What to Pack When Visiting London

Whether you’re planning to visit London for the shopping, food, culture, nightlife, or for work, you should plan your packing carefully. Having a well-considered packing list to follow will make sure you have all essentials and enough stylish and comfortable clothing, without having to drag a huge heavy suitcase around because you’ve over-packed.

To help you out, we’ve teamed up with TUMI to bring you this guide on what to pack when you’re visiting London for work or play.

 

1. Choose your luggage carefully

You should choose a bag that has enough room for your clothing and other items, as well as some spare space to bring home souvenirs (if you’re coming on a shopping trip you might just want to bring an extra bag!)

If you’re flying you’ll need to check the baggage restrictions in terms of weight and dimensions for your airline. If you’re just away for the weekend, a cabin bag should be big enough – avoid taking very big bags if possible as London is very busy and it is difficult to get around when you’re weighed down by lots of bulky luggage.

 

2. Pack mix and match outfits

To keep the number of clothing items you take with you down, it’s wise to curate yourself a mini capsule wardrobe and choose simple and classic pieces in complementary colours that you can layer.

London weather can be very changeable and the best way to prepare for this is to dress in layers – don’t rely on the weather forecast! However if you have been optimistic about the weather and the British summer lets you down, there are of course plenty of shops to help you top-up your outfit selection.

A light, waterproof jacket is a good idea, and definitely bring a warm coat if you’re visiting in the winter.

Don’t go overboard with shoes – one pair of comfortable shoes (think sneakers) for walking and exploring, and one fun of dressier shoes for evenings out is enough.

If you’re planning a long trip, why not follow this list as a guide:

  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 3-5 T-shirts or tops depending on your plans
  • 1 cardigan or jumper
  • 1-2 skirts or dresses
  • 1 outfit designated for going out
  • Jewellery and accessories can help to dress up simpler outfits for nights out, so pack a that pair of statement earrings or belt that go with all your outfit options.

 

3. Electronics and Gadgets

If you’re travelling from outside the UK you’ll need a plug convertor for your electronics.

Check if your electronic equipment is dual-voltage. The UK runs on a 240V system, which is more than twice the 110V standard in the US. A plug adaptor will not change this voltage and you’re likely to fry your equipment if you plug it in! Most computers, hair dryers and other gadgets are dual-voltage these days but check your items before you bother packing them.

If you’re bringing a lot of electronics, it’s worth packing a power strip so that you don’t have to hunt for multiple plug sockets. An external power bank can also be handy for charging your phone or tablet when there’s no power source handy.

Make sure to bring extra memory cards and batteries for your camera and an external hard drive for backup purposes is a good investment. Frequent travellers often keep smaller electronic items in Ziploc bags to find them easily and keep them safe from moisture.

Pay-as-you go SIM cards with data allowance are widely available so you can pick one up on arrival.

 

4. Necessities

Of course there are a few things that you should take on every trip. However important these things are, it’s still easy to forget them, so it’s worth making a list.

  • Passports, tickets, and travel documents
  • Wallet and money (there are plenty of standalone currency exchanges and the banks will change currency for you too)
  • Medications and extra prescriptions if necessary (double-check the medication you need is available in the UK – it might be sold under a different name)
  • Toiletries and makeup – you’ll obviously be able to buy toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and the like in London but if your time in the capital is short, tracking down your favourite niche brands will take up precious travel time
  • Sunscreen – you’ll need it if you’re outside for most of the day, even if it’s not hot, as British weather is deceptive
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Travel wash for laundering clothes in your hotel sink. There aren’t many laundries in central London and hotel services tend to be expensive
  • First aid kit
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Notebook or travel journal and pen

 

5. Bonus: London travel apps

Before you set off on your trip, load up your phone with some useful apps to help you explore London:

  • Citymapper – better than Google Maps for London and includes public transport routes
  • London’s Best Coffee – find some of the best independent cafes around the city
  • Visit London City Guide – see what’s on while you’re there
  • Santander Cycles – hire bikes to cycle around the city from £2
  • Uber – cheap taxis
  • OpenTable – make reservations at restaurants
  • Oyster – the Oyster card is the cheapest way of using public transport in London and the app lets you top up online and see how much credit you have.

 

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10 interesting facts about Brandy Melville

Brandy Melville, launched in the US in 2009 and quickly became one of the hottest teen clothing labels, achieving number one rank in up-trending brands by 2014 beating rivals American Eagle, Free People, and Urban Outfitters to the top spot.

It’s now on track to be just as popular in the UK, with four London-based stores opening since 2012 and plans to expand into Oxford, Cambridge, and other cities.

So what exactly is it about this brand that makes it such a hit with teen girls? Here are ten interesting Brandy Melville facts that might give some insight.

 

1. The company is well known and loved in the USA but it’s actually an Italian brand. Brandy Melville has 40 stores in Italy with the first opening in 1994. Founder Silvio Marsan has produced merchandise for several Italian brands and it was his son, Stephan Marsan, who was responsible for taking the brand overseas.

 

The brand name and logo was inspired by the fictional tale of two people – Brandy, an American girl, and Melville, an English guy who meet in Rome and fall in love

 

2. Most Brandy Melville clothing items are one-size, designed to fit a tiny UK size 4-6. This is a controversial decision as it eliminates a large proportion of the potential customer base, but may have also helped to fuel it’s popularity with image-conscious young teen girls, giving it an exclusive cliquey image. Brandy Melville has defended their decision, pointing out many of the styles are baggy and loose-fitting, or made from stretchy fabrics to incorporate a wider range of sizes. They claim there’s “something for everyone”, even if some customers can only fit into the over-sized t-shirts and sweatshirts.

 

3. Brandy Melville doesn’t advertise and social media is a big part of its success. The brand has almost 4 million followers on Instagram with most images featuring the typical “Brandy girl”, who is Californian, blonde, thin, and popular, spending most of her time on the beach and with friends. The brand actively searches for models from its own customer base.

 

 

4. The brand name and logo was inspired by the fictional tale of two people – Brandy, an American girl, and Melville, an English guy who meet in Rome and fall in love.

 

5. The company’s product research team is made up of teen girls. The team of 20 girls works out of the Santa Monica store and is paid to research and come up with new ideas for clothing styles and t-shirt designs and to give their opinion on new season pieces.

 

 

6. In 2015 Brandy Melville was sued by rival brand Forever 21 in a claim that the retailer had copied a red with white medallion pattern fabric print copyrighted over 2 years ago, causing damages to its business. Photographer Estevan Oriol also sued Brandy Melville and H&M in 2013 over their use of copyrighted images. Brandy Melville has been accused in the past of stealing designs from several independent artists, many using Tumblr as a platform for their work.

 

7. Brandy Melville is a favourite clothing brand of Kylie Jenner. The star has been photographed while out and about wearing several pieces from the store.

 

The brand has almost 4 million followers on Instagram with most images featuring the typical “Brandy girl”

 

8. The brand is also expanding into Asia, and has already opened their first stores in Bangkok, and Singapore with plans to open a new store in Malaysia this year. The sizing issue is not as controversial in these countries as the average size is much smaller than that of American or British women, and a lot of clothing is already sold as one-size.

 

9. The stores seem to recruit employees based on how they look rather than retail experience – contributors to glassdoor.com say that a full-size photo is a requirement of the application process and several people have reported being offered a job after simply shopping at the store.

 

10. Brandy Melville has had such a meteoric rise to fame that much bigger brands are now trying to emulate their success. Rival, American Eagle, launched a new sub-brand in 2015 in an attempt to steal back some of their customers. Don’t Ask Why is marketed as being “made in Italy in unique one-size-fits-most silhouettes”.

 

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Harry Gordon Selfridge – The Playboy behind London’s Exclusive Department Store

Most people will recognise the name Harry Gordon Selfridge as the founder of the successful London department store, but few know anything of the life story of the man behind the shop.

In fact the American retailer led a rather colourful life during his time in the UK and his personal life is the subject of ITV’s successful period drama, Mr Selfridge, which has just been commissioned for a second series. The next series of this dramatization of Selfridge’s personal life is set in 1914 at the beginning of the First World War.

Harry Gordon Selfridge had humble beginnings, losing his two brothers at an early age, as well as his father, who essentially abandoned the family to fight in the American Civil War. His father never returned, despite surviving the war and being promoted to major, and the young Harry lived alone with his mother with whom he enjoyed a close relationship.

After a successful career in American retail, Selfridge first arrived in the UK in 1906, while on holiday with his wife, Rosalie. He noticed that British shops were lagging behind the glitzy department stores of the USA and invested £400,000 into what would later become Selfridges. The department store was like nothing ever seen before in the UK, designed to promote shopping as a leisure activity, rather than just a necessity.

Selfridges opened in 1909 and was hugely successful. Selfridge quickly became a very wealthy man, buying plots of land and enjoying a lavish lifestyle in his family home of Highcliffe Castle in Hampshire.

As well as living the good life in terms of material possessions, Selfridge had a reputation of being somewhat of a ladies man and entertained several other women during his wife’s trips back to the States. In particular, he had a long-standing fling with French actress Gaby Deslys, who he showered with gifts including a leased house in London.

When Rosalie died during the 1918 influenza pandemic, his spending became even more lavish. He indulged in only the finest food, champagne and cigars and decorated his London home and country retreat with the most expensive furnishings from his own department store.

Selfridge’s womanizing increased even further after Gaby died at the age of 38 and he spent thousands on gambling and showgirls. He quickly frittered away the millions he had made from his shopping empire, making frequent trips to French casinos with the showgirl Dolly sisters as his companions.

By 1940, Selfridge’s fortune had dwindled away to nothing and he owed thousands of pounds to the bank and in taxes. He was forced out of Selfridges and moved into a small flat in Putney, from which he would often take a bus to visit his former department store and remember his glory days.

Harry Gordon Selfridge died in 1947, aged 89 and was buried in a simple grave in a churchyard in Highcliffe, next to his wife and mother. A small brass plaque laid in the floor of the main entrance to Selfridges is the only memorial to its creator.

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Top 10 East London Shopping Destinations

It’s no secret that East London plays host some of the freshest and most inventive shopping destinations in London. With its cult stores (many of which are now tourist destinations) and the ever-rotating mix of pop-up shops, it’s easy to see why this dynamic area is such a draw. We’ve pinned down the top 15 shopping hot-spots in the area.

 

1. The Goodhood Store

Established in 2007, The Goodhood Store is a multi-brand boutique with a truly curatorial approach. Once a hidden gem to locals, it is now a thriving business stocking over 200 brands and has a strong online presence. Rather than using fashion trends as their guide, the Goodhood team makes sure each product fits with their ethos of an effortless lifestyle and modern approach to luxury. It’s a must for anyone with a discerning approach to style.

151 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3QE

goodhoodstore.com

 

2. House of Hackney

Originally born from a desire to “take the beige out of interiors” and “rage against the minimalist machine”, House of Hackey was founded by Javvy M Royle and Frieda Gormley in 2011 and is famous for its signature floral, botanical and animal prints. The brand “pours the energy of the capital” into its collections, drawing on London’s rich history in architecture and textiles as well as subcultures. The Shoreditch High Street showroom is the ultimate way to discover the brand, from the fashion collection and stationery, to fabric and wallpaper samples.

131 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JE

houseofhackney.com

 

3. Rachel Entwistle Jewellery

Independent jewellery designer Rachel Entwistle counts FKA Twigs, Florence Welch and Keira Knightley as customers. Her collections are inspired by the very personal and symbolic relationship we have with jewellery, and take cues from history, anthropology and mythology. The London store is home to a team of in-house jewellers and is the perfect place to discover the whole range, as well as occasional one-off pieces.

5a Club Row, London E1 6JX

rachelentwistle.co.uk

 

4. AIDA Shoreditch

Founded by four sisters and sweetly named for their nan, the AIDA boutique is all about creating an environment that can host community and charitable collaborations, as well as being a destination for independent brands you may not have discovered yet. In addition to curating fresh finds in clothing and lifestyle, AIDA has its own coffee shop, with flat whites, fresh smoothies and juices to keep energy levels high.

133 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JE

aidashoreditch.co.uk

 

5. LN-CC

Long admired for its progressive approach, the LN-CC concept store is home to an avant-garde curation of clothing, books and music. Luxury labels such as Helmut Lang, Maison Margiela, Rick Owens and Off-White are no strangers to the Dalston institution, which is part art installation, part record shop, part library. If you only swing by to experience the retail space’s cutting-edge layout, the trip to E8 will be well worth the effort.

The Basement, 18-24 Shacklewell Lane, London E8 2EZ

ln-cc.com

 

6. Luna & Curious

Luna & Curious is nestled just off Shoreditch’s picturesque Arnold Circus and considers itself a department store in miniature. The boutique proudly stocks pieces made by local artists and up-and-coming designers, showcasing the high quality craftsmanship of their creations. Luna & Curious is also an advocate of British design, and is a must-visit for quirky, unique purchases.

24-26 Calvert Avenue, London E2 7JP

lunaandcurious.com

 

7. Nelly Duff

Opened in 2006, Nelly Duff has become one of East London’s most celebrated galleries for street, tattoo and graphic art. Situated on Shoreditch’s much-loved Columbia Road, Nelly Duff supports local artists as well as exhibiting original pieces by emerging international artists. The very name, ‘Nelly Duff’ is cockney slang for ‘life’.

156 Columbia Road, London E2 7RG

nellyduff.com

 

8. Donlon Books

Independent bookstores turn to Donlon Books for inspiration, owing to its extensive range of books and periodicals covering a variety of subjects. Donlon Books’ hand-picked titles are often hard to find and cover topics such as music, art and photography as well as philosophy, esoterica, and even erotica. Be sure to head to the Broadway Market store for one of its many book readings; it’ll be a weekend afternoon well spent.

77 Broadway Market, London E8 4PH

donlonbooks.com

 

9. Labour and Wait

If you’ve ever wondered where the trend for retro utilitarian homeware came from, Labour and Wait on Redchurch Street provides the answer. Household goods are this shop’s forte – think enameled mugs and kettles, wooden paint brushes and aprons – but there is also a good edit of classic clothes like Breton tops, smocks and chore jackets.

85 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DJ

labourandwait.co.uk

 

10. L.F. Markey

The ultimate womenswear brand for anyone that loves utility, L.F. Markey was founded by Louise Markey, who worked at Burberry and is a Central Saint Martins graduate. Boilersuits, chore jackets, dungarees, work pants and jeans are brand signatures, inspired by Louise’s love of bleus de travail and artist’s smocks. Visit the bright and colorful Dalston Lane store to experience the full collection.

58 Dalston Lane, London E8 3AH

lfmarkey.com

 

Photo by Tomas Anton Escobar on Unsplash

 

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How to Become a Fashion Stylist

The world of styling is competitive but for those who make it, it can be an exciting and creative career path. Here’s our guide on ‘how to become a fashion stylist’ for a head start towards your dream job.

 

1. Find out what kind of stylist you’d like to be

There are many different types of fashion stylists. Some help create photoshoots for magazines and brands, some dress celebrities and some work as personal shoppers for everyday people. Research what is required for each job and consider how you could best use your skills.

 

2. Assist a stylist

The best way to gain experience as a fashion stylist is to assist an experienced stylist. Internships are a great way in and if you make yourself indispensable, you can get invited back as a paid assistant. Write to some of your favourite stylists to ask if they have any opportunities to gain experience with them.

 

3. Enrol on a course

It’s not vital to study to become a fashion stylist but it can give you a good introduction to the job and teach you important skills. Take a look at our top 10 fashion stylist courses in London for some of the best available options.

 

4. Follow trends

It’s an important part of a fashion stylist’s role to stay on top of trends for the season. It will help inspire photoshoots and advise clients. Create mood boards for the key trends you spot each season to create a picture of the season. This is also a good way to practice for when you will need to create mood boards for clients and can be a good thing to show senior stylists when applying for work experience.

 

5. Build up your contacts with photographers

Fashion stylists rarely work in isolation. A big part of the job is building contacts and forming strong collaborations with other professionals including art directors, makeup artists, hair stylists, nail technicians and especially photographers. Attend industry events and join networking groups to find talented photographers who have a similar vision to you and nurture that relationship so that your careers can grow together.

 

6. Organise a test shoot

One of the most important things you’ll need to become a fashion stylist is a portfolio. It’s important to show how creative you can be, as well as how you can work for commercial clients so aim to get a good variety. Once you’ve met some other like-minded creatives, organise a test shoot – a photoshoot purely created to add to your experience and portfolio.

 

7. Attend press days to get to know the PRs

The other important relationship to build and maintain is with the PRs who will be lending you clothes. Find out when their press days are (usually twice a year shortly after fashion week) and ask if you can attend to look at the latest collections from the brands they represent, introduce yourself to the people who work there and tell them about your upcoming work. Always return samples on time and in good condition to keep your relationship strong.

 

8. Build a website

Once you have some images to your portfolio, create a website to show it off to prospective clients. Companies like Squarespace can help you build a simple website easily and inexpensively yourself. You don’t need too much information on there, just a bit about you and who you have worked for, contact details and images of your work.

 

9. Publish your work on your social media channels

Don’t forget to publish your work on your social media channels too. If your Instagram is currently full of pictures of you and your friends on nights out, why not set it as a private account and set up a professional account to share your work, connect with other professionals and potentially pick up work.

 

10. When you’re ready, approach an agent

There are a number of creative agencies who represent stylists and can help you with how to become a fashion stylist for higher profile clients. Be careful not to approach them too soon though, work on building your portfolio and your contacts and when you’re ready, send your book to well-respected agencies and try to arrange a meeting with them.

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Shopping Guide: Lamb’s Conduit Street

We’re kicking off our definitive guides to London’s best shopping areas with Lamb’s Conduit Street. Nestled quietly in Bloomsbury and just a stone’s throw from Holborn and Kings Cross, Lambs is perfect if you love to shop in calm, considered surroundings and discover labels that you haven’t heard of before. Read on for our favourite destinations.

La Gourmandina

Kick off your stroll along Bloombury’s Lamb’s Conduit Street with coffee and an amaretti biscuit at La Gourmandina, a café/restaurant that fuses French and Italian cuisine to pleasing effect. Take a seat at the bar by the window and enjoy the weekend papers. We heartily recommend the cappuccinos.

www.lagourmandina.co.uk
Opening Hours: Mon: 8:30 – 20:00; Tue-Fri: 8:30 – 22:00; Sat: 9:30 – 17:00; Sun: Closed

La Gourmandina

Content

Lamb’s Conduit Street is dominated by menswear shops and Content is one of a few recent newcomers. It opened its doors in March 2013 and specialises in the “highest quality, globally sourced garments.” Don’t feel fooled by the store’s petite proportions, it holds a fantastic edit of today’s most relevant brands – from Nike and Barbour to CP Company and Filson.

www.contentstorelondon.com
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 11:00 – 19:00; Sun: 12:00 – 17:00

Content

Simon Carter

Simon Carter’s journey began not on Lamb’s Conduit Street but on Chelsea’s King’s Road. The year was 1985 and he went from shop to shop trying to sell a replica 1930s motorcycle brooch he had made. Someone eventually agreed to buy them and the rest is history. Pop into his shop (one of six in the UK, three of which are in London) to see how this eponymous brand has grown, from brooches and cufflinks to shirts and tailoring. Look out for the prints, some of which are Liberty fabrics.

www.simoncarter.net
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 – 18:00

Simon Carter

J.Crew

When J.Crew landed in London it didn’t just open its flagship on Regent Street, it also opened a small but perfectly formed men’s-only store on Lamb’s Conduit Street. Housed in a 19th century town house, the shop includes a sharp edit of shirts, the brand’s Ludlow suiting as well as other key pieces from the collections.

www.jcrew.com
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00 – 19.00; Sat: 11:00 – 18.00; Sun: Closed

Jcrew-London-Lambs-Condui

Private White VC

Jack White was just 18 when he signed up to the King’s Own Royal Regiment in World War 1, and his bravery in action just outside Baghdad earned him the Victoria Cross in 1917. At the end of the war he returned to Manchester and worked as an apprentice pattern cutter at a local factory – a factory that he went on to manage and own before he passed away in 1949. Inspired his heroics and military achievement, his great-grandchildren now manufacture and make by hand garments in his name at the very same factory. Head to the store at 55 Lambs to check out the bomber jackets and parkas, and see how Jack’s descendants have resurrected the phrase ‘Made in Manchester’.

www.privatewhitevc.com
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00 – 19:00; Sat 11:00 – 18:00; Sun 12:00 – 17:00

Private White

Folk

Folk clothing has both men’s and women’s stores on Lamb’s Conduit Street. Choose from own-brand ready to wear (think simple silhouettes in cool fabrics), as well as an edit of other brands including Acne, all housed in a pleasingly uncomplicated interior. We love the women’s selection of jewellery and shoes.

www.folkclothing.com
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 11:00 – 19:00; Sun: 12:00 – 17:00

Folk

Oliver Spencer

Oliver Spencer describes itself as a “modern British brand” and makes more than half its collections here in the UK. Oli himself takes inspiration from Japan, hunting, the military and Americana to craft his clothes. Both the women’s and men’s lines are available on Lamb’s Conduit Street.

www.oliverspencer.co.uk
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 11:00 – 19:00;
Sun: 12:00 – 17:00

Oliver-Spencer

Pentreath and Hall

Ben Pentreath and Birdie Hall opened their store on Rugby Street with one simple aim – “to look for things that they loved themselves.” The result is a pleasingly eclectic and colourful selection of French table linen, candles, books, prints and accessories for the home. It’s a must if you love stationery, too.

www.pentreath-hall.com
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 11:00 – 18:00; Sun: Closed

Pentreath and Hall

The French House

Focusing on “the timelessness of well-crafted design,” The French House works with artisans and family-run businesses to source its tempting range of products. You will find beautiful homewares (cushions, throws, lighting, tableware), lavender soaps, leather bags and other delights here. We think its one of the chicest interiors stores on Lambs.

www.thefrenchhouse.net
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 11:00 – 18:00; Sun: Closed

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Your guide to Brandy Melville in London: Store Opening Times & Details

Brandy Melville is quickly becoming one of the latest must-have high street label and is definitely a current favourite with fashion bloggers and Instagrammers.

If you want to see what all the fuss is about and pick up some laidback California-style fashion for yourself, there are four Brandy Melville stores to choose from in London:

 

1. Carnaby Street

Brandy Melville’s flagship UK store is located just off fashionable Carnaby Street, on pedestrianized Foubert’s Place. There are lots of other fashion shops in the area, along with plenty of European-style street cafes and coffee shops if you’re in need of a shopping break.

As well as the usual Brandy Melville clothing and accessories collection including pretty dresses, slouchy tees, soft knits and on-trend denim, there are also some Carnaby-only exclusive products here. There’s even a retro photo booth so you can pose with your friends and show off your new purchases.

This store has a big selection but can get very busy so if you’re after a more relaxed shopping experience and shorter queuing times at peak times (weekends and Friday afternoons), you may want to try one of the other branches.

The nearest tube station is Oxford Circus. Many bus routes also run to nearby Regent Street and Oxford Street.

11 Foubert’s Place, Carnaby, London W1F 7PZ

Open 10.30am – 7pm Monday to Saturday and 12 – 6pm on Sundays

 

2. Covent Garden

This Brandy Melville store opened in 2015 in the “Seven Dials” area that links Covent Garden with Soho. You’ll find plenty of other trendy fashion boutiques, beauty salons, cafes, and restaurants on the surrounding streets, making it a great location for a day out shopping.

The nearest tube station is Covent Garden, from where a 2-minute walk will get you to Neal Street.

Seven Dials London, 9-15 Neal Street, London WC2H 9PU

Open 10am – 7pm Monday to Thursday, 10am – 7.30pm Friday to Saturday, and 12 – 6pm on Sundays.

 

3. Kings Road

Brandy Melville’s first UK store opened on King’s Road in 2012 and offers 2,005 square feet of California-style retail therapy. This branch gets top reviews for its friendly staff, generous number of changing rooms, and little extras like free stickers at the checkout.

There are also plenty of other shops worth a look on King’s Road including Anthropologie, Orla Kiely, Toast, and Penhaligon’s perfume house.

Kings Road is well served by public transport and you can reach the Brandy Melville store in a 5-minute walk from Sloane Square tube station.

33 King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4UD

Open 10.30am – 7pm Monday to Friday, 10.30am – 7.30pm Saturday, and 12 – 6pm on Sundays.

 

4. Hampstead

If you’re in north London and don’t want to venture into the city centre, there’s no need as Brandy Melville have helpfully opened their latest branch on Hampstead High Street.

Shopping in leafy Hampstead makes a nice change from the hectic inner city and there are plenty of other shopping opportunities here including branches of Jigsaw, Kurt Geiger, and Oliver Bonas, alongside independent boutiques and plenty of pubs and cafes to provide refreshment.

Brandy Melville is directly opposite Hampstead tube station and the high street is a 5-minute walk from Hampstead Heath rail station.

Hampstead High Street, London NW3 1QH

Open 10am – 6.30pm Monday to Saturday, and 12-6pm on Sundays.

 

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London Fashion Weeks Mens 2020 – Highlights

The 15th annual London Fashion Week Mens took place this past weekend, with many of the city’s most stylish residents flocking to the Truman Brewery, just off Brick Lane in Shoreditch, to view the key Autumn/Winter 2020 Menswear collections.

With runway shows from the likes of Münn, E. Tautz, Astrid Andersen and fashion-favourite Wales Bonner, as well as presentations from EASTWOOD DANSO, Kaushik Velendra and Omar Afridi, the 3-day event is not only the first glimpse at new, upcoming trends within the menswear category, but also a look to the future and what we can expect to be wearing during the cold winter months of 2020/2021.

Here are some of our highlights and favourite moments from LFWM 2020…

NEWGEN

Launched in 1993, NEWGEN is a British Fashion Council initiative that supports the very best emerging talent within the industry, offering financial support, showcasing opportunities and business mentoring, with the aim to build “global, high end fashion brands of the future”.

Recipients of this year’s designer development scheme reflect and celebrate the best creatives within menswear design and included Art School, Nicholas Daley, paria / Farazanrh, Per Götesson and Stefan Cooke, all of whom hosted catwalk shows at the BFC Show Space, along with Ahluwhalia Studio and Bianca Saunders both showcasing in the BFC Presentation Space DiscoveryLAB.

Notable mention must goes to Bianca Saunders who delivered a refreshingly honest and authentic, simple yet effective, presentation of her work in the BFC DiscoveryLAB, with a line of satin-draped booths, dancing to the sounds of Jamaican dancehall music.

THE NED LOUNGE

The BFC partnered with Ned’s Club to host a pop-lounge within the LFWM Hub at the Truman Brewery, offering attendees the opportunity to experience a taster of the club itself.

Inspired by the “faded glamour” of the 1920s, the space hosted fashion editors, influencers, buyers and style lovers looking to kick back, catch up, relax and dine surrounded by Art Deco pieces in a palette of deep purples and reds. Attendees were able to sample California-style cuisine and a selection of the members only club’s favourite cocktails and Peroni beers, all provided by The Ned’s Malibu Kitchen restaurant.

STREET STYLE

As any experienced fashion week attendee will tell you, the catwalk is certainly not the only place to discover emerging new trends, with the streets outside the shows long established as a different kind of runway showcase for how people are dressing now.

London’s (and Europe’s) finest fashion revellers excelled themselves when it came to mastering the art of dressing for the shows this weekend – creating one-of-a-kind looks and ensembles, free from inhibition.

From tonal tailoring to splashes of fiery oranges and blues, granddad vests, cargo pants and outlandish overcoats, the mix and match of styles may have been diverse, but the overall vibe and feel was cohesive and strong.

Be sure to check out the LDNfashion Instagram page for our pick of the best LFWM street style looks and all of the outfit inspiration you will need this season.

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Where to Buy Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Brands in the UK

We’re all becoming more aware of how our choices and shopping habits might have a negative impact on the environment. Fast fashion is increasingly understood as harmful and sustainable fashion is a hot topic.

But it’s not always easy to source your wardrobe from ethical fashion brands. Especially if you’re used to shopping online from the likes of ASOS that offer a one-stop-shop for hundreds of different brands and thousands of clothing items.

While of course you can shop directly on the brand websites, sometimes you want the fashion boutique experience when you’re shopping online. These 5 sites offer a curated selection of sustainable fashion brands in one place so you can shop guilt-free.

1. Wearth London

Online marketplace Wearth was founded in 2017 and now represents over 200 UK eco-friendly and ethical brands. The collection is hand-curated, vegan, and cruelty free, and includes beauty products, homewares, and furniture as well as fashion and accessories.

As well as shopping for fashion from the standard categories of men’s and women’s tops, bottoms, outfits, underwear, swimwear, and accessories, you can also shop by values including organic, recycled materials, made in the UK, and handmade.

Brands offered by Wearth include Salt, Blonde Gone Rogue, Leiho, Mangata London, Stidston Studio, and Zola Amour

Wearthlondon.com

2. Zalando

Zalando is one of the largest online shopping platforms in Europe and they stock over 2,500 brands. As well as stocking well-known big name fashion brands, they also have a sustainable section, which lists sustainable clothing, shoes and accessories from their brand partners.

Sustainable brands featured at Zalando include Anna Field, Samsøe Samsøe, Fillippa K, Nudie Jeans, and adidas Clean Classics. You can also search for products anywhere on the website and use the sustainable filter option to find products that are made ethically with minimal environmental impact or use the vegan filter when browsing shoes.

Zalando also uses recycled materials for packaging and offers customers the option to carbon offset any purchases they make.

zalando.co.uk/sustainable-fashion/

3. Brothers We Stand

Brothers We Stand is a collection of curated sustainable menswear that requires brands to demonstrate a transparent supply chain, ethical labour standards, and a positive social or environmental impact.

The selection includes t-shirts, shirts, sportswear, knitwear, underwear, denim, and accessories, with loungewear, vegan, and basics edits. Every item on the site has information detailing its impact.

Brands on offer include Idioma, Knowledge Cotton Apparel, Level Collective, MUD Jeans, and Silverstick. Brothers We stand also produces their own collection of organic basics and logo t-shirts.

Brotherswestand.com

4. Antibad

Antibad is a curated online shop for vintage and new labels that offers a wide range of clothing, swimwear, lingerie, shoes, and accessories in categories that include vegan, organic, upcycled, and artisan.

Brands include Mara Hoffman, Mud jeans, Ethletic, Happy Haus, Bug Clothing, and Diarte, as well as a selection of curated Italian vintage clothing.

All Antibad orders include free carbon neutral delivery within the UK and are shipped in recycled packaging

Antibadstore.com

5. More This

More this is a directory of curated brands that are “doing good” and align with the values of the More This team. These values include fair trade, handmade, made to last, charitable, organic, recycled, vegan, and minimal waste.

The directory includes men’s and women’s clothing, vintage, swimwear, sleepwear, footwear, knitwear, denim, and accessories. There’s also a selection of homewares, skincare,

Fashion brands included in the More This directory include Aardes, Birdsong, Mara Hoffman, The Nude Label, Ren London, Finisterre, and Veja

As More This is a directory, not a marketplace or ecommerce site, they link directly to the products and brands rather than you being able to shop directly on the site. But the More This blog curates products in posts such as the “staycation edit”, offers detailed brand profiles, and gives tips on subjects such as vintage shopping and how to spot greenwashing.

Morethis.co.uk

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London’s Best Personal Trainers

Was it your New Year’s Resolution to get fit in 2020? How’s it going so far? If you’re like most people, you probably joined the gym or started running with great enthusiasm and the novelty is starting to wear off. Losing weight and building strength and stamina is hard work, but a personal trainer can help you to make the most out of your exercise sessions, whatever your fitness goals.

Whether you want to lose weight, sculpt your body, or train for an upcoming event, we’ve compiled a list of some of London’s best personal trainers to help whip you into shape.

 

1. Ultimate Performance

Their clients body transformations are almost unbelievable. Ultimate Performance offers the highest possible level of qualified, rigorously tested personal training. UP’s trainers are distinguished by their ability to practice what they preach. They talk the talk and walk the walk, training themselves even harder than they train their clients, and living the healthy lifestyle they advocate to clients. UP also offer industry leading online personal training so clients can access their support across the world.

World class private facilities in Mayfair, City of London, and Kensington.

Price: available on request

upfitness.co.uk

 

2. Hollie Grant

Ex pastry chef Hollie Grant is the founder of The Pilates PT franchise, which runs two studios in London, and also runs The Strong Women podcast. Hollie believes in a holistic approach to fitness through Pilates-based exercises, nutrition, and mental health coaching, and her method is suitable for people of all sizes and abilities.

You can train with Hollie at the Pilates PT studios in Fulham or Knightsbridge, or you can even book her or another female instructor to visit you at home. If you don’t feel like you need the full personal trainer experience, Hollie also offers an online programme including workout videos, a starter pack with inspirational books and affirmation cards, additional content on nutrition, mental health, sleep, and body confidence, two months access to the Headspace meditation app, and online support.

Price: £120 for a single session with reduced prices for memberships and packs of multiple sessions.

Pilates PT Fulham, 136-144 New Kings Road, SW6 4LZ
Pilates PT at Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA

pilatespt.co.uk

 

3. Shaun Stafford

Director of the exclusive City Athletic gym (Mo Farah trained for the London Marathon here!), Shaun Stafford is also a two-time WBFF World Fitness Champion. He’s worked with hundreds of private clients and professional athletes to achieve impressive body transformations in the quickest time possible. Shaun specializes in fat loss, competition preparation, and strength & conditioning training.

If you can’t make it to the gym or can’t afford a personal training session with Shaun, you can sign up to one of his online Physique Formula plans. These plans are designed for varying fitness levels, and there’s also a nutrition guide and cookbook available. Each ebook costs £9.99/

Price: available on enquiry

City Athletic Bank, 6 Trump St, London EC2V 8AF

Shaunstaffordfitness.com

 

4. SALECCA

For 14 years SALECCA has coached 100′s of entrepreneurs, CEO’ s and ambitious graduates who understand: You must prioritise your body, if you want to stay at the top of your game!

SALECCA is the antidote to impersonal gyms and generic boot camps. Their studio is a personal, private facility where they prioritise really getting know their clients. All programs follow SALECCA’s stronger by design system that includes nutrition coaching, a posture and flexibility assessment, strength assessment and stress management.

Price: on request

Templeton House, 33-34 Chiswell Street, London, EC1Y 4SF

Salecca.co.uk/home

 

5. Shona Vertue

Shona Vertue is probably most famous as being David Beckham’s yoga teacher. The personal trainer and creator of the Vertue method has one of the most popular yoga YouTube channels in the UK and was an official trainer on the set of Wonder Woman 2.

The Vertue Method combines cardio and resistance training with yoga and meditation for a holistic fitness plan that puts as much importance on rest days as it does in workouts.

If you can’t get hold of Shona in person (she spends her time between London and Sydney) you can sign up for one of her online video programmes, starting from £24.99.

Price: on request

ShonaVertue.com

 

6. PGPT

Peter Gaffney and his team have long been established as one of the leading personal training companies in London. With their unique mobile service and growing virtual offering they have been providing exclusive mobile personal training for executives, professionals and busy Londoners for over 13 years. PGPT ensure they offer clients industry leading service, not just during their training sessions, but seven days a week. Being available via email or phone to support, encourage and support clients though their journey. They also have a dedicated client support and care team to make sure you achieve success in the quickest possible time.

Price: on request

pgpt.co.uk

 

7. Red Pill Fitness

Founded by Sal Kassam, widely acknowledged to be one of Londons leading personal trainer for the past 15 years, Red Pill Fitness offers something a bit different. The team at Red Pill take a very holistic approach , looking at what the clients want to do with their bodies, not just how they want to look. They are bucking the “transformation” trend, because there’s more to health than a fleeting six-pack! Health, wealth, and freedom Sal and his clients think that’s what life is about, the freedom to live exactly how you want. If you cant make it to the facility we would encourage you to check out their social media for some great content and advice.

Price: on request

redpillfit.co.uk

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