Monday, 30 November 2015

The Cambridge Satchel Company

Craig of That Dapper Chap tells us about the Men's collection available from The Cambridge Satchel Company

My family of leather Cambridge Satchels

The Cambridge Satchel Company

Founded in 2008 with a budget of just £600 ($900), The Cambridge Satchel Company is the brain child of Julie Deane and her Mother, Freda. Looking for a way to make money to cover her children’s school fees, Julie set to work at her kitchen table and recreated her favourite childhood satchel.

Yours truly holding the 'Downing' Satchel in the men's store

Her first six satchels sold very quickly and by 2011 Julie was selling 3,000 bags a week across 86 countries. It was then that she decided to take more control of the manufacturing, so she set up her own factory in Leicester, where all her products are still made today. 

There's a wide range to choose from in the gents store

We all know that the ladies have had a great range to choose from but what you may not know is that they also have a dedicated range for us men! Not only this but we also have our own store in Covent Garden, London!

With that in mind I have picked four bags for four of the best blokes in my life. Below I tell you a little bit about each man and I show you exactly what they carry in their bag each day and how you or the man in your life can use theirs too. You can even have the bag embossed in store (where you can actually watch it being done) and online in either black, gold, silver or blind to make it extra personal just like I have.

Bags for days on a huge variety of colour and style

The gentleman's tote bag available in a range of colours

The Classic Batchel

A smart and versatile bag that delivers whether it’s put to use on the weekday commute or on a weekend away from town, the Classic Batchel is a guy’s best friend, it has a removable shoulder strap. Plus, like all the products, each bag is made here in Britain.

The classic dark brown Batchel

Fergus (not the bogie man) is my cousin. We did used to call him that for reasons that I won’t disclose here and now, but as he has grown up, he has felt that it’s an inappropriate nickname. We therefore now refer to him (behind his back) as ‘Fumbling Fergus’ again I won’t go into the detail and background of this new nickname but Melody Anderson from G11 could…

Fumbling Fergus…ahem…I mean Fergus (sorry Ferg, I know you’ll read this!) is currently at college studying barbering and plans to open a traditional barber shop once he has qualified (yay, free haircuts!) so on a daily basis he makes his way to college or his placement salon in his beige trench coat and Doc Martins with his bag full of everything he needs.

Everything that Fergus needs for his day ahead

The majority of the items he packs are required for his training: Scissors, comb, clippers and brushes and he’s slowly building up his collection of hairdressing paraphernalia, which isn’t cheap. He also has one of those weird severed head things which has an odd face, reminiscent of particular dolls that are found employed in a much less salubrious occupation, but his has real hair that can be styled to your heart’s desire. I know it’s a training tool but I still find it horribly creepy! I took the time to explain that I most definitely wouldn’t need it for these photographs!

Ferg also uses The Cambridge Satchel Company 
travel wallet (as seen in the flat lay above) to keep notes and appointments in as well as business cards and some cash, it's a handy and versatile complimentary item and a great stocking filler!

Just another day at the busy salon

The classic dark brown Batchel is a no brainer for Ferg. He is a fan of the traditional shape and style and while he wouldn’t shy away entirely from one of the brighter colours that the classic Batchel is available in, he is very comfortable with this time honoured colour.

It's all about mens hair care and grooming for our Fergus

Ferg is one of those people that buys hair magazines! I have seen them in newsagents and always wondered who bought them. I know we all have hair but most of us choose not to read about it as a hobby! The majority of us have arms but I’ve never seen a magazine dedicated to those, and they're way more important as far as I'm concerned! Ferg however is often found thumbing through a hair magazine, studying styles and cuts while enjoying a raw carrot or two during his coffee break, dreaming no doubt of the day that he opens his own salon, when he’ll be his own boss and have his own student to train and make him coffee!

I have no idea why there is a spanner in there! He tried to explain but through a mouthful of half chewed carrot so I didn’t push him to repeat what he’d so eloquently said. 

The Classic dark Brown Batchel £130.00

The Expedition Backpack

The Expedition Backpack is made in high quality sahara leather. Featuring nickel push locks, adjustable webbing straps and a useful front pocket. The backpack is hand crafted practicality and designed to travel with you wherever you go. This Sahara leather is soft and supple with natural variations and creasing that will wear and add character with age.

My Son Harry is 18 and loves a backpack! I’m sure it’s so that he can have both hands free, allowing him to walk and text at the same time while still being able to carry all of his stuff while he does it.

He works at Topman so is very conscious of style and wanted something stylish but also very functional. He’s recently been promoted to the suiting department so wants to look as smart as possible. The clean lines and considered design of this bag make it very desirable and he is able to take it to work while wearing a suit, but the bag also lends itself to a more casual styling and he’ll throw it on over a hoodie and take it to friends for pizza and gaming nights

Harry is a computer game nut and is pretty much inextricably entwined with various forms of gaming paraphernalia, be it his 3DS, his Wii U or his laptop. We also have a hard time getting him to put down his mobile phone for more than five seconds at a time, this includes meal times and family movie nights!

In my day I was happy hanging around with my mates in the park or outside the local chip shop. In those days you actually had to speak to each other and arrange a time and place to meet, and if someone didn’t turn up that was that. There was no way of contacting them other than getting on your BMX and knocking on their front door! These days my Son interacts with his friends more on social media, Skype and by text message than face to face. It’s an odd concept for me to get used to, but for his generation it’s the norm, so he needs to be connected.

A standard image of Harry's room (just less messy!)

Harry also attends college and is studying to become a teacher, he therefore has various books to take back and forth for his studies and this backpack is able to hold all of them and is a good shape for it too.

We’ve always made Harry a packed lunch for him to take to school but he gets so bored so quickly with our offerings that we no longer make him a daily sandwich. We now leave him to fend for himself, hence the cold pizza and Oreos seen in his flat lay image! If you do manage to find a piece of fruit in his bag it’ll be a mistake or the earth may have tipped on its axis slipping everyone into an alternative dimension!

The Multi Pocket Batchel

This style is practical, functional and ready for business. Perfect for A4 files, a lightweight laptop and a small electronic device. Made from 100% leather it has magnetic closure side pockets and a top handle and branded brass hardware. It is available five different colours and comes complete with an adjustable and detachable webbed shoulder strap.

The oxblood multi pocket Batchel

My Uncle Charlie is a retired Head of Drama at a London Secondary School. While he no longer attends school on a daily basis he is still asked to attend in his capacity as a professional examiner.
He hates the tube because of being “trapped with a bunch of hot smelly strangers in a confined space” and will still use his bike whenever he can to get him to where he needs to be. I have tried to tell him that not everyone on the tube is smelly but he replied that “anyone subjected to that heat in an enclosed space becomes smelly in under two minutes, whether it is their intention to or not. I also do not want to knowingly inhale another person’s breath which is entirely unavoidable in that situation”

All the things that Uncle Charlie needs for his day

While somewhat eccentric he is an organised fellow and likes things to be in particular places, therefore the multi pocket Batchel is an obvious choice for him. The front pockets are handy for his bike lock, glasses and wallet, easily accessible but secure and safe.

The carry handle means that he can just grab his bag and go, carrying it like a briefcase, which also adds a professional look when he needs it to. The shoulder strap means that it’s safe on his back when he’s cycling to an exam.

Uncle Charlie also makes use of The Cambridge Satchel Company A5 notebook cover (as seen in the flat lay image above)to keep all of his exam notes safe from harm. Just slip it over your old note book and make it immediately nicer. It has a great little slot for your pen too and makes a great gift.

He’s not totally into technology so you won’t find a plethora of gadgets and communication devices in his bag. He does have a mobile phone however, but he generally only uses this for calls. If he has spare time you’ll find him doing the Times crossword rather than playing Candy Crush on a touchscreen device.

While being a bit of a technophobe we have managed to get some music on his phone for him so that he can listen to Mozart on the go, we have warned him of the dangers of cycling while listening to music but his reply was “well, if I do have an accident at least I’ll have it in style”
Due to his rather large ears and his inability to insert the Apple earphones correctly (why do older people struggle with that?) we bought him some over ear Harris Tweed headphones, which he loves and now takes with him everywhere.

You may ask why he has elastic bands in his bag, this is because he has lost so many bike clips that he now refuses to buy more and resorts to protecting his trouser cuffs from getting tangled in his bike chain by wearing elastic bands around his ankles. It works for him, they are easily replaceable and he is recycling (no pun intended) so it’s all good with us!

Every good teacher at my school had sweets in their pockets and Uncle Charlie subscribes to that notion too, as a result he will ALWAYS have a Werthers Original to share which you’ll find in his Cambridge Satchel Company pencil case of all places! No, I don’t know why either!

The Oxblood Multi-Pocket Batchel £265.00

The Classic Satchel

A lot like the classic Batchel, the Satchel is a true classic designed made for all of you traditional gents. The main difference between this and the Batchel is that the shoulder strap cannot be removed and there is no carry handle.

The classic satchel in red

Kristopher is an old friend, I’ve known him for years, and while he lives close by he works in the heart on London for an advertising company getting up at 5:30 every morning to make sure he’s in the office at 9am.

Being in advertising he likes things that are a little different and this can be seen in this clothing and accessories. He’s not a wallflower when it comes to colour either “red is the colour of danger isn’t it, and danger is my middle name” said Kristopher (It’s actually Aaron) so the classic red satchel was the one for him. It’s big enough for him to fit in everything he needs for his daily commute on the packed train to London, and to the many meetings that he attends all over the country.

Everything that Kristopher packs for his day ahead

As Kristopher travels he needs to be connected. Every day he takes his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and chargers. He needs to be available for his boss and his clients at all hours of the day and in all places “things can change so quickly and it’s vital that I’m kept up to date”

His diary keeps him organised and is stuffed with train tickets and scribbled notes about various people and places.

The water and painkillers are a staple item too as he never wants to arrive at a meeting dehydrated or unable to pitch because of a headache. The apple helps too and is a healthy fuss free snack that he can eat on the go, no wrapper, no mess. And he’s one of those people that eats the core because “it’s still apple!”

You’ll always find a copy of GQ or Esquire in Kristopher’s bag so he has a good read during his travels. There will also be a small bottle of aftershave, a pack of mints and a roll on deodorant in his bag so he can arrive fresh at his meetings, all of which he employs in a nearby loo just before he arrives at whichever location he needs to be at.

Every guy needs a wallet and Krisopher's is stuffed with a few weeks worth of business receipts as he often forgets to claim his expenses back when he should. Kristopher’s wallet is the Cambridge Satchel Company envelope wallet. He also has their keyring too as it matches his satchel.

In addition to all of these things and what some may argue is the most important item to have, the complete and abject fear of finding himself in a hotel room without a good cup of tea means that Kristopher always has emergency tea bags snuck away in his bag.

Not only is this bag functional but it is a true classic design, it’s very smart, but the red colour gives it a bit of a twist, adding interest and making the owner stand out from the crowd a little, which is great for Kristopher as he’s never been one of life’s shiest people!

This satchel is available in 9 colours including bright green and bright yellow so if your'e a guy, or you know a guy who loves bright colours you need to take a look at the colours available!

The 15" Classic Red Satchel £120.00


Find The Cambridge Satchel Company on social


The Cambridge Satchel Company Shops


Brighton store opens December 2015!


17 Rose Crescent 
Cambridge, CB2 3LL 
United Kingdom 


31 James Street
Covent Garden


15 Shorts Gardens
Covent Garden


11 Royal Exchange Square
G1 3AJ 

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Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Peper Harow New Sock Collection

Luxury Sock brand Peper Harow is excited to launch its latest collection of quintessentially English, hand finished socks for gents like you and I.

Made in England from the finest Pima Cotton, the range offers new seasonal colour ways, styles and prints.

Many snazzy options for discerning gents

A patriotic approach

More great patterns in the collection

Something a little different at the ankle today

Something for everyone in the new collection

Available online at all styles are £16 per pair. 




Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Next Spring Summer 2016 Press Day

Craig of That Dapper Chap attends the Next Spring Summer 2016 Press Day and previews menswear coming our way soon.

Mannequins dressed in SS16 attire

The latest Next press day was held at the beautiful Victoria House in London's Bloomsbury. A grade II listed building built in the 1920's, Victoria House has played host to a huge number of events, and I have been here on a few previous occasions attending events as part of London Collections: Men

Yours truly in full selfie mode

Spring 16 menswear sees a real shift in trends. The smart casual look that has reigned for many a season is now a thing of the past. Formal and casual have returned to heir rue forms with much more individual identities to differentiate that work to weekend wardrobe.

A classic black briefcase

White soled brogues with contrast inserts

Formalwear takes a new direction for spring with key changes in colour, texture and silhouette. 'Past Modern' is Nexts sharp, hard edged tailoring story inspired by the rebellious attitude of the Teddy Boy and the rock and roll music. What would otherwise be a dark colour palette of charcoal greys and inky blues is given a fresh new slant with stones and neutrals.

Beautiful food was served throughout the day

When it comes to pattern, checks remain strongest; with prince of wales and windowpane still prominent, a micro gingham is introduced this season to add a new dimension. Neps and slubs are key yarns and can be seen in suiting and separates so attention to detail is a must with tailoring.  

THIS jacket! Say goodbye to the bomber jacket!
Spring greens. A big colour for SS16
'The Revivalist' is the second formal story, think quintessentially British dapper gentleman. With a colour palate of fresh but earthy tomes, browns and taupes are grounded with pale blues and shades of grey. 

The new menswear display at Victoria House

Hues of blues in plain and stripes 

The formal trouser continues to be a key item and the pleat makes a welcome return but now as much more of a styling feature on a slim, ankle grazer cut. Team these with the reinvented blazer in a new textured fabric to give a timeless yet modern look.

Suede moccasins are big for SS16

Now down to the footnote, loafers are the must have shoes for spring. Whether its high shine leather or a soft suede, tassels or saddle detail - Be sure to complete your outfit with a pair of these.

Bacon ice cream anyone?
Casually styled mannequins at the Next SS16 press day
This season we have a return to a true casualwear with laundering and washing across all product areas. 'Neutrality' sees a utilitarian based story given an urban feeling. With a predominantly navy, black and grey colour palette this makes a great transitional story, adding highlights of oatmeal and tobacco to give it that fresh update for spring.

Suiting for spring is a staple from Next

Neutral and natural shades make a smart look

Print is a key focus, from geometric jacquards and stripes to clean texture and blurred polkadots on everything from knitwear and tees to casual shirts. 

On legs the five pocket jeans are the go to style but with greyed off tones and ecru added to the mix. It's all about layering for 'Neutrality', the bomber silhouette in outerwear, knitwear and jersey is paired with longline knits and tees to create this look. 

Next were showing off their floral displays at the event
A suede bomber jacket over a grey shirt
New style shoes and accessories for SS16

'Shoreline' demonstrates the emphasis on blue tones for spring. Ranging from deep dark navy, to indigo and bleached out pale shades it's the colour of the season. This story has a real coastal influence, with the Breton stripe being of huge importance, seen in all variations of width and paired down with an ankle grazing turned up chino.

Next continue to make a huge dent in the market with their suiting
Just a look I threw together

Harrington jackets are thrown over the shoulders for those windy beach days and the boat shoe is no more. It's all about a driver on the casual footwear front this season.

Yes gents, you can order flowers from Next! Who new!
mannequins in monochrome mood
Press and bloggers tweeting while enjoying a coffee
The latest casual shoe from Next
More marshmallows waiting to be dipped in chocolate
White soled shoes and boots continue next season
Guests saw their tweets displayed on the big screen
The menswear collection from Next for SS16

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