Organic Basics: Basically Better Made

If you’re anything like me, you’ve always struggled to find sustainable, high quality basics that are designed to last… If that’s the case, let me proudly introduce you to Organic Basics.

Organic Basics does exactly what it says on the tin: his & hers basics, underwear and activewear, all made from organic materials. 

Discount code DISTILOB1 for 10% OFF

Organic Basics’ #1 rule when making clothes is to design everything to last. So they invest in quality fabrics and workmanship, and create with simplicity and function in mind.

This mantra really comes across in their products. The two organic cotton basic tees I received from them are soft to the touch, and have washed extremely well, maintaining colour and fabric consistency. Reviews like this are commonplace on their website.

Shopping their site is as easy as it gets, with a fluid journey from homepage to checkout. There’s a useful size guide, and they provide the model’s height, and the garment size he/she is wearing in the image. Love this.


Discount code DISTILOB1 for 10% OFF

The transparency of Organic Basics’ supply chain is shown off on their website, too. Like any good ethical brand, they provide information on where and how materials are sourced, product material breakdown, and even key statistics on their factories. For instance, garment worker working hours, and the number of holidays the workers get. This is so refreshing to see, and a fantastic benchmark for other brands to aim for!


Info. on the factory where my t-shirts were made


Discount code DISTILOB1 for 10% OFF

As always, thanks for checking this post out guys!



Goose Studios: Fashion that doesn’t cost the earth

GLOBAL fashion brands seem unwilling to change their unethical and unsustainable practices. Although frustrating, it means change might have to come from the bottom up. This provides an opportunity for passionate start-up fashion brands who want to bring solutions to a crisis that has been ignored for too long. 

I FIRST got chatting to Rich & Sam (left to right in the photo above), mates and co-founders of Goose Studios, a few months ago. Within minutes, I’d fallen in love with their approach to life, and to business. They’ve created Goose Studios in order to have some fun and help save the planet… They just happen to sell great fashion.

RECENTLY I caught up with them, and they filled me in on how to build an ethical wardrobe, what they predict for the future of the fashion industry, and just who Goose Studios’ BAE is.


100% ethically sourced long-sleeved tee – use code DISTIL15 for 15% OFF

Hi Guys! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. First of all… How on earth have you ended up running a sustainable/fair fashion brand?!

Rich: Back in 2015, we’d both just read Let My People Go Surfing by Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard, which showed us sustainability in fashion was something our generation needed. We had started putting together a line of t-shirts for Disco nights we organised whilst at uni. This merchandise line got out of hand, and the next thing we knew we were running a sustainable fashion brand!

Amazing! And why is sustainable fashion important to you?

Sam: After we’d read Let My People Go Surfing, we realised every product made has an impact on the planet. We both love the fashion scene, but want to make sure it has as little impact as possibleStacey Dooley’s recent documentary also reinforced fast fashion’s shocking environmental impact. We know attitudes can be slow to change, which is what drives us to continually improve our efforts in flying the flag for fashion that doesn’t cost the earth.


Reverse of the navy long-sleeved tee

Nice one guys, and do you get the sense it’s as important to bigger, global fashion brands, and to the general public?

Sam: When it comes to the bigger brands and their production, it would be fair to say that most brands are making at best, a token effort. They heavily promote one or two sustainable styles, but these only make up a minute percentage of their ranges. Even though there are some exceptions like Weekday.

Rich: The good news though is that there is a large amount of smaller brands who are starting with a totally new philosophy, of being accountable and transparent when it comes to sustainability. We’re big fans of the likes of Finisterre and Know The Origin.

I think 2018 was a good year for sustainable and ethical clothing starting to get recognition from the public. Big exhibitions like Fashion for Good in Amsterdam, and Fashioned By Nature at the V&A, have definitely helped sustainable fashion hit the media. And it feels like it’s here to stay.

Let’s hope so! And how do you guys go about making sure Goose Studios’ supply chain and product is as sustainable, and ethical, as possible?

Sam: We rely on making sure that all our suppliers have the global accreditations that ensure we have an audited, ethical and fair, sustainable supply chain. This starts with only using 100% GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) organic cotton, minimising the abuse of toxic chemicals polluting soil and waterways.

Rich: Our suppliers also have Fair Wear foundation membership, meaning they pay a fair living wage in their respective countries of production, and it ensures the continual development of worker rights. 

We’ve just had news that our t-shirts are now PETA certified, meaning the production is animal cruelty free and vegan friendly. All our tees are also hand printed by our friends over at Memory Screen Print Studios using water based inks, we visit them a few times a year so know exactly what’s going on. Equally our packaging is 100% recyclable and we are now also a plastic free company. Meaning that all the processes we have control over, are plastic free.


Unisex short sleeved tee – use code DISTIL15 for 15% OFF

That’s fantastic! When I started to get interested in fair fashion, I didn’t have a CLUE where to start – any advice for our readers on how to build an ethical wardrobe?

Rich: You can make really easy swaps with your basics first. Switch your cotton t-shirts and sweatshirts to an organic cotton version. There are some great organic cotton underwear brands too. For items like jackets, try marketplaces like ASOS marketplace or Depop where you can pick up ace second hand vintage pieces, denim jackets especially. Charity shops are a great cheaper alternative too, especially for items like waxed jackets or oversized vintage sportswear.

Any more brands you’d like to recommend?

Sam: Goose Studios!

Rich: But seriously, brands like Weekday are great starting points for casual style, with a solid range of organic tees, sweats and denim. Finisterre are a more adventure lifestyle brand, and are a bit pricey. But their jackets are top notch, super stylish and last forever… I think they do free repairs too.

Sam: Know The Origin and Idioma are smaller operations, but have good price points for your everyday wardrobe.

Rich: If you need a winter jacket take a look at Ecoalf. We’d love to see them become the new sustainable Canada Goose. It’s quite high-end though, it used to be cheaper!

Sam: And for footwear we live in our Vejas – they take a while to break in, but they’ll last for ages. Mine are 2 years in of daily use and still going strong. I like to think I got them before they were cool!


Thanks guys – great reco’s – and in your opinion, will the fashion industry become more sustainable?

Sam: In short, yeah, it will have too. It’s fashion or the world… Depressing right?! But it’s like all polluting industries, there’ll come a point when everyone’s like “Oh shit, it all needs to change. Right now.” And I don’t think we’re too far off that to be honest.

… And the future for Goose Studios?

Rich: Even if us growing a bit makes bigger brands think about being sustainable too, then that’s a win for the planet! We genuinely believe we are arriving at a tipping point where fashion needs to wake up and start taking its environmental responsibilities seriously. 

Sam: We want to show people they can have it all – an organically sourced, sustainable garment, that looks great, feels great, and doesn’t cost the earth. 

Exciting times! And finally thanks so much for talking to me… Just one last favour… Describe Goose Studios in three words?

Sam: David. Attenborough’s.

Rich: BAE.

GUYS – thanks so much for checking this post out – it really means a lot to me 🙂 Goose Studios is a fantastic example of a start-up business bucking the trend of fast fashion, and helping us move towards a more sustainable way of consuming and living. I hope to bring you guys many more interviews with other such projects in the near future, so watch this space.

If you decide you would like to support the lads, and purchase something from Goose Studios, please save yourself some cash by using promo code DISTIL15 at checkout (valid for a limited time only).

A 🙂






WAMA underwear: relax, it’s natural

IF you’re anything like me, you’ve never given much thought to the sustainability of your underwear… I mean, you look for a suitable fit, comfortable fabric, and then you stick to buying that pair in a slightly different colour variant each time. Fair enough.wama_post_boxers_cartoonRECENTLY I decided to look up just how sustainable and ethical the famous underwear retailer (cough Calvin Klein cough cough) I always buy from is. Not very, I discovered.

Note: Check out the Good On You app for sustainability ratings of fashion brands 😉

AS if the stars on my boxers were aligning – as soon as I started to search for a new, sustainable brand to purchase my next pair from – WAMA underwear got in touch. WAMA is a brand on a mission. Its aim is to pioneer the hemp underwear industry by making the best hemp undies in the world for both men and women, constantly improving their fit, function and design. During this process they hope to bring more awareness to hemp as an option for clothing, especially underwear.

NOT gonna lie, before speaking to WAMA, my knowledge of hemp was a little… hazy… But I soon began to learn some amazing stuff about the fabric:



SO I’d learnt lots about how cool hemp is, but how about WAMA’s underwear itself?

Comfort: 9/10

I thought it might have been hemp hype, but these boxers are one of the comfiest I’ve ever worn. They are super breathable and the elastic band hugs my waist nicely.

Style: 7/10

Can’t go wrong with black coloured boxers, in my opinion. And the WAMA green leaf logo found on the left side is a chic touch. For me, however, the shorts are a little too long. I prefer shorter trunks, and as it happens, these are being added to WAMA’s product range this year!

Durability: 9/10

So far, so good. I’ve washed these six times now; they haven’t changed shape and their colour hasn’t faded. Plus the elastic is still going strong, something that can quickly erode on poorer quality boxers.


WAMA boxers and pouch bag

SO, if you’re looking for an extremely comfortable underwear that isn’t going to be too harmful to the planet, I would definitely recommend giving WAMA a try.

As always, thanks for reading 🙂



sustainable fashion: my move towards it

I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your support so far, and hope you’ll continue with me on this journey 🙂

AROUND one year ago, I did something I’d been thinking about for a long time, and finally mustered up the courage to start a fashion & lifestyle blog. Distil My Style was born.

SINCE then, I’ve mainly produced (some good, some bad, some ugly) fashion content, but recently I started to feel an unease about posting it. I noticed I was getting more enjoyment and satisfaction from lifestyle posts such as 6 places to visit in Sao Miguel, Azores and 3 gym classes to try and in most cases they were being better received by you guys 🙏

AFTER reflecting on this for some time, I realised the reason for my angst was the fact I wasn’t giving much consideration to the fashion brands I was promoting. Plenty of thought was going in to the fit, the print, and the price of the clothes, but none given to whether they’re sustainable and/or ethical. Did the production of these garments carry a negative external cost to the people making them, or to the environment?

EVEN though I’d shopped loyally with many of these brands for over a decade, the seed had now been sewn, and I had to look more deeply into the issue. I soon found many amazing people had been researching and campaigning for an alternative fashion industry ever since the rapid emergence of fast fashion in the late 90s/early 00s.


LUCY Siegle is a pinoeer of this movement, and in her revolutionary book To Die For, she discusses how:

“As consumers we’ve been completely anaesthetised by the seemingly incredible value of fashion over the last decade. The kick that buying cheap items gives us makes it easy to forget the reality of their production.”

THE more I continued to read about the devastating affect the fashion industry is having on certain people’s lives and the environment, the more I began to angle my blog and Instagram content towards sustainability.




Some charity shop outfits 😝

MY mind was made up when I watched Stacey Dooley’s documentary Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, which focuses on the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Dooley cleverly and candidly tackles the topic from a consumer’s point of view:

“The few pounds we spend for an item of clothing isn’t the true cost – the real cost is the millions of gallons of clean water that was used to grow the fabric, or the millions of gallons of fresh water that was polluted with toxic chemicals to dye the clothes.”

AFTER watching this I felt I had no other choice than to focus Distil My Style completely on sustainable fashion, making it the unequivocal topic of conversation on the blog.


  • More charity and vintage outfit posts using recycled clothes
  • Practical life hacks on how to shop fashion more sustainably
  • Interviews with established, and upcoming, sustainable fashion brands

SO, I hope this slight shift in focus is as exciting to you as it is to me, and that you’ll continue with me on this journey. To those who have been with me since the beginning, and to those who are just joining, thanks again for your support! 



6 places to visit in sao miguel, azores

Written below are some of my favourite places and experiences (there were too many to write in one post) in Sao Miguel, Azores, which I travelled to in September, 2018.

Earlier this year, I sat at my desk at work on a dreary Tuesday morning, but only in body. As I stared into my computer screen, like most Millenials, my mind started to wander: where on Earth could I have been at that moment, rather than sat in the office? I then spoke out to my colleague sat opposite, who is a master at wanderlust conversation having once worked in the travel industry, and asked her where she reckoned I should go.


As though she already knew where my mind had veered off to, instinctively and immediately she answered the question with a question – “have you heard of the Azores..?

Upon gazing at its beautiful, kaleidoscopic landscapes on Google images, I searched and found some super cheap flights from Manchester Airport to João Paulo II Airport in Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores (mouth-full). Then I found a travel companion, and we booked for early September, when the temperature is consistently low to mid-twenties. Even though, as we soon found out, you can have four seasons in one day, and the temp is hugely variable depending on your altitude on the island.

The flight took four hours, and then we landed on Sao Miguel island. After speaking to tourist info, some locals and some fellow tourists, we decided Logoa do Fogo should be our first stop.


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We climbed up into the clouds in our Ford Focus rental (renting a car definitely seems the best way to get around the island), from the city of Ponta Delgada below, and instantly got a sense of island life. We were happy to be stuck behind a herd of cows up a windy lane for four miles as it gave us a chance to take in some of the breathtaking views and wildlife. Once over 3,000 feet above sea level, we parked and began the hike down to the lake.

The hike is steep, and slippy when wet, but completely worth it. The views are some of the best I’ve personally ever seen. The calm lake is juxtaposed against the jagged terrain which gives a supernatural air to the surroundings. And the quietness and lack of people makes you feel as if you could be back in the Jurassic period, or even in the theme park itself…


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You will def feel like jumping into a Jacuzzi after hiking to see Lagoa do Fogo, so why not jump into a natural one? Cladheira Velha is a twenty minute dive from there, and the perfect remedy.

You pay 8 Euros in to the park for access to the natural hot pools, where you can sit, relax, and take in the tropical atmosphere. It’s geared up for tourists with changing rooms, lockers, and man-made walkways, but this doesn’t much take away from the feeling of being in and amongst nature. You also get to witness water at boiling point that isn’t coming out of a kettle ready to make a cuppa with. Pretty cool.


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After doing quite a bit of driving on the first day, we decided to check out the capital of Sao Miguel island, Ponta Delgada. The city centre and main square were around a 15 minute walk from our Air Bnb, which offered a leisurely coastal stroll into town. The city has so much variety to it, it seems to have something for everyone. This includes a stunning harbour, from which you can go on boat tours to whale and dolphin watch, something we regrettably missed, so will have to do next time. There’s an impressive market (Mercado da Graca) to buy fresh fish, fruit, and veg, a natural and man-made swimming pool, with cool buildings spread throughout the city. For the evening, restaurants and bars are aplenty, and the city comes alive with live music. Epic.


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Sete Cidades requires another 40 minute drive from the centre of Ponta Delgada, but man, is it worth it! It is a little parish, with a population of around 1,000, located at the centre of a volcanic crater. Before arriving at the village, there are various viewpoints at which to look down over the lake – definitely stop at one of these because your mind will be blown. It’s also worth having a quick look around the village; it feels relatively untouched by tourism, and the colourful buildings and beautiful church again give you a sense of being transported back in time. However, the main attraction of Sete Cidades is the lake. Check out the images above because I can’t do it justice with words. One very cool thing they’ve only started doing this year is watersports on the lake. As such, we kayaked to our hearts’ content. Also, there were only around 10 other people on the lake which is why I’d urge you to visit this place sooner rather than later.


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BEACH DAY. In need of another break from the car, Sao Roque beach was around a 90 minute scenic walk from our accommodation. On our way we actually passed another natural swimming pool overlooked by some giant rock formation. The beach in Sao Roque is awesome – it has black sand, fairly warm water, and somewhere to get a beer. Perfect. It is also overlooked by a 400 year old, stunning church. I’ve never been laid on a beach listening to church bells ring before, I’d recommend it. When the sun had set, we strolled 5 minutes up the road to a beach front restaurant where we ate fresh fish and drank white wine. Again, couldn’t recommend it enough.


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As our adventure came to a close, there was one last village and lake we needed to visit – Furnas. We drove straight to the lake, which is encircled by a walking path. I didn’t think there could possibly be another breathtaking lake on one small island, but I was proven wrong. And the cool thing about it is how different they all are. Furnas lake has lots of greenery surrounding it, and you get a chance to see volcanic steam coming out of the ground. The locals make use of this steam, and use it to cook a traditional dish called cozida, basically a meat stew cooked in big pots under the ground. After walking around the lake, we went into the village and ate at Tony’s restaurant. I would recommend this restaurant for its vibe, and wine, but not sure the cozida was for me. Not gonna lie, it was pretty tasteless, but I can’t argue with the huge portions Tony served us up.



Jordan Peterson: “When you explore boldly, when you voluntarily confront the unknown, you gather information and build your renewed self out of that information. That is the conceptual element. However, researchers have recently discovered that new genes in the central nervous system turn themselves on when an organism is placed (or places itself) in a new situation. These genes code for new proteins. These proteins are the building blocks for new structures in the brain. This means that a lot of you is still nascent, in the most physical of senses, and will not be called forth by stasis. You have to say something, go somewhere and do things to get turned on. And, if not…you remain incomplete, and life is too hard for anyone incomplete.”

6 essential summer shoes

The right pair of shoes can transform your outfit and look, with minimal effort. Whether you’re heading to the beach, going for a sizzling city break, or glamming up for the evening, I’m here to help with the most on trend summer shoes this summer! So, pack away your wellington boots, and get ready for all the loafers, boat shoes, trainers, espadrilles, and flip-flops coming your way.

1. White Trainers

Minimalist white trainers are the 2018 summer essential. You can opt for timeless trainers such as the white Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, which have remained largely unchanged since their introduction decades ago. Or, a less recognisable model such as the Levi’s Malibu trainers, which are virtually unbranded. Team your white trainers with matching white laces and add a pair of light denim shorts for the ultimate summer outfit.



2. Boat Shoes

Also known as deck shoes, boat shoes are now some of the most popular styles you’ll see in any summer resort. Boat shoes were originally a popular preppy choice, but have now turned into a summer classic, which must be worn without socks for that nautical touch. Style a blue pair of boat shoes with some beige chinos for the ideal Riviera look.


brown boat shoes

3. Loafers

Every man needs at least one pair of loafers in his shoe rack. The loafer is a staple shoe style that is extremely versatile, whether you need to dress up for a summer wedding or dress down for a garden barbecue, loafers are both sophisticated and relaxed. When dressing up, choose a pair of leather loafers, and team with a seersucker blazer and linen trousers. To dress down, match a pair of suede loafers with denim shorts and a polo shirt. Remember, unlike boat shoes, always wear socks with loafers! And choose a lighter coloured pair for greater versatility with other lighter tones in your summer wardrobe.

brown loafers

blue loafers


4. Sliders & Flip Flops

Flip flops & sliders might be the most controversial shoes on this list, but fashion attitudes are changing towards them, and both have their place in your summer capsule wardrobe. Summer is all about relaxation, and these shoes are perfect for that. Whether you’re at home or abroad, slip either of these bad boys on with a neutral coloured pair of shorts and a white vest, and you’ll immediately feel chilled out.

birkenstock_madrid_white_sandalsblue flip flop

5. Espadrilles

With the huge variation in espadrille colours and prints, you’re bound to find a pair that will go with your summer outfits. I’d recommend getting a day-pair to head down to the beach in, and an evening pair for al fresco dining, without the formality of leather shoes.

navy_espadrillesred espadrilles

6. Suede Desert Boots

As the name suggests, desert boots were originally designed for hot conditions, and became a popular men’s fashion item during the 1940s and 50s.  The fab thing about desert boots is the numerous ways in which they can be styled, allowing many different looks for summer. Wear them with cropped trousers or shorts, and invisible socks, to epitomise smart-caj. Desert boots are also perfect for dressing up; wear them with a smart pair of chinos, or even a suit, on a summer’s evening.

midnight blue desert bootsbrown desert boots


how to dress for a wedding – men’s guide

What to wear for a wedding is rapidly becoming just as important for guys as it already is for the ladies. I understand there’s limited information out there for men on the latest styles for each season, but that doesn’t mean dressing for a wedding needs to be a fashion nightmare. Do not fear, whichever time of year the wedding is, I’ve got you covered!

what to wear to a spring/summer wedding

For a spring/summer wedding, it’s all about lighter colours to keep you cool. Team a blue suit with a crisp white shirt, and some brown or black brogues for a classic, James Bond-esque look. A smart, cotton suit is ideal, but if expected temperatures are going to reach boiling point, you could even opt for a linen suit for extra comfort. Adding a pair of blue suede shoes will give you the perfect summer get-up, and will mean you’re ready to hit that dancefloor when the time comes.

shop the look


style it withla_redoute_black_brogues

what to wear to an autumn/winter wedding

For an autumn/winter wedding, the most important thing is keeping warm. After all, the photographer will be snapping away all day, and you want to be smiling, not shivering! A woollen blazer is ideal for battling those autumnal winds, and if you’ve entered the most bitter months of the year, you could even rock a smart overcoat for a suave entrance to the wedding. Earthy and darker tones are the name of the game for weddings at this time of the year, so why not complete the outfit with a pair of taupe ankle boots?

ASOS have a built up a wonderful, extensive wedding boutique for men over the last few years, though they seem to avoid promoting it too heavily. Check it out for a great range, at mostly competitive prices.

shop the look


style it withtaupe_ankle_boots_la_redoute

what to wear to a beach wedding

If you’re lucky enough to be attending a beach wedding this year, it’s time to focus on casual-chic. This doesn’t mean it’s advisable to turn up in your Speedos and beach towel, but it is perfectly acceptable to keep it caj. Linen will keep you smart, cool and casual, and the whiter the better. Pair your white linen suit with blue leather loafers for that relaxed feel, and to wow the rest of the guests. If you’re not keen on the look of linen, wear a seersucker cotton blazer for a lightweight, breathable alternative.

shop the look


style it with



how to wear linen – men’s guide

Linen is the ideal fabric to keep you looking and feeling cool in the warmer months. However, many still avoid it as it isn’t the easiest look to pull off, so I’m here to help with these linen guidelines designed just for you!

do I need to iron linen?

There’s no need to iron linen. It is time to embrace the creases, reflecting your tranquil summer attitude. Why not use the time you’ve saved not ironing to knock up your favourite G & T, throw on your linen t-shirt, and sit out in the sun? If you can’t possibly resist ironing your linen garm’s, make sure to iron them inside out.


which colour should I go for?

Are you feeling experimental this summer? If so, linen is a great way to get new shades into your wardrobe. There are green and blue tones which you simply don’t get from winter wool or denim. If you’re playing it safe, classic summer colours such as beige, navy and white are always on trend.

White Regular Fit Crew Neck T-Shirt

how should it fit?

The optimal linen fit is relaxed. You might want to try ordering one size up to give that ultimate chill vibe, also make sure to leave linen t-shirts and shirts untucked. If you are precious about a close fit, you can always get the clothes tailored, this might be recommended for a linen suit where a close fit can be a challenge.



what do I pair it with?

I’ll admit, head-to-toe linen is a tough look for anyone to pull off. If you’re feeling it, go for it! If not, complete the look with a denim jacketsuede shoes and shades to maintain that idyllic feel.


7 summer tees for men

Come summer time, you’ll need at least one tee for every day of the week. T-shirts are an eternal summer staple that can be worn for so many different occasions. Dressing up or dressing down, read on for my picks of the most on trend t-shirts for summer 2018.

1. the striped tee

A striped t-shirt is a must for every summer. Tuck it in for that elegant, Riviera look, or leave it out for more of a casual, daytime barbecue feel. I love this breton tee by Weekday, its slightly longer back and raw edges at the hem are ideal for that relaxed look.


2. the graphic tee

Graphic t-shirts are perfect for standing out this summer. For me, when introducing a graphic into my outfit, I like to keep it monochrome so there isn’t too much going on. But if you’re feeling a louder graphic, go for it! Rules are made to be broken in summer 😉


3. the basic tee

The essential staple for this summer, the v-neck has made a comback in 2018.  Top tip for the v-neck – find your ideal fit, and then purchase that specific tee in 50 different shades. Wear brighter tones when the sun is out, and vice versa. I find La Redoute’s v’s work well for me, but there’s so many out there, so have a search and take your pick!



4. the slogan tee

Let your tee speak for itself. Slogan tees are the trend of 2018. Be fun, be flirty, and be on-trend. You’re bound to find something to bring out your personality with the abundance of slogan tees on sale this season.


5. the “going out” tee

Polo shirts are an ideal way to look smart-caj this summer without overheating. Shop this Zara striped polo to add some oomph to your outfit when you’re hitting the town.



6. the plain white tee

Jack & Jones have designed some of our favourite simple, crew neck t-shirts for this summer. White is going to keep you looking and feeling cool in the warmer months, and this classic tee also comes in 3 more shades!


7. the sleeveless tee

Whether you’re travelling abroad for a city break or to be by the sea, a sleeveless tee is just the ticket!


would versus could

Disclaimer: Right! You’ll have to bear with me here, and excuse any pseudoscience/lack of historical accuracy; this is just a bit of a brain dump of some thoughts I’ve had recently on ambition and personal development, inspired by books I’ve been reading. If you dig any of what you read below, I’ve put a list of books with similar ideas in the footer 😉

It’s my belief that we all have the potential to achieve anything.

We all could, but the question is, would we?

Back in the prehistoric day, humans lived in a much tougher environment than modern day Western civilisation. This meant taking persistent action was essential because it was literally the difference between life and death. Everyday Caveman John woke up, he had to fight for his food and shelter, otherwise he was dead. Clearly this isn’t the case for us today – I could wake up tomorrow and decide to do nothing – and there would be zero consequence to my imminent survival.

So, what’s my point?

Should we sack Western civilisation off, and revert to living in a prehistoric manner, just so we have to work harder? Absolutely not, I think the security and free nature of our modern civilisation is absolutely admirable and amazing. However, it does mean, in order to be successful at something we usually have to put evolutionary pressure onto ourselves.

Now I’m not talking Caveman John pressure, where we are acting purely out of survival, but enough pressure so that we get a little out of our comfort zones – something I’ve talked about before in 3 gym classes you should try.  We all could do this,  but would we be willing to push ourselves, and experience some discomfort, in order to achieve?

I’ve had instances of pushing myself to my potential over the years, but also innumerable times when I have taken the path of least resistance. Last year, I landed an interview for a job I really wanted at a fashion retailer in London. After the preliminary stages, I was fully aware I would have to improve my Excel skills quite dramatically, and I had 3 weeks to do it in. I definitely could have learned the Excel skills, but the point is that I wouldn’t commit to doing it.

So in order to develop, I need to take the lessons from this experience, and implement them. For instance, this is something I really want to put into practice with blogging.

I know that I could:

  1. Keep to deadlines to produce regular, scheduled blog posts
  2. Put myself out there to meet and collaborate with other bloggers & photographers
  3. Optimise social media accounts to drive traffic to my blog

But will I?

I’ll have to make sure I put enough pressure on myself everyday, and not let myself off the hook. I believe that if I do commit to these 3 points, a longer term snowball effect might occur, and I’d get to a situation where people are reading the blog regularly, and most importantly gaining value from it.


Yet, as I’ve said, this will only happen if I stick to small DAILY habits that then compound into long term progress. For example, regularly planning and writing blog posts,  and shooting and editing imagery, as well as indirect (but critical) habits such as getting 8 hours sleep per night and hitting the gym. I’ll also, in the short term at least, have to be willing to give more than I will necessarily receive.

Finally, it’s important to say that I have friends, colleagues and mentors who are much further along their journey than I am. So I write this post from a place of humility, a place of noticing that there is at least one thing all these people have in common, and that’s their persistence in taking action. They put enough pressure onto themselves to make sure they’re habitually taking action and, as a result, developing themselves. This is why I strive to be around people like this as frequently as possible. They make it a matter of course to step out of their comfort zones with a willingness to learn,  which is something I’m trying to do every single day.

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Source material and self-development books I’d 100% recommend: