Outfits

Three Budget Outfits To Take You Through Spring Summer

Posted on 5 min read
Hello, hello! It’s been a while hasn’t it? Two whole months ago, in fact. I feel like I left abruptly on a heavy note but I assure you it wasn’t intentional. What with the whole scandal involving the infamous theme provider, the convoluted redesign of my blog that provoked more pandemonium than it did pleasure, and my living life in the fast lane (that’s right, I actually have a life and a stable work from home job, now) it’s all been a pretty chaotic several weeks, We’ve had Spring roll in faster than a fascist scampering down the street douched in milkshake, a hint of Summer along the way, and then an unsettled in-between which has left me scrutinising my wardrobe like The Grinch, his dressing debacle, and the scheduled staring into the abyss.

That’s not the only thing uninspired, however. My natural sartorial senses have been wavering but my writers motivation has been fatally struck by a sledge hammer of imposter syndrome. I feel as though I’ve lost my way. Putting fingers to keyboard letters feels foreign. It’s been so long since I crafted a blog post that my brain’s merged together to form nothing but gobbledegook. Never the less, there’s nothing quite like a brief styling guide to help me slide back on the wagon without impending dynamite on the track line following behind. Revisiting my old posts during my overhaul left me questioning my status in the modern blogosphere. Circa 2013-16 was cringe worthy levels of crap and had me wishing I could eradicate the lot and start afresh. Take the substandard quality and modify it to glossy, refined, coffee-table magazine level of attention grabber. And that’s what I intend on bringing to the table in this update. Starting with going back to my routes, incorporating more (note: better) style posts over on this creative space instead of solely debuting it over on my Insta. Reduced resolution doesn’t quite have the same effect and you all know how much I love my words…

girl stationary posed direct at the camera in polka dot mini Spring Summer dress with belt
girl holding on to belt modelling a Spring Summer polka dot dress

DRESS – C/O EVERYTHING 5 POUNDS, BELT & EARRINGS – PRIMARK, SHOES – LAST YEAR H&M, HAIR CLIP – EBAY

girl with hands behind back posing in a Spring Summer polka dot dress

Let’s start with the essential mini dress* shall we?! With its straight silhouette, stretchy fit and dreamy double print it’s the all duty Spring Summer dress that’ll do the job come rain or shine.
The polka dot love affair doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon and I ain’t the slightest bit mad about it. Having two kinds of bespattered spots to choose from is bound to make the hazy mist haunting your inner wardrobe choices scour because nothing says buh-bye style rut than fun times two.
I’m totally obsessed with the pop of navy against the solid white and how the change in speckle size compliment against each other. The flattering square neck, ruched sleeves, and frilled bottom is the final piece of the flirty meets chic puzzle. It’s the staple, simple, show off, Spring Summer dress we all need to whip out when we want to make an effort without really thinking about it.
As for styling, I obviously opted for throwing in some more circle shaped accessories with some more contrast because too many tones and textures just doesn’t exist in my world. A pair of slip-ons alone is suitable enough for a pleasant, sunny day but if there’s a brief chill in the air then it’s as easy enough to chuck on a boxy jacket and conceal the bare legs with some knee highs. To say you’ll only be breaking the bank with a fiver, there’s a real budding future for this little number.

girl holding on to belt modelling a Spring Summer polka dot dress against blue backdrop
girl holding bottom of Spring Summer polka dot dress whilst looking at the camera
girl with hands behind back showing off Spring Summer polka dot dress
girl in Spring Summer polka dot dress posing whilst looking on to the side


girl stood on cobbled street showing off spring summer outfit
walking shot of girl on cobbled street showing off spring summer outfit

JACKET & BAG – C/O EVERYTHING 5 POUNDS, TOP – & OTHER STORIES, SKIRT – NASTY GAL, BOOTS – EBAY

girl wearing tiger embroidered jacket, denim skirt, and squiggle top aka spring summer outfit

Next on the Spring Summer schedule and moving down on the temperature scale is a go to outfit that equips you practically and contemporarily. I knew as soon as I took one glimpse at this Kenzo inspired beauty* I wanted to layer it with a funky retro print and some basic denim. I could have switched the skirt for my favourite jeans (which are far and few in-between let me tell you) but for those Spring Summer in-between days, it’s the perfect chance to reveal those pasty knees.

This jacket is one of those superior finisher pieces which is light enough to prevent sweltering and .dense enough to stop you from catching a cold. Casual but with a twist. Contrast lining with the most delightful embroidery. It’s actually different to any colour I’d go for – darker and rustier – but I’m very much digging the brown-ish khaki. The golden warm tones even mixed with a lighter tan shade on the handbag strap making the outfit just fall into place so naturally – and it fast become an ensemble I’d frame on the mantelpiece.

With squiggles, stripes and all things nice, it’s the sort of seamless combination I’d wear for a casual Spring Summer do; either out shopping or for a few drinks or just for a quick dash around town marvelling in the fact you know you’re owning that out of office trend. Totally durable and seasonally appropriate; one of those outfits I’d always find myself going back to. Like the snaky ex I never had.

close up shot of girl in spring summer tiger jacket looking off to side

girl stood on cobbled street showing off spring summer outfit

 

 

 

 

girl stood on cobbled street showing off spring summer outfit

low angle shot of girl wearing spring summer khaki tiger jacket with round striped bag

girl stood on cobbled street showing off spring summer outfit
close up shot of girl stood on cobbled street showing off spring summer outfit
girl stood on cobbled street showing off spring summer outfit holding jacket between hands


full length shot of girl stood against wall mural in check jacket star flares spring summer outfit
full length shot of girl stood near wall mural in check jacket star flares spring summer outfit

TRENCH – C/O EVERYTHING 5 POUNDS, FLARES – NASTY GAL, POLO NECK – FREE PEOPLE, BOOTS – OLD PRIMARK, NECKLACES – ASOS

close up shot of girl in pink polo neck and spring summer check trench jacket

Now we’re moving in to the “by gum it’s breezy, can you believe this time last week it was 20 degrees and now it’s 13” bog-standard Brit territory. I always consider a trusty trench coat* the meeting halfway recipe to balance. The delicate material leaves room for any sweaters to go underneath or you can just leave it as it is; protective on the surface, multifaceted, and a hella outerwear icon.
It’s common knowledge I’m partial to a dramatic print clash that I never thought I’d pull off in the past. Truth is, to the flavourless strangers  I probably still don’t but to me; what matters is I now dress as my heart desires and that’s to be intrepidly loud and bold and typically a little bit 70s. (And nothing says 70s like a plum check explosion and some star flares.)
This is one of those jackets that can be styled as plainly or as wild as you’d like. Cinched at the waist with a tie belt so you can alter it to your level of loose. An everyday garment that jazzes up achromatic shades and when paired with a variety pack of pinks quite surprisingly works out as the envisioned masterpiece. Ankle boots carry you through all year round and these pointed magenta beauties are the ones I always go to when I want to conquer that completed costume. If I must say so myself, a job well done. If you want to nail the covered up Spring Summer outfit – I gotchu.

full length shot of girl stood sideways at wall mural in check jacket star flares spring summer outfit

girl stood posing in spring summer pink check trench jacket and star flares
girl stood in spring summer pink check trench jacket squinting from the sun

girl stood in spring summer pink checked trench jacket with sun shining

close up shot of girl against wall mural in spring summer pink checked jacket

full length shot of girl against wall mural in check jacket star flares spring summer outfit with leg lifted
What’s your favourite?

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2018: my yearly recap and how I’m stepping into 2019

Posted on 12 min read

2018. It’s been a funny old year. In January’s reflective post I had an intuition 2018 would be the year of good fortune but I was wrong, as per. I made a real effort to follow the purposeful plan I’d set out for myself, the objectives, the testimonies, and the life mantras, but a couple of weeks down the line and I found myself having to force it.

As the years go by, the less I want to spend hours typing out a lengthy post that fits the ‘new year, new me’ culture. The less I want to blend in with the crowd and start laying out all these romanticised, stilted statements declaring I’m going to become a completely different person and remain nothing but upbeat and positive because in reality, that isn’t reachable for someone like me. I’d very much like it to be. That’s probably why I assertively tell myself and get it down in writing; but if there’s one thing I’ve executed this year it’s unfeigned honesty and direct gospel – through the ebb and flow – and that’s what I’d like to carry on persisting with.

So, instead of railroading my way through another bittersweet year flying by and another unpredictable one open to possibility on the horizon, I’m reviewing and I’m reflecting.

2018. It’s tested me but it’s also opened my eyes and taught me valuable lessons. I’ve seen true colours. I’ve lost respect for people I thought I’d hold on a pedestal for a long time to come. I’ve become wary and had a downfall of trust. I’ve fortuitously fallen out of love with things that once meant the world to me, things that once played the chief role in my happiness. I’ve wobbled and I’ve won. I’ve been intentionally hurt and knocked down. I’ve given in to people trying to break me. I’ve been at my all time low. I’ve been surrounded by so many anxieties and worries about the here and now and the future; tons of questions and realisations that leave me sad. I haven’t felt like myself. I’ve been lost and lonely and weak and unsure. I’ve still been battling with no fixed outcome daily.

But I’ve also been strong. Resourceful, empathetic, compassionate, driven, open, passionate, liberal. I’ve laid my struggles and self-hood out on a plate and taken that risk of people being able to target every little component of my life – but it’s paid off. I’m using my personal experiences to achieve, inform, and impel. I’ve read more. Educated myself more. Listened to more music. Listened to more people. Been more vocal. For most of the year I’ve spoke as an advocate for those most oppressed in society and especially the disabled/chronic pain community. That honest mindset has given me an understanding of who I am and what I stand for. Allowed me to feel empowered and unstoppable and in turn it’s worked in my favour.

I’ve witnessed karma first hand. I’ve recognised what is toxic, that there’s a difference between what you want and what you need. I’ve learned that walking away from someone and/or something that had a hold on you, so much so that you lost sight of what’s important and what you yourself are made up of, can be liberating and free and leave you in a newfangled sense of peace. I’ve also learned that it’s OK to let said people go because all-sorts of folk will come and go in life – whether they’re meant to be temporary or permanent. I’ve moved on. I’ve focused on myself and my dreams and my personality. I’ve cemented friendships with an even more resolute connection. I’ve appreciated how blessed I am to have such an incredible network of people around me who are patient, understanding, and accepting. And I’ve proudly said; you know what? I’m a pretty sound human and I aim to continue improving on that.

 

 

It was probably just a few weeks into January when I realised the year of 2018 was just going to be as shite as the rest but actually, that’s my pessimism demonstrating its demons. Looking back there has actually been a fair few stand out moments and that’s what I love about reflecting on the past year, you find positivity you failed to see before.

I’ll definitely be orchestrating a photo-focused round up in my insta stories in the next couple of days before the clock strikes midnight, the fireworks are lit, and the party induced fun and frolics are reinforced to the limit on the 31st, but a quick summary of all the good bits of 2018 worth raving about is something I wanted to report in my 2018 synopsis.

The year started off amazingly as I attended my first Blog At The Beach and subsequently went and won myself a trip to Paris. PARIS. Bloody Paris! The place I’ve been fantasising about visiting since forever. I then headed off with my sidekick (aka mum) at the end of July in a sweltering heatwave and had the most mesmerising time which I’d do anything to relive! I landed myself some fab collaborations both on social media and my blog, working with some amazing brands; most notably Pretty Little Thing, Warehouse, Nomination Italy, Victoria Leeds, and Beauty Bay. I attended numerous events and restaurant reviews. I’ve been slowly but steadily growing a business I intend to aim towards skyrocketing to its prime in 2019! I got my first freelance writing gig and composed from the heart. I got another job from home as an online stylist (the platform’s currently being relaunched so that’s something I’ll be getting to grips with in the new year!) I featured in news articles, magazines, documentaries, and have spoken to media outlets about my story – pushed myself to face my fear and anxiety of phone calls and told my story. I raised £500 for The Stroke Association – a charity I’ve doubled my support and unification for, this year.

 

I’ve seen three of my favourite artists live and bought tickets for three more (speaking of which, The 1975 hold the album of the year title! Modernity has definitely failed me and I can’t wait to yell the Love It If We Made It bridge at my loudest next month.) I went on my second girls holiday to gorgeous Gran Canaria, had no recollection of sleeping four in a bed, slow danced to a Whitney Houston tribute, laughed until we cried, and loved it so much we booked to go back to the same place again. I had the most unbeatable summer fuelled with football fever and red hot sunshine I never thought I’d have. And, most weighty and progressive for me and my self-doubt and consciousness, began to debut my face and my voice via video – opening up new doors and using this to engage fully with my audience. Testing the waters. Experimenting. Constantly wanting to strive for content both you and I enjoy!

It’s been a mixed 2018. Hard to deal with for the majority, but full of memories to treasure. A real whirlwind of emotions but emotions I’ve been able to release; be more comfortable in talking about and revealing to the world. Often it’s felt like I’ve felt so much at once and yet nothing at all. Hollow and dead inside but about ready to burst with apprehension and overpowering, loud energy. The main point is, I can take the good days with the bad and share that publicly and that’s what I aim to carry on doing. The less alienated I’ll feel, and the more adjoined I’ll feel to you lovely lot.

 

Although I’ve promised myself no resolutions, no strict goals, no ridiculous, unreachable aspirations, I still want to go into 2019 working on myself and myself first and foremost. There’s five key methods I want to implement into my mentality.

  1. Stop trying to compete with the same. I feel like 2018 has consisted of me being so caught in trying to be I neglected the letting me be. I want to properly drill it into myself that I’ll never be the 100k photo perfected superior kind of blogger but that doesn’t have to be a downfall. The complete opposite, in fact. I have my own individual quirks and ways of documenting my creativity and if I concentrate on that alone it’s bound to be beneficial.  I want to try and switch off from the intensity and pressures of social media whilst still being interactive, sort of discovering that balance. My attitude is to strive to work for something bigger for myself; instead of trying to conform within someone else’s world, I want to mould my own. After all, no-one really cares if I disappear. Nobody notices or reaches out or will be missing my posts. It doesn’t shake them or knock their routine. That’s why I need to stop trying so hard to please other people with what I produce and stop seeking validation that isn’t going to be instrumental for me on a long term basis.
  2. Be responsible for my own happiness and well-being. Staying with social media; I pledge to make my feeds a safe haven. Block and mute stuff that makes me uncomfortable and leaves me with dread, anger, and anguish – because boy has 2018 been full of those. The internet has been heavy and hard to handle this year. People seem to have gotten more disrespectful and unnecessarily horrible and in turn 2018 has definitely made me more perceptive of what affects me and I want and need to keep that ongoing. I often tell myself as long as I’ve grown as a person it doesn’t matter that nothing’s changed but the end of 2018 going into 2019 is and is going to be the turning point and the ultimate breakthrough. Nothing’s changed because I’ve not allowed it to. I’ve stayed in my safe, comfort zone and only stepped out of it a couple of times that I breathed a sigh of relief over when it was done with. Next year I want to outdo myself, shock myself with how adventurous I’ve been, to explore outside my usual endeavours. No more getting lost in imagination, more acting on it. I am the motivator for change; for my general wellness, my mental health, my peace of mind, my stability, my fulfilment, my thrills and my contented pleasures. Relying on others and fantasies to form my own happiness is unhealthy. I’ve already kick-started the process but I am erasing the concept of depending on people that don’t even care about my existence, and hyper-focusing on situations that last only a day before reality hits again. Finding and creating self happiness is hard but doable and I’ve taken the first step by admitting I need help and support via therapy. It’s not going to come to me, I have to make it happen, and I’m excited about and eager to see what’s going to come next with the right guidance and stance!
  3. Construct confidence and self-worth. I’ve shed light on this subject a couple of times. In a blog post at the start of the year and on a recent insta post inspired by Paige’s #ChristmasConfidence campaign. I wrote what was close to a heartfelt essay about the functions of my brain. How no matter what people say otherwise, it will always tell me I’m a useless waste of oxygen, that the reflection I see is ugly, too flabby, not fit to society’s standards. I spoke about not wanting to be so wrapped up in the negatives as I exit 2018. I don’t want to fake my confidence with a false poise. I don’t want to be scrutinising myself with every photo I take and every outfit I try on. I don’t want to set myself diet and fitness goals and only then allow myself to feel hot. I want to embrace my flaws, accept what cannot be changed, and what makes me the person I am. There’s three aims I intend on epitomising: stop doubting myself, give time for myself, and love myself – because what is meant for me will be mine.
  4. Chase that development. I want to chase the gains on my hopeful career ladder but I also want to chase the curiosity and the ambition and the impulse and the passion. Think outside the box, up my creativity and revolutionise my ideas, really get to grips with what I want to convey in my niche and focus on a day by day approach with origination and blossoming trailing behind at full speed. Put my heart and soul into ventures and projects. Put even greater time and effort in and hopefully – fingers crossed – notice the results come this time next year!
  5. Leave behind what isn’t good for me. Not just the trivial things that I really shouldn’t get myself stressed and worked up over but the way people treat me and respond to me as an individual. Less worrying but also less being a pushover. I’m not begging anyone to stay or saving space for people who can’t be bothered or show no interest in me. My circle of people who matter is small but balls to being afraid to cut people out if they show signs of lying and manipulating and being passive-aggressive in the way they behave around me. It’s okay to put myself first because this is my life, my heart, my mind, my body, my beliefs, my thoughts, my feelings, my cause, my existence. I am unapologetically me and I don’t need vindication from anyone but myself.

All in all, the underlying sentiment is that the more the years go on and the older I get, the more I am determined to become better, more aware and receptive. There’s a quote by Denzel Washington I like to always look back on when I need a reminder that being a good person gets you to where you want to be and always sits at the number one spot when life is playing out around you.

“At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished it’s about who you’ve lifted up who you’ve made better it’s about what you’ve given back.” 

2018 has definitely been that kind of year and 2019 will take that notion by the hand and lead it further forward. With blips and woes but with perseverance and power!

Now, it probably wasn’t the wisest idea writing this hefty, deep, digestive post in the weird wilderness period between Christmas and New Year when we’re all delusional as to what day we’re on, who we are, and what we’re supposed to be doing. Being the least impressive and most unattractive version of ourselves. Falling into an abyss of endless food and sleepiness, made up of 90% chocolate and 10% indigestion.

I’m currently there. It took a metaphorical slap to the face to get me shifted off the sofa I’ve melted in to since Christmas Day and get sat down to express all the internalised conflict 2018 has shifted upon me. It doesn’t help that a massive flare up of chronic pain has inevitably occurred after having a lot of bonkers fun and that’s tied me down. But writing this has proved it doesn’t have to have me entirely in a choke-hold and I do actually feel pretty damn cleansed nearly 3000 words down. Exhausted and my hand in agony, but cleansed.

These few days are where it’s okay to take time off and strive to do absolutely nothing but it’s more than okay if you want to follow in my footsteps. Just saying.

 

 

I peaked early because I’m heading off to the East Midlands tomorrow morning for a family break to a tranquil country park in joint celebrations of my mum’s 50th and new year’s eve. I’m staying in a caravan meets lodge, with the most snazzy design, a hot tub, and a TV above the bath. Spending three days there, seeing 2018 out and welcoming 2019 in is just what the soul requires. Reconnecting with natural nature, winter walks along the lake, chilled evenings, more scrumptious food, getting dolled up for the new year shenanigans, forgetting about every errand and problem 2018 appended on me for a short while, and not feeling as though I’m obliged to do anything but draw a blank. It’s going to do me the world of good leaving 2018 behind and starting the new year in another place – a peaceful setting at that – I feel it in my bones, and I hope this time I’m right.

If you’ve got to the end of this mammoth post then, congratulations. I applaud you. I also hope you’ve had a brilliant Christmas and end 2018 with a bang (take that how you want.)

I’ll be signing off until regular schedule begins, now, but will more than likely be still posting bits and bobs over on Instagram over the weekend. I hope you’ve had the chance to rest and retreat and come back afresh with new inspiration and ideas. I definitely have and you should start to see me implementing them as soon as I properly get the concept into gear.

And last of all, THANK YOU. Every sign of support from my small but mighty bunch of readers has kept me going this year. The compliments, the feedback, the likes, the messages, the praises, the invites. Knowing I have those dedicated readers with me every step of the way on my turbulent journey, even through the rejections and the lows, is why I do this and is why I’m always striving for excellence. I hope 2019 brings you everything you wish for and every inch of contentment and feeling of success, enthusiasm, and purpose you’ve brought me!

Lots of love,

Bridie xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

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Halloween: The Three Way Glam Way

Posted on 4 min read

Halloween. AKA, the most wonderful time of the year.

Forget tinsel and twinkling lights when pumpkins and eerie nights exist. I don’t think there’s anything more fulfilling than that spooky, cosy feel; a few candles lit tucking into the sweet bowl with some mediocre horror movie playing in the background. Or, the alternate option –  going all out, metaphorically and literally.

Last year I talked you through a glitzy makeup tutorial – the look I opted for as I headed off to an actual Halloween celebratory occasion – and this year I’m about to do the same but in the form of a trio of possible events adulthood fetches on that last October day.

The versatility of Halloween is what I love the most. It’s just one day on the calendar yet there’s so much to get involved in and no matter what the heathens say, you’re never too old to have as much fun as your haunted heart desires. Whether you’re choosing to have a night in, heading out trick or treating with your younger sibs, attending a party, or creating your own get together and using it as a perfect excuse to get drunk – there’s high spirits all round (pun definitely intended).

The artistic and imaginative side of Halloween is also one of the best elements, in my eyes. Shopping for Halloween gear even if I’m not actually doing anything is one of my favourite pastimes because there’s just so much possibility and potential. Spend a tenner on a couple of cosmetics, some jewels, and stickers, and you have a whole guise to work with. Spend even less on some supermarket bought items and your gory, ghastly look is ready to go.

Ugly or glam, diva or deadly, it’s all there to choose. And for a gal who appreciates any reason to dress up, of course I’m going to make the most of dramatising and vamping up to full effect (pun certainly intended, again).

Doing Halloween the glam way is actually pretty easy to achieve and my crafted costumes have been made even easier with PLT‘s epic collection. From killer dresses, to staple basics and fright night accessories, what PrettyLittleThing have to offer fits my idea of bewitched style Halloween shindigs.

 

 

You May Go To The Ball

First up, there’s the event that was at the top of my list. A ceremony, a gala, a ball. I was a guest at a charity Halloween ball a couple of years back and it was honestly one of the best nights of my life.

The formal grooming is so enjoyable you can’t help but embrace the elation. Picking out your dream dress, fancifying your makeup to the extreme, thinking glitter, sparkle, diamonds, vivid colours, and jewellery; piecing it all together to create a masterpiece you feel a million dollars in.

This gorgeous gothic dress did just that. It was the classiest I ever felt, yet I still pass as Halloween appropriate. Arriving to the red carpet in a gown adorned with lace and ruffle and a silhouette that turns heads is bound to be the ultimate Halloween winner. Belle of the ball personified.

 

Til Death Do Us Party

Secondly, it’s time to up the exposure if a posh party is on the agenda. What a better way to show off your best assets than a skimpy but sexy dress. Think Mean Girls level of outfit competition, except there’s no qualms you’re the one slaying the rest.

Not that you have to be head to head with your friends, of course. This statement LBD is the quintessential get-up to pull from your wardrobe in time for social gatherings on the fallen Halloween weekend. One that you can feel like a queen in and one that you can make more haunted than hot by throwing in some creepy embellishments. Strutting along with your girl gang who have deliberately paired with your attire is guaranteed to grant you the popular honour.

And if you can’t release the puppies on Halloween, then when can you?!

 

 

 

 

No Tricks Just Treats

Last but not least, there’s the generically glam outfit, the one that can be worn with versatility whatever you have planned. A sassy novelty slogan bodysuit teamed with some plain black cycling shorts always does the trick. It widens the Halloween horizons because if you stick to plain and simple, you can rock it however you want to and wherever your imagination takes you.

A devil is pretty common but a devil with heavy hues of red on the eyes and streaks of blood running down the face?? Now you’re talking. Add in some matching tall court shoes to elongate the leg and you’re championing the uptown girl vibe.

So, whether you’re just venturing around the corner in your local area, rolling up to a house party, or spending time with your family – character glam is where it’s at!

*This post is in collaboration with PLT. Items were gifted but all words and images my own. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

 

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AD | Three Jumpsuits To Take You Through Summer

Posted on 4 min read

Back at the beginning of the year, I spoke about wanting to concentrate on the basics of blogging. Tone it down, stick to what I do best, just remain typically authentic – and if today’s chatting-non-stop-about-fashion post doesn’t stick to that consensus then I don’t know what will. Jumpsuits. My holy grail. My secret to nailing a killer outfit come rain or shine, casj or preened, quirky or simple; an all in one really does broaden the horizon in the sartorial storybook. Anyone who knows me will know how much I rely on jumpsuits to feel like I’ve captured the canvas of my style personality in just one solid zip up or fasten of a few buttons! I feel like it’s a topic in which I could ace an exam in. In fact, I could candidly talk about why they’re my favourite outfit choice no matter what the occasion for as long as my rambles would take me. So, with my summer holiday approaching I wanted to rave about them to an even bigger extent.

When I start my vacay shopping I instantly head to the jumpsuit and playsuit section because A) it’s my precedence and B) I know that’s what I’ll feel most comfortable and kick ass in. To me, a holiday playsuit is the answer to all suitcase loading challenges – light and airy, roomy but snug, and most importantly varied and versatile. From bold, edgy prints, vibrant all-over-colour, typical summery themes, and of course a diverse range of lengths, cuts, and patterns to suit your everyday and evening options. They have everything your tastes require!

First up in my trio of stellar staples is Warehouse‘s own polka dot number. I am living for polka dots right now, my entire holiday wardrobe is bordering on being all polka dot but I have absolutely no regrets.

There’s two pros here – a classic, modish silhouette that you never have to fear going out of style, and a lounge wide leg culotte to give your legs the freedom they need. The cinched waist and tie bow detailing means it’s flattering enough to rock with a pair of dressy heels and a clutch but works just as well as a laid back look. I went for a pair of flatforms and resin shaped earrings to create those ultra retro vibes and damn, did it work a treat. Effortless, comfortable, and easy to style – it’s the perfect jumpsuit to wear simultaneously on where your mind, your plans, and your summer destination takes you.

Secondly we have this gorgeous Missguided piece that just screams holiday. Palm tree print is an essential for those Club Tropicana vibes – stood beside the pool beneath the shadowy backdrops knowing full well you can make an entrance despite being slightly on the crisp side.

When I first saw this jumpsuit I thought sipping on cocktails on a glorious evening, strutting down the cultured streets with nothing but carefree smiles, and of course getting dolled up after a day of slobbing around in swimwear and dare say it… sweat. I paired this luxe garb with orange accessories – some pom pom earrings and timeless pointed block heels – to emphasise the boldness and the colour scheme. A glowing, golden tan would bring out the green hues and the low cut would allow you to show it off as much as you want. The elongating leg and the soft, breezy material is the final bonus to a jumpsuit that I don’t think you’d ever get bored of wearing!

Finally, we have a bandeau beauty that I’m fully certain is my soulmate. I ‘bobbed’ into New Look the other day and ended up falling in love which sounds about right for my clothing self control. Of course, I ended up buying it with my 20% birthday discount code, and specifically for my birthday shenanigans, and I can only describe it as the jumpsuit of my heavenly dreams. You bet it’s going everywhere with me from now on!

The contemporary gold double button is pure basic tailoring but though it doesn’t look much, it is the ultimate key to project glam – along with the basic black shade that can never fault you. It’s the sort of jumpsuit that you step in, fasten up, and instantly feel sexy in. It fits like an absolute glove, dipping in at the waist and then wavering out on the leg line meaning it lengthens the torso and makes you appear so much taller and slender.

Black isn’t your atypical colour to take abroad with you but for this it has to be an exception. I don’t think I’ve ever adored an article of clothing so much! I transformed from an insecure mouse to a solid sassy gal ready to partaaay in ten seconds – and it’s only going to be the same on a night out away when you have that excuse to go all out and feel your finest. The bandeau style and stretch fit allows your skin to breathe so you won’t be too hot (at least on the temperature scale) and it’s enough to take you all through the night – from food, to drinks, to watching your step as you roll in, in the early hours.

 

 

 

To take away from the all black I opted for a red ensemble – the most stunning shoes (that are a real Miu Miu dupe) and my trusty ball drop earrings. Couple up with a ruby red lip and you’re channelling your inner diva whilst winning from head to toe!

So, there you have it. Three jumpsuit designs for three separate summer occasions. Through the day, the early evening, and nighttime. Like I said, the optimal choice that is guaranteed to never let you down, no matter how you decide to delve into dressing!

Are you a jumpsuit worshipper?

 

 

*This is a collaborative post but all writing/opinions are my own

 

 

 

 

 

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Dressing For The Party Season All Year Round

Posted on 3 min read

If you were to search for the definition of my exterior in the dictionary then you’d find something like this:

“Average sorta girl with a more than average dress sense.”

Yes, I’m that person.

The one that everyone asks the infamous question of ‘why are you so dressed up?!’ to no matter what the occasion.

The one that has to clarify it’s just who I am.

The one that plans their outfit although all they’ve got on the agenda is a trip to their grandma’s house.

The known formal one amongst a friendship group.

The one that endorses suiting and booting to the extreme!

I am totally pro elegance and pro ample styling. I have the kick it up a notch kind of attitude when it comes to clothing choices because I feel two things; 1) that the way you present yourself really can speak for your personality in ways you don’t have to express with your mouth, and 2) it’s empowering, how a singular ensemble can harmonise the powerful feeling within; like you have your very own Audrey Hepburn sat on your shoulder whispering praise into your ear, lighting up your confidence like an ignited flame to the point you really can start to warm to both your external mirror image and internal guise.

 

That’s definitely how I felt when creating a killer combo with both these killer dresses kindly sent over to me from Tobi. The first was a glitzy sequin number*  that’s made purely to amplify your best assets, and the second a simple velvet floral print dress* that can be worn as it is or with layers underneath and above giving off those low key “I just threw this together and still look cool af” vibes.

I went for the latter, I eschewed the typical skin on show nightlife look and threw in a basic high neck, a black coat, and some fringed earrings to make it a more tailored day-to-night look. Complete juxtapose to the black sparkly attire, paired with my favourite coat, and also de-crossed to add definition to a bare neckline, but a direct complement towards the sort of person I am.

Dressing up your glam level is insatiable for me. I realise this every time I swap being a wallflower for being a sociable patron who’s delighted to leave their house (it’s becoming a more regular thing as I advance into my twenties and I’m both surprised and proud) especially in the past couple of days as I spent some time in London for the National Television Awards ceremony – parading around in my foil flared trousers with a low neck statement piece truly made me feel like ~the part~.

As the familiar feeling returns, so does my urge to shout from the rooftops about how you can rock whatever you feel your best in whether it fits in with your inferior schedule or not. Party or no party, if you excel in being daring and out there, if you want to test and trial, if you feel like putting on a pair of heels to head to your local newsagents, then go for it.

 

I mean, it’s not as though it’s a 24/7 thing (and even if it was, there’s still no rules or barriers there).

I can appreciate the fact there’s nothing more pleasing than sat at home in your comfy pyjamas with your feet up, veiled from the appearance you reveal daily, but I can also appreciate the fact when you dress to impress it really can create a bubble of bliss that you don’t get from anywhere else.

I love to just chill out, but I also love to think out of the box in my style tastes, and I really do believe I can fit the best of both worlds.

Personally, the motto “dress like you’re gonna blog about it” is a aphorism to live by.

 

*Items marked with a * were sent to me for review purposes. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

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Why I’m Learning To Love Myself and Embrace Self Confidence

Posted on 8 min read

I made a promised vow this year that I’m going to be kinder to myself and to swell my self confidence.

(The only vow I’ll make let’s be real with the speed of my non existent love life but as the saying goes… you have to love yourself first before loving someone else.)

The pledge hasn’t been entirely accomplished yet but we’re only 22 days in to January and it’s still a work in process. And as long as I remember to pinpoint where I’m going wrong, when I recognise self depreciation is clouding that self love, then I’m on the right track.

When I say embracing myself, I mean starting with the outer appearance before moving on to my inner struggles. If I started citing my derogatory thoughts on my self worth it’d dampen the mood immensely, and I want this to be a happy, elevating post! A pro-confidence, a mood booster, a ‘if you feel gorgeous, then flaunt it and remind yourself you deserve to feel great’ memo!

So I’m starting slow, taking little steps at a time.

Now, there’s two sides to me – the no makeup, unkempt hair, rocking the casual but often mistaken for a crisis in need look; then the ultra glamorous, up to an hour spent on perfecting the face and choosing the most showy outfit so I sass stroll down the high street like Bey kind of look.

Up to a couple of months ago, I could only appreciate one of those looks, and even then I would still turn my nose up scorning at a visible spot or a hair out of place, but now I’m putting my foot down and saying enough is enough. I’m here to cut back shaming my naturalness, my flaws, the part of my body and my face that I nitpick and disregard, and I’m switching my negative attitude into some refined praising.

The first step is being comfortable enough to go out in public with no makeup/the bare minimum. I’ve already grown to be more relaxed around this, which was the main issue I had with myself (past tense is the way forward!)

I can approach the public with just a tot of mascara on, I can give myself a nod of approval as I catch my naked face in the mirror, I can take photos without a scrap of makeup on, and most importantly I can shed away the anxieties I’ve always had with paranoia. Yes, I have acne scars on my face. Yes, I have suitcases under my eyes big enough to jet away on a 2 week holiday to the Bahamas. Yes, I look like a 12 year old child. Yes, my eyes are so big they almost appear sunken in with tiredness without any enhancement, but that’s not going to make the world tilt on its axis. People aren’t going to stare with disgust. Everyone is going to carry on as normal, and I’ll just be the person I was assigned to at birth; because after-all, if you can appreciate how cute you were as a child, then you can value the same-but-just matured face!

The second step is to not quash myself when I do feel good. I’m guilty of taking a selfie or polishing my pout after I accomplish my glam regime and initially thinking “YES! I’M KILLING IT!” only to go back on my word almost instantly because I’m finding faults, most of the time faults that aren’t even there. I have to live in the moment and stop sabotaging my inceptive thoughts.

If my highlight is popping, my hair is the desirable golden, and my outfit is both flattering and fitting, then I’m going to welcome it with open arms. I’m going to love myself loudly and proudly, I’m also going to post my face on social media for validation and confirmation that my judgement is right and I do look banging, but I am going to start the concept from within first. By means, it’ll take me a while to stop searching through photos and rejecting them as “ew!”, “nope”, “NOOOO”, but feeling fabulous is fun and it’s so beneficial to take a day off shaming yourself.

The third step is learning to accept compliments. Following on from step two, there’s no point me getting some well craved attention online to then dismiss everything people say to me with kindness and honesty, is there? If someone pays me a compliment, I do say thank you but also instantly decline it in my head because surely they’re just saying it to be fundamentally nice?

I hold my hands up to shooing a comment off shyly and modestly with my brain tearing me down and rebelling against any optimism and I don’t want to do that anymore. I have to listen and put those compliments into practice, because eventually they’ll play a part in me increasing that confidence I strive for.

The fourth step is brandishing my style. I spoke about finding my fashion pursuit and being in touch with my tastes in my recent reflective post and I want to keep up with that, to know what I want to wear, who I am, and what I represent.

Sure, I’m a little bit extra. My choices aren’t going to be relatable to those who prefer the basics, but that’s what makes me, me. I love to follow the trends but add my own unique aspect. I love to dress up wherever I go. I love to experiment and explore. I love to banish the thoughts of not being ~cool~ enough to pull something off, and just going for it. I love putting an outfit together and then thinking YASSSS.

Currently I’m obsessing over everything star print and with this Tie Front Blouse* from Tobi being the staple foundation to my winter astronomy themed outfit, I went the extra mile and layered a trio of stars from my head to midriff. Is it too much? Probably. Do I care? Nope. It was my ideal ensemble, the contrast of dark shades and intricate detailing. I felt sassy. Cold, but sassy. And that’s all that mattered.

The fifth step is coming to terms with my body. Mind, shape, skin, soul. This is at the forefront of my development, as I evolve into a person I’m proud to be. There’s nobody harsher on their body image than me. There’s times I’ve sat and cried, even when working hard to reach those desired standards but truthfully, you need to attain the body confidence before the body.

Bodies aren’t there to be repulsed, to be picked apart, to be mulled over, to exist solely to be altered. Your body is yours and yours only, there’s nobody else in the world with the same one. They’ve been through both adventures and grief and only you hold the attached memories on the journey its been on.

I’m so quick to dwell on the defects I can’t stand, but I forget how strong my body is and all that it’s endured – both good and bad.

Everything stands for something. All your features tell a story.

Those bags under your eyes? Late night laughter with friends. That bloated stomach? Indulging in a shit load of pizza in your happy space of films and comfort, stumbling in after a night on the town ordering a kebab and encountering those inevitable deep, drunk conversations that make the situation all the more special. Those legs you think are chunky? They’ve walked miles, carried you to your favourite places, allowed you to experience and breathe in the essence of life.

And that’s what life is about, that’s what you were put on earth for.

Sure, my hips are wider than I’d like them to be. My inner thighs touch. My belly is more round than hollow, especially after a carb heavy meal. My boobs are pretty much nonexistent. My bum is wobbly and covered in cellulite. My hands are tiny, my nails are short. My skin is overly oily, I have random dry patches, my torso is covered with moles, I have prominent scars, and stretch marks.

But, do you know what else? I still manage to wake up every morning with only half of that body functioning. My body has fought off mental and physical illness since I was a teenager with even less self-esteem. I am a survivor. A stroke survivor. I crashed to the bottom, and then rose to the top again. My brain has damage, my left side has a loss of feeling, my body withstands often intolerable chronic pain and yet I’m still able to hold my head up high, and I think that’s pretty amazing.

 

So, yes, I would like a flatter tummy, smaller thighs, toned abs, more of a cleavage, silky, smooth, long legs, a flawless complexion, tanned skin, a beautiful, straight, white, bright smile, and a perfectly symmetrical, womanly face. I’d love if my mind allowed me to rest, to stop thinking the worst, to stop killing my motivation, and to stop zapping me of energy. I’d love if I wasn’t exhausted after one simple job, or movement, and I’d much prefer a fully, working body but I’m embracing what I have.

My body has failed me at some hurdles, but it’s also wowed me. It’s let me down but it’s battled constantly. It’s allowed me to participate in nearly 25 years of wonderful worldliness and it’s reminded me every day that I am brave, one of a kind. That it isn’t an easy ride, and you can’t predict your fortune or your future. You just have to live for now. That turbulent relationship may have been rocky along the way, but there’s room to be calmer, more at peace, and towards the end you’ll realise it was worth it.

The sixth step is embracing them all. My insecurities, my vanity, my newfound confidence, and the things that spur on that radiance. What does give me confidence? A glowing tan, false lashes, a flowing dress that cinches in all the right places, a funky pair of heeled boots, a curly blow dry, some vivid lippy, being told I look pretty, the right lighting, exercise, and those moments I smile on the outside and inside.

From now on, I’m going to take all the efforts I put into hating myself, to transfer over to place utter focus on those steps I’m taking to love myself and to concentrate on what does make me feel great. I’m going to learn to love what I have, encompass my imperfections, my insecurities, and my flaws, and aim to become the paragon of virtue when it comes to erasing the idea that you can’t wholly champion your own persona.

You can, and you will!

Being your own enthusiast is bound to help in the long run. If you only talk about yourself as ugly and worthless, that’s how you’re going to feel about yourself. You’re going to be suffocating in self loathing and it’s really going to get in the way of your personal growth and the notion to building a healthier self image.

I am fed up of this nonsense and boring perspective from modern society, that self confidence instantly means arrogance and obnoxiousness, and that it’s a bad thing to love yourself. If you believe it, don’t hesitate in embracing it till your heart’s content. Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself, and not the idea of what you feel you have to be to make everybody love you.

As Carrie Bradshaw would say…

There’s no room for demons when you’re self possessed.

 

*Items marked with a * were sent to me for review purposes. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

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