Should We Bare Our Souls Online?

Should We Bare Our Souls Online?

Jumper- & Other Stories


Skirt- Topshop (currently sold out but they’re re-stocking it quite regularly at the moment- I will post a link to my Twitter when/if it is re-stocked again)


Necklace- ASOS

Today’s post was going to be an update on how I’ve been dealing with my anxiety, something I’ve been planning on writing for a few weeks. When I realised it was International Mental Health Day on Wednesday I thought this post would be even more apt. But it was ironically that day that made me change my mind. Although it’s a great way of helping raise awareness of mental health issues, it meant that a lot of people were sharing their own stories of their own mental health problems, which, again, is a good way of helping to add to the evergrowing conversation around mental health. However, for me, I found listening to other people’s stories overwhelming and triggering. It was one of the first times I’ve really had to make myself to put my phone down and stay off social media for the day/night because it became quite a negative space for me.

This got me thinking about how much of my life I wanted to be sharing on social media. On my blog in the past, I’ve been happy to talk a lot about my personal experiences and, by doing so, I’ve been able to connect with people going through similar things, which has definitely been really positive. But after feeling so overwhelmed by hearing others’ stories on Wednesday, I began to rethink whether sharing so much really is the best thing to do.

Should We Bare Our Souls Online?

The conversation around the ethics of sharing on social media has been growing so much over the past few months. From Katherine Ormerod’s new book ‘Why Social Media Is Ruining Your Life’, and the corresponding Instagram hashtag, to Pandora Syke’s recent article for Man Repeller, it’s definitely a topic that’s hot on people’s tongues. Much of the conversation around this subject argues that we should be presenting more honest perceptions of ourselves on social media, better reflections of our ‘real life’. I can definitely see how the facades of social media can be harmful for many people, seeing people live seemingly perfectly lives and feeling like yours just doesn’t live up is definitely a negative thing. But, for me, this just isn’t the case. I use social media as a form of escapism, just I use books, TV and other forms of media. I think this was why being faced with so many ‘real-life’ stories similar to mine felt so difficult for me. I like seeing a ‘glossy’ version of people’s lives on social media and I’m very, very aware that everyone’s Instagram feeds are a highlight reel of their life (although I do like seeing a bit of ‘real life’ over on Instagram stories). I like using social media as a way of pursuing my interests, from fashion to books to food and reading and seeing photos around these topics definitely helps me switch off and feel more positive. But as real people, should we be sharing our real lives on the internet all the time?

Most people at the moment, it seems to me, would probably answer yes. The word ‘responsibility’ comes up a lot when talking about how bloggers and ‘influencers’ should be using social media and obviously there is some sense of responsibility attached to the job title, like there is with any job. But should people really feel as though they have to share every single aspect of their lives with strangers online? Is it helpful if they do? I don’t have any answers. I don’t know how I feel about it. At the moment, I think maybe users of social media should take responsibility for their own usage, unfollowing people who make them feel negative and limiting their usage of social media if they know it’s not good for them. Because, for me, Instagram, most of the time, feels like quite a positive space for me (even if I waste far too much of my time scrolling) and I can only see it becoming more negative and triggering, personally, if people were to start sharing the more negative aspects of their life on there, especially if they were only doing so because they felt they had to.

Should We Bare Our Souls Online?

I’m not advocating for social media, specifically Instagram, to be a completely honest or dishonest portrayal of ‘real life’, I think I’d like it to be somewhere in the middle, which, with most people I follow, is where I think it’s at now. I think it all comes down to personal choices in terms of posting and following. Maybe for me it’s positive to talk about some of my own negative experiences online but generally not helpful to read about other people’s? Is this contradictory? Yes. But is this ok? I think probably yes. Because if other people, like me, don’t feel good about reading other people’s struggles or ‘real life’ issues, then they can unfollow me. Maybe I wouldn’t even follow myself? Now this is really getting morally confusing. You can tell I don’t know where my mind is at on this subject. But I thought I’d put my confused thoughts out on to the internet anyway because I think there is an interesting conversation to be had about this topic and I’d like to contribute to it, even if I’m doing so unhelpfully. 

I’d absolutely love to hear your views on the topic of sharing online. Do you feel a responsibility to make sure your Instagram page is a completely honest version of you? How do you go about avoiding the bits of social media that you find negative? Let me know in the comments or send me a message over on Instagram or Twitter.

Should We Bare Our Souls Online?
Should We Bare Our Souls Online?
Should We Bare Our Souls Online?
Should We Bare Our Souls Online?
Should We Bare Our Souls Online?
Should We Bare Our Souls Online?
Should We Bare Our Souls Online?

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

Photography by Ami Ford.

The content of this week’s blog post is primarily style-based, which is a little bit unusual for me. However it seems very apt as I’ve been ridiculously excited about autumn/winter fashion recently and it’s all I can think about/spend my money on. Even now I’m excited at the thought of getting dressed today so I can wear my new Topshop midi skirt. Anyway, we’re one paragraph in and I’m off on a tangent. Lets get back to the point of this post, following trends without losing your personal style.

I wouldn’t really say that I’ve got my personal style down to a tee and if you asked me to summarise it, I wouldn’t know how. But I know when I’m wearing something that feels like ‘me’ and I know when I’m wearing something that doesn’t. I think that’s essentially what personal style is. But something that can get in the way of your personal style is trend pieces, especially the ones that everyone on Instagram is going crazy for. Sometimes, when seeing a piece on your favourite blogger, it’s difficult to tell whether it’s the piece they’re wearing that you like or if it’s how it looks on them that draws you to it. I’ve wasted a fair amount of money in the past on trend pieces that just weren’t for me and didn’t align with my style, mostly because of the reason above and also because sometimes seeing something so much can actually make you think you like it.

Anyway, I styled this outfit based on some of this season’s current trends while still maintaining a sense of my personal style. So, based on this outfit, I’m going to provide some tips on, in my opinion, the best ways to follow and style trends.

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style


1. Style Your Trend Pieces with Your Staple Pieces

I think one way that people’s personal style can become lost by trend pieces is when their entire outfit is made up from them. This is why I struggle to get on board with co-ords sometimes, such as leopard print co-ords or the matching flared pants and crop tops, because I feel like by wearing them I could lose my personal style. But if you pair your trend pieces with your staple pieces, there’s always going to be an element of ‘you’ within your outfit. Here I’ve paired 3 trend items, the cargo pants, leopard print shoes and hair clips, with 3 staple items, a simple black cami, a simple gold necklace and a classic croc print shoulder bag. Part of this tip is also ensuring you have those staple pieces in your wardrobe (mine would probably be a white t-shirt, a pair of straight leg jeans, my Vans and a leather jacket) because they are always going to make your style feel like ‘you’.

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

2. Think About It and Experiment

This tip relates back to my earlier point about seeing a trend piece on someone who’s style you like and thinking you want it for yourself. Before following a direct link to buy the item, think about how it would fit into your wardrobe. Come up with at least 3 ways you would wear the item. If you can’t do this, you shouldn’t really be buying it in my opinion as it’s inevitably going to be one of the items that sits in the back of your wardrobe. I wasn’t sure how the hair clip trend was going to fit in with my personal style, as I tend to really enjoy wearing my hair loose and a little bit messy. But I thought about it for a couple of months and tried some different types of hair clips on in store before finally deciding to give it a go. I’m quite confident wearing hair clips now as I thought a lot about how I would wear them (and even dedicated a Pinterest board to them) before buying some. But I feel as though if I would have bought them as soon as seeing them on someone whose style I admire, this confidence wouldn’t have been there. 

FYI: I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with not liking a trend at first and eventually allowing it to grow on you, as long as this isn’t just because you’ve seen it on so many people. Your style might have slightly changed from when you first saw it or you might have discovered new ways to style it. Just make sure you’re consciously thinking about the reasons why your mind has changed to avoid wasting your money.

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

3. Pair Trendy Patterns with Staple Shapes or Trendy Shapes with Staple Patterns/Colours

This is a rule I try and stick to although, of course it’s completely fine to try new shapes and patterns. However it is a good way of ensuring trend pieces you spend money on aren’t too out there that you’re going to be scared to wear them. What I mean by this tip is, for example, if you want to buy into the leopard print trend, choose a piece that is in a shape that you’re comfortable wearing (such as an A-Line skirt or a blazer). Or, alternatively, if you’re buying into a trend based on style or shape, such as the silk/satin midi skirt trend, choose one in a colour that you’re comfortable wearing.

I wasn’t 100% sure about the animal print trend (I’m still very skeptical of the snake print trend, I don’t think it’s for me) but I have eventually picked up some leopard print bits that I’ve definitely got wear out of, such as these Primark shoes. These shoes were only £6 so they weren’t much of an investment piece anyway but, even so, I don’t think that’s a reason to buy things without thinking about them because firstly, little things add up and, secondly, I want to own things that I love not that I just feel indifferent towards. And I knew I was going to get so much wear out of these shoes because I have them in yellow and wore them to death during summer. So I knew they were going to be a really good trend-based update to my wardrobe for autumn/winter.

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

4. Know What The Trends Are

This might be the most important tip because if you don’t know what this season’s trends are you aren’t going to be able to follow the previous tips. Also, most of the time it’s important to think of trend items as such so you know not to invest your money in something that’s only going to be around for a season or two. By being consciously aware of the trends, you can consider when you see something you like, if you like it because it’s a popular item that lots of people have been wearing if you like it because it’s something you’d personally feel great in. My favourite way to keep myself up to date with the season’s trends is by reading articles and watching videos about them. Megan Ellaby does great videos every season on trend pieces, here is the link to her autumn edition. Karen also did a really great video on the same topic.

I hope this post has been helpful and will inform any shopping you’re planing on doing over the next couple of months. I’ve definitely bought into a few of this seasons’ trends such as satin midi skirts, cardigans and leopard print but I’m always conscious of which pieces are going to last me a long time and which pieces aren’t and I try and spend my money accordingly. Let me know in the comments or over on social media what your favourite trend of the season is!

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style
How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style
How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style
How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style
How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style
How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

Top- Urban Outfitters (old, similar here)

Trousers- New Look via ASOS

Bag- ASOS (sold out, similar here)

Shoes- Primark 

Hairclips- Accesorize

Necklace- ASOS

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Photography by Ami Ford.

I’m finally back with a new blog post after a brief hiatus due to a busy couple of weeks and some personal struggles, which I will go into more later in the post. But I’ve been wanting to write on this topic and share these photos for what feels like forever now and I’m finally getting round to it today. These photos were taken by the incredible Ami Ford, whose work I had admired from afar for some time and so was delighted to be able to shoot with her, and I’m so happy with the outcome! You can find her on Instagram here, Twitter here or visit her website here.

Today’s post is inspired by these photos and specifically, the location that these photos were taken in. This was perhaps one of the busiest road in Manchester on the Sunday afternoon we were shooting on, meaning I really had to have confidence in what I was doing as posing in the middle of a very busy road in a bright yellow midi dress with every passerby staring at you with confused/baffled looks can/could have been an uncomfortable situation. In fact, posing for photos in any situation, even if there are only one or two confused onlookers, and sharing them on social media is quite a daunting concept generally and something I’m still trying to become totally comfortable in.

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Anything that you do that is a little bit different, especially if it involves self-promotion, is probably going to be scary and weird. Since becoming more confident in doing my own thing, my life has only improved however I’m still not 100% there yet at all. So much so that, after a little (read: huge) wobble after moving to UNI last week, I considered not writing this post as I didn’t think I was qualified to discuss this topic. But then I realised that if I wait till I feel totally comfortable in myself and my interests and habits, I’m probably never going to get round to writing it as I don’t even know if it’s possible to feel that way to such an extent. So I thought I would use this post to discuss the areas of my life in which I’m trying to become more comfortable in doing my own thing whilst also providing some tips to help others do the same.

INTERESTS AND IDEAS: STARTING MY BLOG

The first area in which I’ve really had to push myself out of my comfort zone is, as you might have guessed from the first part of this post and from previous posts, starting and running this blog. Having a blog, especially one that is fashion/style-based, means your constantly having to promote yourself and, at times, bare your soul to the internet, not knowing who’s going to see it or what reaction it’s going to get. These are the reasons why it took me so long to properly commit to having a blog but, as with most things, now I have it these two things, and everything else that comes along with it, are not so scary at all.

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

I do still feel a little bit uncomfortable with the self-promotion thing and it’s definitely not my favourite part about having a blog, especially in person, but it’s something that I’ve got used to and definitely don’t feel scared or embarrassed about anymore. The only advice I really have for starting something you want to do whether it’s a blog, a YouTube channel, a music career etc. is just start it. Everyone says this but it’s so true. You’re going to have to get over being embarrassed about it and, if it’s something you feel passionately about and enjoy, you’ll get over it so much quicker than you think. Plus, if you’re surrounded by good people then they’ll support you and if you aren’t, at least it will help you realise that there are some shitty people in your life who don’t need to be there.

SOCIAL AND PERSONAL LIFE: GOING OUT AND DRINKING ALCOHOL

The next part of my life where I’ve had to try and do my own thing, and probably the most difficult part for me, is learning how I like to spend my time and realising that this is not how most people my age, in my situation like to do so. Yep, this is the part where I reveal that I’m 19 going on 90, far more inclined to spend my Saturday night watching Strictly Come Dancing then getting drunk and staying up till 5am. I’ve not always been like this, I used to love a good night out and a drink, admittedly before it was legal/acceptable for me to do so, and I think that’s part of the reason why it’s mostly not for me anymore.

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Some people don’t ever grow out of getting drunk and partying but a lot of people do and I think because I started out so early I am just a little bit bored by it now and definitely not excited by it. The other reasons why I’ve retired from being a party type of girl are much more difficult to navigate as they’re purely health related. I’ve struggled with IBS and anxiety, as you’ll probably know if you’ve read my blog before, for over 2 years now and they are both extremely negatively affected by drinking alcohol and a lack of sleep. I’m not going to go into it too much, because you really don’t want to know about my digestive issues, trust me, but after drinking 3-4 ciders on Thursday night, I was not only fairly drunk (I’ve always been a lightweight but my lack of drinking has only accentuated that) but I spent the entirety of Friday with horrendous stomach pains, meaning I struggled to stand up by the end of the day, plus any feelings of anxiety are multiplied by 100.

This has been quite difficult for me because, as a student, the main activity that my friends engage in is drinking alcohol (FYI: I don’t judge them for this at all, everyone enjoys different things and they’re just as entitled to enjoy drinking as I am to not enjoy it). However, in my experience, the best thing you can do in these types of situations is be open with people. No one is going to get annoyed with you if you tell them how negatively you feel about doing something (even if your reasons for this aren’t health-related) but they might if you cancel on plans last minute with an obviously-fake excuse or constantly decline their plans with no explanations. My friends are always so kind to me about not drinking or not going out and try to make effort with me to organise different types of things to do, meaning I rarely have to force myself through awkward and anxious nights and even worse morning-afters, something that was a weekly affair for me during my first year of UNI when I refused to be honest with anyone about it.

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES: DEALING WITH ANXIETY

The final thing I want to discuss is dealing with mental health issues and I know this sounds weird because ‘doing your own thing’ does not usually equate to having anxiety. But I think the most important thing in dealing with a mental health problem is accepting it and being confident that you know what the best things to do for you are and doing them, no matter what anyone else thinks. If you want to eat a pack of biscuits for tea because that’s the only thing you feel hungry for and you don’t have the energy to make anything else, do it (this is a case study from my life, specifically during the last week). If you feel like you need an extension on an essay or any sort of mitigating circumstances, talk to someone at your school/college/UNI about it.

You’re the only person who knows exactly how you feel and you can’t be embarrassed about your needs or the way you’re feeling and avoid them because no one else is going to be able to guess what you want to do and help you. Something I found difficult last year and over the past week since moving back to UNI is feeling like I need/want to come home because being at UNI makes me anxious. There is such a stigma around going home from UNI, in my experience, because people feel as though they need to ‘stick it out’ to prove their independence and that UNI is the best years of their life. I felt the same way last year and forced myself to stay for UNI for weeks even though I knew a weekend at home would do me the world of good and I was very much in a position to go home. Now, mostly because of the incredible support of my friends and family, I feel absolutely no shame in coming home for a weekend or even every weekend, because if that’s what I need to do to get through the days without a panic attack then that’s what I’ll do.

I realise this post has been a little bit of a ramble but it’s something that I’ve wanted to speak about for a while and, clearly, have a lot to say about. I hope it’s inspired you to do something this week that you want to do for you, whether that’s starting a blog, saying no to something you don’t want to do or booking an appointment with a counsellor. Be sure to leave me a comment or message me on social media if you want to discuss this topic further or talk about my experiences or your experiences. My DM’s on Twitter and Instagram are always open!

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

Having Confidence in Doing Your Own Thing

 

A Summer Type Of Girl

A Summer Type Of Girl

It really feels like the end of summer now. As much as I’ve tried to drag it out, it’s now usually necessary to wear a jacket when leaving the house and I have no more trips booked. But I can’t really complain, I’ve had so much fun and made so many memories this summer and I’m glad I’ve made the most of what is my penultimate ‘official summer holiday’ as a student. I’ve also been working quite a lot and making some money, most of which I’ve spent on decorating my second year university room. Anyway, I wanted to write this post to commemorate and look back on this summer and talk about why the summer months really are my favourite part of the year.

As a January baby, you might not expect me to be such a summer lover, but I am renowned for always wanting what I can’t have. I do love Christmas but apart from that, the winter months just don’t do it for me. So many people talk about how much they love winter fashion, and I must admit I am getting very excited about buying some new knitwear, but, generally, in the UK it’s too cold to wear anything remotely stylish and so I end up wearing the same outfit with the same ugly coat all the time. The thought of snuggling up by the fire in a blanket with a book also appeals to me but honestly this actually happens to me three times at a push and most of my experiences of winter involve waiting for the bus in the freezing cold/rain and dreading leaving my bed in the morning. But enough of my complaining about the winter, let me tell you about why I love summer so much, and why this summer was one of the best.

I guess I always associate summer with time off, time off from education that is. Summer is the time when I can do all the things that make me feel like myself and this always leaves me feeling so reinvigorated. It’s also associated with travelling, which is one of my favourite things to do, and, this one’s not always a given in the UK, sunny weather, which is inarguably better than cold weather and I refuse to dispute this with anyone. My happiest place is probably lying on a  beach in a bikini with a book and I don’t think there’s a time when I feel more relaxed than this. Summer for me isn’t an excuse to be lazy though. Despite taking time off education, I always make the most of summer to allow me to be creative, travel and really make the most of the free time I have to spend with friends and family. I think pretty much all my favourite memories have been made in summer and I was worried that this year because I have been working pretty much full-time that this wouldn’t be the case, and summer just wouldn’t be as good. But, as much as working has exhausted me, it has by no means ruined my summer and this one has still been one of the best ever. I think this proves that it’s not just the time off that makes summer so great for me, it’s the ease that comes along with it, whether that’s simple dressing, spontaneous plans or the fact that I find it so much easier to be happy when I’m woken up through the sun shining through the gaps in my blinds.

This summer I have travelled more than ever before. I feel so unbelievably lucky to have been to so many incredible places and if you’d like to hear more about them in detail then head to the travel section of my blog here to catch up on travel guides and my travels documented on 35mm film. I thought in this post what I would do is share some of my favourite memories from this summer, home and away, so I can always remember to be grateful for everything the past few months have had in store for me.

The start of summer for me feels like my holiday in Corfu with my sister and my mum- this was the ultimate girly, relaxing holiday from spending our days by the pool to our nights on the balcony in our pyjamas dancing to terrible ABBA tribute bands. I was still in the midst of my exams at this point but managed to really put them to one side and enjoy this holiday, which was so important for me in my process of remembering that academic excellence is not the be all and end all of life.

When my exams were over I headed to Parklife Festival, which, as a weekend, is one of my favourite memories from summer. I met up with new and old friends and danced the weekend away and I still have the remains of glitter dotted in and amongst my belongings to prove it. Parklife is also an amazing memory for me because I remember every single bit of it because I was more or less sober for the whole weekend! I’ve talked about this briefly before but as someone who deals with anxiety and chronic stomach issues, me+alcohol = bad news, so to be able to enjoy this festival without feeling judged sober was a big feat for me.

Then came a period of about a month that I spent at home and at work and enjoyed the UK’s glorious heatwave. My favourite memories from this period mostly took place in beer garden’s with friends and also in the garden soaking up the sun (and attempting and mostly failing to put up a paddling pool) with Sam. This is what I mean about summer weather making seeing friends so much easier and spontaneous! Everyone wants to go out in the sun when it’s there so everyone generally does.

A Summer Type Of Girl

The main event of July was my trip to Barcelona, a city I absolutely fell in love with and an AIRBNB that was my dream home for when I’m a 20-something. I fell in love with the city, the people and, more than anything, THE FOOD. Oh the food. I will never stop talking about those vegan Nutella donuts. I consider booking a flight over there almost daily just to grace my mouth one more time with those heavenly creations.

The first week of August for me was spent in Bath with Sam’s family, a beautiful city and a really relaxing trip, proving that you don’t need to go abroad to escape everyday life. Note to self: must go on more UK-based holidays. I came back to a week home alone as my family flew out to Fuerteventura a week earlier than Sam and I so I could get some shifts in at work but it seemed like no time until I joined them out there. This felt like a quintessential family holiday for me, with all the good bits and the bad…but mostly good. I got through three books (relaxing holidays like this are always an excuse for me to read as much as possible) and spent some quality time with my family and Sam and also ate a lot (that’s definitely a theme of this summer).

A Summer Type Of Girl

I got back from Fuerteventura and within less than a week I was in Paris, on my final trip of the summer with one of my closest friends, Maisie! I’ve been to Paris before 4 years ago but I fell in love with it even more this time. There is a mini guide to Paris coming your way very soon so I won’t go into it too much but let’s just say that Paris truly has my heart.

So yeah this summer has been pretty amazing to say the least. And not just because of the places I’ve been but because of the people I’ve spent it with (sorry for the cringe). During the academic year I am a hectic mess so I am so grateful to have these summer months not only because of the weather but because it reminds me how important spending time with the people in my life really is. But I’m still going to try and stay positive for the autumn/winter months, however hard that might be for me. Not to wish my life away but I feel like I’m already making plans and counting down the days for summer 2019, I just can’t help it!

A Summer Type Of Girl

A Summer Type of Girl

A Summer Type Of Girl

A Summer Type Of Girl

A Summer Type Of Girl

A Summer Type Of GirlA Summer Type of Girl

Dress- Mango

Necklace- ASOS

Shoes- Topshop

Bag- Zara

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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