How to pack a suitcase with Simon Crompton

Menswear authority and writer, Simon Crompton, provided some good tips for packing in a good and orderly fashion last year, making light of even the trickiest garments, neatly folding everything into our wheeled case. Take a look to get some handy tips on packing pretty.

Explore our travel collection

A Great British Brand – Cordings of Piccadilly

One of our favourite British brands and a safe port in a storm (metaphorical or actual) is Cordings of Piccadilly. Cordings has stood proud at its 19 Piccadilly premises for over 140 years. The company’s roots stretch back even further to 1839 when Charles Cording first opened the doors to his outfitting and waterproofing shop on The Strand. Today, Cordings is just a stone’s throw from Tusting’s sister company, Budd Shirtmakers; the two brands share many affinities as well as a great number of customers, as of course does Tusting.

We have collaborated with Cordings in recent years to produce an exclusive tweed and leather edition of our Clipper bag. The bag represents a perfect marriage of construction and style, absolutely in tune with the Cording’s principles.

Cordings is a reassuring brand. It knows its audience well and has little pretence. They make excellent, reliable and beautiful clothing for a predominantly countryside audience and those with a passion for country pursuits. Their audience is far reaching, with customers looking to them for comfortable and elegant heritage pieces that endure.

The company doesn’t limit itself to field attire, however, nip into the shop or take a look on its website and you will see their signature covert coats and raincoats (they can lay claim to developing the original rubberised Mackintosh alongside Hancock), and a core range of business suits, poplin shirts and ties for trips into the City. Whilst talk of city suits reverts us back to a palette of greys and blues, Cordings never skimps on colour. There are plenty of tweeds, including the iconic Keeper’s Tweed that have a subtle twist, corduroys, Loden coats, knitwear and accessories bring strong colour pops to both men’s and ladies’ wardrobes.

Waterproofing was the raison d’etre of the original Cordings business, after founder, John Charles started to manufacture Charles Mackintosh’s patented waterproof coats in 1839. They soon became a mainstay of the company and Charles recognised that his coats were useful both for riding and daily life, but also for the burgeoning motor era. The coats were considered essential in the hunting field and for motorists in their open top cars too. The rest, as they say, is history. Cordings had established itself firmly on the gentlemen clothier’s map, a position that it has maintained to this day.

The past two centuries have seen Cordings clothe everyone from explorers to sportsmen, farmers to financiers, rock stars to royalty. A read through of their illustrious and extensive history on the Cording’s website, makes it easy to understand why the current owner and perhaps its best customer, Mr Eric Clapton, chose to purchase the company in 2003, securing its future.

“I first became aware of Cordings in my mid-teens,” Eric explains. “I come from the country and it was the highlight of our week to come up to London and listen to the musicians. It was difficult to get home late, so I would spend that time till dawn just walking the West End. I remembered Cordings. It stuck in my mind as a place of tradition; the heritage of England.”

Win a Cordings Covert Coat and Tusting Weekender bag

Tusting has teamed up with Cordings to offer customers the opportunity to win one of their iconic Covert coats and one of our medium-sized Weekender Travel bags in Sundance leather.

Click here to enter

In Conversation with Luxury Travel Blogger Silverspoon London

We sit down with travel and lifestyle blogger, Angie at Silverspoon London, to discuss her favourite travel stories and life as a new mum during lockdown. Travel may not be on everyone’s agenda but we can still dream!

What made you start up Silverspoon?

I started SilverSpoon nearly seven years ago now. I’d just been made redundant from a job in marketing and I was looking for something new and I started writing my blog as part of another website I was developing as a freelance events manager. I’d always loved reading travel and restaurant blogs and I thought, well I’ve been to a lot of places, I could do this too!

It was actually about five months before I was due to get married and I would be changing my surname to Silver. So I brained-stormed blog names around the word Silver and I came up with ‘SilverSpoon. It was a eureka moment and said everything that I wanted to say about the blog. All about luxury lifestyle, food and travel

I enjoyed writing the blog so much, I separated it off from the other website and put my entire focus on that. At the time, I didn’t realise you could make a career out of blogging.

You have travelled around the world, please share with us the most unusual place you have visited and why?

The most amazing hotel I’ve ever stayed in was Giraffe Manor, you may have seen the photos. It’s the place in Nairobi Kenya where Giraffes join you for breakfast and afternoon tea! It’s more than that though as it’s attached to a sanctuary for endangered giraffes.

We’ve also stayed in a treehouse in Thailand over-looking an elephant sanctuary where you can see elephants have their showers in the morning, and a luxury tent in the middle of the desert where we watched the sunrise over Ayers Rock.

What was the most amazing city you have ever visited?

One of my favourite cities was Cape Town. I love places that have both city and beach… and Cape Town is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been to. The scenery is spectacular and there are lots of different opportunities for seeing the most incredible flora and fauna. It’s only about a 45 minute drive to the Winelands too.

You have recently had baby Oscar, (big congratulations) have you been travelling with him yet and if so, what tips do you give to new mums?

Thank you so much!! Oscar has already been to four countries (he’s only ten months old!) and we were really hoping to take him on more travels before this all happened. My top tip is just do it!

We took Oscar to Ibiza when he was ten weeks old and I was really worried about the flight, him not sleeping in a new place, how much stuff we’d need to bring… but it was all fine, he was really adaptable (though I know not all babies are) and in terms of stuff to bring I’d say less is more. Bring as little as possible as it makes the travel easier.

The best thing we bought was a travel pram that makes it so easy to get through the airport, it can then be stowed in the overhead locker of the plane so that you have it ready when you land.

How has Covid-19 affected you and your work, especially in light of the travel bans?

We’re certainly not planning on travelling anytime soon though we will book a holiday in the UK at some point. Personally, I’m lucky that my blog isn’t solely focused on travel and I’ve been enjoying writing about lifestyle and motherhood and posting pictures from home.  

I could put together posts on old travels but honestly people just don’t seem that interested in reading about travel at the moment 

You have the new Tusting Mini Holly – what do you like about it?

I find the small size really handy for my important bits! I have a big bag of toys, muslins and nappies for Oscar and then I can put my wallet, keys, phone and Oscar’s snacks in the Mini Holly so they’re easily accessible when I need then.

Shop the Mini Holly

When travel becomes available again what is the first destination on your list?

Since having Oscar my priorities have really changed. I will be changing my blog and focusing more on luxury family travel but with an emphasis on hotels that can be enjoyed by parents as much as by children. I’ve already been researching hotels that tick all the boxes and that I think would be suitable for Oscar.

Honestly, at the moment, I don’t mind where we go. I would choose somewhere that isn’t too long a flight, where we could have a nice room, a pool, good food and great weather for a week. Somewhere like Italy or Greece, they’re my two favourite countries. I’d also love to try Croatia or Montenegro for something a bit different.

Read more about Angie and her journey here

The history of the Saddle Bag

Our Cardington bag is the longest-serving member of our Tusting handbag collection and has played a key role in our repertoire since we moved from tannery to leather goods maker some 30 years ago. We chose the name Cardington after the Bedfordshire village famous for making enormous airships, located just a few miles from our Lavendon HQ.

Saddle bags, or cartridge bags to some, have endured and been celebrated by almost every designer over the years, thanks to their compact and ergonomically perfect form that allows them to sit close to the body, their weight distributed in such a way that they don’t tip or swing about too much. It might seem like a trivial observation, but their curved edges not only look sweet, but are smooth against the body too, as opposed to any hard or awkward corners and edges and will not bang into you! Trust us, we have tried and tested a lot of bags over the years and it is the little things that make the difference. A bag that provokes hostility from its wearer really is a thing! Saddle bags allow you not only to be hands free but carefree.

As their name infers, saddle bags have equestrian roots, and are often associated not only with traditional saddles and horsemanship, but with cowboys too. Considering the influence of cowboy and prairie fashion over the years too, it is little wonder that they repeatedly make it onto the catwalk. These are bags that are so versatile that you can channel your inner Annie Oakley or more gamine Audrey Hepburn in equal measure, dressing them up or down as you please. Saddle bags are always fashionable, or rather, they never date and seldom look out of place. They transcend any age group too, making them as perfect for a first “serious” bag as for a major milestone gift. We often talk about heritage pieces for men’s bags, but the term absolutely applies here too!

Our Cardington saddle bags are practical AND elegant. Designed with an adjustable shoulder strap, they can be worn across the body or over the shoulder and offer up a simple design and silhouette. Hardware is kept to a minimum, keeping things paired down. A flap closure sits over a single and roomy main compartment, with a discreet slip pocket. The jacquard lining provides some internal polish, as does the key clip. An external slip pocket on the rear of the back is ideal for keeping your travel or bank card to hand and adds for an extra sense of security.

Choose between classic colours and finishes that you will use for a lifetime and hand on to your daughter, sister or friend if they don’t pinch it off you sooner. Our chestnut edition in smooth Bridle leather and our tan Atlantic are perennial favourites, and are second only to the fail-safe security of our black Pebblestone version. Compliments of the (Summer) season come with on-trend cashew, navy and lemon bags, tumbled for a pebblestone effect that provides texture and added softness.

Shop our Cardington saddle bag

Have you ever heard of a Dopp Kit?

A Dopp Kit is something that almost all of us own, but the term is pretty uncommon within British vernacular. In the US, the term is used by many as a trademark noun, much like one might use the word Biro for a pen, Jeep for a 4 x 4, Thermos for a flask or Hoover for a vacuum cleaner. So what is a Dopp Kit (we hear you yell)? Well, it is actually a washbag. Depending on where you are from and where you are shopping, Dopp kits have plenty of synonyms; sponge bag, ditty bag, shaving kit, toiletry bag, sponge bag or wet pack.

The Dopp Kit coins its name after the leather craftsman, Charles Doppett, whose company first designed the leather case in 1919. Suitably elegant and more importantly, practical, by the outbreak of the Second World War, they were a military issue piece of kit for the US Army. Prior to Doppett’s design, they were known as toilet bags, but that phrase in itself was deemed off-putting and too graphic for most.

Over the years, the Dopp brand has been purchased by various companies, primarily in a bid to have ownership rights to the name. In the early 1970s it passed into the hands of Samsonite, before being purchased by Buxton at the end of the decade. Today, whilst the label remains in existence, the descriptive term Dopp Kit is used by brands across the globe.

The size of your Dopp-kit might dictate how many toiletries you can carry when on a trip away or a visit to the gym. Think about what you put in it and we also recommend stashing away a small sealable clear bag for when you go through the undignified process of having to empty out your liquids when passing through security at the airport. Whatever you do, don’t opt for the plastic bag only, there is nothing more depressing!

Here at Tusting, we produce our own versions of the Dopp Kit, designed and worked to be as masculine and stylish as they are practical. Excursion comes in a choice of canvas and leather, or our classic, all leather options and comprises a main compartment, carry handles, inner zip pocket and useful outer slip pocket. Use it for travel or the gym, or let it transcend its more traditional confines and use it as a handy pouch for keeping things organised when out on the road. We have customers who use theirs as a pencil case or to keep plugs, cables and all those other fiddly bits together.

Our Hove wash bag is our latest Dopp-kit iteration and forms part of the Century collection. Available in a choice of three colours, it reflects the timeless, pared down lines and silhouettes of the range and consists of a main compartment and inner zip pocket. The wipeable, water-resistant lining hits the mark too.

Whilst you might not be heading out on the road or to the gym at the moment, starting to plan and getting organised for your next adventure is always a positive step forward, especially right now.

Discover our range of wash bags.

Tusting and the Global Pandemic

Dear Tusting Friends,

Firstly, we hope more than ever that you and your loved ones are in good health. As the UK Government’s advice evolves at pace and the global impact of the Coronavirus becomes ever-more apparent, we anticipate that the impact may be felt on Tusting over the coming days and weeks.

As a result of the government’s advice regarding Covid-19, we have now downed tools at our Lavendon workshop until further notice. We cannot wait to be back together working side by side in the not too distant future. 

Our online shop remains open for business, although please note that processing and shipment may incur a delay of a day or two. 

We shall keep you up to date with our news over the coming weeks. We’ll also work hard to bring you some interesting content on our online and social platforms, allowing you to better know our team and what we do, and hopefully, offer a pleasant distraction!

We hope to be back to normal as soon as possible and in the meantime wish you all the very best of health and kindness. It is a tough road ahead, but together we can flatten that curve.

Very sincerely,

 

 

Alistair Tusting, CEO

International Women’s Day

International Women’s day is celebrated on 8th March every year. It is a day championing women’s rights and celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. As over 60% of our staff are women, it’s a subject close to our heart and we spoke to a few of the ladies here at Tusting to find out what they do and who inspires them.

Lucy Kershaw, Customer Services Coordinator

How long have you been at Tusting?

I have now been at  Tusting  for just over 5 years, I am the Customer Services Coordinator which I have been doing for a little more than a year.

What does your role entail?

First thing in the morning, I’ll come in, check my emails and make a coffee. I deal with all customer enquires – such as repairs, bespoke items, processing orders and embossing. It’s also my job to keep the showroom looking beautiful. I really enjoy sale days because I get to meet customers and provide proper one-on-one customer service.

What woman inspires you?

My sister decided in her adult life to pursue her dream career of becoming a midwife. She has three children and after the birth of her third son she went back to college to do her GCSE’s and got into nursing. She has been a midwife for around 6 years now so she’s an inspiration to me because she is proof that it’s never too late to follow your dreams, whether your 20 or 40, you can still do it.

Lesley Chaplin, Head Edge Painter

How long have you been at Tusting?

I was originally a bench-worker for 8 years, and then I took over the role of edge painter following my mother’s retirement, which I have been doing for around 8 years or so.

What does your role entail?

I stain the cut edges of leather pattern pieces for leather bags. It’s a very messy job and requires a very steady hand but it makes them look nice and neat. I also use the buffing machine to smooth the fibres of the leather.

Do you have a woman that inspires you?

My mum inspires me as she has been through a lot. We lost our dad in September and she was diagnosed with breast cancer in October. She doesn’t take any medicine for her pain and she puts up with a lot. I wish I could be like that. She worked at  Tusting until she was 70 and she said if she could still do it now, she’d love to come back.

Lesley Slaven, Flat Bed Machinist

How long have you been at Tusting?

I started here around 26 years ago, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

What does your role entail?

I am one of a team that works on the ‘flat bedding’ which means all the pattern pieces come to us flat and we put these components together to create the main sections of the item. That makes them more manageable for the stitchers to make up into the final finished bag.

What woman inspires you?

That would have to be both my mum and my nan. They learnt to make do and mend, no waste and no airs and graces, they were just who they were, and I’d say that their ways have been passed on throughout the whole family.

A big thank you to these three ladies for taking part! Happy International Women’s day to all of our staff and customers.

The rise of the Man Bag and how it has become an acceptable accessory

Google the term Man Bag and an awful lot of content pops up. Much of it you don’t want to see! Urban Dictionary informs that the term refers to a gentleman’s most intimate and delicate parts, enough to make your eyes water. If there were ever an argument for dismissing the prefix and sticking with the term “bags,” this is just one. Fortunately, Man Bags as the on-trend accessory of the moment rank very highly and save our blushes.

Until only recently, the term man bag has been subject to derision and stigma. What progress we have made since a 1999 episode of Friends, when Joey Tribiani buys a man bag only for the entire plot of the episode to centre around people mocking him, Joey adopting a more and more feminine demeanour the more he carried it as the episode progressed. Jerry Seinfeld also struggled with carrying a “purse” in his self-named comedy show, justifying his bag as “European”, acknowledging the presumed sophistication that comes with the well-dressed European man and the American term coined for such an accessory, the “European Carry-All.”

Time is a great healer. In 2019, the Man Bag is as much a part of the male daily wardrobe as a handbag is to a woman’s wardrobe. Why we need the prefix is a little unfathomable in this day and age, but perhaps it is to lend acknowledgement to a particular kind of bag and usage.

2013 marked a seminal moment for the Man Bag, when Mark Carney, the new Governor of the Bank of England carried a soft-sided briefcase, eschewing a traditional solid-sider as he gave his first address. Whilst financial analysts discussed his words, fashion savvy types, instead discussed his choice of accessories. This was not the stiff case of old, but showed an awareness of style and texture that had rarely been seen on such a formal stage. With its long handles, soft shell, side zip and cross body option, the bag represented a new direction in men’s accessories, a reawakening in terms of what worked and was deemed appropriate in professional circles, and an acknowledgement that a little personality and style consciousness goes a long way.

According to a report by the market research group, Mintel in 2017, 15% of men purchased a man bag in 2017, with 25% of all men between the ages of 16-34 taking the plunge on this investment.

The advent of technology and the rise of the metrosexual or more simply put, modern man, means that gentlemen carry more than ever before. Phones have gone from big to small to tiny to big, and now like most things, have super-sized up. They are not pocket-friendly, and together with a wallet and keys, are hard to carry all at once, tricky to stuff into a trouser pocket, and in tailoring terms “will ruin the line of a suit!” On top of the above essentials, a man often carries sunglasses, a charger and perhaps even a tablet. A bag has now become an essential and acceptable piece of kit…finally.

Head to any men’s bag department in a store today and you will be struck by the choice of Man Bags available. Now a common feature in many wardrobes, they have been embraced by designers across the globe, receiving a luxury facelift. Choices are endless, with something for every dress code and budget. Choose between high-grade leathers, canvases, strap combinations and hardware. The Italians have long carried their borse da uomo with pride. Renaissance paintings lend testament to the earliest versions of the man purse, with gentlemen carrying a small pouch attached to clothing; a necessity given the absence of pockets. We say “ben venga” to these Italian ways as we too embrace the bag.

So how best is a Man Bag recognised? There are no set parameters for this, however, there are plenty of common threads. It is not a backpack, nor is it as large or as cumbersome as a holdall, satchel, classic brief case, tote (“Mote”) or messenger bag. A Man Bag is smaller. It is more compact in size so as to prove itself useful but unobtrusive. It will typically have a carry handle and perhaps a cross body strap, allowing for a hands-free approach. It will generally have a zipped compartment, a soft body and more than anything, will leave the user wondering how they ever coped without one before. Whilst they are invariably fairly discrete, their acceptance and usage is still considered fairly new, therefore, they will still cause people to take note and if that’s the case, then choose a Man Bag that does you proud.

If you are tempted to take the plunge and adopt this practical accessory, then show courage of your conviction and go for a classic design. Don’t shirk to a backpack or larger messenger, instead, we recommend trying out a couple of the pieces from Tusting’s collection. The Ripon Reporter and The Nimrod are two timeless pieces that will prove sufficiently compact, sufficiently functional and exceptionally stylish.

Shop Man Bags

Like Father, Like Daughter… Philip and Daisy Knatchbull

Daisy Knatchbull is founder of The Deck, London – a made-to-measure tailoring house exclusively for women. Having had an interest in fashion from a young age, Daisy started her career in fashion journalism before working for the Fashion Director of the Sunday Times Style and subsequently moving to Huntsman to become Communications Director. It was whilst on Savile Row that she saw the opportunity in starting her own business. Daisy’s unique, androgynous style led her to challenge the rules in becoming the first women in the history of Royal Ascot to wear a top hat and tails. In her spare time, Daisy loves to travel, and do freelance styling work.

Daisy has four brothers and sisters. She is the second oldest.

Philip Knatchbull is the CEO of Curzon, the UK’s leading independent film distributor and cinema operator, winning a BAFTA for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema in 2017. Having many family ties in film, Philip had always taken an interest attending film school before building a career as a producer for many films, including Paul McCartney’s World Tour ‘Get Back’. Having previously trained to be a pilot, Philip now spends his spare time being with his family and directing short movies.

What is your earliest memory of your father

Feeling on top of the world whilst sitting on his shoulders. He used to always tell me that one day I would be too big to do that, I never believed him!

What is the biggest lesson he has taught you?

Take care of pennies and the pounds will look after themselves

Is there an article of clothing or an accessory that you have long had your eye on and hope to own yourself one day?

His watch. I’m not very good at dainty little watches and prefer a man’s watch.

What is your father’s worst trait? Sartorially or otherwise?

Punctuality – but the annoying kind. I don’t think he has ever once been late for anything in his life.

What characteristic would you most like to inherit from your father?

His business acumen.

Like father, like daughter. How are you similar?

Too many ways, we know how to wind each other up to a tee – we are both very competitive with each other and both often work too hard, but also many similarities! People always comment on how similar we are.

What luxury item do you most desire?

A Cartier Ballon Bleu watch and a million pairs of Louboutin shoes.

Is there a personal trait that has been passed through multiple generations in your family?

The strength of the women!

Do you have any sartorial or orological heirlooms?

Both of my grandmothers have given me a variety of amazing trinkets and wardrobe pieces I treasure. Most of the clothes that I adore most are from them.

What lessons would you teach your own son or daughter?

You cannot please everyone!

What are you most grateful to your father for?

Too much – most recently his ongoing support throughout the last year whilst launching my own business, answering the phone day or night when needed.

Dad/Daddy/Father/Pa – what is his calling card in your household?

Papa

Why did you choose the Wymington Tusting bag to gift your father for Father’s Day?

He has a briefcase that he has had for nearly a decade that is totally worn out but that he has loved more than anything. I had never been able to find one that I think he would love enough to give up his old one for, until I came across the Wymington! I love its simplicity and handily for me, I can very easily see myself using it too one day, well-loved and well used, ready for me to take over.

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