Regent's Canal

7 February 2016

Red Warehouse coat
Regent's Canal London
Red Warehouse coat
purple door in London
Paige flared jeans
70s knit with flares style
Regent's Canal London
london fashion blogs

It seems as if I've inadvertently dressed as Christmas, even though it's the beginning of February.  Ooops.  I guess this follows on my from last post, it's that awkward point in the year when the weather's not exactly inspiring (gale force winds and hat hair, anyone?), so my sense of SS16 trends has gone out the window.  Also everything I'm wearing is old, so this isn't a very 'shoppable' outfit.  However, it does contain my favourite jumper from last season, a coat from 2014 that I wore constantly and a bag that I finally bought last year after obsessing for ages.  There's a bit of a story behind what I wear and I want to continue to share random little realisations, rather than looking completely Pinterest all of the time.  I also want to get a little bit more creative with my wardrobe and wait for the right pieces to come along, rather than buying new stuff for the sake of it.  I do seem to keep going for this 70s garb whenever I'm stuck though, perhaps I'm trendier than I first thought?  Leg-lengthening flares will do that to a girl!   

I wore this look for a catch-up with Winnie, who is probably one of the first people I met through blogging!  Most of our conversations tend to take place over Whatsapp. so it was great to finally have a real-life natter and get some food involved.  She's also doing a bit more illustration, which is really exciting to see especially after putting together my Etsy interviews.  I keep telling her to start selling them!

pistachio door
how to style retro 70s knitwear

I also have a new video up!  It's a bit similar to my career journey post, but I just thought I'd go into a bit more detail in terms of internships, highs and lows.  It's a hoot!


My Style Evolution

5 February 2016

Since this blog is supposed to be about fashion and all, I thought I'd post a few thoughts about my style evolution.   Yes, I'm still feeling reflective and feel determined not to waste money on pieces that never see the light of day or shrink after one wash.  I keep opening my wardrobe, bypassing the things I was once obsessed with and wondering what my style even is any more.  I blame the cold and Marie Kondo telling me not to keep my Summer clothes packed away.  My twenties started off with a riot of loud jewellery, crazy tights and shoes that probably weighed as much as a small child (scroll down on the Outfits tab to have a peek).  My clothes were about showing the world who I was and what I represented, primarily 'I'm alternative!', 'I read these things called blogs and I don't care if I look a bit ridiculous!'  I was inspired by so much but it seems there was a bit of a fight between wanting to be something I'm not and wearing the things that made me happy.  Now I've calmed down a lot, I tend to build an outfit around one or two statement pieces and everything just looks a lot more cohesive.  I've had a look online to inspire myself during these chilly times and thought I'd come up with a little plan for the months ahead, just in case I want to refresh my wardrobe a little.

my ss16 wishlist

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

A few things I've realised 

I'm not actually very 'fashionable' most of the time.  I don't always want the most on trend items.  Sophie brings up an interesting point about Instagram it-items, sure I wouldn't mind a Chloe Faye bag in my life, but is that because it seems to be every other picture on my Explore grid?  That's probably not the best example as I have nothing against it as a bag (obviously...because it's a bag), but I'll see countless trend galleries declaring that items I wouldn't be seen dead in, are the next big thing.  I'm open-minded obviously, but until the right off-shoulder, frilled top comes along that doesn't make me want to get an arm transplant, I think I'll stick to admiring them from afar.

I also really like tops.  Yes tops.  I've always loved t-shirts obviously, but the blouse and jeans combination just wasn't my thing for a while.  I think this goes back to my mindset that everything had to be 'all-singing, all dancing' when it comes to outfits.  Now I'm obsessed with anything embroidered, moderately boho or smocky in terms of shape.  I just bought this Mango number after spotting it on The Pool and I'm hoping it'll be the answer for those 'I have no idea what to wear days.'

Flattering isn't the be all and end all.  It was this piece by Bethany that got me thinking, plus Roz's that mentions clothes-shaming.  A lot of us grew up watching Trinny & Susannah and having these style rules indoctrinated into our brains.  I can't be the only one who was obsessed with an elasticated waist belt, to try and mimic that hourglass figure?  Of course I have shapes I feel more comfortable in but I try not to let 'style rules' dictate what I wear and every so often I come across the perfect, shapeless thing that I just want to wear constantly.  In my opinion, as long as you have conviction, you can wear anything you want.

The fashion calendar is slowly evolving. I love the idea of Spring/Summer and Resort shows but in reality we're not going to be on a never-ending holiday.  We'll be on the Tube, trying to get through crowds and doing the same things we do for the rest of the year. With Burberry announcing that it's going to start aligning its catwalk shows with what's in store, I feel like transeasonal collections will become even more prominent. It does seem like certain clothing categories come into stores too early, then by the time it's suitable to wear them, the next season's arrived and all the old stuff is reduced and undesirable. This is great for me who loves a bargain, but I can't help wondering what the effect is on the wider industry.

If you thought this was TL:DR, I’m basically looking for statement pieces.  This could mean printed trousers, dresses that make me feel amazing because of some kickass embroidery and quirky knits.  There's a mixture of designer and High Street inspiration above, purely because it's nice to create a pretend shopping basket on the fancy sites every so often, just to get an idea of what you like, based on first impressions.  I have high hopes for ASOS, Warehouse, & Other Stories, Finery and French Connection this season.

my SS16 fashion inspiration
Sources 1, 2, 3, 4

I guess with London Fashion Week coming up, I've been thinking a lot about the way I used to dress.  On my first visit back in 2009, I forced myself to wear heels I couldn't really walk in, brought along my only designer bag (R.I.P Luella) and wore a blazer and bandage skirt combo as it seemed like the only smart option I had.  In the back of my mind I'd always hoped that I'd be snapped, as a kind of validation in a way but now I'm a lot more secure in myself as a person.  Don't get me wrong, I'll exaggerate my style a little, have a play around and borrow a few bits, but ultimately I'll still be myself rather than what I think I should be.  I have no idea what I'm doing but after re-reading one of my most popular posts from a few years ago, I hope to get across a true behind-the-scenes perspective and paint a broader image of the fashion industry.  Wish me luck!

Even more SS16 picks:

The 5 Websites I'm Currently Obsessed With

3 February 2016

The 5 Websites I'm Currently Obsessed With

IF You're Going To Procrastinate On The Internet...

I feel as if we've reached peak content right now. There was a period of time where I felt like I needed to read everything, see everything and be aware of everything.  I blame Google Reader, somehow I used to consume The Cut, Fashionista and even Jezebel as well as a gazillion different blogs every single day.  When that closed, I'd constantly be scrolling through Twitter and Bloglovin, trying to make sure that I was aware of as much as possible.  In the past year or so, I've noticed myself trying to simplify things a little.  I'm not saying that I'm anti-content per se but I prefer to keep the sites a bit more focused and keep any 'hate-reading' to a minimum.  I know I won't see absolutely everything but that's okay, since I now feel like I end up seeing the things that I'm meant to anyway.  It's almost as if I'll go onto Twitter when I'm having a bad day and someone will retweet the right article at just the right time.  Since we're all busy people, I thought I'd highlight out a few of my favourite Internet reads that I'll always try and make time for, whether it's on a daily basis or on a lazy Sunday afternoon.     

The Lifestyle Edit

I think the most useful thing in today's Instagram obsessed world, is knowing how people got to where they are.  That's why I'm obsessed with the Career Talk section of The Lifestyle Edit in particular, you're able to find out the journey some seriously successful women took towards their current roles and realise that there's a lot of hard work involved.  It's an inspiring read that celebrates women and is aspirational, without seeming alienating (I have no reason to buy Farrow & Ball paint but even I found this interesting).  I defy you to read it and not want to shake up any dodgy employment situations, asap.

The Pool

It's nice to read something online that's on your side.  After meeting editor Sam Baker whilst on my Blogtacular panel and hearing what led her to start The Pool, it's now become one of my favourite sites to dip into every so often.  It's handy as it estimates how long it'll take you to read a particular article (I pride myself on beating this), so you can fit articles into a short lunch break or procrastination stint.  There's a real mixture of stories that you can cherry-pick from depending on your mood and it has an honest, relatable tone of voice.  The recipes look good too.

Black Ballad

One site that has been sharing the diverse experiences of black women, way before the #BlackGirlMagic hashtag is Black Ballad.  I guess the aftershocks of my great 2013 quarter-life crisis have led me to think a lot about race, primarily how I navigated my identity growing up and how I feel about it now with the Oscars shining a light on a major diversity issue.  I can relate to much of the site personally and I hope that by sharing it here, it can lead those of you from different racial backgrounds to gain a greater level of understanding.  This site gets across the complexity of the Black British experience, breaking down stereotypes and causing discussion on anything from mental health to natural hair festival tips.  It also highlights amazing women who have started businesses, co-founded orchestras and made history on British television.  Founder Tobi Oredein has also written for Buzzfeed and The Independent.

The Debrief

This site is basically inside my brain.  From their changing room selfies (I pop up from time to time), to their articles about embarrassing body hair, The Debrief isn't afraid to talk about the things that make you uncomfortable but are just a fact of life.  It reassures you that being in your late twenties without the foggiest as to what you are doing is okay, but also shows you others who have used that uncertainty to propel themselves forward.  Think of it as a millennial sort of therapy service, guiding you towards the right thing for your own personal situation rather than what worked for someone else.  

The Business Of Fashion

This is the one e-mail I have to open without fail every morning.  It's been amazing to see the Business of Fashion grow over the years into an indispensable information resource.  It's not afraid to cover controversial topics within the industry and add some broader context, dismissing anyone who thinks that it's all just a frivolous pastime.  It all comes down to the numbers and it's interesting to read analysis on the trajectory of well known brands.   The Daily Digest is also useful, aggregating relevant articles from all over the web and giving an insight into anything from factory conditions abroad, to the secret world of couture.

The 5 Websites I'm Currently Obsessed With

So there you have it, a pretty varied list of reads, which range from light-hearted to extremely thought-provoking.  It's a really interesting time for media right now and perhaps rather telling that I tend to consume a lot of wordy, super-relatable, think-pieces online rather than in print.  Let me know any of your favourite sites and whether your reading habits have changed over the years.  I obviously got sucked into the allure of Twitter whilst writing the above lines...