head and shoulder portrait wearing black leather Balmain biker jacket and Hermes silk bandana scarf
Fashion

BANDANARAMA

The humble bandana; it’s been around for decades, but lately it’s seen a bit of a renaissance. Hermès produced a not-so-humble version, which meant I had to have one – obvi. Thick silk twill? You had me from the start. I’ve been toying how to style it for months, but bit the bullet and used it as a scarf tied at the front.

Since seeing Chiara Ferragni of ‘The Blonde Salad‘ sporting one at New York Fashion week, it cemented my view that it was a wise purchase. Slightly miffed I missed the fashion boat blogging about it so late, but it is what it is. There’s a lesson to be learnt there…

What are your thoughts about the kerchief? How would you wear one?

 

Chiara Ferragni of The Blond Salad wearing shearling coat and blue bandana red and white silk Hermes bandana scarf

stood in doorway smiling wearing black leather biker jacket floral shirt army green trousers and holding grey Goyard bag
Fashion, Menswear

GROUNDBREAKING

Florals? For Spring? Whilst Miranda Priestly may not approve, I certainly do. Admittedly it isn’t groundbreaking, but it was the basis of my outfit du jour.

The shirt itself was made by my tailor from a fabric I fell in love with; not too girly for a floral print and overall, quite subdued – winning in my book. Especially as I struggle finding long sleeve shirts to fit these gangly limbs.

Picking up on the green in the print, I wore a pair of dark olive trousers (also by my tailor) and a black Burberry Prorsum biker jacket. Whilst head to toe floral is a major look, I wasn’t really in the mood to channel my inner Hyacinth Bucket (or indeed Givenchy Resort 2014 if you’re in a serious mood) today.

Accessory wise I wore my trusty Louboutin Louis Junior Spikes in white, a black Hermès belt and Goyard Ambassade in grey.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on florals. Yes way, or way too gay?

 

headless photo wearing floral shirt with black biker jacket army green trousers hermes belt and grey goyard bag side shot wearing black burberry prorsum leather biker jacket with floral shirt and army green trousers headless shot wearing bespoke floral shirt black biker jacket and black hermes belt walking past white classic house wearing army green trousers black leather Burberry biker jacket and floral shirt

black and golf flatlay with contrasting textures
Fashion

FLAT LAY FEVER

The flat lay. It’s a hard thing to master and it certainly took me a while (not to mention a little lot of help from a good friend – you know who you are) to arrive where I am presently. Now I’m not saying I’ve nailed it by any means, but I have made progress.

If you search #flatlay on Instagram, it yields over 100,000 results, so it’s fair to say that the ‘lay is here to stay. Or maybe it’s just a case of flat cliché? Either way, I’m officially obsessed.

When attempting to compose your ideal image, it’s best to have a theme. In this instance mine was texture, with a black and gold palette. Composition and placement of the subject matter is crucial, so you may have to play around until you find what works for both you and the image. If you are capturing it with your iPhone, the square camera setting on iOS is godsend; but when using a DSLR, bear in mind that the image will have to be cropped when uploading it to Instagram.

Backgrounds and lighting are also key factors. Even the most amazing things can look awful on a hideous base; yet the most mundane objects can be transformed with a beautiful backdrop. Ultimately it’s a matter of taste, find what you like and do your best to make it work. Natural light is preferable, unless of course you’re a pro; and remember that shadows can actually work in your favour.

So what are your thoughts on the flat lay? You can check my Instagram to see my attempts. From food to fashion, it is what you make it. And yes, some attempts may be less flat yay and more crap lay, but progress not perfection…

street style shot in brighton wearing black outfit and camel coat
Fashion, Menswear

YESTERDAY’S LOOK

I had intended to post this yesterday, so technically this can’t be classed as a ‘WIWT’ (What I Wore Today) post, but ‘WIWY’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Que sera sera.

To set the scene, Shaughn and I spent the day in Brighton looking at interior furnishings for my flat. Sounds fun, but finding the perfect pendant light is a tricky task when you’re a hideous perfectionist. Whilst wandering through the North Laine I found a spot perfect for an impromptu shoot. I’m all kinds of crazy for punchy graffiti and this neon number did the trick nicely.

Outfit wise, I wanted to keep it quite simple. Black and camel is my current colour combo crush, so I chose a Givenchy t-shirt, Fendi jeans and cashmere coat – total godsend when the sun disappeared and the chills came a creeping. For the accessories I chose white Christian Louboutin ‘Louis Junior Spikes’ trainers, an Hermès cuff, Dior ‘So Real’ sunglasses and my Fendi ‘By The Way’ bag.

What are your thoughts on this look?

 

close up of black leather fend by the way bag with graffiti in the background looking up wearing black jeans t-shirt and back with camel cashmere coat detail shot of hermes CDC cuff dior so real sunglasses and fendi by the way black bag worn with camel coat

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.

new years eve flatlay of white shirt with cartier ring in box hermes cuff and dior black satin bow tie
Fashion, Recovery

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Here’s wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2015 – may it be filled with love and light.

I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your love, support and kind words. You guys are the best.

Stay tuned for a refreshed Style Over Substances – new year, new look. Same old Samuel though.

flatly of an hermes scrapbook surrounded by sticky tape scissors bits of paper and pens
Home

SATURDAY SCRAPBOOKING

Now that I have a flat, the next task on my to-do list is to decorate it. As it’s a Regency property, I want to keep the main parts as age appropriate as possible. I don’t have an endless budget and bearing in mind the ceiling price for a flat of this size in this area, there will have to be some compromise. Sure I would love to have the entire thing gutted, re-rendered and all the original mouldings and ceiling roses put back in, but I think that whilst it would look good, it may not necessarily be a frugal move. Coving and roses yes, but probably less ornate versions would work just as well, especially when it’s all going to be painted white. I can introduce colour with soft furnishings and special pieces I have collected over the years.

As my mind is constantly running and I haven’t completely mastered Pinterest, I keep scrapbooks. I have always kept them for things that catch my eye, mainly from magazines, so I have re-opened my decoration one and started to add to it once more. Thankfully I have always gravitated towards period features and statement/classical pieces, which means the majority of it is still wholly relevant.

Simple things like photographs of nature can provide the best colour schemes. Think moss growing on an old rock, or decaying Autumn windfalls – there is no better source of inspiration than Mother Nature herself. With that in mind, I’m getting back to the sticky tape, scissors and endless magazines; the perfect way to spend a wet Saturday.

flatlay of blue clothes and accessories on a white background
Fashion

BLUE

So the plans for my short visit to San Francisco have been annihilated – along with the sightseeing, potential outfit and streetstyle posts . It’s cool, I’m over it now, but I have managed to make one post with something visual. When life gives you lemons you have a bitch fit make lemonade.

Now I’m not saying it’s anything epic, but seeing as my time here has been drastically reduced, I made my OOTD into a post. Rather than feeling blue, I was wearing it.

In response to the fabulous Dana Fashina’s post on her blog (check it out – she is GREAT) about clothes you only ever really wear around the house, I wore my beloved navy cashmere jumper by Jacobs by Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs – yes you did read that mouthful right. It is super lightweight and super warm, perfect for this time of year. Plus it’s stood the test of time, no bobbling and it hasn’t been devoured by moths just yet.

I also wore my old 7 For All Mankind jeans, which I stopped wearing years ago as they were bootcut. Nothing a trip to the tailor couldn’t fix however and hey presto, new-yet-old slim/straight leg jeans that wonderful worn in feeling you only get from jeans you’ve had longer than you care to remember.

Accessory wise I kept it semi-simple with an Hermès Constance belt in Blue Jean, Céline navy sunglasses and my beaten-up Balenciaga wallet.

The coconut water was my flat lay fuel. I think I’m getting there slowly…

 

Louboutin studded tartan slip on shoes in blue and red
Fashion

CROPPED

For me, my preferred trouser for this summer has been lightweight and cropped. I really struggled to find a pair that fitted me well, let alone being cool and comfortable. So when I stumbled upon this pair by Paul Smith, I was in absolute delight. My fashion prayers had been answered. Admittedly they did come with an unfinished hem, but nothing a trip to my tailor couldn’t fix.

On to the dilemma of proportions. It’s a fine line between looking like a pair of ordinary trousers that are merely too short, or even worse – pedal pushers. At my height, it was a difficult call, but I’m happy with the result. Plus being 100% cotton and a little lighter than navy (with a surprisingly rich hue), it was a sartorial YES!

I went down the casual route and paired it with a devore white t-shirt from All Saints. My love for this particular range cannot be stressed enough, they are beautifully soft and just so easy to wear; which did mean I bought all the possible colour, size and style permutations.

The shoes are Christian Louboutin and as you have probably guessed by now I have a bit of a shoedicction. Whilst they may not be for everyone, I seriously dig them. Studded tartan skate shoe? Hideously over-the-top, but majorly me. Plus they work in every season. Another fashion box ticked.

 

looking-down-outfit sunglasses-smiling

me looking down wearing sunglasses and black vest top in sunshine
Fashion

WHAT I WORE TODAY

To be honest, I am not really sure on the subject of this post. I had big plans on what I had wanted it to be, but in the spirit of recovery, I shall take it for what it is: a simple outfit post.

In true British tradition, even the slightest glimmer of sunshine makes me frantically dig out anything that one would normally wear in some blissfully hot summer idyll. I don’t know if it is a cultural thing, or merely grasping at the chance to wear something that will probably spend ninety five percent of it’s life in a wardrobe. Either way, it was warm and I wanted to make the most of it.

So I opted for a simple look, suitable for the beach admittedly, but who cares. A vest top from All Saints, shorts by Alexander McQueen, Louboutin espadrilles and the bag is Fendi; By The Way.

 

Brighton-man-standingFendi-bag-brightonLouboutin-espadrillesBrighton-man-smiling