In the words of Noddy Holder, “It’s Christmas!!!”, well nearly. Yes it’s the first of our annual indispensable Christmas posts offering you essential information, tips and suggestions to make this Christmas THE best one ever ! The season of goodwill is virtually upon us, but more importantly, it is the season known for its appetite to eat, drink and make merry. Now, party season can mean all different things to all different people, whether that be singing your heart out to the Pogues ‘Fairytale of New York’ at 3 O’Clock in the morning, being lost in a haze of twinkling fairy lights whilst kissing the one you love under the mistletoe or meeting up with friends and sharing a mince pie and mulled wine or six at a Christmas Market. Whatever the festive season may mean to you, how about the party comes to you, yes a party in a box in the shape of a hamper. I know, you normally think of hampers stuffed full of festive goodies and being the ideal gift for the foodie in your family, but they really are so much more.

And what better way to experiencing these delicacies than aiming high and luxurious, yes lots of retailers have created luxury hampers in all sorts of guises for this year, but it is Christmas so go on and spoil yourself with one of the best, in the shapely and ever so sumptuous selection from Harvey Nichols. This Yuletide the luxury lifestyle retailer has over fifteen hamper selections to whet your appetite and spoil over. So whether you’re after a quiet Christmas with your partner and the Christmas A Deux tickles your festive fancy or for when the whole family descend for a Yuletide get together The Crowd Pleaser will satisfy your seasonal delectations.

The one that caught our eye and we felt was best suited for really getting you in the festive spirit, that’s spirt not spirits, and ideal for getting the party started was the geniusly named, ‘Party Starter’. Jammed full of their own seasonal delights including, two bottles of Harvey Nichols Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene NV, Two bottles of Harvey Nichols Sauvignon Blanc, a bottle of Harvey Nichols Gin and a bottle of Harvey Nichols Vodka, plus 6 bottles of Tonic Water With A Hint Of Cucumber And Lime. Then if that wasn’t enough, a tub of Harvey Nichols Jumbo Cashews, Cheese & Pepper Straws, Mixed Olives With Pepper & Chilli, Mini Balsamic Vinegar, Mini Olive Oil, Pork And Sloe Gin Rillette, Duck With Grand Marnier Rillette, Spiced Black Olive Paste, Cheddar Cheese Nibbles, Olive Oil & Rosemary Biscuits and if that wasn’t enough 10 Copper Drinking Straws, but no partridge in a pear tree, phew. What possibly more could you need, literally a case of just add people and Viola a Festive gathering worthy of a picture perfect Christmas card scene.

So if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, depending on how quickly you need your hamper, they have the right option for you, from classic Standard to convenient Collect in Store, the choice is yours.

WORDS BY CARL STANLEY

Gio Goi release their Winter collections as the guys who brought you the label back in the late 80’s are back with a whole new line in new Gio Goi clothing collections. we check out the one of the jackets from the classic collections, with the Gio Goi fishtail parka/windbreaker jacket.

It was Anthony and Christopher Donnelly (see above) who went from staging Manchester’s first ever illegal acid house party ‘Sweat It Out’ to forming Gio Goi and dressing the likes of The Happy Mondays and 808 State as well as launching such collections as the ‘Too Much Rock’n’Roll’ collection fronted by Pete Doherty. As one of the 90’s most definitive UK clothing labels it was a lot later on when Gio Goi was for a period of time taken over by high street retail giants, which saw it bottom out and move away from the quality and creative style the label was renowned for.

But now Gio Goi are back to release their new clothing collections this Winter with a return to the labels home styled quality and original logo motif. Including the ‘Classic’ and ’88 collections.

The Gio Goi fishtial parka is a lightweight jacket with 4 pocket design, it features the Gio Goi sleeve branding with back design, Along with all the other releases they can be found on the Gio Goi website and also now available to buy from other leading outlets.

Christmas is coming, in fact it’s scarily just around the corner and the thought of buying for, not only, a loved one, but for yourself gets me giddy at just the thought. Now a perfect gift, no matter who it’s for, is a time piece and a brand which is, maybe not the first to come to mind, but definitely well worth checking out, no matter what your taste in watches, is Thomas Sabo. Yes the German company are possibly more known for their fine jewellery, but Thomas Sabo is one of the globally-leading jewellery and watch brands, operating worldwide, with over 300 stores across all five continents. Designing and selling lifestyle products for both, women and men catering to the varied types, age groups and tastes across the board.

Their Watches are perfectly balanced with both style and quality at the forefront of their design. They are bold yet elegant, completely in keeping with the brand’s DNA with a long lasting Japanese Miyota quartz movement. With this in mind they complement both casual and smart outfits, which in turn allows you to upgrade your accessories du jour, to match our mood, outfit or occasion, so are equally at home when your in a jeans and t-shirt mood or on your A game in business, work mode. The lines are wide and ranges from watches with stainless steel, ceramic and leather bracelets, three-handed watches, through to sports like chronographs. All models of watches, whether with ceramic or stainless steel casings, are characterised by outstanding quality of material and workmanship. Essentially, the Watches are innovative, stylish and durable timepieces that epitomise the ideals of the brand: a rebellious rock’n’roll soul and love for exceptional quality and fashion forward jewellery.

This is not a brand who are fazed by passing fashion trends and fads the versatile, classic designs are built to outlast these fleeting styles. Whether your looking for yourself or females watches they offer a true timeless sense of style.

Creative Director of the brand, Susanne Kölbli sums up the inspiration for THOMAS SABO, “Items of jewellery represent the most intimate, human feelings: it is love,o personal happiness and those special moments in life that we find reflected in an item of jewellery, wishing to wear them very close to us.”

If for this Christmas your after a matching timepiece both you and your partner can share or male and female counterparts the Spirit watches might be just what your after. The Rebel Spirit watches have a 40mm dial and offers a cool masculine approach to the mesh watches. The Glam Spirit watches, with a 33mm dial are the feminine alternative to the Rebel spirit. Or maybe your after something a little more individualistic ? Elegantly rebellious cross patterns, rock ‘n’ roll skull applications and sportingly elegant leather or stainless steel bracelets with ceramic elements. These are the striking design codes of the Rebel at heart line.

For today’s post we caught up with Andy Clark who works with e-OUTDOOR, the eCommerce website which sells outdoor clothing and equipment.

With winter coming on fast, you might be tempted to curl up by the fire and hibernate. Though, if you do that, you’ll be missing out. With snow-capped mountain-peaks, frozen lakes, and quiet hills covered with a thin layer of frost, winter is a great time to get out there and go hiking. It’s also a great way to up the right chemicals in your brain to make sure that this winter doesn’t make you depressed.

So, how can a fashion-conscious person make sure that they’re able to do all this stylishly and practically?

1. Focus On Colour
The material and design of a jacket will have many practical features which will protect you from rain, sleet, snow, wind, or cold. Depending on where, when, and how you tend to hike, you’ll need your jacket — and the rest of your outdoor gear — to be up to the task.

For serious hikers, jackets need to be bright so that you can be visible in case of an emergency. However, the choice between bright red and bright green is largely aesthetic. What’s more, beyond emergency situations, colour plays very little role in how your jacket will actually function. So, it’s an important thing to consider — but mostly from a stylistic standpoint.

In short, choosing one type of jacket over another because of the colour is not a smart move. But deliberating over the colour options for two identical North Face coats? That’s a perfectly smart move.
Once you’re able to start choosing colours, the normal rules apply. Mix pastels with pastels and bright colours with bright colours. Use a pair of complementary colours by picking two from opposite sides of the colour wheel, such as red with blue and yellow-green with mauve.

If you start with your cheapest item of clothing, you’ll stress about trying to match the colours with more expensive garments — and that could be costly. So, start with the most expensive piece of clothing, pick a colour you like, and go from there.
And, when in doubt, go for black or white.

2. Choose the Right Brand

Stylistically and practically, choosing the right brand is important. Osprey, for example, only make backpacks. There are no Osprey jackets, hats, gloves, trousers, coats, or shoes. As such, the company argues that it is able to sell the highest quality — and the most stylish — backpacks because it’s the only thing they make. It’s hard to argue with that logic, and many people are willing to vouch for their quality.

There are other great backpacks out there, but the moral of the story is that the best quality brands tend to be the most stylish and the most practical. In short, it’s worth paying extra for the items which matter.

This is once again why it’s imperative that you start with the most expensive item first. Don’t shell out top-dollar for the best gloves in the world if it means you can’t afford a decent jacket. Start with the big items, see what you can afford, and then progress that way.

3. Be Clever with Accessories
It should go without saying, but expensive jewellery is a terrible accompaniment for a hike. So, leave the chains, watches, earrings, and necklaces at home. That said, there are some great accessories you can add to a practical outfit for winter hiking. In fact, some accessories can make your outfit even more sensible.

Keyrings or ribbons are a great addition to backpacks if you do any travelling. With so many travellers out there going for the same brands, it’s not uncommon to find that you have the exact same backpack as someone else. To make sure you can differentiate between the two, add a small ribbon, badge, or pin to your backpack in order to let you know that it’s yours. This sort of accessorising is at once helpful and stylish.

Not all men are great at giving themselves the tlc they deserve. Below the Belt Grooming range mildly formulated skincare products freshen, refresh and protect – bringing out the best in you, without disguising your manliness, shall we say.

The trinity of brains behind this range have a highly worthy marketing and health & beauty pedigree. First up Jonathan Durden
co founded the award winning and much sort after media group PHD (Pattison Horswell Durden) and has advised a mixed bag of commodities ranging from ITV and Digital Cinema Media, to boxer Chris Eubank.

Secondly, Geoff Percy led Smith and Nephew in 2000 to create a Beauty business that was later rebranded as Simple Health and Beauty. During his tenure Simple became the UK’s leading an fastest growing skincare brand. Finally, Graham Lynch-Staunton has worked within the beauty industry for 25 years, within Private, PLC and Private Equity Environments and has worked across almost all beauty categories and could arguably be called the ‘founder of the dry shampoo category’ having taken Batiste from a small brand worth £400k in 2001 to an international market leading brand with a value of £40m in 2011.

However, Below the Belt’s range isn’t purely about preventing Betty Swollocks, our nether regions are a hot bed of breeding for bacteria and possibly infection. The ingredients and formulation of the products in this range actively work to protect you and prevent such nasties from taking ahold.

Such hero products with the range include, INSTANT CLEAN BALLS, sorry, what? I hear you cry in unison. So if you tend to go out straight from work or ware going a festival or facing a long commute home, this product will cleanse, helping to kill bacteria and odour. There’s no need for a shower, it is instantly absorbed and effective, yeah I know amazeballs, so to say.

Then we have FRESH & DRY BALLS. Now if you use antiperspirant you should be using this gel to ensure you stays dry and comfortable, errr down below. Its gentle formula is absorbed quickly and leaves a dusting of talc in all the right places. Unperfumed, it uses only essential oils.

Lastly, if you run, climb, cycle, plays football or partake in any sporting activity where you works up a bit of sweat. You need to check out SPORTS LUBRICANT, this smooth, non-drag product will prevent chafing or unnecessary discomfort.