26 Oct 2016

Outfit | Red Wing Boots + Becoming More Open as a Blogger

red wing blacksmith boots in rough and tough leather with selvedge denim jeans
red wing blacksmith boots in rough and tough leather with albam jeans
red wing boots and barbour jacket, liverpool docks
Blacksmith Boots c/o Red Wing | Albam x MR PORTER Jeans | Sunspel Sweatshirt | Barbour Jacket | Messenger Bag c/o Trakke | Ace&Tate Sunglasses | Timex Watch | CHUP Socks
british made messenger bag by trakke, museum of liverpool building
coffee at 92 degrees coffee in liverpool, timex expedition brown watch
coffee shops in liverpool, uk men's lifestyle blogger jordan bunker

Since the middle of Summer I've had a slight shift in my thinking as a blogger. I've become more open to discussing the finer details of how it all works; you know, the details that not everyone is so forthcoming with. I've talked taxes with Kristabel, the struggles of starting out as a freelancer with Jordan, negotiating for projects with John, building communities with Lucie, and the hot subject of people buying followers on Instagram with Nik.

Being more open has had a positive affect (I'm planning to write a post on this soon) on the way I work and my day-to-day life. It's given me an extra drive to collaborate with like-minded people and create solid content for brands that I am truly passionate about. Red Wing Heritage being one of those brands that I am extremely excited to be working with.

One of the recent meet-ups was in Liverpool, to celebrate the launch of Harry Stedman's new exhibition. The launch night was a success; they brought a mixed bag of people together, and it was great to finally meet the guys at Jocks&Nerds. The next day myself + Jordan had a free day to explore to city. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to give my new Red Wing Blacksmith boots their first full outing.

red wing blacksmith boots review, japanese socks by chup glenn clyde
albam alternate x mr porter collection japanese denim with red wing boots
levis denim jacket, jordan bunker uk fashion blogger
 Jordan has just turned freelance, read his post here
red wing boots and japanese selvedge jeans by albam clothing
barbour wax green jacket with timex expedition watch and sunspel sweatshirt
menswear store in liverpool, weavers door, red wing boots stockist in liverpool
Red Wing at Weavers Door, Liverpool
green waxed ashby barbour jacket with indigo denim jeans from albam x mr porter

The Red Wing Blacksmith boot is a little bit different to my usual style, with an overall smarter appearance than my much-loved Moc Toe boots. The durable Vibram mini-lug sole makes them a solid choice for our wet British winter, and with a 6 inches of height it makes them an ideal boot for when I travel anywhere colder.

The original idea behind the Blacksmith boot was to create a style that was rugged and hardwearing enough to withstand a day of labour, but be elegant enough to be cleaned up after work for an evening down the town. Now that's some versatility I can get on board with!

Red Wing's Rough + Tough leather breezed through a day of coffee, food and some of my favourite locations in Liverpool with no effort at all. But then again, they were built for traditional Blacksmiths, so I reckon the boots will be able to take a few spills of 92 Degrees coffee with no issues at all...! A few months of hard wear, along with the staple Albam denim, should give the Blacksmith boots the perfect patina.

It was a day well spent. Liverpool is an incredibly friendly city, and showing Jordan around some of my favourite places really did make me want to stay for longer. We're already planning to meet up in another city soon, that may not happen until little down the road, but it will give me a chance to properly wear these boots in good 'n' proper.

Thanks for reading, let me know your thoughts!
Photography by Jordan Bunker.

This post is in collaboration with Red Wing Heritage. Thank you for taking the time to support the brands + businesses that make this blog happen.

24 Oct 2016

Travel | Visiting Belgium with Heverlee Beer

Belgium has always been one of those places that I've fancied visiting, but other things just got in the way. In fact, the country has all the hallmarks for a classic Buckets & Spades stop-over; a strong beer scene, endless design + lifestyle stores, A* chocolates game, epic architecture, friendly looking people and a cycling culture to rival any other.

And, it's only about an hour's flight from Manchester...So what on earth have I been playing at all of these years? All of these thoughts were going through my head when I woke up to a crisp Autumn morning in Heverlee (10 minutes from Leuven city centre) earlier this month.

When the invite from Heverlee Brewery came through with promise of "beer, culture, food and art", I really didn't need a second thought. I was there, even if I didn't have much time to unpack from the previous trip!

 A trip to The Abby, Heverlee, to see where it all started

The name "Heverlee" wasn't a familiar one to me, or anyone else I'd asked. My knowledge of Belgium was pretty decent, but only really extended to Tintin, '90's fashion designers and beer.

As it turns out, Heverlee is the name of a small village within the city of Leuven, which lends its name to one of Belgium's most authentic small breweries. Our first call for the trip was to check out at Park Abbey of the Order of Premontre the original home of this unique lager. We met up with Master Brewer Joris Brams; a charismatic chap whose enthusiasm for beer and his country's culture jumped with out as soon as we shook hands.

Ok, so maybe I should back up a little. Heverlee beer was originally produced by the monks of Park Abbey, establishing the first recipe in 1129. The brewery was forced to close and was later demolished when commercial brewing became popular, as it was just too expensive to produce. As we skipped to modern times we found out that our man Joris worked closely alongside Park Abbey's current residence to unearth as much as the original recipe as possible, with the aim recreate the distinct flavour of their Belgian Pils Lager.

After a full tour of the grounds including a trip to see their resident bee-keeper, a colourful bearded fella who really was winning at life it was time to sample the beer in question.

But, this didn't turn out to be the same old "our beer is the best beer because..." type session. Anything but...

18 Oct 2016

Outfit | GANT Opens at Victoria Gate, Leeds

men's gant black and white outfit with field jacket
white oxford shirt with black gillet and black converse 70s
black gillet with white shirt in leeds
victoria gate shopping centre in leeds architecture design
black waterproof field jacket from gant
corn exchange in leeds, black gant jacket with grey wool beanie
Black Field Jacket by GANT | Black Gilet by GANT |  White Oxford Shirt by GANT

I have always called the North of England my home. People love to say "it's grim up north", but, if I'm honest, that has to be one of the daftest sayings going it's anything but. For me, the brand new Victoria Gate building in Leeds sums my feelings up perfectly: out of the dark comes the light.

The imposing, angular and slightly eerie facade of this modern shopping arcade plays on the perpetually changing climes of Leeds city centre. With each bolt of light effecting your viewing pleasure, Victoria Gate's modern design proves there's more to the north that has-been cliches.

It's a funny looking place for sure; a little space-age, a tad modernist and slightly surreal, but the Eastgate Quarters isn't all front. Designed by architect Friedrich Ludewig, the space is home to some fantastic new retailers, including one of America's most loved sports-casual brands, GANT.

lambswool blue jumper by gant
victoria gate shopping centre john lewis building, blue wool jumper by gant
little leeds beer shop in corn exchange
independent coffee shops in leeds
northern monk brewery in leeds tap room
northern monk brewery tap room in leeds, blue gant wool jumper
john lewis building in leeds victoria gate
breweries in leeds, men's converse 70s parchment with navy chinos
Lambswool-Cashmere Jumper by GANT | White T-Shirt by GANT

For the opening the new store we've teamed up with GANT to share two looks from their Fall '16 collection. I mean, damn, this just falls right into my wheelhouse, don't you reckon?! American prep, classic sportwear, timeless smart-casual tailoring the majority of the collection would fit seamlessly into my wardrobe.

For the first outfit I choose a monochrome look, which was a little out on my comfort zone, but I think the overall feel works well. I'm wearing the black Down Collarless Gillet over a classic white Oxford Shirt, with their (very appropriate) black waterproof Field Jacket.

The second look brings in my love of colour and classic Americana together, with the bright blue chunky lambswool-cashmere jumper, plain white t-shirt, classic fit navy chinos and off-white Converse 70s. It may be getting colder, but I haven't seen the last of my sneakers just yet.

Leeds is a city packed with interesting places and creative people. If you have a day to explore make sure you also stop by Northern Monk Brewery for their delicious Mocha Porter, Bellgrave Music Hall for £1 pizza slices and La Bottega Milanese for your coffee hit.

The new GANT store opens 20th October, at Victoria Gate shopping centre, Leeds, LS2 7JL.

Photography by Jake Millers.

This post is in partnership with GANT. Thank you for taking the time to support the brands + businesses that make this blog happen.

17 Oct 2016

Danny MacAskill's Wee Day Out

Another one of Danny MacAskill's videos for you to enjoy his Wee Day Out, where Danny takes on all the obstacles that rural Scotland has to offer.

Like his other videos, this one is so spectacular in places that it's hard to believe it's actually real. Good job that Red Bull and GoPro have provided some behind-the-scenes clips too that show just how he rode a hay bale and cycled through a six foot puddle.

No doubt, this video will be as popular as the last one we featured - and we can't wait to see what else he has in store.

You can find Nik at - Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter

15 Oct 2016

Giveaway | RHA Audio Headphones

We're giving away an audio headphones set from RHA Audio worth £149.95! Head over to our Instagram page to enter. Tag your friends in the image for extra entries. 

Giveaway is open worldwide. Good luck!

12 Oct 2016

This Week's Kit | The Autumn Uniform

Autumn's taken a while to arrive in London the summer just wouldn't let go. While I'm not complaining about the endless days of sunshine and the lack of a cold wind and heavy rain, I do feel a bit sorry for all the brands who are presumably sitting on piles of unsold coats, jumpers, thick socks, and boots, just waiting for the weather to break.

It's definitely here now, though; so, we'd thought it'd be a good time to share some of the stuff that's recently caught our eye. We've gone for a fairly colourful vibe with everything else. The CHUP socks, the new J.Crew x New Balance 998 Greenback collaboration (release date 15/10), and the Norse Projects Nunk jacket are all the very definition of colourful.

And, we've kept it up with our accessories too.

Pogo Pale Ale, from Wild Brew Co. is a delicious, passionfruit filled beer; so fruity it could pass as a juice, and it comes in a Buckets orange can a no-brainier there. While the Californian special of Noble Rot magazine (run by a restaurant in Bloomsbury yeah, you read that right!) is every shade you can expect from the West Coast.

The palette drops a bit with pieces from Huckberry. Their Combat watch would be a nice buy - but, then again, they have so many decent watches, it's hard to choose. I'd be topping the whisky glasses with Dalmore 15 year old a decent drop, that is currently sat unopened on my shelf.

Finally, and definitely reigning the colour back in here, our friends Finisterre, all the way down in Cornwall, have just launched their new Truth North collection and with it, their updated, wrap-up warm, 100% British merino wool Bowmont Jumper. A must for anyone thinking further ahead to the cold days of winter. Throw in Herschel Supply's new water-resistant Barlow Backpack and we're all set.

As always, we'd love to hear what you think about our choices. And, don't forget to share some of your recent finds with us too! See more of our This Week's Kit round-up here.

You can find Nik at - Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter

9 Oct 2016

Buckets & Spades x Penfield Fall 16 Collection

 Wearing - Brookport Sweatshirt + Label T-Shirt by Penfield | Dockers Chinos | Fairends Cap | Novesta Sneakers | Watch c/o Unknown

 Oliver wears | Prescot Fleece + Nita T-Shirt by Penfield

 Oliver wears | Oakdale Jacket + Beanie by Penfield | ASOS Top | APC Trousers | Novesta Sneakers

 Oliver wears | Lexington Parka + Label Tee by Penfield
Wearing - Beanie by Penfield | Several Oxford Shirt | Messenger Bag c/o Trakke | Timex Watch | Dockers Chinos | 
Common Projects Sneakers | Form&Thread Socks

My love of menswear was the original idea behind this blog, and although over the past couple of years my lean towards design-led subjects has definitely become the main running theme, I've tried to stick to my roots whenever it makes sense. As time goes by our tastes change; trends come and go and the things that we consume + share online affect how we come across "in-real-life"

Individual style is a big deal to me; but I'm not just talking about my own here, I'm as obsessed with how everyday people put certain colours together, and how we gravitate towards tribes, subcultures and particular brands - and even down to how people carry themselves. It's less about fashion, and more and how we express ourselves individually.

And with that being said, I decided to approach a brand that I've followed for a while to see if they fancied letting us give our individual take on their new collection. Above, myself + my buddy Oliver Hoosen have styled a few of our favourite pieces from Penfield's Fall 16 collection, along with our regular everyday essentials!

I'm really chuffed with how it turned out; I especially love our Jake Millers' photography style; his eye for natural light, shadows and framing. It's filled my head with lots of fresh ideas for lifestyle + still life styling, and has given me that kick I needed to be a little more experimental.

What do you think of our shoot, which items are jumping out at you?

The Penfield Fall 16 collection is available online here. Photography by Jake Millers.