Will I play the wild rover, No never no more – The new Rover collection from Carl Friedrik

(image @thegentlemanracerltd)

Luxury leather & travel goods brand, Carl Friedrik’s new Rover collection of premium bags designed to support today’s modern traveller

From hybrid working to digital nomad travel, Carl Friedrik introduces innovative materials and multipurpose styles to meet the needs of today’s on-the-go consumer. A clear expression of the brand’s continued mission to Carry With Confidence, the Rover collection, combines luxuriously soft nubuck and Vachetta leather detailing with functional, intelligent design.

The new five-piece collection seeks to blend effortless style with optimum utility. It brings innovative, practical features into the fold, whilst upholding the brand’s standards of high-quality materials and prime craftsmanship, with a new relaxed and refined aesthetic.

The introduction of nubuck, made by brushing the leather surface to create a soft, velvety feel similar to that of suede, but much more durable, is what gives Carl Friedrik’s Rover collection of bags its lightweight, multifunctional and effortlessly portable feel.

The collection features a range of soft and unstructured silhouettes, including two backpacks  a garment weekender, a compact weekender and a tote available in tones of black, charcoal, chocolate and olive. Standout pieces include the Everyday Backpack which makes every type of travel stylishly convenient, with its expandable capabilities and hidden passport & laptop compartments, and the Getaway Weekender  which supports a sophisticated wardrobe with a crease-proof suit compartment and pockets for two pairs of shoes. In addition, the Anywhere Tote includes a unique zipper locking system that allows you to use it both as a shopping tote and office laptop bag.

This new collection comes at the helm of the brand’s 10-year anniversary this November, and the recent launch of The Creator’s Club, where Carl Friedrik used direct customer feedback to influence the product designs.

“The launch of our soft nubuck bag collection is evidence of our continued commitment to supporting urban travellers, who, now more than ever, want multi-purposeful designs but with a more casual aesthetic.” – Niklas Oppermann, Co-Founder.

It really is coming Home !!!!! Marks & Spencer as the Official Formalwear Partner For The England TEAMS

Marks and Spencer are very proud to be announced as the Official Tailor of the England Senior Men’s & WOMEN’s Teams. Spanning three years, this partnership builds upon our longstanding relationship with The Football Association, dating back to 2007 when M&S became the Official Suit Supplier to the England Senior Men’s Team. This partnership with The FA champions in-house designed collections across men’s & womenswear, which will be worn by the England Teams and available to ALL M&S customers to shop from.

With so many credible and inspiring role models across the England Teams, led by such principled managers, it’s easy to understand why fans have reconnected with the England teams. Both style and football can be exhilarating when players and people are expressing themselves, and these modern and progressive England Teams. This formalwear partnership is a call to action and a celebration of individuality, creating a collection that’s more approachable, diverse and relatable – bridging the gap between the players and customers.

To coincide with an exciting tournament schedule ahead, proceedings are kicked off with the launch of the menswear collection, available online and in selected stores from the 18th of August. Precision design meets with performance innovation to deliver exceptional excellence within this versatile, clothing collection. Reflecting the personality and individuality of the England Team.

Gone is the standalone three-piece suit and tie, updated with a considered edit of smart-separates, styled how people want to wear them now – more relaxed, more interesting, offering a literal capsule wardrobe. Ranging from performance separates, knitwear and suiting, to footwear and accessories.

The menswear design team have worked hard to integrate both style and comfort when creating the collection, underpinned in its entirety by innovation and sustainability. A tonal palette of navy and black is complemented by neutral separates in ecru and air force blue for a considered and contemporary aesthetic. Styled with accessories which hero the England crest and signature vibrant red, synonymous with the England Teams. Tactile wool fabrics sit alongside soft cottons and contrast luxe velvet and satin eveningwear, for a collection that will take you from the everyday, to the extra special. Hero styles include double and single-breasted jackets, the performance trouser with 4-way stretch, relaxed half zip polos and the bomber and Harrington jackets.

Wes Taylor, Director of Menswear comments; “After meeting with The England Senior Men’s Team and discussing their needs, it became apparent almost immediately that they wanted a collection which delivered on style and versatility, allowed for individual preferences but still came across as a cohesive look. Importantly, they wanted something that better reflected who they really are. So rather than structured suit, shirt and tie “uniform” we’re used to seeing we’ve created a more extensive smart separates collection that places comfort, performance, and sustainability at its heart.”

Key sustainability attributes include cotton sourced through the Better Cotton programme, the use of natural fibres such as wool (woven in UK mills), merino wool (responsibly sourced) and the use of recycled materials such as recycled polyester. Key innovations include stretch cotton, Stormwear and Cool Comfort patented technology, moisture wicking, water resistant and wrinkle resistant fabrics and Dura Heel technology – ensuring the players and our customers enjoy wearing the product whilst remaining comfortable.

Now as we very much know it’s not just about the men and the beautiful game and likewise M&S haven’t forgotten the Proud and triumphant ladies of the England football team. The Womenswear collection will debut in 2023 ahead of an exciting summer tournament in Australia & New Zealand. Similarly, it will focus on a smart-separates aesthetic and comprise of a carefully considered collection of co-ordinating tailoring which will be available to shop online and in selected stores.

A Menswear Stylist’s Guide To Holiday Packing For Every Destination

Whether you are taking a trip to the Cotswolds, or a luxury beach resort, there is nothing worse than under-packing or bringing the wrong mix of clothes to your holiday destination In the midst of a packing panic. 

The good news is that getting it right isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. 

Tony Standing, expert menswear stylist at Thread, has revealed the essential capsule items to pack for any destination alongside expert styling tips. 

A city break

For a 3-day city break:

  • 2x t-shirts
  • A button-up shirt
  • A pair of  trainers
  • Espadrilles 
  • Chinos
  • A pair of sunglasses 

When exploring a new city, comfy footwear should be the first thing in your suitcase.

Trainers with a durable rubber outsole are essential for walking around the city and sightseeing, as you want to be comfortable. You’ll also want to make sure you throw in a pair of smart casual shoes for dinner in the evening, like espadrilles or suede sneakers for a classier look.

For the rest of your outfit, think of clothes that work in combinations. A lightweight shirt works by itself to smarten up chinos, or you can wear it as a light jacket over a tee on colder evenings. For a night out, this works under a blazer too. Try sticking to a single palette too, so you can put clothes together with no clashing.

A week on the beach

For a 7-day beach holiday:

  • 3x short sleeve linen shirts
  • 3x long sleeve evening shirts 
  • 2x swimming shorts
  • 2x crew neck t shirts 
  • A pair of chino shorts
  • Sunscreen
  • Tote bag
  • Baseball cap
  • A pair of flip flops

A linen shirt is always a no-brainer when temperatures soar – it’s breathable, lightweight, generally affordable, and one of the most sustainable fabrics out there. If you are spending your long-awaited break along the beachfront, these are a perfect choice. When most of your day will be spent wearing beach shorts, these shirts double as the perfect cover up for when the air becomes slightly cooler.

A sturdy beach bag will also make your day easier. A tote is big enough for everything and easy to access, so you’re not fiddling around with zips. I’d recommend packing beach shoes to protect your feet from the hot sand and any sharp stones. Flip-flops or espadrilles are a great option for this.

A trip with the family

A weekend with the family:

  • 2x knitted jumpers
  • Long sleeved shirt
  • A pair of chinos 
  • Running trainers
  • Rucksack
  • Swimming shorts
  • Shower resistant pack-mac 
  • Sunscreen

With the whole family around, you might find yourself carrying more things than normal, so ensure to pack light. Think practical, lightweight layers in neutral colours can make just a handful of clothes become a week’s worth of holiday outfits.

Your shoes should also be comfortable for running around – lightweight, breathable, and comfortable. Aim for something easily packable, like canvas shoes or runners. A rucksack is an ideal bag choice, as it allows you to be hands-free when on the move.

An adventure holiday

A 3-day adventure holiday:

  • 2x long sleeved t-shirt 
  • A linen shirt 
  • Cargo shorts 
  • A bucket hat
  • Fabric strap watch
  • Rucksack
  • Insect spray
  • Birkenstocks

If you’re going to be getting up close and personal with The Great Outdoors, practicality matters. Besides bug spray and a suitable hat, long-sleeved shirts are ideal as they can protect your arms from sunburn or insect bites. 

If you’re not doing anything too strenuous that would require hiking boots, then opt for comfortable footwear that you can walk around in. Pick out shoes that will provide a good level of support, like Birkenstocks. Not only will they give your feet a chance to breathe, but these sandals have high durability properties, made to last for years to come.

6 ways to get a free flight upgrade, expert reveals

A recent survey found that 65% of people plan to ‘go big’ with their travel plans this year, with many wanting to make up for lost time after the pandemic. Alongside this, 40% of travellers are willing to spend more on trips, splurging on treats for their getaway.

However, for many, the price of a first-class plane ticket is still out of reach with airlines such as Emirates charging upwards of $10,000 for a one-way ticket.

Therefore, Travel Experts at Forbes Advisor have put together their advice on how to increase your chances of being upgraded on a flight, from knowing when to check in, to how to ask for an upgrade.

Experts reveal how to increase your chances of being upgraded on a flight

  1. Check in early

When heading to the airport, most people simply try to arrive with enough time to check in bags, clear security and relax before taking off. However, many people don’t realize the time you check in can influence your chances of an upgrade.

If you want to improve your chances of a free first class seat, try checking in either very early – or last minute. If you arrive several hours early for your flight, you’re most likely to beat off any competition for first class or business tickets – and avoid missing out to someone who got there before you. Chances are if the economy cabin has been overbooked, airlines will want to rectify this sooner rather than later to avoid causing delays.

  1. Be flexible

Ensuring you’re a helpful and flexible customer can often lead to rewards. It’s not uncommon for some airlines to overbook flights leading to them needing to ‘bump’ passengers to another flight. If the airline is looking for volunteers to take a later flight, take the opportunity as it could lead to a free upgrade for your troubles.

If a first-class ticket isn’t offered and you have been bumped (voluntarily or not), it’s always worth asking if they can upgrade your ticket due to the inconvenience.

Another common occurrence on flights is to be asked to move to a new seat by the cabin crew. While this can be inconvenient, if you’re flexible it could be to your advantage. Say yes to being moved and you could land yourself with a first-class seat – if not, again it’s always worth asking for an upgrade for your troubles.

  1. Fly solo

Due to the premium price of first-class seats, you have much better chances of getting an upgrade if you’re flying alone. It’s unlikely airlines will want to lose out on money to upgrade a large group, so are more likely to offer a free first class ticket to individuals.

Alongside this, seating in first class is often limited, meaning there is less chance of a group of seats becoming available.

  1. Pick your flight time wisely

There are certain conditions where first-class seats are less likely to be fully booked up. For example, if economy class is overbooked you’re much more likely to be offered a free upgrade.

Consider occasions when this might be the case – for example, flying during peak times for families such as school holidays – most families won’t shell out to sit in first class and routes will be busy, increasing the likelihood of an overbooked economy cabin.

Alongside this, there is a higher likelihood you may be asked to move seats to accommodate a family with young children – again providing opportunity to be given or ask for an upgrade.

  1. Dress smart

While dressing in your finest clothes is no guarantee for an upgrade, a smart outfit will certainly enhance your chances of being chosen.

Top paying customers will often be dressed sharper, and airlines will want to ensure anyone they bump to first-class looks the part.

Don’t feel the need to dress in anything extravagant. However, just make sure you avoid items that are too casual like flip flops and cargo shorts.

  1. Ask politely

Last but not least, one of the best tactics is simply to ask airlines if there is a chance for an upgrade. As long as you are polite, there is no reason why this can’t land you a free first-class ticket.

This is especially worth trying if you’ve been inconvenienced in any way by the airline; have been delayed, lost your baggage or missed a connection. Politely mention that an upgrade would be appreciated, if possible, and stress your loyalty to the airline.

Alternatively, if your flight is for a special occasion, why not try your luck by mentioning it? Many airline staff will help to upgrade you if they can to make occasions such as honeymoons, anniversaries and birthdays more special.


Words by Isabell Fisher, co-founder of Little Hands Learning

 When it’s raining, it can be tempting to let the likes of Netflix or Disney+ do the babysitting. But playing and doing activities with your children not only supports their emotional and cognitive development but it is a really rewarding way to spend your time:

• It creates special memories that you and your children can both hold onto forever

• It makes your child feel special

• It provides shared experiences that you can talk and reminisce about


So here are a few screen-free activities for when the UK’s penchant for precipitation has the family stuck indoors.

Be bakers

Our own children love to bake and of course then eat the goodies they have made. Baking shortbread and scones is simple enough for inexperienced bakers to have a go at and they taste great!

Baking bread is also surprisingly simple, and you and your children can have lots of fun creating different animals out of the dough to then bake in the oven.

Be arty

Children love to paint but it can fill many parents with dread. Instead of using poster paint, which can get messy quickly, try using watercolour paints. Instead of painting on paper, try coffee filters, a canvas or ice cubes.

Be crafty

Craft activities do not need to be overly complicated. Often keeping it simple is far better than creating something elaborate. Try making paper boats and planes and then seeing how far they will travel.

 You can make tealight holders from old jam jars and gluing on pieces of tissue paper. These also make lovely presents for grandparents.

Salt dough is a modelling material that uses ingredients you will have in your kitchen cupboards, so it’s a wonderful alternative to air dry clay. To make salt dough, add 63g of flour, 70g of salt to a bowl and slowly combine 45ml of water into the dry ingredients. Stop adding water once the dough comes together. Use your hands to squidge and squish the dough until it is smooth. If it is too wet, add a little flour or if it is too dry add a little more water. With this dough you can create decorations, dinosaur fossils, and play food.

To add an extra sensory dimension to your salt dough you can add spices, such as cinnamon or even ground coffee. You only need to add a teaspoon of these to your mix.

Bake your salt dough creations in the oven on the lowest setting for 3-4 hours until hard to the touch. Once cool, they can be painted.

Be pirates

 This is a wonderful activity to do with any pirate fan and it uses resources you will have at home. You just need some crayons, a piece of white card and a tea bag.

First design your map. Begin by drawing a large, rounded oblong onto the middle of your card. Add arrows to create the compass and draw features like a skull, mountains, palm trees and a pirate ship on the sea. Decide where your treasure will be buried on your island and add a X. Next pour some warm water into a bowl and add your tea bag. Let the tea bag infuse into the water. Place the card onto a towel or tea towel – this will soak up any excess water. Squeeze the excess water out of the tea bag and dab the tea bag all over the card. Dipping the tea bag back into the warm water when needed. Leave the card to dry and then use it to find your treasure.

Be wizards and/or witches

Brewing a magic potion is always a really popular activity to do with children and uses ingredients already in your kitchen cupboard. Raid your spice drawer and add water and some old jam jars and watch as your children create more and more interesting concoctions.

If you would like to make your magic potions more elaborate then add bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and distilled vinegar. Your children will absolutely love the reaction that these three ingredients will create to their potions.

Be board game designers

Designing your own board game is a fun way to learn about design, teamwork and hide any maths learning they may be struggling with at school. All you need is a piece of paper, some pens, some counters (which could be little toy figures) and some dice.

Begin by creating a simple grid on your piece of paper. Then, decide on the rules of your game. Will you get another turn if you roll a specific number? How many players can play at any one time? Will there be squares that will allow you to jump forwards or take you backwards? Should any snakes, ladders, trees, or slides be included on your game board? How will you decide who has won the game?

Together, create and decorate your board game. Play and enjoy!

Be boffins

There are lots of easy science experiments that can be tried at home with household items. Science experiments are a great way to get children to start to ask questions, make predictions and understand the world around them. Try making a lava lamp with water and food colouring and oil in a jar. Add an effervescent tablet and watch what happens!

Be booksters

Reading is a quick and mess-free activity that requires no prep at all. Sharing a book has enormous educational and emotional benefits for your children. By giving your children the time and your full attention whilst reading a book, it provides them with comfort and security, as well as building their self-esteem.

If you are feeling ambitious and the book is set in a cave or under a bridge, build a den and make some popcorn.

For these ideas and many more please visit https://www.littlehandslearning.co.uk/activities.

All of these activities are easy to set up and you will probably have most of what you need at home already. If you like the sound of these activities but are limited on time, there are wonderful children’s subscriptions out there that can send you everything you need directly to your home every month.