hundreds of miles apart”.

open fashion magazine with swedish fish candy reading glasses and shiny headphones
Fashion, Travel

JET LAG SURVIVAL

It’s one of those lazy days today, back from LA and feeling the jet-lag. So what better way to spend the day than flicking through magazines, listening to some music and chomping my way through a box of my favourite American sweets – Swedish Fish.

Winq magazine (which I am currently reading) goes a little deeper than most other gay publications, with thought provoking articles and interviews. Whilst it’s not perfect, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Being a Fendi fiend, I obviously loved the pictured outfit from this season’s Menswear line. That shearling Monster jacket is just up my street. Props to the Style team on this issue.

The headphones I use are ‘Diamond Tears’ by Monster. Flashy I know, but I am a sucker for anything shiny. Add the fact that they cancel out most background noise, fantastic sound quality and being supremely comfortable – I consider them a Samuel no-brainer.

I’m off to brew a pot of green tea. That should tide me over nicely.

red Piers Atkinson baseball cap with eyes on the back viewed from behind
Fashion, Travel

OMG

When I think of LA, I think of relaxed style. So I played it pretty simple with my outfits. But, when I think of American style, one piece that stands out is the baseball cap – or snapback to use the vernacular.

I opted for a custom Piers Atkinson ‘OMG’ cap, made by the master milliner (friend and all-round nice chap) himself. I absolutely adore his work and this bad boy is one of my faves. Those sneaky eyes just make me smile… Not to mention being incredibly on-point in the fashion world at the moment.

Although I planned to get my mitts on one as soon as possible, I thought the pom-poms on the mainline version would make it hard for me to pull off with conviction; so Piers kindly made me one without. Finally I got the chance to show it off. Also wearing it back-to-front had dual benefits: it kept the sun off the back of my neck and gave me eyes in the back of my head. Literally.

 

palm-tree cap-shades-vest