It’s a Midi World

Scrolling through my Twitter feed, it's full of fashion related crap, celebrity news and I have to include other serious BBC updates to prove I'm a grown up. I can sometimes find myself immersed in politics and I think that's what gives me a minimal, conservative kind of style, or as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman said "boring". The fact that I'm a little older, little more grown up (but not that much, I'm still obsessed with Disney) a little rounder and more womanly, I don't feel like I can have a debate about the NHS in a baby pink mini skirt, it just doesn't seem right. I happened upon a post from Topshop, a little assortment of seasonal pieces befitting the current weather status and I wanted to buy it all! I've linked some of my favourites from my wish list.

Ruffle Mensy Trousers

Bridgeless Sunglasses

Denim Midi Skirt

My style in one word is 'covered'. Arms covered, boobs covered and legs covered at least to the knee. I don't want any of that on show for the world to see. In recent years that kind of style has crept back into fashion if it were gone only long enough for me to notice that I couldn't find anything I wanted to wear in stores for a while. I was a bit fed up with shopping. I used to find things that were long but had short arms, I found pencil skirts which were great but when I wanted another they were scarce, long sleeves but too short on the bottom. I almost lost hope until Topshop suddenly seemed to stock everything 'midi' length, WIN!

Wrap Dress

Red Shopper Bag

That is how it became my go-to store, that and the simplicity, plain things looked good (instead of cheap) like they never had done before. Some stores (I will not name here) went crazy with the patterns, animals prints and florals, you'd walk out seeing spots from the insult to your senses. Topshop was the direction I wanted to be headed, simple items as a base but also the occasional quirky piece that you seem to keep for years because it's fabulous!

Orion Cross Body Bag

Stripe Cropped Tee

Nude Heels

Midi, black+neutral, trousers and denim all the way!

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[images source: all images Topshop.com]

To Dress Or Not To Dress

According to Topshops size guide I have a size 12 bust with a size 14 waist and I’m in between size 16 and 18 hips. Err… what?!

Basically the website may as well prompt me when I click on the dresses section ‘no hope, don’t bother’. I love how easy dresses are but none of them fit me, it’s a fact I need to come to terms with.


So what is a girl to do when she is too small on the top and too big on the bottom for conventional clothes sizes? Not wear dresses I suppose, unless the 1950’s prom style suits and I don’t know about anyone else but I feel rather like a pleated teepee and I don’t like the fact that if you sit for too long you get to look like a creased trash bag for the rest of the day. There is very little choice around.

So, I’m thinking about this because I have to go to a wedding at the end of July that I’ve been trying to find a dress for since March and with just under 3 weeks to go, I’m quickly running out of time, and it doesn’t help that I don’t have time to physically shop, I have to order online which takes ten times as long.

I had been frantically checking cheaper high street stores first as it’s friends of my fiancé I didn’t really put too much value on my dress code. With these kind of weddings I tend to linger in the back ground because nobody really knows me that well so a plain dress from H&M wouldn’t have attracted any scrutiny. I couldn’t find anything that looked like it would accommodate my large hips and small shoulders so I gave up on that quite quickly and have now opted for a dress from my favourite. Topshop.


I’ve bought Broderie Midi Dress in a (coughs) 14 for £65 just now. I love the textures of it but unsure of the colour on me, but I feel that it’s outdoor wedding appropriate. I’m pairing it with these very open and airy Gold Leather Sandals (I’m a size 7, shhh) as I am so clumsy as it is and can’t be dealing with conquering the great outdoors with any kind of heel.


Wish me luck!

X

[all images from topshop.com]

My Zara Jacket vs. My Age

I look around at glamourously fashionable girls in the city centre, strolling along with bagels and fabulous hair. My fringe just whacked me in the eye. Hair bands suit me, better wearing one than constantly end up brushing your hair off your face until it looks greasy and gross. Hats too, they’re good for me and my obstreperous hair. It’s all about knowing what’s good for you. What suits you.

That being said, I cannot help sometimes being a little obstinate and buying things that I just plain want to buy. Mom jeans fall into this category spectacularly. I feel that I look dreadful in them, I’m not going to lie, I feel fat. With my already large legs, clothing them with jeans that do not flatter and/or suck everything in an inch or two does not do my self esteem much good. 

It was one of those things that I saw everyone wearing and thought, yes! I want to try those! And it took me such a long time to talk myself into buying them. I found a pair that looked great on a slim model and thought that maybe they wouldn’t look so bad. Real stiff denim I have established does my figure no favours but I’ve worn them so many times because they are so spacious. I’m conflicted with feeling awful and comfortable simultaneously.


They make me self conscious in my local shopping mall which I like to call ‘Marks & Spencer central’ because it’s full of middle-aged+ men and women dishing out the dirty looks when I walk by with my intentionally mis-matched handbag and shoes. It ruins fashion for me when so many people stare, nobody has said anything yet but there is always a chance of them picking up on my attempt to feign youth by following trends.

. . .

I put on a multi coloured Zara jacket, fished from the depths of the summery side of my wardrobe from a collection sourced during the dull winter, I felt fantastic! Combined with blue skinny jeans and a pale grey cami, I saw myself parading down the street swinging my handbag to the rhythm of my internal soundtrack (come on, we all have one) but just before I left the room, I changed for something understated and more suited to my age – what does that mean?


How old am I in fashion years and why do I feel afraid of wearing a colourful jacket?

I’m 29 in October and still feel as immature as a 19 year old me tottering around in heels and short skirts. It’s not fair for it to stop being acceptable for a person to wear what he or she wants to at whatever age without judgement, because in the confines of my bedroom I feel like I can take on the world and probably could if it would let me, but as I leave my confidence stays to hide in the wardrobe and leaves me defenceless.

I walked across a supermarket car park in ripped jeans once and the comments from the elderly would keep you awake at night. I couldn’t believe that so many sweet looking little old ladies had so many horrible words to say about jeans, what could they say about an experimental combination of colours fabricated in a vaguely artistic stupor, where my inspiration usually resides? A lot. So I wear what could be considered socially acceptable when really I want to fly out the door in a prom skirt with pink in my hair and run away to find some kindred spirits!

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Love Thy Sister

I was thirteen and just about coming to the end of my childish staring faze, you know the one that causes offence to anyone. When you’re a kid you stare, you just do, when you like something or when you find something unusual. You haven’t learned not to gawk at people and how rude and sometimes upsetting it can be to them. It used to be cute when you were really small, aw look, she’s trying to figure me out, bless.


So, one day I was shopping with my sister as usual, we were laughing and talking about everything as always. Harmless to anyone the both of us, having already gone through that awkward gothic stage and as a result less judgemental of any one who presented themselves differently. Mouth wide open mid cackle at a joke my sister made, I suddenly locked eyes with a beautiful girl… My gaze and laughter was received with an uncomfortable expression. I’m afraid I had accidentally offended her with no intention of doing so. She was a red headed stunner with a painted red lip, wearing an emerald green tailored jacket, I envied her model look and style, she was a vision. She was one of the first girls I found inspiring, this was a time when red lips weren’t so fashionable, it was all nude gloss and lilac eye shadow back then, so she truly did stand out!


I wish that I could’ve said to her then that I thought she looked amazing but unfortunately it’s not normal to do that and now I’m older I really don’t know why. I wish I could’ve boosted her confidence and reassured her that my laughter was not aimed at her but she was just that striking she caught my eye and I may have looked for longer than necessary. I’ve seen many women since who I’ve been itching to walk over to say that their shoes look fab or compliment their hair colour, because you don’t get much positivity from women for whatever reason, you see it so much in the celebrity world in particular those comments on Serena and her ‘man-ish’ figure that kept circulating, which of course were hurtful and plain f***ing stupid, she looks amazing in a dress! 


The Kardashian/Jenners get a lot of abuse and most supermodels with protruding hip bones. Recently I’ve seen trolling of a shocking nature on the social media accounts of my favourite bloggers that could leave permanent scars, especially the comments aimed at their children. Horrific.


Having looked at life from both sides (cue Joni Mitchell solo) and experienced hate from being different to a low level of jealousy from owning something enviable. I was educated on the suffragettes, I was raised to value and respect human life and although women may not be equal to men and will eternally fight that war, we damn well should at least be equal to each other and unite. Grab a paddle ladies and we’ll get out of this creek faster!

Happy Valentine’s Day

X

[image sources: Isla Fisher, howtobearedhead.com – Jennifer Lawrence, thebroccolijuice.tumblr.com – Serena Williams, bellanaija.com – Tippi Hedren, HBO.com]

Feeling Red


It’s February and I’m twitterpated with the colour red! 

My hair has an auburn tint that looks fab with a slick red lip. My new Topshop bell sleeved top from my previous post, next to my pale skin brightens up my winter blues. I’m truly feeling red this month, of course I have nothing in my boring wardrobe. 

I’m coveting a new colour palette and style in preparation for spring, reds with white or cream, tailored jackets, crisp lines, and retro cuts. I go through my fazes of classic style at least three times a year. 


It’s the time of year when, for some reason unbeknownst to me, in winter I get in the mood for black and white movies mainly from the fifties but I can bend to forties and sixties. My favourite movie of all time stars Audrey Hepburn demonstrating one of my favourite styles, a trench and LBD. Once watched I feel like reinventing myself every time. 

I get into these grungey periods with rough hair, jeans and a t-shirt and that’s my limbo between style and laziness but I’m getting right back on it now and the fashion is moving from constant sales of out of season stock to SS17.

Bring me spring!

X

[images: Vogue.co.uk – Selfridges.com]

I Fell In Love With The White Company

I find it funny how I’ve changed so much from a H&M loving poor student to a Selfridges shopper in a few short years. It’s not that I have a lot of money (I really don’t), I just don’t waste as much now as I used to. It was a dream of mine to be able to buy what I wanted (within reason) once I left my university debts behind and I feel like I’ve achieved that. I buy myself something major once a month and it keeps me happy, like a reward for living with just enough to get by for so long. Nothing flamboyant, always sensible but still in fashion so that I feel good about myself, because let’s face it we need to feel good about ourselves.

I fell for the ‘throw away fashion’ of a few years ago, buying armfuls of cheaply made clothing from a sweat shop outlet, I wasn’t too educated about their working conditions until much later but now I can barely bring myself to set foot in the store let alone buy anything, it’s like fur for me, it shouldn’t be made, or the workers should be respected and given adequate payment and conditions. I digress. 


I think working where I do has changed my perspective, I process a combination of cheaper made products and designer along side eachother, and you can see a clear difference in quality, so I started seeing clothing and accessories differently. No longer did I see that buying expensive items was superficial and unnecessary, I saw an extension of my mind, labelling myself as valuable instead of worthless, a way to show that I respect myself and my earnings.

A few days ago I placed an order on Selfridges.com for a White Company jumper dress and a Ted Baker handbag totalling £267. I felt awful when the payment went through as I don’t spend that much in one chunk I tend to spread it across the month, but now that they have arrived I feel I have two extremely good quality items and neither that I will wear only once. I couldn’t believe the feel of a wool and cashmere garment so much that I wondered into The White Company store in Grand Central Station. I saw the colour scheme, white, grey and black surrounded by natural wood decor with fragrance emanating from the candles and I fell head over heels for the quality and plain, classic style of everything. 


I had heard bloggers raving about it on YouTube but always thought it was for older classy, rich women, the kind with pure cotton bed sheets and specialist tea from Harrods, but really how silly do I feel? It can be for anyone, even if out of price range for some people their reductions during sales are extremely reasonable. I’m a happy little shopper.

Happy holidays to all and have a prosperous New Year.

X

[images 1&2: thewhitecompany.com, image 3: mine]

My Love For Topshop

I am a relentless self-shopper, I admit it. The high street is my happy place, I go there when I’m sad, when I’m happy, whenever I get paid, it’s the one place I can go and not feel silly walking around by myself. It’s my therapy, my self prescribed medication. I love having the activity afterwards of putting outfits together in order to make myself feel good inside.

When I was at University I had a student discount for hundreds of shops and I just got to like Topshop. Everything fit me and somehow everything went together. In the plain jeans I felt fashionable, and when you’re 19 living off a student loan, that is not easy to do. The prices go up all the time and fashion goes out of the window when you need to pay your rent and buy equipment for your course. They made it so easy to shop in one shop and have several outfits for the week!

My picks this week;

Trumpet Sleeve Top
Clean Rose Gold Watch
Embroidered Jamie Jeans

Prices nowadays don’t stop me strolling in there for my Jamie Jeans, my ballet flats and novelty sweatshirts because it’s always been my favourite. I call it high end high street, because a lot of people I meet wonder why I spend £40 on one pair of jeans but they don’t know the struggle of finding a pair that actually fits! 

This week I’ve been super naughty (considering that it’s Christmas and I should be buying presents for everyone else) and I’ve cheated on Topshop with late night online shopping on Selfridges.com.

I was sitting there, feeling my knuckles worked to the bone, and in a sad/happy kind of mood, I thought to myself I don’t have many things in life but I have what I need, so shouldn’t all the things I have be the best for me? It was an unfortunate mood to be in right after pay day but it resulted in a new handbag and jumper dress. My reasoning was that my ‘best’ large handbag (I have a ‘best’ small handbag too) is too heavy for my shoulder. I like to carry a lot of stuff around with me but I’m limited with my favourite bag because it’s heavy even when it’s empty. And of course I convinced myself that I wanted a jumper dress from The White Company because it was cashmere and in the sale!

Ted Baker Shoulder Bag

Afterwards I felt a little guilty spending money on myself on things that I don’t really need and vowed to only spend the rest of my  money this month on everyone else, the way it should be at Christmas time! As you can see I favour black. If I’m going to buy something expensive it has to be black to ensure I wear it to its limit of wearability.

Wool and Cashmere Blend Jumper Dress

I was considering how much stuff is really enough, after I pressed the pay button in PayPal and sold my soul to Selfridges. My sister and I often discuss our childhood and going without certain things, we were happy children, but you can’t help notice as a child the other children have considerably more. So, when we got our first jobs and our first pay slips that was what we both did, bought things for ourselves, because we could and we wanted to, except we never stopped even when the novelty wore off. Like an addiction we couldn’t shake.

When I have too much to squeeze into my little wardrobe I donate to charity, but as you look through at all the things you never wore or used it’s difficult not to feel dumb for buying them and wasting your money in the first place. We’ve all made those cheap Primark mistake buys just because it was £4, but it never fit and you never used it. That is my excuse for spending so much on so little, when you’ve spent £199 on a handbag you will wear it for at least 365 days.

[Images and links from Topshop.com & Selfridges.com]