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

Finding Fresh Inspiration

With a new season, usually comes fresh inspiration and this year I’ve been feeling it more than ever thanks to the UK’s prolonged periods of cold weather and premature heatwaves (talking about the weather in the first sentence might be a new record for me). The snow we experienced in mid-March really made me feel down and I was so sick of wearing winter clothes by that point that I was wearing pretty much the same thing every single day. So when temperatures hit above 20 degrees celsius in April I was SO ready to bring out my summer wardrobe. Summer is my favourite time of year generally but especially style-wise. I definitely do still feel this bout of inspiration when the weather starts to cool down during the month of October (but lets not talk about that right now as I’m ready to bask in the warm weather) but that’s usually over within a few weeks when I realise it’s actually too cold to wear anything that looks remotely nice. Summer styling is something I never get fed up of- I’ve been considering moving to a warmer climate when I’m older more and more recently- and with this style inspiration comes inspiration in all other parts of my life.

Summer is my favourite time for clothes because there’s always something new and everything you’re buying is a little bit more affordable so it’s easier to play around with trends a bit more than it is in the winter. It means you can wear skirts and dresses, instead of trousers or tights (which tend to ruin most outfits for me) and generally just gives you so many more options when getting dressed in the morning.

This outfit was one I wore during last weekend’s lovely warm weather (although it wasn’t long until I changed into a skirt instead of jeans- us Brits really cannot hack a bit of sun unless we’re wearing minimal amounts of clothing). I do really love this outfit though. It was inspired by the wonderful Liv Purvis who has been talking about how much she loves wearing white at the moment, and sharing some beautiful photos to exemplify this. I actually bought the top I’m wearing after seeing Liv wearing it on her Insta Stories a couple of months ago and it’s been one of my most worn pieces since. The Los Angeles print is super cool and always makes my outfit feel more summery, as it is pretty much summer all year round in LA (not jealous/bitter at all). I’ve shared these jeans before on the blog but I bloody love them at the moment.They fit perfectly and switching a blue jean for a white pair is a great way to update your wardrobe for the new season.

Now, let’s talk about these shoes. THESE SHOES. £4 in Primark- yes really! I am always blown away by how cheap Primark really is and although I can’t always find amazing pieces in the clothing department, they pretty much always have a great collection of shoes. I picked up a different pair, that I’m sure will be on the blog soon, for £6 and I just couldn’t believe that I had bought two pairs of shoes that I loved for a tenner! These gingham pumps are much more comfortable than I thought they would be. I have seriously wide feet so I’m always worried about wearing flat shoes like this but I actually think they’re really flattering on my wide feet as they kind of have a slimming effect. These sunglasses are also a new purchase from Mango and I think they’re so great. It’s really nice to have a neutral pair of sunglasses that aren’t black but that go with everything. Plus, the subtle cat-eye shape is probably my favourite in a pair of sunglasses as I find them quite flattering. And ,of course, I’m wearing my trusty Zara straw bag. Swapping a leather-style bag out for a straw bag really is a great way to update your style for summer though.

Summer doesn’t just bring style inspiration for me though. It’s the time where I feel my most creative and motivated. I think this is mostly due to the fact that I’ve been in education and sitting exams for the past 4 years. So the first few months of summer are usually, for me, spent working extremely hard and forcing myself to be motivated and the remaining months are time for me to let myself go and relax, which always evokes lots of creative energy. This year, I’m in my first year of university, which means the work I do does not count to my overall grade, so there isn’t as much pressure as there has been over the past few years. Because of this, my motivational levels for revision have dropped a little bit but my creativity is in overdrive! I always feel like I have to suppress some of the things I enjoy during exams in order to focus which, in turn, makes me want to do them more. This year I’m letting myself do them more than usual but I still feel a little restricted because of UNI, which is frustrating but also just makes me so excited for summer.

I remember reading Just Kids by Patti Smith during my A-Levels last summer (this is a must-read BTW) and because this book shows off the extent to which Patti is such an incredibly creative person, it really lit a spark of creativity for me, which I wasn’t able to release until after my exams. This book and this feeling are reminiscent of summer to me now. I’m thinking of re-reading it, or another book of hers, in the next few months to hopefully inspire me even more.

I’d love to hear what inspires you creatively, whether it’s a particular season, a book or anything else! I have a good feeling about the next few months of summer and I’m hoping all this inspiration will manifest itself in my blog. So stay tuned!

Top- ASOS (sold out, ASOS stock some other great Daisy Street t-shirts though)

Jeans- Vintage (similar here)

Shoes- Primark (should still be available in store)

Sunglasses- Mango

Bag- Zara

 

The Power of Sunshine

So today I’m going to be talking about the weather- how very British of me! Seriously though, I can’t even believe the heatwave that we experienced a couple of weeks ago actually happened now I’m back in my jumpers and coats. But it did! And I have photo evidence to prove it! British people really are obsessed with the weather but there’s good reason for it in my opinion. The weather has such a significant effect on my mood, motivation and social life and I always feel so much happier during the summer months than in the winter. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas but I really feel like summer brings out the best version of me and I’ve recently decided that moving to a hot country would be worth what I’m sure would be a weird and disorientating feeling of experiencing Christmas without freezing cold weather and lots of layers.

During the UK’s week of sun, I threw my university deadlines to one side and really made the most of it. Something I did with relative ease and would not have been able to do without serious anxiety and guilt usually. But as warm weather is so rare in our country, I really felt a sense of carelessness, which was so unusual and liberating for me. I feel like the sun loosens everyone up a little bit- well I’m certain it must do really if it makes someone as uptight as me loose track of my work. Obviously this might not be a good thing for everyone (aka those who are already a little nonchalant about their workload) but getting a little bit behind on work to enjoy times with friends and family surely doesn’t hurt anyone.

That brings me nicely on to my next point about the power of sunny weather- it really gets an introvert like me out of the house a fair bit! I spent time in beer gardens, getting some work done with my friends outside rather than tucked up in my room as well as going on a night out, which was so nice. Leaving the comfort of my own space is always a tiny bit of a chore for me when the skies are grey and depressing but any time I had to spend indoors during the heatwave was spent rushing to get back outside. As mentioned in my last post about being comfortable with yourself, there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert and enjoying staying in but sometimes it can be too easy to get a little bit carried away with how much time you’re spending with yourself, which before you know it leads to feelings of loneliness and isolation. So I think a little push from the weather that makes you feel eager to spend time with other people is always a positive thing!

I spent the final day of sun we experienced, which just so happened to be a Saturday, in my favourite ever city and hometown, Liverpool. After sitting in a pub to watch the football (only a tiny bit against my will) Sam and I went to The Bagelry for lunch, which I would 100% recommend- I had the most amazing vegan pancakes and it’s super affordable. We spent the rest of the day wandering around some shops and then went on a night out to Heebie Jeebies with his housemates which was so much fun. It was such a nice day/night and I was in a great mood the whole time (which, I have to admit, is rare), which I’m putting down to the weather.

The skirt I’m wearing I bought only the week before from Topshop, thinking I wouldn’t be able to wear it for months or even ever in the UK, and so I was super excited to have a chance to wear it only the week after. This vest is also from Topshop and it’s one I picked up last year. I also have it in white and they were both staples in my wardrobe throughout the entire summer of 2017. I think they’re really flattering and I was obviously very pleased by how well these two shades of blue co-ordinate. Whilst my dark-wash denim jacket adds another shade of blue to the outfit, I especially love how the contrast stitching highlights the whites of my outfit. It’s kind of ironic that I’m wearing an outfit that consists of various shades of blue whilst talking about sunny weather and happiness but I promise there really is no symbolism behind these colours.

I’m also wearing what is my current favourite bag from Zara. You’re probably going to become sick of the sight of it because it’s going to be featured in lots of upcoming posts. But I absolutely love it and I would 100% keep an eye out on Zara’s website for a re-stock of it if I were you. These slides are so simple (and were such a bargain) but they really do elevate every outfit I wear. I particularly love styling them with some boyfriend/mom style jeans for an effortless look that is also clearly put together. And finally, these sunglasses that I’ve definitely neglected a bit too much over the past few years. They’re a little bit OTT but I actually really like that and I think they’re also quite flattering for my face shape.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I’d love to hear about how the weather affects your mood. Are you a summer person like me or do you prefer the winter? I’d especially love to hear your reasoning behind the latter as despite the joys of Christmas, my birthday and all the other festivities I just can’t get behind the cold weather and so would love to hear your thoughts! Let’s hope for more warm weather in the UK! (Although I haven’t got my hopes up too high- classic British cynicism hey!)

Top- Topshop (no longer available, similar here)

Skirt- Topshop

Jacket- Topshop (no longer available)

Shoes- New Look (no longer available, similar here)

Sunglasses- Le Specs

Bag- Zara