Laura Rebecca Smith

Buying for a man can be a little bit tricker when it feels like they already have everything, but hopefully the below pieces can help you find something special for them. This year is all about the little luxuries they normally wouldn't treat themselves to. Whether it's a tailored overcoat, a designer aftershave or a polaroid camera, here are some ideas for the men in your life. 


THE FASHION LIST


THE BEAUTY & WELLNESS LIST


THE HOMEWARE LIST

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We don't have much longer to wait until Christmas finally arrives and we can exchange special presents with the ones we love. While this year may look and feel different than before, it's the perfect opportunity to show the ladies in your life that you're thinking of them. Below are a few wonderful fashion, beauty and interior pieces that will make amazing gifts for your best friend, mum, sister or girlfriend. 

Imagery: @alvasperle, @maroobii_, @lovisabarkman, @linnodman, @dilettabonaiuti, @oliwiapakosz, @audrey.leighton.vintage


THE FASHION LIST


THE BEAUTY & WELLNESS LIST


THE INTERIOR LIST


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With all the uncertainty we're currently living with, it’s important now more than ever to carve out a chance to be away from all the chaos and to have the time to care for ourselves and our needs. Sundays are the perfect opportunity as they allow us to end one week and prepare ourselves for the next. A 'self-care Sunday' is something I try to make a priority and these are the ways you can make the most of the day.

Your Environment

Your environment can have a huge impact on how you feel. I don't know about you but when I'm in a messy room I really struggle to concentrate on anything else. Not only is a tidy area important, you want the space to feel comfortable and soothing. Nothing says cosy like soft furnishings and H&M's wool boucle blanket and knitted cushion set the right scene along with Neom's de-stress candle. Talking of scent's ESPA's pulse point essential oils will get you in the best frame of mind, while Neom's sleep spray is a peaceful way to end the day. Finally, when it comes to clothing only chic pyjamas, gorgeous textures and oversized knits are allowed. 

Skincare

Taking the time to give your skin some love and attention is the easiest and most relaxing way to feel like you're taking care of yourself. This not only provides some benefit for the here and now, it will ensure you have well loved and looked after skin in the future. Begin by properly cleaning your face with La Roche Posay's cleansing milk and The Ordinary's pore clearing face mask. Next, indulge your whole body with Aesop's refreshing polishing body scrub followed by their intensely hydrating body balm. Lastly, treat your face with real care by applying The Ordinary's hydrating hyaluronic acid and La Roche Posay's anti-blemish moisturiser, all properly absorbed with help of Revolution's Gun Sha tool (find the method here).

Exercise & Meditation

It's no secret that exercise can have huge benefits when it comes to your physical and mental wellbeing. I definitely overlooked the importance of it until recently when I signed up to Melissa Wood Health. Melissa's program focuses on combining yoga and pilates to create 'long, lean lines' in a more pared back, intentional way. Each workout is 25 minutes or less due to her philosophy that everyone should be able to find the time to 'show up for yourself' each day. She finishes her workouts with a few minutes of meditation which is just the cherry on top. Starting the day with purposeful movements and clearing the mind has had such a positive effect in a short amount of time and provides the clarity and calmness self-care should give you.

Reading

Reading can be one of the biggest joys in life and is a wonderfully, creative way to continue to learn and explore - all from the comfort of your own room. Taking those few minutes or couple of hours to be transported to another place or be immerse in an interesting subject gives us the chance to escape to our imagination and leave the unimportant stuff behind. If you're looking for a new book to delved into these are my recommendations:

House of Glass by Hadley Freeman - this is an immersive and thought-provoking story about a Jewish family in the 20th century and how they survived all the devastation they faced. This book is captivating and I found myself thinking about the members of this family long after I finished the book. It's such an important read, everyone needs to hear their story.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo - This novel is a collection of stories about a dozen black women living in Britain, giving us the reader a broad insight into modern life and each woman's individual perspective and thoughts on it. The book offers us the opportunity to see into an array of lives and learn a lot along the way.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert - This novel provides pure escapism by transporting us back to a world of theatre in 1940s New York City with our young protagonist trying to figure out her path in life. Despite being set over 60 years ago, this book makes comments about women's roles and sexuality that is still relevant today.

Being Outside

Come rain or shine, is there anything we Brits love more than to go out on a walk? Despite seeming like a chore at times, being outside in the fresh air and moving your legs is another healthy way to work your body and clear your mind. This one may seem a little tricker with current restrictions but as long as you can find a nice area to explore, a brisk walk will do the world of good.

Imagery: tumblr, @darjabarannik, @eleonoraavirco, tumblr, tumblr, tumblr, @laurarebeccasmith_, @mandymadd

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We've been in 'Lockdown 2.0' for nearly two weeks and while the restrictions are similar to earlier in year, the lack of sunshine, early sunsets and run up to Christmas makes this experience feel different. 

The way we view getting dressed in the morning has changed as well. When we first entered lockdown it's fair to say we all cherished not having to put much thought into our outfits and quickly put on our favourite PJs, mismatched loungewear and oversized shirtsWhile we are still making the most of wearing our favourite comfortable clothing, we also seem to be craving some of our pre-lockdown routine and want to put more effort into what we're wearing. 

This time around the key trends appearing are luxurious warming textures perfect for the chiller weather, matching loungewear in relaxing greys, neutrals & yellows, and cosy cable knit sets that can easily take you from your dining room table to your sofa. And we're not forgetting the finishing touches like borg fabric slippers and cashmere socks

Who knows how long this will continue to be our 'new normal' for but while that decision is out of our control, how we decide to start the day is completely in our hands. 

Imagery: @fannyamandanilsson, @lisaholdshteyn, @jordanrisa, @alexandra_sage, @moastener, @aliasax, @lucyalicelook@_jessicaskye

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Correct me if I'm wrong but I feel like we've been pretty lucky with the weather this year. Only in the past couple of weeks have we really felt the weather turn and Autumn arrive. And what does the changing of  the seasons mean? It's time to fill those shelves and drawers with an abundance of knitwear. 

While wearing knitwear in the autumn and winter months is nothing new, every year brings different trends when it comes to our favourite jumpers and cardigans. For Autumn/Winter 20 the big three are cable knit, collars and vests. Overall it has a slight masculine tone, evoking memories of your dad's or grandad's jumper draws in the 90s, but in this decade it feels far more feminine and polished. 

The cable knit is a one stop wonder and will look just chic if it's paired with lounge shorts or oversized jeans. A collared jumper or cardigan is a great transitional piece, both in and out of the season and gives any outfit a laidback tailored feel. Finally, the knitted vest top is already very popular with influencers and followers alike wearing long sleeve oversized shirts underneath or, for the ones who don't feel the cold, they dare to bare the arms.

Whether you pick one trend or all three, these are the pieces that will get through the next few months however they may be.

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September brings the feeling of a fresh start. Rediscovering old favourites like denim and knitwear. Meeting friends to catch-up over warm drinks. Setting good, progressive intentions for the next few months. Slowly replacing warm evenings spent outside with warm evenings indoors. Spending your days surrounded by soft textures in your wardrobe and living spaces. Looking forward to getting home and being cosy. 

Images: Tumblr

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With different countries jumping on and off the quarantine list we're now looking slightly closer to home for our holidays and have chosen the option of 'Staycation' instead. Whether you've decided to visit a city or to spend time at the seaside, what you pack is just as important as ever.

You may have booked a city break because you want to visit all of the iconic cultural landmarks you've seen in magazines or visit the restaurants and bars you've heard so much about. When it comes to fashion, city breaks are a great time to elevate your look and pick effortlessly elegant pieces that reflect the charms of the city like Mango's puff sleeve midi dress. ASOS's cat eye sunglasses will make sure the sun stays out of your eyes so you don't miss a single sight while these tie-leg sandals will leave you blister-free even after a long day walking.

On the other hand, a few days spent by the seaside eating fish 'n' chips soaked in salt and vinegar and watching the day go past on a sunny, sandy beach calls for a more relaxed choice of clothes. Your must-have piece has to be an oversized shirt that you can wear from am to pm and can cater for any weather condition, just like Arket's poplin shirt. A strappy crinkle-textured bikini allows you to tan as possible while a simple baseball cap and large round sunglasses will easily hide your delicate face from that mid-day sun. 

Wherever you may decide to go for a few days, the most important thing is you come back feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and that you've had a proper break from everything we've been going through together.

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When it comes to picking my outfit for the day I have a rule where I can't wear more than three colours at a time. I'm not sure where this rule comes from and I wish I could break it but I actually feel physically uncomfortable if I try to. However, neutral colours help me to feel more relaxed about bending that rule and that is why it's one of my favourite colour palettes. I also love neutrals because they are classic, sophisticated and luxurious. An effortless outfit can easily be put together with these colours. My favourite way to wear neutrals is by wearing sharp strong tailored pieces, light silky feminine dresses or scrumptiously soft separates that I can relax in. While some may call them boring, to me they're the perfect addition to any wardrobe.

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