*NOTE: This is a promotional blog. The products reviewed and mentioned were gifted to me by Westbeach.
I was wandering through Petaling Market in Kuala Lumpur, browsing the trove of Gucci watches, Louis Vuitton wallets and Hugo Boss t-shirts on offer. Every few stalls, the owner would emerge: “Come on make, take a look – take a look!” There was so much, and it looked good – designer handbags, shoes and hoodies that, at a glance, looked like the real deal.
Of course, it wasn’t. Everything there was, as they put it, a “genuine fake” (whatever that means). Yet even though I knew these products weren’t legitimate, they looked decent enough and when we returned the next day, I parted with £18 and received, in return, two Supreme rucksacks – one red, the other black.
I was delighted with my purchases and went home happy. Currently, the red one sits in a drawer under my bed, still unused, while the black version accompanies me to work each day. It just about does the job, but after only three months I’m constantly wrestling with a dodgy zip and anticipating its loosening stitching turning into a gaping hole at a moment’s notice. I shouldn’t really expect much more for £9, but I wanted it to be more than a stopgap.
But then I struck gold…
A few weeks after I returned from Malaysia I found an email in my inbox from a company called Westbeach. Hand on heart, I’d never heard of them before, but after some research I saw that they were a Canadian winter clothing company.
They were going to send me some of their clothing, and after browsing their website I was excited. I picked a few bits I liked and when I finally arrived home after being away for a few days I had a nice, big package waiting for me.
I instantly ripped it open, excited to see what was inside.
Inside were the items I selected – a red crew neck jumper, a black hoodie and a bright orange rucksack – something which I could tell was vastly superior to my purchases from the Petaling Market. The material felt richer, the zips worked like a charm and the bag had so much space.
I quickly came to the conclusion that it would be a great rucksack for hand luggage. There’s plenty of room, but it’s still small enough to fit under your seat. There’s also a compartment for a laptop computer and a sizeable pocket on the front which is a perfect place to keep your documents and currency.
And the clothing?
The crew neck jumper is probably my favourite of the lot. Opting for Malbec Red, I got an American university vibe from this sweatshirt. It’s the kind of thing I’d wear in transit as it looks good, but it’s also really comfortable, as well as being warm enough to heat you when it’s cold. If you want to take it off at any time, roll it up and it will double as a nice little pillow.
Last, but certainly not least was the black Summit Overhead Hoodie. Plain in design, you could wear it wherever you are. It’s a great piece if you’re going on a winter break. While it’s insulating, it’s not bulky, so you could easily put a coat over the top of it. While not a summer garment, if you’re going away in the spring or autumn, you can wear it when you need to and if it gets to hot, simply take it off and put it in your Montreal Backpack for safekeeping.
If I was to describe Westbeach, I’d describe it as the Canadian Hollister - a winter-inspired alternative to the Californian company’s beach-themed lineup. Their clothes are fresh, youthful and both look and feel well-made. If you’d like to check out Westbeach’s full range, including snow gear and accessories, head on over to Westbeach.com.