Having a male model as a brother is like the elevator business – it has its ups and downs. Sure, the fashion tips are great, as are the backstage passes to Victoria Secret shows (that’s never happened but he assures me one day it will). In general though, whether he’s FaceTiming me surrounded by other genepool winners just before a catwalk in Milan, or just watching girls melt at a glance of his cheekbones, it’s pretty annoying. He was once described as “looking just like me, but with all the bits in the right places”.
For us mere mortals, we have to try a little harder to get even the hint of a wink in the street. I had better add that I’m happily married, but it would still be nice to be occasionally noticed. When my brother and I travel together, this is where I really have to up my game. Not that we have a competitive streak running in our blood or anything.
On our trip down south, he arrives at Edinburgh Airport looking… irritatingly immaculate. However, I have a new string to my bow. I am armed with a Forbes & Lewis Somerset Holdall. Made from waxed buffalo leather, this bag is the definition of a head-turner. When you first unleash the bag from its delightful dust cover, you can literally smell the quality. Whilst the stunning simplistic design gives it that understated presence, it oozes class and compliments any outfit. It makes me wish I had a sleeve tattoo to complete the look. As well as being a beautiful fashion accessory, it’s also incredibly functional. With a generously sized interior, it comes lined with a luscious F&L cotton twill blend to keep your attire intact.
With the adjustable shoulder-strap set to my desired height, I confidently stride over to embrace my bro with a man-hug. He retreats as he immediately notices something different about me, and I grin as I can almost see his eyes turning green with envy as his gaze lowers to my bag. He’s a very tactile young chap and asks for “a go”. I didn’t know that was a thing with a bag. With one hand on the robust carrying handles, he can’t help stroking the staunch leather exterior of the holdall with the other and playing with the sturdy metal zip.
It’s fair to say that I’m a slightly nervous traveller, and the OCD in me loves to keep all of my belongings in the same place. Something my younger sibling finds hilarious. I explain to him, that the Somerset Holdall is a godsend for a guy like me. As well as a sizable inside zip pocket, the bag offers two other internal pockets, designed specifically for the intention of storing your wallet and phone. Also, my skinny jeans are way too tight to fit them in. He gets it now.
This charismatic bag is ideal for a long weekend away, and of course to be the envy of any airport bar. Everyone has the tradition of a pre-flight whiskey, regardless of what time of day it is, right? Maybe just us.
This bag gives me the edge. Yes, my brother might have all the bits in the right places, but he doesn’t have a Forbes & Lewis Somerset Holdall.
If you aren’t ‘lucky’ enough to have a male model in the family for style hints, I can recommend checking out the Look Book on the F&L website.
John Harfield is a travel writer and photographer based in Edinburgh.
Photographs courtesy of Forbes & Lewis
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