Surfer Elsie Pinniger runs neon wetsuits from a little workshop in Newquay, designing and creating beautiful, seriously covetable bespoke neoprene suits in a rainbow of colours. She tells me about her love of the beach, seeing her wetsuits in Vogue and the joy of getting to surf daily in the name of work.
My cosy new Ronja jacket, £150 from Didriksons at Outdoor World Direct, has been keeping me warm all winter. Here’s my review of a snow-friendly coat that feels like you’re wearing a waterproof cuddle.
I’m off to the French Alps this weekend, and in the process of getting out my favourite ski gear for another snowy adventure I’ve made a guide to layering up properly for the pistes. Plus you get to see me in a bra, so everyone’s a winner.
Other girls may lust over Louboutins, but I like hiking boots. I really like hiking boots. Mainly because I can actually walk around in them without falling over. Here’s my review of how my latest pair, HiGear Snowdown women’s walking boots, £44.99 from Go Outdoors, have dealt with a Christmas full of hills, dales and healthy doses of mud.
Oh man I love Christmas. I love all the fairy lights and walks in the snow and novelty jumpers and attempting to drink my own body weight in glühwein. I do not, however, like the crazy shopping frenzies of late December, which is why I am making you a lovely gift guide now – snap up all these beauties for the outdoorsy girls and guys on your list and you can be all smug for the rest of the festivities.
A chill in the air is no excuse not to get out in the countryside. Wrap up warm in some of my favourite kit for fall, including the best waterproof jacket I’ve tested, a gorgeous fluffy gilet to cosy up in and some rather delightful cableknits, plaid shirts and snow boots.
Plus, win a pretty printed rucksack from Animal to cart all your new stuff about in. Happy autumn!
To celebrate UNIQLO’s gorgeous new super light Ultra Light Down jackets they’re offering fans of the collection £300 to spend in stores in their new competition. Just upload a picture to Instagram or Twitter of you in your cuddly ULD coat or gilet using the hashtag #ULD before the 20th October.
Whether you’re off on a ski season, planning a little foray to the Alps or just want to keep your toes toasty on wintery walks, a pair of chunky snow boots are an outdoor wardrobe essential. Here’s my review of Meindl Sölden snow boots, £85.49 from Complete Outdoors in time for the winter.
I do like rugged outdoors gear that also manages to be über beautiful. Hence, I have a bit of a style crush on my new Fjallraven rucksack, £125.99 from Complete Outdoors, which I have been cycling with, hiking with and, er, pug cuddling with. I also made Pete cart it around on the beach. Doesn’t he look nice?
I spent the weekend staying near the beautiful Camber Sands in East Sussex and wrapped up in a fuzzy parka and some super-rad-amazing acid yellow swallow print wellies. I also competed with Grazia for Most Stylish Beach Photoshoot (guess who won).
Want to give a little outdoors loving back? Sarah Howcroft’s genius initiative, Gift Your Gear, takes your donated old kit and uses it to help kids develop a love of the great outdoors. And as a little reward for being so good, if you have a clear out before the end of September you’ll get 15% off at Rohan, too.
The thunderstorms rumbling over Bristol made me all happy as I got to stomp about in puddles in my new Jack Wolfskin Vapor Trail XT jacket (£140). It’s now with me on a monsoon-y adventure in the Thai jungle, dealing with storms, sweat and having Chang beer spilled down it on a daily basis.
My welliedoration has reached new peaks with the arrival of these Missy wellington boots in strawberry from Novesta.
They’re so shiny. And beautiful. I feel like William in William’s Wish Wellingtons (my ultimate style hero, fyi).
I love outdoors kit you can boast about. “Dude, you think your jacket is light? Mine weighs half as much as piece of paper. Yeah, PAPER.”
So I greatly enjoyed testing out my new Flyweight Softshell jacket from Jack Wolfskin (£80) whilst mountain biking around in the Negev Desert in Israel last week. It was hot.
It’s allllllmost festival season! I know, I can’t wait either. In the meantime, check out my pick of festie essentials from surf/ski/style geniuses Surfdome. Mash up delicate bird prints with mint ice-cream wellingtons, trendy tipi tents and glow in the dark pegs and add a sizzling barbeque and a cheeky cider or two for the perfect summer of muddy musical love.
I’m a sucker for a nice little waterproof number, and it doesn’t get much more cheerful than the bright spotty lining and cheery cherry red hue of Target Dry’s new waterproof jacket, the Olivia (£59.99), which came with me on my recent 90 mile cycle from Bristol to Oxford, through wind, rain, hail and glorious countryside.
It’s all springlike and sunshiney suddenly! I feel very happy indeed. The only issue I seem to be having is that I can’t seem to get dressing for unpredictable showers and bursts of sunshine, and have spent most of my time putting on and taking off jumpers at half-hour intervals. Luckily my sartorial dilemmas have been sold by Target Dry. Makers of my all-time favourite raincoats, Mac in a Sacs, they’ve launched a gorgeous new collection of lightweight, waterproof coverups in new shades and patterns, like this lovely floral Elle jacket (£29.99).
We spent last weekend at a cottage on the Dorset coast enjoying the sunshine, and gorgeous gift website www.dotcomgiftshop.com sent me the loveliest gardeny things to take – some dinky coloured jamjar tealights, fun spotty bunting and a recycled picnic mat – Just add cider and good company.
This lovely little beanie is the newest addition to my hat collection, thanks to the fab outdoorsy kids over at Sealskinz. I’ve always been a big fan of their brilliant waterproof ski gloves so I was very excited to try out this knitted number from their new season collection in rain, wind and snow to see how it shaped up.
I do like a good baselayer – especially one as fluffy and soft as my new Shimana merino layer, £29.99 from the fantastic Mountain Warehouse. After a very chilly week skiing in Val Thorens (chilly when not being cuddled by friendly bears) I’ve been wearing it long-distance running, so it’s had a pretty exhaustive test, all in all.
So gorgeous, so ridiculous. Taylor Simpson‘s ‘Moniker’ handlebars are a masterpiece of cycling design, if you feel like pedalling along about a million miles ahead of the fash pack (and possibly hurting yourself quite a lot if you ever fall over).
I spent last week skiing like a loon in Val Thorens, and the fab folk at Mountain Warehouse kitted me out before I left for my Three Valleys adventure with this gorgeous purple Heavenly Extreme Ski Jacket, £69.99. Seven days of relentless bombing down pistes, falling over in powder and attempting to look cool in the park seemed like the ideal way to put it through its paces.
I like post. Especially when it’s a box containing a lovely new pair of Hi-Tec Lynx trail hiking boots (£54.00) from the very nice people at Go Outdoors. My new boots are a pretty dove grey and they are all soft and suedey. But are they as comfy as they look?
If you’re as much of a fan as I am of going off on adventures down rivers in wooden canoes, Famous Five Style (lashings of ginger beer optional), you may have used a storm kettle before. If you haven’t, it’s going to be your new best friend, and we’ve got one to give away, too!
This is a little bit of a love letter to the jackets that I once eschewed as being worn only by fashion victims and the queen but now adore. It took me a few years of pretending I wasn’t going to be told what to wear by Alexa Chung before I caved, admitted to myself that I really wanted one and bought my lovely coat. It’s a secondhand Barbour Beaufort men’s jacket. It cost me 36 quid off Ebay, complete with old tissues in the pockets for authenticity, and I love it.
After sustaining more than 70 mosquito bites on one leg in the depths of the Bolivian Amazon, I feel authorized to advise on these matters, and so I present you with a handy little guide to packing for South America or planning what to take travelling in hot countries.