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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