The Importance of Shopping Sustainably and Independently

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a while now and have been really excited about it, hence me posting it in the middle of the week as a bit of a bonus post. The reason for this is the incredible top I am wearing in these photos. I picked it up at a store in the Gracia region of Barcelona, called the 8pm Store, conveniently situated just next to the apartment we were staying in, off my cousins recommendation. The 8pm Store is an independent concept, fashion store, stocking clothes all of which have been designed sustainably in Barcelona as well as an art exhibition. The clothing in the store was so cool and being in the store itself was an amazing experience. Plus, the owner was so friendly, explaining to me more about the idea and logistics behind the store, also gifting me a free postcard from their last exhibition, which was such a nice touch and really made me feel happy for the rest of the day.

This experience got me thinking about why it is so important to support independent fashion. I would never have had an experience like that in a high-street store and because fashion is a really creative thing for me, it’s so inspiring to have a shopping experience like I did in The 8pm Store. Another really great shopping experience I had was also on my travels this year back in March when I went to Edinburgh at Armstrongs Vintage. I was also recommended to this shop by a friend, this is definitely the best way to find places to go when travelling from my experience, and it was probably (definitely) the best vintage shop I’ve ever been to. It was huge and the choice was incredible, from costume dress to the most incredible vintage denim. This is where I picked up the jeans I’m wearing in this photo, they’re by YSL and cost me a mere £20. I have pretty much always been looking for the perfect pair of white jeans and these are them. I had to get them taken up, which wasn’t expensive, but altering is definitely always worth it as a piece that fits you properly will mean you want to wear it more often and longer.

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

I realise I’ve spent the first half of this post gushing over these two shops, they’re seriously worth the fangirling though, so I’m going to move on to what this post is actually about, why shopping sustainably and independently is important. We all know the horrors of fast-fashion, from horrendous factory conditions to the colossal environmental effect, so I’m not going to guilt-trip you with any statistics. Especially because I still very much buy clothes from fast fashion retailers, it’s the most convenient and affordable way to shop and as much I’ve tried to avoid it, I just can’t at the moment, partly because financial reasons and partly because of selfish ones. So, instead, I’m making a conscious effort to support sustainable and independent shops and brands more often as well.

The most expensive sustainable fashion tends to be the brands who have built themselves on this ethos because it’s expensive being ethical in every single way and that’s just the way it is. I’m talking about the likes of Reformation and Everlane. The 8pm Store falls into this category of store though and although it’s more expensive than your average high-street store, it’s still really affordable. The top I’m wearing in this photo, which is handmade and of incredible quality, cost me between €35-40 (I can’t remember the exact amount), which is definitely more than I would spend on a piece like this at a high-street store. But I was willing to pay not only for this top that I love, but for the experience of being in the shop and the sustainablity behind the piece. This is something that can be hard to take into account when you put a similar piece from an independent, sustainable designer next to a Topshop piece for a fraction of the piece but I personally think, if you’re able to, it’s 100% worth supporting the former for the reasons I’ve just mentioned.

However, most of the time I’m just not able to buy expensive pieces, which often means I resort to the high-street. But another option is something that I love and have found some of my favourite pieces I own from, charity shops. They’re so unbelievably cheap AND you’re supporting a good cause by buying from them. My favourite pair of jeans cost £2 from a charity shop and the cost per wear is definitely in the minus’ now. Although charity shopping can be time consuming, I’ll often set out an entire afternoon or morning to go and look around the charity shops, it’s so rewarding and can help you save so much money that it’s 100% worth it. I know people are sceptical of charity shops but you won’t believe the gems you’ll find in there and most of the things haven’t been worn or have barely been worn so there is no need to worry about that aspect of it. Obviously, as well, it’s by far the most sustainable way to shop.

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

Moving on to the second part of the title of this post, shopping independently. This is something that I am very good at whilst travelling but pretty poor at when at home. At home I’m all too temped to revert to the trusty high street but on holiday, shopping independently is an amazing way to get to know the place you’re in. The predominant way that I shop independently at home is through charity shops and vintage shops. Both of the places I am based, Liverpool and Manchester, have a great array of independent clothing stores that don’t fall into the categories just mentioned and are a little more expensive but I think it’s just getting into the habit and mindset of shopping there.

Nevertheless though, I still try and make an effort to shop independently because, as I mentioned, there’s nothing better than having an amazing shopping experience and independent shops definitely offer that more than chains do. Plus, they give a place character. Whenever I go away, whether it’s in the UK or abroad, I always try and steer away from what I’m going to call the ‘chain area’ of the city and venture out to the areas that actually feel like you’re in a different place. I’d hate anywhere I live to not have this feel at all and if we don’t support these independent businesses then they’ll no longer exist.

Here’s a list of some of my favourite independent stores, from fashion to all sorts of other things with links to their websites/social media:

  • The 8pm Store, Barcelona (Fashion/Art)
  • Armstrongs Vintage, Edinburgh (Fashion)
  • COW Vintage, Liverpool, Manchester and Various Other Places (Fashion)
  • Utility, Liverpool (Home/Gifts)
  • Chapter One, Manchester (Bookstore/Cafe)
  • Fred Aldous, Manchester (Art/Gifts)
  • Park St in Bristol has the best independent vintage shops, I can’t choose just one from the one time I’ve visited (Fashion)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that it’s given you some encouragement to head down to your local independent clothing store, or try and shop a little bit more sustainably! You won’t regret carving some time out to visit your local charity shops or vintage shops to grab a bargain. Even if you go high-street shopping afterwards, you’ve probably saved yourself some money by buying something second-hand and you’re helping to save the world a little bit at the same time, so it’s a win-win. I’d love to hear your favourite independent shops or the best ways, in your opinion, to shop sustainably in the comments or on social media! As mentioned, I’m by no means perfect with this and am not claiming to be so any tips and recommendations are very welcome!

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

 

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

Top- Dreamers Not Allowed

Jeans- Vintage YSL, Armstrongs Vintage

Shoes- Vans

Sunglasses- Mango

Hair Clips- Accesorize

Necklace- Alex Monroe

Are Words Dying Out?

Are Words Dying Out?

Photography by Ell Field.

I’m back today with a more ‘thoughtful’ post (i.e writing about something that’s been on my mind that has nothing/very little to do with the photos I share alongside it). These types of posts, as opposed to posts about fashion and style, tend to be my favourite ones to write and tend to be received the best upon sharing so you’ll probably be seeing much more of them on my blog. I’ve even created a new category to my blog called ‘Thoughts & Musings’ to allow myself this space on my blog, so do head over there after reading this post to read more of these types of posts. Also, final sort-of disclaimer before starting the post, you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting on my blog as much recently, which isn’t down to lack of wanting to do so but a lack of time as I have been working A LOT. For now, my aim is to get up a blog post once a week on Sunday evenings but don’t be surprised to see an extra post up (probably on Wednesdays or Fridays) on the weeks when I’m working a little bit less.

Anyway, let’s move on to the discussion point of this post, something that’s very close to my heart, words. I’ve always been a reader and a writer, both in and out of school. As an English Literature student, I spend most of my time doing these two things during the academic year and as an avid reader and someone with a blog, I spend most of my free time doing the same two things. I simply love words (hence the name of this blog), whether I’m reading them or writing them. But in an age where most of our communication and entertainment is in the format of  photos, videos and even voice-notes, are words simply unnecessary? As you can probably guess, I’d argue against this and although I love Instagram, Netflix and Snapchat as much as the next person, I get the most satisfaction through reading something that is above the 140 character (or is it 280 characters now?) limit and writing something longer than an Instagram caption.

Are Words Dying Out?

This post isn’t designed to be an insult to anyone who doesn’t enjoy reading or writing because not everyone does, and I’m not going to act all high and mighty just because I do! To my shame, I’m really not interested in anything remotely science-y and I even find Blue Planet (maybe stop reading now if you’re a big fan) pretty boring. Everyone has different interests and they’re definitely not always as simple as preferring English to Maths or History to Science but sometimes people simply do not like reading or writing and that is fine. The problem today, in my opinion, is that many people don’t know whether they do or not because today’s fast-moving, visual-orientated society doesn’t give them a chance to find out. When I was listening to The High-Low podcast the other day (10/10 would recommend), someone sent a question in asking about how to improve their attention span in order to be able to read for longer, worried that social media had essentially shrunken theirs. The discussion that ensued following this was so interesting. Pandora and Dolly discussed how social media essentially provides quick-fixes to everything, allowing you to consume so much varied information in one go, which is perhaps why the ‘task’ of reading one book that is on one topic sounds like too much and boring for many people. After this, they thankfully assured their readers that it is impossible for our attention spans to ‘shrink’ and that, with practice, almost anyone can become an attentive reader. Despite this, it is still interesting to think about how social media is changing our habits and our ways of thinking.

Even as someone who loves to read I still find myself reaching for my phone rather than a book 90% of the time, a habit that I’m trying to change, and skipping through articles to the ‘important bit’ and ignoring most of what has been written. I think this is part of the way modern life is becoming more and more fast-paced and social media is obviously becoming such a big part of it. Since starting my blog I’ve found that I’m on my phone even more now but, because I use social media to promote and go alongside my blog, I can kind of count it as being productive. And it is a lot more productive and positive than it used to be, but I know that turning to a book or an article would be much more beneficial for my brain and my mental health than scrolling through Instagram for the 20th time that day.

Are Words Dying Out?

Finally, I wanted to discuss how the gradual death of words is affecting blogging. I only started my blog a few months ago but it’s already clear to me that people would rather scroll through my Instagram than scroll through my blog, which is fine because scrolling through my Instagram is less time-consuming and probably a quicker way to get to know me and see what I’ve been up to. Does this mean that blogs are going extinct? I don’t think so. I think/hope that there will always be people who love to gobble up words as much as I do and therefore blogs will always be able to survive through them, if not on such a large scale as photos do on Instagram. I think there is an element of compromising as well because putting a blog post up without photos is pretty much a no-go, which is saying something in itself. This can sometimes be annoying for me because sometimes I want to discuss something and don’t have the photos to go with it but I also understand this need for a visual aid and enjoy it myself. I compromise with this by just adding photos to a blog post that are, more often than not, unrelated to the topics that I’m discussing. And this seems to go down with readers of this blog just fine!

So until words truly do die a death, which I know the book-lovers of the world would never allow to happen anyway, I will continue writing on this blog, whether anyone reads it or not! And if you are someone who likes reading or writing but perhaps has fallen out of it, there’s no time quite like the present to start again- you could even take a look at my blog post on the best holiday reads for some reading inspiration! I’d love to hear your thoughts on how social media is affecting our reading and writing habits and maybe even some ways to ensure that you still get your dose of words in the comments or on social media.

Are Words Dying Out?

Are Words Dying Out?

Are Words Dying Out?

Top- Topshop

Skirt- Topshop

Shoes- Topshop

(yes, I really like Topshop)

Bag- ASOS

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

I’ve now officially finished my first year of university which is a very weird feeling as this year has flown by and it doesn’t seem so long ago that I was moving into my little room in halls. This year has brought lots of ups and downs but, looking back on it, I know I definitely made the right decision with what I chose to study and the university I chose to study at and I have had a really good experience. So I thought I’d talk a little bit about the best and the worst parts of my first year at UNI, what I’ve learnt (other than the fact that there’s only so many Jane Austen books you can read until you begin to want to bang your head against a wall every time you turn a page) and how I feel different since last September. I wasn’t sure about the cliche that university is ‘the best years of your life’ back in November when my mental health was at a low, but I really do feel now that first year truly has been one of the best years of my life, because of it’s difficult times and the things I’ve learnt from them and, of course, because of all the people I’ve met, the things I’ve done and the books I’ve read. The photos included are taken in my favourite area of Manchester, the Northern Quarter, with some of Manchester’s signature graffiti, which I thought were apt for this post.

Freshers week was a weird one for me, as it probably is for everyone, but, really, it felt like freshers lasted for the first two months of university and they were probably two of the best. The novelty of being in a new city and constantly meeting new people was great and any sense of homesickness hadn’t really kicked in yet so I was really able to soak everything up in a positive way. I was also really excited about my course as, at this point, it essentially just consisted of reading lots of fiction, listening to people talk about it, and discussing it, which really didn’t feel like work to me.

November and December were probably the shakiest periods of my university experience, as I spent most of my time writing essays and less time socialising and the homesickness really started to kick in. It was difficult but it also taught me how to be resilient by myself and, although it didn’t feel like it at the time, helped me to become more independent. It was also a time where a lot of the foundations of my current friendships were set, despite everything that was going on in my head, so, really, it was an important period of university for me. And, of course, it was Christmas, my favourite time of the year, which meant making the most of everything Manchester’s Christmas scene has to offer from the Christmas Markets to seeing ‘Nativity!’ at The Palace (a highlight of my year- truly a masterpiece.)

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

After some much-needed time at home with my family and a couple of weeks of revision, I went back to UNI feeling much better about myself in January and one of the first things I did was sign myself up to the university’s counselling service, which helped me immensely and allowed me to enjoy semester two so much more than semester one whilst being in a really good mental place. Whereas the first semester’s socialising activities consisted mostly of going out and drinking, I was now socialising in lots of different ways too, which was definitely a really positive thing. With the strike period during February and March came a period of uneasiness as there was nothing forcing me to leave my room and see people but it also allowed me to socialise at different times meaning I could do different things, get some extra hours at work (I worked as a Secondary English Tutor at high schools around Manchester for pretty much the whole year) and spend some more time on my extra-curricular activities, which is when this blog started coming into the works.

The post-strike period is a bit of a blur to be honest but I think it mostly consisted off doing lots of reading, writing essays and spending time with friends and then, before I knew it, I was back home for Easter for a few weeks. This was the period when I actually started my blog and since then, I’ve been feeling constantly inspired, if also constantly busy. I went back to UNI for a few weeks and juggled probably the most work I’ve had all year with essays to write, exams looming, lots of extra tutoring hours and writing for my blog 3 times a week but I feel like I managed pretty well and the fact that I was feeling a lot more content in myself and with the people and places around me definitely helped me to de-stress. I then spent a week in Corfu, which I won’t go on about because social media has definitely seen enough of that trip, came back to sit my exam and before I knew it it was my final week of first year. This week feels like it was the best yet because Love Island started. No, I’m joking it wasn’t because of that although watching Love Island with my friends in eachother’s rooms was definitely a highlight of the week and it really was the best week of first year for me. I spent the entire week with my friends and finished it off by going to Parklife, which was one of my favourite weekends and festivals in so long. I said it on my Instagram but it was the best way to end my first year at UNI because it was so much fun. But also because drinking and ‘partying’ are things that usually make me feel very anxious but it was a totally anxiety-free weekend, which made me feel so happy and proud of myself. The fact that my first year ended in the best way possible makes me feel so optimistic for the rest of my time at UNI.

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

I’m home now and have been for a couple of weeks and I’m already missing my friends and university generally. Although I’m definitely going to make the most of this summer, I have a new job that I’m loving and have some plans to go away, it’s such a nice feeling to know I’m already looking forward to going back to UNI in September because 7 months ago I couldn’t have imagined myself feeling this way. I absolutely love studying English Literature, feel so lucky to have met some amazing people and Manchester is such a vibrant and exciting place to be (even if Liverpool will always have my heart). I’ve learnt so much about myself this year, mostly how obsessed I am with working hard and being busy which, although does carry some negativity which I’m trying to let go of, has made this year very worthwhile and meant I truly have got lots of shit done. With this though, I’ve realised that grades don’t mean everything and have made myself busy in lots of areas of my life, not just UNI, thanks to the reassuring mantra of the student, ‘first year doesn’t count’. This has allowed me to expand myself in lots of different ways but has also improved my mental health so much and I’m now in the best place I’ve been in a long, long time.

I’m sure the next two years of university will fly by and so I’m determined to make the most of them in every way. I’d especially like to take advantage of all the wonderful things Manchester has to offer next year as one thing I haven’t done enough during first year is explore the city. But, as I said, I have a few months till I’ll be back- living in a house not halls (yay!)- so I’m putting that to one side for now so I can enjoy my summer. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I’d love to hear about your university experiences in the comments!

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Goodbye For Now, Manchester | Reflecting On My First Year of University

Top- New Look

Jeans- COW Vintage

Shoes- Primark (bought in the last 2 months so should still be available in store)

Bag- ASOS

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Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

I’m back today with the last of my photos from my trip to Corfu, which I’m feeling happy about because, to be totally honest, I’m getting a bit sick of them, so I’m sure you are too! But I do love this outfit and this dress, which you might have also seen on my post about dressing for yourself. Here, it’s styled a little bit (read, a lot) differently in a much more feminine, formal way. It’s probably the most ‘dressed up’ outfit I wore in Corfu and editing and looking through these photos made me think about dressing up and why I’ve perhaps done it less over the years. I came to the conclusion that the reason this is the case is because I am, in fact, most comfortable when my clothes feel comfortable (makes sense right?). But sometimes dressing up is necessary and I do really enjoy it when I’ve got the right outfit. So in today’s post, I’m going to give you some tips on formal dressing if, like me, your clothes being physically comfortable is something you’re rarely willing to give up, based on how I’ve styled this outfit.

1. Ditch the High Heels

It honestly baffles me how and why people still wear high heels. I mean, no disrespect, in fact I have a lot of respect for people who were high heels regularly because HOW? For about a 2-3 year period, I would wear high heels every single weekend (and when I say high, I mean anything ranging from 4-6 inches) but I feel like I’ve well and truly got that out my system because now I avoid them like the plague. I have very wide and blister-prone feet so high heels and I just don’t go together and whenever I did used to wear them, my nights would often be ruined by ridiculous amounts of pain and, if they weren’t, the next day 100% would be.

So, my tip is to simply ditch the high heels. I don’t think I’ve worn any in well over a year and I can vouch for the fact that nights out, and any occasion where I would otherwise wear them, are much better now. You don’t have to be tall to wear flats (I’m 5″4) and people care about whats on your feet a lot less than you think. Alternatively, try a pretty flat shoe, maybe something pointed to make it a little bit formal or something with a slingback. Those types of shoes are appropriate for most occasions and all-year round. If you would feel better wearing a little bit of a heel, go for a heeled boot with a platform in the winter for less formal occasions- these are much comfier than any type of court shoe. In the summer, sandals with a small chunky heel (just like the ones I’m wearing in this photo) are formal, comfy and season-appropriate so you can’t really ask for more! I’m also a fan of (controversial opinion ahead) the Mary-Jane and my patent, slightly heeled pair have been a great, comfortable replacement for heels (I wore them in this post here).

Here are some examples of the shoes that are available to buy:

The Pointed Slingback:

This Red Mango Pair (£15)

This Gold ASOS Pair (£14)

This Simple Black ModCloth Pair (£22)

The Heeled Boot:

This Black Velvet MissGuided Pair That I Already Own (£17)

This Red Faith Pair (£41.30)

This Boohoo Thigh High Pair (£38)

The Heeled Sandal:

My Topshop Sandals (£29)

The Mary-Jane:

This Office Pair That Are Very Similar To My Old ASOS Pair (£32)

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

2. The Humble Slip Dress

I truly believe that the slip dress is a comfort lover’s ultimate wardrobe piece, it’s certainly mine! Not only are they so versatile and can be dressed up and down for so many different occasions and seasons but they’re just about the comfiest style of dress ever. They usually don’t require a bra, even for bigger boobs because the style of dress isn’t figure hugging whatsoever and you can eat as much as you want in them without having to undo any buttons and without anyone seeing your lovely full belly- they honestly feel like wearing a socially acceptable nightie. Have I sold you on them? I hope so!

I usually go for a mini slip dress worn with any of the aforementioned shoes, which always makes a great and simple outfit for a night out. But here I’m obviously wearing one with more of a midi length, a first for me! I think the midi length makes the outfit even more formal and I think this polka dot number might even be wedding-appropriate. I can’t recommend slip dresses to you enough if you’re all about being comfortable at more formal events, and especially if you’re number-one wedding/event activity is raiding the buffet table!

Here are some of my favourites:

This Sequin Mini For All Of Your Partying Needs (£36)

This Sexy Satin Midi For Your More Formal Events (£32)

For some reason the dress I’m wearing in these photos isn’t and never has been on the Zara website but for other polka dot midi slip dresses see here, here and here.

3. It’s All In The Accessories

I wear gold jewellery with pretty much all of my outfits. Namely, I’m always wearing gold layered necklaces. I think they add something interesting to every outfit but they’re especially great for making an outfit more formal. By co-ordinating my gold necklaces with the gold hardware on my shoes in this outfit, it just looks like I’ve put that little bit more effort in and ties the outfit together. I also think hoop earrings are a great way to dress up an outfit although my lobe piercings are still recovering from having them pierced in March (yes that was 3 months ago and no I’m not happy about how slow my ears are recovering) so I couldn’t wear mine with this outfit although I do have a beautiful Anthropolige pair waiting for me.

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

A bag can also make an outfit more formal and interesting but, due to limited space in my suitcase and a comparatively poor bag collection, I just stuck with this plain black over the shoulder bag. Although worn as a clutch it probably would have looked much more formal. Clutches aren’t really my thing though as they’re endlessly impractical and so instead, maybe try a bag that co-ordinates with your jewellery (i.e. a gold or silver one) or a beaded bag.

Some Gold Jewellery I Have My Eye On/Own*:

This Lucy Williams X Missoma Fang Choker (£95)

This Lucy Williams X Missoma Beaded Coin Necklace (£145)

This Alex Monroe Bunny Necklace (£135)

These Anthropologie Gold Hoop Earrings (£38)

Some Formal Bags That Aren’t Clutches:

This Zara Black Beaded Bag (£29.99)

This Anthropologie Sparkly Metallic Bag (£48.95)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that it’s been helpful! Formal dressing can be one of the most difficult styling tasks so I hope I’ve provided you with some ways to make it easier and, most importantly, more comfortable. I’ll see you on Sunday with a new post with some photos that aren’t from Corfu (can you believe it?) but until then, you can find me on Instagram where I’m active on a daily basis @aliceporter16.

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

Dressing Up For Comfort Lovers

 

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Copying VS. Inspiration

Copying VS. Inspiration

Today I want to talk a little bit about the difference between copying and inspiration because there’s definitely a fine line between the two. This fine line can often be the reason why people are scared to take inspiration from people, especially in the age of social media where everyone is free to scrutinise and criticise your actions from behind the protection of their computer screen. I often see bloggers and vloggers with a  bigger following complain about people copying their ideas and I can imagine that this is so infuriating. If I were to create a series on YouTube, for example, and put hard work into the logistics behind it for someone else to totally steal the idea without any acknowledgement of it being mine, I can’t even imagine how I’d feel. But that is straight-up copying. You can’t really view it any other way. But if, continuing with this example, said copier was to acknowledge that they took the idea from me (this is totally hypothetical by the way, I don’t even make YouTube videos), would that be taking inspiration rather than copying? See what I said about the fine line?

The photos included with this post are actually what gave me the idea for the topic of discussion because I was very much inspired to create this outfit by the blogger, Samantha Maria, someone who I always find myself taking inspiration from as I have spoken about before in my post on styling red and pink. I saw her wear a similar outfit during her trip to Dubai- you can see how she styled the outfit here. Because I put together this outfit based on the inspiration I took from Sammi and because the outfits are similar, I thought this would be an interesting sort of ‘case study’ to dissect the differences between taking inspiration and copying stylistically.

Comparing my outfit to Sammi’s, they look extremely similar. You might be surprised that I’m actually wearing totally different pieces by different brands to Sammi. But I think even if I was wearing the exact top and skirt as her, this still wouldn’t necessarily be a case of copying. I think that’s because I’ve styled the outfit to make it my own.

Copying VS. Inspiration

Copying VS. Inspiration

Sammi’s outfit very much gives me ‘summer in the city’ vibes, whereas mine, I think, is much more ‘summer on the beach’. This, in part is to do with the locations that we both wore these outfits in but it was also a conscious decision on my behalf to wear this outfit on holiday so I could change it up from hers a little bit. I also think the colour schemes of the outfit are significantly different considering we’re both wearing black and white polka dots and denim. Sammi has gone for a monochrome colour scheme whereas I have added some colour into my outfit. I mainly did so because monochrome isn’t really my style. Another way in which I made my outfit my own is by using a natural brown coloured straw bag rather than a black one, as Sammi did. Again, this was to ensure it had those summer holiday vibes and to change up the colours of the outfit a little bit. Styling my hair in a loose bun rather than in a messy ponytail and hoop earrings also changed the outfit to one that is a little bit more relaxed and holiday appropriate.

‘Making it your own’ is probably the second most important thing in order to cross the line from copying to taking inspiration, the first most important thing being acknowledging the original source of inspiration. Acknowledging that you’ve taken inspiration from someone removes any tension from the situation and, usually, is flattering for the person who has inspired you. People who copy usually are trying to make something that is someone else’s look like their own, so by acknowledging that this thing, whether it’s an outfit idea or anything else, isn’t your own, you remove yourself from that category, in my opinion.

Taking inspiration is such an important thing for me creatively whether that’s for my blog design, photography or, usually, my style. I’ve recently got very into Pinterest and it has been providing me with so much inspiration that hopefully will help to improve my blog content! I have boards for inspiration for each season of the year, a moodboard, a board of imagery that I love and one for photography inspiration (that mostly consists of Francessca Woodman’s photos after seeing an exhibition on her work at the weekend). So far, it’s been really positive for me creatively and is also a really good way of pinpointing (see what I did there?) where I’m taking inspiration from so I can go back there for more. If you’re interested in seeing what’s inspiring me, you can take a look at my Pinterest page here!

Copying VS. Inspiration

I hope this post has showed you how beneficial taking inspiration from others can be and maybe helped you to figure out how to do so in a positive way for everyone involved! Sammi actually shared a photo of this outfit from Instagram on her stories as part of her #sammisstylediaries which was really nice because it kind of proves that you can be directly and obviously inspired by someone without causing offence and maybe even flatter them in the process.

I really recommend following Sammi (I mean, if you aren’t already) because she is killing it this year, especially on YouTube! Here are some links to her different platforms:

Sammi’s Blog

Sammi’s Instagram

Sammi’s Youtube

 

Copying VS. Inspiration

Copying VS. Inspiration

Copying VS. Inspiration

 

Copying VS. Inspiration

Copying VS. Inspiration

Copying VS. Inspiration

Top- ASOS  (limited stock, Sammi’s Topshop version is here)

Skirt- Pull & Bear (old, similar here)

Bag- Zara

Shoes- Mango

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Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

This outfit is probably my favourite out of all of the outfits I wore in Corfu so I’m really excited to finally share it on my blog. Sorry if you feel as though I’m dragging the holiday content on a little bit but I’ve had a busy few weeks since I got back and so didn’t have time to share the blog posts all at once but I do want to share all of the blog posts I planned because I like how the photos have come out for the most part! But I promise there’s only one more week of content from Corfu coming up. Although, I have just booked a trip to Barcelona in 3 weeks so there will be more holiday content before you know it.

Anyway, as mentioned this happens to be one of my favourite outfits I wore in Corfu and I’m so happy with how the photos have come out. I was actually expecting this to be my least favourite outfit from the trip seeing as it’s the most basic, just a t-shirt and a skirt. But maybe that’s just what I feel most myself in? I’m also a big fan of colour co-ordination, as you might be able to tell from past outfits I have shared, and baby blue is one of my favourite colours to wear so it’s unsurprising how much I love it.

I think the main reason I’m so happy with these photos is the location. Luckily, the hotel we stayed in in Corfu (Gretocel Eva Palace) was so beautiful and had a pastel colour palette of dreams. This particular location was on my route from the beach to my hotel room every day and I was eyeing it up for a while before I took these photos here. Pinky/peachy walls, which are a common feature of Corfu’s architecture, along with white railing, wicker chairs and a bit of greenery are my idea of an aesthetic dream and made me feel like I was on the French Riviera during the 1950s. The setting actually feels reminiscent of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is The Night which, although I personally think is painful plot-wise, provides some beautiful imagery of the south of France in the 1920s.

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Speaking of France, you may have noticed the slogan on my top, of which I have dedicated this blog post to, is in French. It’s one I picked up from & Other Stories, as you might have seen in my blog post on the new bits in my wardrobe, that I was immediately attracted to because I am always a lover of white T-shirts, anything baby blue and the French language. I obviously had to google translate the writing in the changing rooms to ensure it didn’t say something like ‘Pizza is life’ and was pretty pleased to find out it translated to ‘Sunset Boulevard’ as I think that’s pretty non-offensive and maybe even a little bit cool? The French language has always been something I’ve wanted to learn as I’m fascinated by it and the culture of France, you might even call me a Francophile! Although my GCSE in French put me off a little bit (2 hours straight weekly of copying from a textbook and equally painstakingly boring tasks was far from enjoyable), it’s always been a goal of mine to have a decent understanding of the language. Not only is the language in itself beautifully romantic (a cliche but one that holds lots of truth) but I would love to live in France one day, not forever but for a few months or a year or so and so obviously knowing the language would be necessary. Apart from said GCSE French and inevitably failed attempts to complete DuoLingo, my French language skills don’t go very far. Maybe (hopefully) this will be the year when I take this goal of mine a little bit more seriously and attend some real-life classes or something like that. Let me know if you’ve ever learnt a language independently or in an unconventional way (i.e. not as part of your full-time education) and if you have any tips for doing so as I’d love to hear them!

France seems like such an inspiring place to be creatively and I think spending an extended period of time there, namely in Paris, would be so good for me. It’s something I really hope I’m able to do when I finish university. I have considered a year abroad but if I was to live there I’d want to dedicate most of my time to being creative in ways that don’t involve my degree so I’ve ruled that out. But I hope I’m able to live out this dream one day, learning the language would certainly be a good start!

Anyway I thought everything in these photos came together quite nicely, from the French slogan tee with the Riviera esq location, to the vintage style sunglasses and skirt with the old-fashioned feel colours and style of this part of the hotel. I’m now off to play, if you can call it that, on DuoLingo in hopes of fulfilling my Parisian dreams!

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Boulevard Du Soleil Couchant

Top- & Other Stories

Skirt- Topshop (it’s now £15 in the sale!)

Bag- Zara

Sunglasses- Primark (similar here)

Shoes- New Look (old)

 

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The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

Welcome (back?) to my blog! So sorry that I haven’t been as regular with posting recently. With a holiday, exams and post-exams celebrating, I’ve not had much time to sit down and write. But I have 40 minutes till tonight’s Love Island so I have plenty of time to write this post and hopefully I will be back to posting on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays weekly now. One of the reasons I’ve let myself stop posting so regularly is because it’s another way of getting over my perfectionism. I’m definitely not a perfectionist in every area of my life but in the areas where I set myself goals, I most definitely am. I’m most regularly setting myself goals within UNI and blogging, so I thought I’d talk a little bit about the pressures of perfectionism in each of these parts of my life.

I decided to discuss this topic in a post with these photos because I very much had an ‘ideal image’ in mind before shooting them, as I do with most planned shoots, and the outcome wasn’t as good as I had hoped. This is partly because we were in a rush whilst taking them but also because they were taken on a busy street in Corfu where lots of people were giving me strange looks and I’m still not totally comfortable with shooting in front of strangers, especially when the people who I’m with/are taking the photos feel the same way. I was kind of inspired to use this backdrop for my photos by Lucy Williams’ recent campaign with Mango. Obviously my photos haven’t come out half as good as hers because I didn’t have a professional photographer shooting the photos, nor did I have a full day (or maybe even days) to perfect them, plus the backing and support of a major company. Considering the circumstances in which these photos were taken, I should be happy with them and I am after thinking about it! But this is just an example of one of the ways in which I hold myself up to ridiculous standards (and a segway into the rest of the post).

The Pressures of Perfectionism

So, personally, I am mostly a perfectionist academically. This is something I’ve talked about previously in my post on work-life balance as well as my post on my experience with anxiety, so I won’t really go into it too much. But it is interesting to consider how much of the pressure I used to put on myself (and still do sometimes) academically is really created by myself rather than influenced by social factors. The pressure I put on myself during A-Levels was mostly generated by people telling me how difficult they would be and perhaps maintained by the feeling that I would inevitably be letting people down if I didn’t do well. Although it really was me and, mostly, no-one else putting this pressure on myself, I think it was created by my social situation i.e. the fact that doing well in A-Levels is seen as the be-all and end-all during sixth form. My first-year of UNI has allowed me to be a lot more laid back because rather than being told that grades mean everything, we are instead told that grades don’t matter this year, which has been endlessly helpful for me.

Moving onto university (I’m on a roll with the segways today), this post was actually inspired by conversations I’ve had with various people about the social pressure of university, particularly inspired by one with my friend Lucy at Parklife festival this weekend. You might be surprised by the amount of people who have dropped out of university this year based on the appearance of their Instagram feeds. Social media definitely suggests that EVERYONE is having a great time at university because, as my friend Katy said, no one is going to post a picture of themselves during one of the (probably) many times that they are crying in their bedroom. First year of university is difficult for most people but because we are constantly told that it should be ‘the best years of our lives’ and that we should be extremely social, there’s lots of guilt attached to feelings of sadness, boredom and loneliness at university and I think the pressure to be perfect is extremely prevalent here. I’m glad I’ve been able to share some of my more difficult experiences with university on my blog because it is so isolating seeing people with lots of new friends going out every night on Instagram, when you’re spending your 5th night on a run eating leftover bolognese and writing an essay on a Jane Austen novel (I’ve written on three Austen texts this year which might just have put me off her forever). But no one, that I know of, is really having an amazing time all the time so just remember that. I’m definitely going to be making more of an effort in second year to talk about some of my more difficult moments at university on Instagram. Even if I don’t post a photo of myself crying in bed- because, quite frankly, I don’t want to do that and I am 100% sure that no one wants to see it- I might talk a little bit about my shitty week in the caption or on Instagram stories. Not to moan but to prove to anyone who might think that my life is in any way ‘perfect’ that I have as many shitty times as they do and so they should never feel bad about them or pressured to have to feel better.

My perfectionism is something I’m trying to let go of in all areas of my life and I think I have been able to do so in lots of ways. I’m never going to be totally laid-back and I really don’t ever want to be as my motivation and determination has been really good for me in lots of ways. But when it starts to affect my mental health is when I know I’ve taken it too far and hopefully in ignoring and abandoning any pressures to be perfect I won’t have to let it get that far again. My Instagram and Twitter DMs are always open if you want to talk about any of your experiences and if you’ve gone through anything similar, do get in touch! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that it’s reminded you to focus on yourself and ignore any social pressures around you.

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

Dress- Zara

Bag- Zara

Sunglasses- Mango (No longer available on the website, will update the post if they re-stock them)

Shoes- New Look (old)

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1 Shirt 2 Ways

1 Shirt 2 Ways

Today I have another post with some photos from Corfu, and there’s many more to come so I hope you’re enjoying them! I’m sharing a little holiday styling tip that I learnt from Lizzy over at Shot From The Street (the editing of these photos was also inspired by her, specifically her 35mm film posts, which are my favourite blog posts by anyone ever.) I remember reading (or potentially hearing over on her YouTube channel) her talk about packing tactically for pool/beach holidays by taking clothes for the evening that double up as cover-ups to minimise the amount of clothes you take on holiday. Although I’m anything but a light packer, I thought this would be interesting to try.

When I originally bought this dress (it’s probably designed as a shirt) from H&M, I thought I would use it purely as a cover-up. Oversized shirts, specifically striped ones, are my go-to pool cover ups as they look so effortless and they genuinely are really easy to wear. But when I tried this on in the changing rooms, I decided that it would also work great in the evening for the more casual nights.

1 Shirt 2 Ways

I wore the shirt in the evening on the first night. Firstly because I couldn’t wear it as a cover up until I had worn it in the evening and secondly because it was the most casual and comfy evening outfit I had with me and I had been awake since 3am that morning and in airports and on a plane all day. The fact that the evening photos were taken on the first night explains the pale legs anyway. I paired the shirt with black and gold accessories to elevate the look a little bit and these sandals have a little bit of a heel, adding some formality and some necessary height. This bag is really old and probably the most formal black bag I have, which is why I chose to add it to this outfit. Although it would definitely look better with a bag with gold hardware. Obviously, I also wore my trusty gold necklaces (that I could definitely do with re-purchasing) and also added my Casio watch to tie in with the gold elements of the outfit. To avoid flashing the other guests at the hotel on the first night of my stay, I put on a little pair of denim shorts under my dress, which were really more a practicality than an aesthetic choice.

My styling of the shirt as a cover-up is pretty predictable really but how couldn’t it be? I paired it with this old blue and pink Urban Outfitters bikini because I’m all about a bit of co-ordination. To add to this, I also wore my pink Warehouse sunnies. It is also paired with my white Bikerenstocks, which I wore during the day every day on holiday.

1 Shirt 2 Ways

This shirt is the perfect length as, although it is short for an evening piece, this makes it slightly more sexy, which contrasts nicely with it’s more boyish fit. For a cover-up, the length is great too because you can 100% wear it without any shorts, which is something that I had to do with my shorter shirts. I actually bought this shirt in a size 16 to ensure it had the length I wanted so maybe keep that in mind if you are thinking about getting it or any shirt to be worn as a dress.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful and interesting! I love finding different ways of styling my clothes as I am often guilty of wearing things once and then getting a little bit bored of them, so techniques like this one can really help. I’ll be back on Sunday with another blog post but until then, I’d love to hear what your favourite type of holiday cover-up is in the comments.

1 Shirt 2 Ways

1 Shirt 2 Ways

Shirt- H&M

Evening Outfit:

Shoes- Topshop

Watch- Casio

Bag- Urban Outfitters (old, similar here)

Cover Up Outfit:

Shoes- Birkenstocks 

Bikini- Urban Outfitters (old)

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Finding A ‘Work-Life Balance’

‘Work-Life Balance’ is a phrase that I’ve heard used lots since I’ve started following the lives of bloggers through their blogs themselves, YouTube, Instagram etc. It’s something that they often talk about struggling with as because documenting their life is essentially their career, it’s difficult to draw a line. Obviously, I am by no means a full-time blogger and I, for the most part, don’t really see my blog as work at all- it’s a hobby that I enjoy. However, taking pictures, editing HTML (which mostly consists of me watching endless YouTube tutorials) and actually writing blog posts is time-consuming and so adding my blog to the things that I do has made it difficult for me to relax over the past couple of months. It hasn’t made me feel crazily stressed but I could feel the amount of time I was spending working taking it’s toll on me so I’m trying to take some steps to change that. With studying for a full-time degree, working as an English tutor part-time (which involves lots of planning), having a significant role within the campaign Girls Against, plus running my blog, I often work from 8am-10pm on weekdays with minimal breaks, which is really unhealthy and bad for my mental health. I discussed how work took over my life during my A-Levels in a recent post about my experience with anxiety and I’m determined not to let that happen again this year, even if I do enjoy all of the things I class as ‘work’ now. So here are some of the things I’m doing to try and ensure I make time for myself:

1. Scheduling in ‘holidays’.

People who work a 9-5 job obviously have a given amount of time for their holidays but, although with UNI we are given lots of time off for Christmas, Easter and summer, all of the other things I do continue throughout the year. So I’m trying to give myself official weeks off where I can just totally relax. I can’t say I’ve managed one of these so far but I am planning on scheduling some in over summer and I definitely took a few days off everything during Christmas and Easter, if not a full break, which felt really nice in itself. However, I am currently on holiday in Corfu (as you might be able to tell by these photos), the week before my only UNI exam this semester, which is an attempt to try and force myself not to go overboard with revision. I am also in Corfu because I am not going to turn down a week of sun. I’m doing 2 hours of revision a day (ish) whilst I’m here, one in the afternoon and one in the evening and trying to relax for the rest of the day. I’m also writing blog posts (currently sat on my balcony writing this one) and taking photos for my blog because, as mentioned, I enjoy this and don’t find it stressful whatsoever. Although I’m pretty sure this might be the only blog post for this week because I want to make the most of my time here.

2. Taking Weekends Off

This is something I’ve been trying to do since the beginning of university. I decided that I’d much rather work really hard throughout the week so I can have my weekends to myself. This is in part due to the fact that I mostly see my boyfriend on the weekends and I wanted to make sure I had time to see him but also because I struggle to take evenings off if I know I haven’t got everything done that I wanted to do that day and don’t enjoy the scheduled ‘relaxing time’. Whereas with weekends, once it gets to Friday evening I know that I’m done for that week and anything else will have to wait till Monday. This is, of course, something I won’t do during my second and third years of university as my workload grows, and something I don’t do 100% of time now, so I will have to find another method of relaxation then, but it works great for now.

 3. Making Plans and Sticking To Them

This is a really important one for me because I struggle to relax on my own because I’m always thinking that there’s something more productive that I could be doing. However, when I’m with someone else, I know that there’s no way I could be doing work at that moment and want to make the most of the time I have with whoever I’m with, so I’m really able to fully relax.

 4. Planning My Time

Something I’ve started doing recently is realistically planning my days hour by hour. This means that usually I really have got everything I wanted to do done by 8pm and can relax for the rest of the night. I’m still a bit rubbish at switching off in the evenings though and often find something else productive to do without even thinking about it. But telling yourself that you’re going to stop working at a certain time can be really helpful.

I’m going to leave this post here for today because I am hungry and I can smell the food from the restaurant of my hotel but I hope it helped you think about whether your work-life balance is truly balanced and gave you some tips to help it get there. I’m wearing this skirt from & Other Stories again because I just can’t get enough of it along with this top also from & Other Stories, both of which I featured in my last post about what’s new in my wardrobe. You’ve seen the shoes and the bag before but this bag is now back in stock on Zara (linked below)! I’m off to relax and enjoy the rest of the time I have in beautiful Corfu now but keep an eye on my Instagram to see what I’m up to.

Top- & Other Stories

Skirt- & Other Stories

Shoes- New Look (old)

Bag- Zara

 

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

I have been shopping A LOT during the month of May. Not that I don’t shop during other months but I really have gone a bit crazy, for me anyway, over the past few weeks. I think it’s because, firstly, I’ve started exercising more and eating healthier so am feeling better about what I look like in clothes, secondly, because I’ve been saving up some of my wages, and thirdly, because of the change in weather and the fact I’m going to Corfu this week (eek!). Because I’ve picked up quite a few bits in a short space of time, I thought I’d share them with you! You might have seen some of them styled already on my blog or on Instagram and if you haven’t, you certainly will have in the next few weeks. I’m really happy with everything I bought because some things have filled gaps in my wardrobe and others are just beautiful pieces that I feel great in and adore.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

Starting with these incredible vintage jeans because LOOK AT THEM! I picked them up from Cow Vintage in Liverpool after spotting them on my way out of the shop for only £14. I immediately grabbed them and took them to the changing rooms and they fit like a glove. This must be the best feeling when vintage shopping as it can sometimes be a disheartening process of trial and error. They’re my favourite style of jeans, a straight leg with frayed hems but with this added super cool star print. I really didn’t need another pair of jeans in my wardrobe but these are so cool, and a little different from your average pair, that I just couldn’t leave them behind.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

After bagging those incredible jeans, I realised, to my excitement, that COS have opened a store in Liverpool and went in to have a look. The store itself is beautiful, so airy and light and totally fitting with the feel of the store. As most of the colours of their clothes are fairly neutral, this pink top stood out to me, along with its stripes as I wear striped tops so frequently. It only cost £15 and I got it in a size small so it fits nice and loosely. This top is unfortunately out of stock on the COS website so you might have to go into store for this one. They do have the yellow version online here as well as the navy version.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

I finished this trip, with the reason it started, by heading to Zara to find this dress that I had been swooning over online. I’m so into cream dresses with tortoiseshell buttons at the moment and Zara have an incredible collection. After trying on a few button down midi dresses in some other shops and just not being able to find the right one, I had a good feeling about this one because the neckline and the sleeves are a little bit more interesting than some of the more shapeless ones I’ve tried on. I didn’t actually try it on in store because, as you can probably imagine if you’ve ever been to the Liverpool store, the queues for the changing room were ridiculous. So I bit the bullet and paid £35 for the dress (I had £5 left on a Liverpool One voucher to put towards it) and I’m so glad I did because I feel so great in it and I now its going to be a real stand out piece for my summer holidays. I bought it in a size XS if you’re interested.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

Next is a piece that I actually bought a few weeks ago now (it might have even been at the end of April but I thought I’d include it in this post anyway). I’d spotted it on Instagram a couple of times and had been eyeing it up on the H&M website for a few weeks before deciding to go into store to try it on and buy it. To my delight when I arrived at the store, it had been reduced from £35 (the price I was expecting to pay for it) to £15, which is an absolute bargain because it feels as if it’s good quality and blazers can often be pricey! Baby blue is one of my favourite colours to wear in the summer and I have got tons of wear out my grey check blazer so I thought it made sense to update it for summer. The blazer is still available to shop online here but it’s unfortunately gone back up to full price- I obviously got really lucky!

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

I’ve been keeping my eye out for a new beach cover up for my upcoming holidays for a while now and I knew I wanted some kind of shirt. This one from H&M fits the bill perfectly. I bought it in a size 16 so it fits really oversized like a dress and I think it would actually look really nice one evening on holiday. It cost £12.99 which I think is pretty decent for a shirt that can be worn in so many different ways. You can shop it online here.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

This one is a bit of an unusual piece for me because animal print isn’t really my thing. But I saw the dress version of this top on the Topshop website and was leaning towards it for a while. When I went into store to try and find it though, I was told that they no longer stocked it, which I was a bit gutted about. I spotted (get it? spotted? leopard spots?) the top version and wasn’t so sure about it on the hanger but it’s really flattering on and I actually think the top will be much more versatile than the dress would have been. It’s the perfect piece for a night out and can really elevate any outfit. It cost £19 and I got it in a petite size 8. You can shop it online here.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

Moving on to & Other Stories, I had *a bit*of a spree in their Manchester store the other day. I absolutely love the brand and the store experience however I usually restrict myself from buying too much, or anything, because it is more expensive than your average high street store. But I really do think there’s a reason for this- the clothes are great quality and trend-led but also have a sense of timelessness to them. Anyway, the first piece I picked up was this knitted black tank top with tortoiseshell buttons (if you can’t tell I kind of have a thing for them). I tried a similar, more expensive, version on of this in Urban Outfitters but the quality wasn’t nearly as good as this one, nor was the fit. I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of this over summer, and maybe even layered up in the winter. It was £23 and I got a size 8 (I think- the European sizes in & Other Stories confuse me endlessly). It’s available to buy here.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

I also bought this white printed t-shirt which I was immediately drawn to because, as mentioned, baby blue is my favourite colour for summer and white t-shirts are something I get the most wear out of in the summer months. Of course, I couldn’t be sure about this top till I knew what the French meant. But after a quick google translate to find out it meant ‘Sunset Boulevard’, I decided this was very cool and something I wouldn’t be embarrassed to translate for people, which is good as it’s never fun to be living in fear of someone asking what your the writing on your top means for it to be something cringe-worthy. Or even worse, you having no idea! So I’ve got my damage limitation sorted with this one. I also got it in a size 8 for the price of £23. Shop it here.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

Then I bought ANOTHER striped top (although I did actually purchase this one before the COS piece- sorry for the lack of chronology within this post). You can’t really tell in the photos but this one has navy stripes and it’s a bit more slim fitting than some of the other ones I own so I thought it would be nice for more formal occasions. Plus, I really do wear striped tops so often that I could never have enough because there constantly in the washing pile. Again, in a size 8, costing £23. They have it available online here.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

Moving on to this skirt of dreams!! I swooned over a similar skirt from & Other Stories last year but never picked it up because of the price tag. But this year, when I spotted this extremely similar one, I decided to go for it. With this classic print that will never go out of style because it isn’t anything in particular and the on-trend tortoiseshell buttons (here I go again), it’s really the perfect piece for summer in my opinion. Also, serendipitously, they didn’t have my usual size, an 8, only a 10 but it fit perfectly, which I took as fate because I needed a bit of a push to hand over the £49 this skirt cost. They have most sizes available online here.

New In My Wardrobe | May 2018

Last but not least, I ordered this bag, a little bit impulsively off ASOS. My current go-to black bag, a bucket bag from Zara, is being held together by sellotape at the moment so I’ve been keeping my eye out for a new one. This satchel style bag fit the bill perfectly- it’s a great size, roomy but not annoying to carry around. Plus it has croc print and gold hardware, both of which I love. Buy it on ASOS here.

I hope this post hasn’t inspired too many impulse purchases but if it has, let me know in the comments! Summer styling is my favourite and it’s always the time I spend the most money on my clothes so I tend to let myself go a bit wild every so often. You’ll see these pieces styled on my blog and Instagram over the next few weeks so keep an eye out for that!

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