Tuesday, 21 November 2017

A chat about Blogging these days and an outfit i just really liked

I wasn't planning on posting these images as a blog post, they were merely taken for an insta pic, which i try to do daily.
I didn't deem them good enough for the blog, the lighting is dark, the poses are all a bit samey and it just didn't seem like the type of photo i would publish here.
But then i got to thinking. I really like this outfit so why not.

Here's the thing: There's something quick and easy and an element of instant gratification with instagram, likes come within moments, comments are easy to give and reply and then we all move on to the next photo. The easy access on our phone means we can pick it up and put it down, whether that be a quick moment on the toilet (yup guilty) or a waiting for the bus, its easy. And in a world where we are all a million miles an hour we often convenience is key.

Six and half years ago when i first started blogging i would blog an outfit 3 times a week, hardly ever missing an outfit day.
But with time i have posted less outfits here, content has changed and i have sometimes stepped back a bit choosing to micro-blog on Instagram over sharing here at the blog.
There's been talk on the social channels at the moment that perhaps blogs are slowing down and dying a little. But i don't think that's the case entirely. I think there will always be room for blogs as there is still for newspapers, magazines, books and informative websites.

I guess the daily chat on Instagram appeals to me, its easy to quickly explain about your boiler breaking (yup that was me) or that you fell over on some leaves (also me), but by the time i sit down to write a blog the moment has mostly passed and i've probably forgotten it as life just moves on so quickly.

So what am i trying to say here?
Um i'm not really sure. I'm not quitting blogging that's for sure, but just perhaps i'm going to make a conscious effort to show more outfits, whether the photos are perfect or not and maybe try a little harder for some banter and chat, as that is what brought me to blogging in the first place.

On to the outfit!
This dress is such a simple piece but i've worn it twice in the past 5 days. It's comfy, it has pockets and makes me feel nice when i wear it.
It was a bargainous £20.00 from H&M and comes in a number of colour ways i'm tempted to get it in the red and black as well as this green as its just so easy to wear.. and did i mention it has pockets?

I teamed it with my super old biker boots, my trusty biker jacket and my new Baker Boy hat, which is a trend i am sure pleased to see has returned. I love a hat (obvs) but the baker boy is possibly my favourite type of hat. Its easy on the old nonce and it keeps your face dry and hair out of the way when we have inclement weather (which is often shall we say).
The Baker Boy hat is £15 from Topshop and is generous (good for my large head), im super tempted to get it in the rust red colour as i really love it that much!

Simple outfit, but super happy. I love that i feel tidy in this but also comfy to sit at my desk all day, or even get the hoover out. Its an all rounder of a dress that i can see me wanting to reach for time and time again. I like the idea of wearing it layered with some faux leather trousers and a turtle neck underneath. But if i'm honest, i really just like it just like this :)

So tell me ladies, how do you feel about blogging these days? Do you still  love to read them/ write them or are you leaning more to social media such as Instagram?

Much Love

Monday, 20 November 2017

Winter Warmth Essentials

Ok i will warn you now, this is (obviously) not a high fashion post.. im talking cosy toes and all things warm and practical!

Low temperatures mean it is time to get cosy! I actually love this time of year when it gets super chilly and you need to bring out all the, scarves and hats, the warm boots and big thick coats. When i open the curtains and see a clear day with frost adorning the ground my heart is happy. I know.. i may possibly be mad, but there is nothing i love more than walking Cassy on a cold crisp morning.
On those lovely cold dry mornings I walk Neo to his bus stop (with Cassy of course) and we get all bundled up in our hats and big coats and gloves. We play don't step on the cracks and we chat as we walk. Its just one of my favourite things to do.
And I'll be honest, fashion goes out the window for me on those morning walks. Its all about the cosiest of coats and the warmest of toes.
I've teamed up with OD's Designer Clothing to bring you the very warmest of clothing (and still rather lovely too!)

The Practical & Warm Coat

Oh yes.. the first thing i pull out of storage when it gets cold is my warmest jacket.
I will always say invest in a good winter coat. I invested in my red one (above) two years ago and its still going strong. These here are all going to keep you warm for years to come. I love the Blue  and the red (which is by the brand Parajumpers) for standing out.

Add a layer

Sometimes if i'm hoping from car to shop and then home again i love to throw a layer on but nothing to restrictive (bizarrely i hate wearing a big coat when i'm in the car, i feel constricted and get too hot).  A long waistcoat or a throw/poncho is ideal for short trips, these are both Rhino & Pelle and would work perfectly for that extra layer.

Pretty Knitwear (of course)

Oh knitwear, each year i buy too much, but i can't help myself, its such a long winter i feel like lots of knitwear is needed.
Having pretty knitwear obviously helps too. I am  going to invest in a couple of special pieces this year and make sure i get the wear out of them. I think a new slogan jumper and maybe something pretty like the Ted Baker below, dress it up or down and it will be a great little workhorse of a piece.

Cosy Toes 

Love them or hate them Ugg's really do keep your toes the warmest of the warm. I have 3 pairs and come winter i will be living in them. I wear them around the house, if i go out and wear shoes i will often put my Uggs in the car to change back in to as soon as i can, and i love them to walk the dog in (not advisable in the rain however). Yes they are the marmite in the shoe community but sometimes practicality and warmth prevails, and these are by far the warmest shoes i've ever donned. And extremely comfy too. Tell me, do you love them or hate them?
Are you a cold weather enthusiast like me? 
What are you Cosy essentials this time of year?

Much Love

This post is a happily Collaborated post, thanks for supporting RTH and the brands who work with me :)

Sunday, 19 November 2017

My First Daily Vlog!

Ohhhh it took me some time to whip the camera out in public and start talking to it BUT i did it.. my first ever Daily Vlog!
Last week i went to Glastonbury for the day (as you may have seen from my Haruka Post, if you haven't seen it be sure to check it out in full as it has my Top Picks from the store and they are well worth a look) and Hung out with Amanda of Haruka and got to play dress up in her store. Amanda then took me for a gorgeous lunch and up the famous Tor!
Grab a cuppa and come have a watch of my first very daily vlog and see what i got up to that day!

Much Love

Saturday, 18 November 2017

What to Wear to an Interview

Did you know, just after Christmas is the time when people start to look for new jobs.. I guess it's the whole new year new start thing, plus the down time over the festive period gets us thinking about what we are doing and if we want to be doing something else.

First comes the job searches, then comes the interviews

Some may not think employers are judging you on your wardrobe, but quite often the way you dress and compose yourself can suggest a lot about you.
Its one of the questions I've been most asked (In real life) over the years:
What do i wear to an interview?
So here are a few tips that will make you appear organised and professional and potentially increase your chances of getting that new dream job.

Match the formality

It’s always worth knowing the dress code beforehand. If an employer doesn’t specify it in an email, ring them up and ask or do a little research. You don’t want to under-dress as this could suggest you’re not serious enough about wanting the job – if an employer suggest casual clothing, dress smart-casual just in case. Think cardigans and smart skirts but don’t go overboard and wear black boardroom attire. Overdressing is possible in some jobs, particularly those in a creative field or working with children. You may come across to conservative and not friendly or upbeat enough for the role.

Wear a watch

Watches are a great accessory to wear to an interview. They suggest good time management, making you appear more organised (you may be terrible at time management, but a watch will suggest otherwise, so long as you’re not late to the interview😂). You don’t have to fork out on a designer watch – there are plenty of cheap wristwatches that do the job. So long as it’s not scuffed up or damaged, it will help your image.

Shine those shoes

Did you know, many employers still look out for shiny shoes. Why? Taking the time to polish your shoes beforehand shows that you’ve taken time to prepare and not just slipped on the first pair of shoes you can find before going out the door. Employers like an applicant that has spent time preparing for the interview as it shows a passion to get that job. Ironing clothes and putting on make-up similarly shows that you’re a forward planner.

Bring a brolly

You don’t want to turn up to your interview looking like a drowned rat because you didn’t prepare for the rain. An umbrella is a great tool for showing that you’re organised and that you plan for disasters. Hats may similarly be able to stop wind from blowing your hair around. Just make sure that they’re not the type of hat that leaves you with hat hair which is never a good look frankly (a bit of volume mousses can work wonders).

Avoid overly distracting clothing

It’s okay to have bold statement piece. In fact, a brightly coloured item of clothing or a piece of jewellery or patterned cardigan may make you more memorable as a candidate and is a great way to show a bit of your personality through your clothing. However, avoid overly complicated clothing choices that could stop an employer from being able to concentrate on what you’re saying or take you seriously. You want to be seen and heard and not to distract them from your qualities with something that is possibly inappropriate (hello mini skirt/bodycon dress.. perhaps just keep those for another occasion) I would say, avoid slogans, faux leather and faux fur and sportswear.. just as a guideline 😉

All in all, just try to be the best version of yourself. Think of what you would want to see from a person who is going for the job and don't forget to smile (which i actually once did forget to do.. instead i hyperventilated in a board room.. yeh.. i've had my fair share of bad interviews too)

*Post written in happy collaboration*

Friday, 17 November 2017

My Day at Harauka and Top Picks for the Season (& #Passion4Fashion Link-Up)

On Monday i took a trip across the bridge and went to Glastonbury for the day to visit and hang out at Haruka.

So what is Haruka i hear you ask?
Haruka is a boutique filled with a veritable array of colour, texture and pattern of original designs and creations.
Each piece (apart from 3 other brands also sold in store) are designed by the owner Amanda.
Haruka is named after her son, i would say the store and brand is also like another child to her, and rightfully so. Amanda has created something extremely special and i'm going to try and explain why.

The shop is filled with beautiful, flattering and diverse pieces, items that you won't find on the High street or probably see another lady in them ( You know that awkward moment when you get to a gathering and there's someone rocking the same H&M/M&S/Next dress as you.. well none of that here!) Each piece is limited edition, painstakingly designed with ethically sourced fabric and handcrafted by artisans from Nepal and India who have become friends from years of working together.
Amanda regularly travels to India and Nepal to be with the creators of her pieces and to spend time overseeing the production process.

The thing I think i'm trying to get across is this: When you wear a Haruka piece you feel amazing. You feel the quality of the fabric,  you feel the time that's gone in to making it, you feel the design come to life and the passion that has gone in to each and every stitch from its designer, Amanda.

You aren't just wearing another mass produced item off of a rail. You're wearing a one of a kind design and creation.
It feels special.
These are items that will be with you and stand the test of time, not just a passing fad or trend. This will be a piece that will see you through the good times and the bad, special occasions or daily wears. This is a piece that wants to be worn again and again.
And you feel it, you really do.

Haruka is a not just a shop, but a way of life that i honestly think we should all be embracing more:

 "Our collections are designed to build upon each other year after year, so that treasured favourites can be mixed and matched with new pieces. We use natural fibres, in rich earthy shades, some of them woven especially for us to our own specification of weight, composition and colour. Other fabrics are sourced from the surplus market, using materials that the fashion industry would otherwise throw away. This allows us to get creative, and add spice to our range with limited edition pieces."

Amazing right?
 Inside the shop i experienced first hand what its like to be a Haruka Customer. I saw ladies coming in with low expectations of finding anything that would fit or look good on them, only to then leave with a full outfit, beaming smile and a happy heart.
Each person who arrived at Haruka left with something.
And that was incredible to see.

After talking with Amanda and feeling so inspired by her passion I scoured the rails and wanted SO many items. What i first thought was a fully bohemian collection soon turned my expectations upside down (in a good way!). The thing i noticed throughout is that there is something for everybody, whether that be style, body type or age, there is a design that will look and fit you like a dream.
So i hot footed it to the changing room with an arm full of beauties to play dress up, and these are my findings:

1. Silk & Jersey Mermaid Dress

Coming in at number one had to be the red dress i had been looking for my entire adult life. Designed and sculpted to flatter, it was an absolute dream to wear. The soft jersey fabric made this comfy and wearable, yet the silk made the dress feel luxurious and special. The combination of fabrics made this dress simply exceptional.
I posted this on Insta and many ladies were interested in it for a possible Christmas day dress.. Yes yes yes.., it is the perfect Christmas dress; the fluted skirt that sways when you walk will make you feel magnificent, yet the soft stretchy fabric will also allow for as many bucks fizz and mince pies as you require.
Shop the dress here

2. Sequin & Wool Siren Skirt

 A very close second favourite was the stunning maxi skirt.
When i first picked this up i was pleasantly surprised to feel how heavy and luxe the fabric feels, it it felt sturdy and provided excellent coverage of the legs unlike some flimsy maxi skirts. Its made of wool and sequin and because of this combination the fall of the skirt is perfection.
It hangs beautifully.
The quality is of course outstanding.
I love this with a sweater like above and below, but would also work well with a silk cami for a special occasion.
Shop the skirt here

 3. Estrella Sequin Jumpsuit

 This is such a fab on trend item, but as with Harukas ethos could be worn each year and to many a special occasion.
The stretchy jersey fabric adds a slim fit without feeling restrictive, the deep midnight blue makes it look luxe and will suit many different colourings and be much less harsh than black.
This is party season perfection, especially if you don;t like to get your legs out come winter. The sparkle sash and edging really just scream 'PARTY SEASON'. Add in some silver boots and you will be festive season ready. I love that this would work for a house party or a formal party, either way, it just works.
Shop the jumpsuit here

4. Artemis Jacket

 A perfect 'Does all the talking' jacket. Ideal for days when you want to keep the rest of your outfit simple.
the first thing i noticed was hoe flattering it is tho the hips and waist. I'm a pear shape, so for me it didn't emphasise my larger area, it skimmed and brought the eye to the front with the gorgeous waterfall style rather than highlighting my hips.
I love the idea of this with blue jeans and a white tee and red boots. The perfect little jacket.
Shop it here

5. Seed of Life Coat

 The type of coat you could wear for the entire season and would work with dresses and jeans equally well. I don't own a coat that can work well with both, but this could. I loved the juxtaposition between sharp tailoring and feminine cut of this coat, which is exactly why it works well with many an outfit.
The cut of the hem is exactly why it will work well over dresses, which is one heck of a hard thing to do, but this dress does.
Alternatively rock it over jeans like me here and swish the attached scarf for a bit of instant glam.
Shop the Coat here

6. Cowlneck Lambswool Jumper

Its red.. of course i'm going to love it, but honestly i don't think i've ever loved a jumper so much. Its soft and not itchy, it can be worn a few different ways and its nipped in waist makes this one heck of a flattering number. It comes with a rather fab detachable obi style belt (below right) which can either be tied around or left off (Amanda said she sometimes even adds it to different dresses too, which is fun), i left mine off as i like to do a front tuck. It also has a gigantic cowl which can be brought up over your head and keep your ears warm (perfect for the dog walks then 😉) If you're looking for investment knitwear, this could be the one!
Shop it here
The waistcoat below was also a fab little try on that i would never have normally tried. Needless to say i am a total waistcoat convert!

Small brands like Haruka often don't get the recognition online that they deserve as the atmosphere and quality is often not conveyed as its a tricky thing to capture, but i hope i've articulated just how special it was to experience a brand with not only great ethics but also fantastic creations.
I hope you'll all follow Haruka and show some some internet support to the brand by giving them a follow on Instagram or/and Facebook.

Whats your favourite item from what i've shown you?

Much Love

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