Are you dressing up or dressing down?

Hello once again lovely people, I really hope that things are going somewhat smoothly for you at this point in time. I try to maintain this space to work as a form of escapism for some of you, so I thought I’d tackle a subject that I’ve seen circling around the fashion side of social media recently, which I had also been thinking about too. One of the less serious yet still relevant questions that came into my head once I started to think about self isolating (from a fashion design student / fashion blogger’s perspective) was what am I going to wear for the next few months?

At first I thought it sounded ridiculous and childish to be thinking of more frivolous things in such a climate that we’re in right now. Yet like I’ve said multiple times, fashion for me, and many others for that matter, is what we use as a way of expression and feeling good about ourselves. The same thing goes for doing your makeup, hair, whatever it may be that you enjoy. If we have nowhere to go and nothing to do that’s suitable for dressing up, then should we just dress in joggers and hoodies for three months?

My short answer: it’s all up to how you want to treat this ‘break’. If you’re using it to concentrate on any kinds of hobbies or side pleasures that you don’t always get to flourish in, then you might want some kind of routine to your days in order to feel productive and in control of your situation. It sounds cliche but minor tasks like getting dressed, making your bed, or cooking a proper breakfast can completely change your attitude for the day, and so those minor tasks may cause which side of the bed you get out of in the morning (quite literally too).

Even if it just means that you wear a t-shirt dress instead of a nightie or a loose fitting shirt instead of a pyjama shirt, it’s a small adjustment to feel a bit more ready for the day. What’s stopping you there? If you’ve got a silky smooth slip dress that makes you feel more put together whilst not making you uncomfortable, then why not pair that with a little white t-shirt underneath? That way you still feel ‘office appropriate’ but in the comfort of your own home.

I think that the key thing is to find what suits your change in lifestyle as time goes on, and how long we’re in this position for. I’d say if you want to get off on the right foot then dress for how YOU would want to dress if you were in the right career or you had the ability to wear a particular outfit in your everyday job, because now is your chance. You can wear whatever you want and get on with your career from your living room without the pressure of dress codes or feeling out of place in an office.

I hope that this piece has maybe assured or encouraged at least one or two of you to dress how you want to in this strange time off. It’s little things like this that help us take control of our days when we may feel like we don’t have much freedom at all. So, whether you’re wearing full gowns or joggers and a t-shirt, I hope that you’re comfortable and spending this time as best as you possibly can.

Love,

Sophie x

A little blog update as things change

Hello once again you lovely people, I wish I was writing to you on better terms. As we have all not stopped hearing over the past few weeks, this virus is gradually taking over pretty much every part of our society and many of you might be feeling a bit curious as to what to do with so much time alone.

A lot of the typical leisure activities we all enjoy from time to time are being cut off from our regular routine, whether it be shopping, eating out, going to the cinema maybe. Not only those more everyday things, but also large scale events like holidays and festivals are at risk too. This also means that in a fashion context, big events like the met gala and many runway shows are also dropping like flies.

Now although this doesn’t sound like the end of the world particularly, (in the grand scheme of things it most definitely isn’t), but obviously to us people it’s what we enjoy and what we look forward to each year, so it’s totally okay to be a bit upset about things that you’re passionate about not being able to exist at this current moment in time.

Now I wanted to come onto here to have a fully open conversation about my thoughts on how this blog will be for the foreseeable future. Of course the industry is a domino affect and if there’s no runway shows, there’s nothing to review. If there’s no big events such as the met gala, there’s nothing to discuss. Even just my everyday styling posts and pieces that I write in relation to a certain holiday or a time of the year, it would be quite insensitive and rather a bit pointless to suggest any day drinking styling tips if nobody can leave the house.

So this is where I could do with a bit of consideration and also some suggestions. I’m going to try my best to write as much as possible whilst I actually have the time off to do so, but of course I want it to be relevant and worth the read, yet I’d also want it to potentially be a source of escapism from these quite challenging times. I’ve heard from a fair few of you that have said you’re not fully aware of current fashion or that you don’t even care for it, but it’s just something fun to read at the end of a long day, so I want to keep providing that in some way for those who would benefit.

As it stands I have a fair few ideas on certain topics or themes that I’d like to explore on here, but it’s just a matter of what response I get that will determine what I’ll prioritise. So far I’m edging towards discussing styles or runway shows from previous years or decades as I know some of you have mentioned things like this in the past. I also would love to delve into my work surrounding my degree and any home projects I might be working on, as again I’ve had a few of you in the past ask me in more detail about my work if I share it on my instagram page. As well as that, I know that a fair few of you have asked for advice on fashion degrees and what to look out for, so those discussions are coming soon.

As always, I’m always appreciative of any kind of input or suggestion from you, and especially at more challenging times like this it’ll definitely go a long way. I want to stay motivated and creative in this prolonged period of isolation, so I want to start working on these talks as soon as possible. So please, do give me a message with any ideas you might have!

Thanks for reading this little update, I thought it would be more personal to actually write down my thoughts through this space rather than just on an insta story. So yes please do get in touch with any suggestions and I’ll speak to you soon.

Love,

Sophie

The truth about designer purchases

Hello again! As I’m getting back into the swing of blogging and I’m currently feeling inspired, I thought I’d speak my mind on a particular topic that I’ve had a lot of thoughts on. Truth being told, it’s a bit of a marmite topic to say the least as everyone is either all for it or they see no point in it, and that topic my friends is luxury clothing.

Bag: Shrimps

Now this will most definitely be a very personal and very taboo conversation surrounding money, and I don’t want to pass off any kind of bragging or materialistic vibe within this piece, it’s just something that I feel like we need to be more open and honest about in order to make money less of a touchy subject and instead make it okay to say you’re struggling and need a bit of help.

Speaking from an honest and personal perspective, I’ve came from a family that has often at times struggled financially and thus growing up I’ve never been showered with expensive presents. Although my family is now in a stable and comfortable financial situation, I know that that’s not the case for a lot of people and the idea of spending money on things that aren’t necessities is just frivolous and a big mistake.

Coat: Shrimps, top: Alexa Chung, skirt: H&M, shoes: Depop (Dr Martens)

That being said, this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever had any kind of security. I now have savings and I’m budgeting my student loan, and I’m also working from time to time whenever I’m back home. Yet given this understanding of ‘I am fine for money’, I still have that guilt and caution about spending money and getting back to a past experience, as if it’s ingrained into my head. Yes in a way it’s a good thing, but it’s also such a negative thought process that has stopped me from doing what I want to do in the past and caused me to miss out on some great opportunities.

Now as to where designer items come into this story, as we all know the Christmas and January sales have been in everyone’s face recently. In that past I’d never even cared for looking at the discounts on websites like Selfridges or Net a Porter, as I couldn’t afford it so what was the point? Yes of course there were things that I’d be lusting over but I wasn’t actually considering buying them, it was just too extortionate. Yet after recently organising my savings and realising that I am financially stable, I realised that I could in fact buy these pieces that I’d been looking at for years. So I did.

Coat: Shrimps, top: vintage (Pop Boutique), jeans: Topshop, bag: gift

In my opinion, luxury pieces shouldn’t be bought because of their expensive look and the misinterpretation that they give off. When designer items become a trend and people buy into them even though they realistically wouldn’t have even considered buying that item 5 years ago, that’s when it’s a bad decision. Wanting an expensive item just simply because it fits your own personal style and you can imagine yourself wearing it in 10 years time, that’s what’s worth it.

I think that part of the stigma around designer purchases at a young age from other young people is heavily down to each persons background and what their lifestyle is now. Some people work full time jobs and get a steady income that they can easily afford to treat themselves whilst also setting themselves up for the future, whilst others are in education living on student loans whilst trying to get themselves in their dream career in the years to come. Some people live with their parents and don’t have many financial responsibilities whereas others can be the main provider for their household. To some people they wouldn’t even consider spending above a certain amount on clothing, whereas to others they’d have no reason not to.

Clothing is also seen as a pointless thing to spend all of your money on, because yes you can buy a handbag for £10 on the high street. But that same mentality can be applied to anything luxurious makeup, haircuts, tattoos, home decor, cars etc. There’s usually a price difference in these things due to the quality of the item and the care put into them, and especially how long they will last you for. Luxury clothing can be beautiful and practical and will save you a lot of money in the long run if it’s the right type of investment piece, so it’s not always about the flashiness of the new bag either.

It’s not a heavy topic in itself but the circumstances around it can often be similar or different to what you may have experienced, but it’s just a case of leaving people to do what they want with their money. Also money is just paper, yes it establishes things like a roof over your head and food on the table but if you’ve got that then you don’t need to rely on money for happiness. As long as you are okay financially and you can buy that coat or buy those shoes without it having a huge impact on your wellbeing, then fucking do it.

Apologises for the preachy tone but I just wanted to emphasise on how treating yourself does not need to have a guilty connotations along with it. This goes for luxury pieces or even little things like just buying a face mask because you want it. Again, if you’ll be okay without that money in your bank, you may as well buy it.

Lots of love,

Sophie x

My favourite second hand finds of 2019

Hi stranger, long time no see! I know it’s been ages since I’ve been active on the blog, but I’ve tried to focus on enjoying the festive period as much as possible whilst I was back home from uni. Now that I’m back in Leeds and getting into the swing of things again, I thought I’d kick start the new year in the best way with a bit of sustainability.

Now if you know me, you know that I’m a massive second hand shopping addict. Whether it be through depop, charity shops, vintage shops, I just can’t get enough of it. Not only that, but after years of skimming and scrolling, I’ve also developed a secret gift for spotting the best finds out there at an impressive bargain too.

Often I’ll share with my friends what I’ve found or what deal I’ve found, to which they always reply with encouragement for me to share some of them, which is what I thought I’d do today! So if this is your type of thing, then I hope it encourages you to shop second hand and be a bit more friendly to the environment (and to your bank account too!).

1. Miu Miu bag

Now this list doesn’t necessarily go in any particular order, but this bag I’m about to confess my love to you about is definitely up there as one of my most favourite second hand finds of all time. I do love a bit of Prada and their collections are usually very strong, but their sister brand Miu Miu just hits the nail on the head for me. Anyway, I’m on Depop one day and I see this beautifully made baby pink Miu Miu handbag that looks to be genuine and in great condition. I check the price, £45.

I was hesitant at first due to the ridiculously low starting price, so I messaged the girl about it. She said she had bought it on Depop herself but there’s no proof of authenticity. She also said that she’s pretty certain herself due to the quality and the finer details on the hardware that it’s genuine, and that she’s only selling it due to her lack of usage of the bag.

Although I had doubts in my head, I still ordered it. When it arrived I was truly shocked and agreed on her previous statement, everything was perfect, the Miu Miu embossing was perfect even down to the finer details on smaller hardware inside the bag. Basically, someone must have went to a ridiculous and expensive level of effort to rip off this bag. These bags usually retail for around £800, so you can imagine my shock when I realise that this definitely doesn’t seem like a fake.

As for the bag itself, I haven’t been able to stop wearing it. The shape and size is perfect, the shade of pink just works with everything, and the quality of the leather is incredible and has shown no signs of wear in the two or so months that I’ve had it. This is definitely an item that I’m going to treasure for a life time and even if I have kids, they’re not getting their hands on it.

2. Miu Miu velvet coat

Following on with my second and last Miu Miu item, this piece is one of my current favourites that I just can’t resist wearing, and which I also find is very well complimented by random strangers too, particularly on its stunning shade of dark green velvet. This Miu Miu military style coat was something that I’d spotted about two months ago, and the stunning shape and detailed embroidered patches really stood out to me. It was originally listed at £95 (which is already an incredible bargain) due to the previous owner wanting a quick sale.

Sometimes I will put an offer down that’s a little lower than what I’d be willing to pay, that way the seller is more inclined to meet in the middle to what you’d want. So I put an offer of £60 aiming to meet for around £80, to which the seller was a bit hesitant and didn’t accept straight away. As time went on, she progressively lowered her offers down until she got to £65, to which I happily accepted. And the rest was history.

This piece I’ve worn a fair few times already in the month that I’ve had it, and the velvet texture is surprisingly really durable. The military style is something that I feel like compliments my wardrobe that is slightly more on the feminine side than the average person, as I feel like it contrasts well with this, without making it clash too much. Thankfully I got it right in the middle of winter, so you’ll be seeing a lot more of this coat on my Instagram!

3. Matching Plaid jacket

This piece might seem like quite a random choice in comparison to the past two items, but the story behind it is quite surprising. So I never usually order from websites like Pretty Little Thing or Boohoo, but Missguided had a Barbie collab that featured this sweet little plaid skirt that I’ve worn so much over the past year or so. Now since I’ve moved to Leeds there’s some charity shops in my area that have a great selection from time to time, and as I was popping over to the shops to get some food, I thought I’d nip into this particular charity shop a few doors down.

I spent no longer than 10 minutes browsing around, a few things had caught my eye but nothing too exciting, then as I was about to leave I’d spotted this this nice plaid jacket. However, it was only when I’d picked it up that u realised that it was in fact the matching jacket to my skirt (which I didn’t know even existed) and it was in my exact size too. Of course I had to get it, especially due to the fact that I’d thought maybe once or twice about how nice the skirt would look as a co-ord set. These types of ‘what are the chances’ situations happen quite frequently when I’m shopping second hand, so majority of the time I never turn them down.

4. Alexa Chung Hardcore T-shirt

Something you may or may not know about me is that I collect a few things within my wardrobe, mainly for my own satisfaction but also for the chance that if I were to need a great deal of cash in a random scenario then I’m sorted. One area that is more for my own fulfilment is Alexa Chung t-shirts. I’m fond of her design process and I feel like graphic tees are so hard to get just right, without being too boring or too cheesy. So, the ones I look out for the most are the ones from her first few seasons. These t-shirts she designed are what I imagine to be her years worth of ideas for the perfect everyday slogan t-shirts that she would have kept in her mind until she started her brand, unleashing them to the public.

I already had quite a handful of her tees to start with, but there was one that I was wanting to get my hands on since it was first debuted a few years ago, this was the Hard Core t-shirt. A humorous but subtle play on words, with a timeless old English font in a block red shade, it just seemed like a great everyday piece. Now these t-shirts are very hard to come across on depop or eBay these days, so you can imagine my satisfaction when I come across one selling for £20 inc shipping (these t-shirts usually retail for about £75), in great condition and in my size. This piece has now became one of my favourites overall within my wardrobe and I get excited every time I get to wear it again.

5. Mary Jane Doc Martens

Last but certainly not least, and also my most recent addition, are my beautiful little Mary Jane docs. These babies I’d been admiring for years, from the early tumblr days to right now at the ripe old age of 20, the love never seemed to fade. I do actually have two other pairs of docs, both in a different shape and one of which was also a great depop find, but I was wanting just a classic plain black pair that would go with everything and would just simply do the job.

This exact pair I’d manage to find through a lovely seller on depop listing them at a humble £25. Considering I’d gotten so close to paying full price for these shoes, I’m so glad this opportunity arose. They came in brilliant condition with very minimal sights of actual wear and they fit just like a glove. As beautiful as they are there is of course the painful inevitably of the wearing in stage. So far this pair have been okay but as of yesterday I’ve began to get very small blisters, so I’m going to let them heal for a little while before I get back into the swing of pairing them with every outfit I wear.

So there we have some of my favourite second hand finds for 2019! It’s been quite a year to say the least but I’m content with these special finds that I’d picked up along the way, now for 2020 to bring even more gorgeous clothes and I hope that you all manage to stumble across your next obsession! I’ll be back on here soon now that I’m all prepped for the new year.

Lots of love,

Sophie x

3 outfits for 3 days in London

London baby! If you’d already guessed from the multitude of instagram posts this week, I spent Monday-Wednesday in the capital for a uni residential trip with a bunch of course mates. It was a trip dedicated to getting us all inspired and motivated to start designing some fun garments as part of our current module, and now I definitely feel well fed on inspiration. In between the many many many wonderful exhibitions and galleries we visited, I did manage to get a good few pics of some outfits I wore.

Monday

So thankfully we’d got the train down to London instead of the usual coach option, so by around 1pm we were at the hostel and we’d popped out to get some food. Once we’d settled, we headed over to the Tate to get some geometric art inspiration for one of our current modules. If I’m being totally honest, the work there was great, but we were so tired by this point that we just couldn’t really appreciate it enough. (Wait until Tuesday and then it gets more fun).

As for the outfit, I went for this faux leather dress that I’d been trying to get my hands on for over a month now, paired with my favourite Sax Potts style tights and a new pair of boots I’ve invested in for winter. The whole look was pretty neutral, but I think that it looks quite nice with my pale skin.

Tuesday

Tuesday was most definitely my favourite day of the trip (and one of the best days of my life tbh) from start to finish. After breakfast we headed to Dover Street Market where I finally got to see some of Molly Goddard’s work in real life. Then to seeing some Shrimps bags in Liberty, Henry Holland strolling past us, and all of the gorgeous shops in between, it couldn’t really get much better.

Then we went to the V&A to go see the Tim Walker exhibition, which was quite phenomenal and there’s a hell of a lot of photographs to look at for the price of one ticket! Whilst there I took a little detour into the Mary Quant exhibition (I just couldn’t resist) and I was totally satisfied with the vast collection of shift dresses, pinafores and everything 60’s. I ended up spending quite a bit on the Mary Quant gift shop, but I did get an adorable necklace and two pins out of it that I can get my wear out of.

As for my outfit, I went for something a bit more formal yet I chose a more suitable shoe option for the heavy, heavy amounts of walking we did. Aside from my bag, this outfit cost me a total of a tenner from the charity shop, including the shoes! I had to alter the skirt a little in order to be a bit more flattering, but for £2.99 for the set I just couldn’t resist.

Wednesday

On Wednesday morning we payed a visit to the Christopher Raeburn studio in order to get a behind the scenes look into a real life fashion design working environment. Although the brand was not one that I was particularly fond of before attending their HQ, I was quite impressed by their unique methods of producing sustainable and ethical clothing, such as these pieces which have been made from wartime maps that were made to withstand a hell of a lot of damage.

Following on from the Raeburn visit, we headed straight for the Invisible Men exhibition, a show dedicated to the history and evolution of mens fashion that has often been overshadowed by womenswear. As a whole, the collection was so interesting to see the variation of shapes and styles that menswear can obtain, especially when taken from all kinds of backgrounds.

The exhibition was hosted by the Professor Andrew Groves at the University of Westminster, however you may know him as Alexander McQueen’s ex lover that appeared in the recent McQueen documentary. Of course I had to go up and make conversation with him, and beyond the general talk of the garments included in the exhibition, he also mentioned that when the pair went their separate ways, he tossed out all of his McQueen items as he believed that they were worthless and wouldn’t be valued at anything. (He’s now had to buy many McQueen pieces to include on this exhibition, which could be seen as karma if you believe in that kind of thing).

As for my outfit on Wednesday, I’d packed these amazing croc print trousers that I’d been saving for a fun occasion. With them I went for a more casual white turtleneck to slightly balance it out, however the pvc coat and croc print platform boots did kind of the opposite of this. The shoes were surprisingly very comfy to walk around in, but there was absolutely no elegant way of sitting down and getting back up.

I’m gutted to be back home and back to my usual routine, but I’m definitely feeling tired physically from the amount of walking we did and tired mentally from the amount of information that we had to take in from the hundreds of exhibitions we went to! I might be skint now, but it was so worth it.

Love, Sophie x

Fashion Philosophie: two years later

Despite the fact that I’m currently living up to the stereotypical ‘student lifestyle’ of being sleep deprived as I’m still feeling tired from my hour long post uni nap, I’m SUPER excited to be reminiscing on a whole two years of blogging! I asked you guys on my insta story the other day about what type of topic that you’d like me to cover on this special occasion and the running theme was to revive some of my outfits and favourite pieces of clothing over the past two years and share my thoughts on how I believe my style has changed, if at all (keep reading to find out).

Autumn/Winter 2017

The period that I’d started my blog in the later months of 2017, seen quite a different style to what I’d wear today.

In terms of silhouettes and proportions I’d say that the clothes were still the same, yet the colour palette was edged towards more darker jewel tones, or it would be a mixture of the primary colours.

At the time I was working on the History of Fashion for my Art History a-level, so I was taking in a lot of references from different periods; particularly eras like the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Spring/Summer 2018

Still continuing on from the last season, I still enjoyed playing with more darker tones, with a slow introduction to some more brighter pieces.

The monochromatic outfit from when I went to Paris is what I believe to be was the start of my love for colour blocking with similar brighter tones.

Another piece that Callum picked out are my beloved Valentine’s Day Dr Martens which took me a whole 7 months to get my hands on. It’s rare that I will wear them out due to their bright white body, but trust me they are very much a well loved pair of shoes.

Autumn/Winter 2018

Ah yes the start of Foundation, probs the best year of my life.

Starting of with the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen in my life which I wore for my birthday. It had everything; the belle sleeves, the stunning bright print, the neck tie detail. I just love that dress.

I believe that clothes not only reveal a lot about your personality, but they can very much show your mood and your attitude to life at that point in time.

At this point I was so happy to be on the same course as my best friends in the same environment and to have another year to get prepared for uni, so my wardrobe naturally got a lot brighter and a lot more fun.

The leopard print coat is one that I wore to death and will still continue to wear to death this year, and the Shrimps X Converse jumper with matching trainers is an outfit that I’ll never get tired of repeating.

Spring/Summer 2019

Not only did I feel happy about how my life was going, but I felt happy about myself.

Getting into uni and getting a distinction in Foundation gave me the confidence that I really needed, and then that reflected on how I felt about myself personally.

I felt just as comfortable in a bralette as I did in a big baggy cardigan (that beloved purple cardigan). And thus as the summer heatwave just never ended, I was happy to get my arms out or get my legs out and dance with some mates from day drinking until I’m the first to say I’m off to bed.

Autumn/Winter 2019

So here we are now, in the present day. I’ve moved out, turned 20, started university, made so many friends and had many new experiences, and so my style is definitely shifting again.

It’s not that I don’t like dressing up in a pink midi skirt with a contrasting green top to match, because I could even wake up tomorrow and feel like wearing it, but right now I just feel more interested in balancing tones and textures and patterns.

I’ve started to introduce a lot more neutral tones into my wardrobe as I find that they’re quite calming colours that work beautifully with each other in this changing of seasons.

A key piece you’ll be seeing a lot of on my instagram is the amazing PVC printed coat from Nastygal that I was eyeing up for a good year before finally caving and getting.

The first time I wore it my dad said I looked like The Doctor, so I’ll now refer to it as my Doctor Who coat.

Thank you!

I know it’s cliche but I’d just like to thank everyone who’s ever read my blog, consistently reads my blog, comments or dm’s me with support or questions or anything to show that you listened.

This blog is my baby and for the past two years I’ve loved being able to talk about whatever fashion related drama or ideas that are on my mind and it’s been even better to hear a great response from everyone.

So thanks again for all the kind words, this is now my 49th blog post and I’ll be sure to be making many more in the future.

Love,

Sophie x

 

Freshers night out styling

Hello once again good readers! Today I’m back with the 5th segment of my Back To Uni series, which also means that it’s the final blog post of this series. Although I’ve had a great time writing, photographing, and general blogging over the past five days, I thought it was rightfully time to finish off this series with a well suited freshers night out styling post.

These outfits feature only 6 items and are an example of how many different looks you can get when interpreting each item differently (a dress can be a top if you try hard enough… at tucking it in without the bunching). These pieces were picked as examples as they all follow a similar colour scheme or tone, and are easy to interpret into your own wardrobe which you can obviously add in different elements into these outfits by mixing in layers, textures and colours. So, without any further rambling, here are some freshers week night out styling ideas.

Smart casual / last minute pub trip outfits

Kicking things off with some easy to create laid back outfits, here are a few examples of some quick and simple last minute ideas. Mainly consisting of t-shirts for versatility and trousers for the potential hairy legs or patchy tan if you’re conscious of that type of thing, simple pieces can go a long way with some added accessories like a mini bag or a chunky belt. If you’ve got some time to spare, you could even attempt to master ‘the tuck’ in which I glorify as the achievement of tucking in a long t-shirt, shirt or dress without that unflattering bunching that really kills the moment.

Something a bit more fancy

Feeling like you need a bit of TLC, maybe a dressed up cocktail night after a crying session over a tough day at uni? Here’s a few examples of some still chill yet slightly more dressed up looks that can be suited for a last minute girls night that has the potential to turn into a not-coming-home-until-the-morning night. A mesh top and jeans pairing is great for if you’re not feeling like showing any skin but you still want to look a bit fun, or alternatively you could opt for a classic t-shirt and dress combo for that extra 90’s look.

If it’s a big occasion or you just want to go full on

For if you’re feeling a bit more fancy, you’re going out out, or you’ve suddenly been invited to the same event as the lad you’ve been in love with for a whole 3 days, this is your solution. Like I said previously, any dress can be a top if you try hard enough, and if you’ve got a non figure-hugging skirt on top then it’s completely foolproof. Yet if you’re feeling like being a bit more bold and eye-catching, why not try mixing some prints? Sticking to the same colour palette always makes this process easier, and the smaller the print the simpler it is to intertwine with another.

So here you have it, this is the final segment of my Back To Uni series. It’s been a hell of a lot of writing and honestly I’m quite excited to have some time out for a whole week whilst I move to Leeds tomorrow and get settled into uni, but I’ll be back next Saturday with another fun blog post!

See you soon,

Sophie x

Finding your style on a budget

Hello friends! I’ve recently posted a suggestions story on my Instagram for some blog post ideas for whilst I’m starting uni, and one of you lovely readers wanted to see a post on finding your style and wearing what you want to, whilst remaining on a budget. I thought that this topic would be a great thing to discuss in depth where I can include a lot of factors from getting inspiration to trialling new pieces etc. So, if this is something you’re interested in then do keep reading.

First step, have a good wardrobe rummage. Look for the pieces that you enjoy wearing and separate them from those which you know you don’t wear. Why don’t you wear them? Is it the fit? The colour? Does it not go with anything else in your wardrobe? Whatever the answer may be, consider these factors for when you’re buying new pieces. Look out for gaps in your wardrobe where you might not have enough bottoms or tops and so you might want to focus on adding in some more of these pieces.

If you’re feeling completely lost and you’re in need of some form of guidance before doing any shopping, I’d highly recommend getting some inspiration to start with. Whether it be a Pinterest board, browsing online or whatever your preference is, save any image that you like the look of. It doesn’t have to be a whole look or something you could initially picture yourself wearing, it could just be the colour or the shape of the piece, how long it is or how it hangs from the body. Once you’ve gathered many different sources and you have them all on one board or in an album you may start to see some patterns throughout the images. What you like about these pieces and what the reoccurring themes are will evidently show through.

Once you’ve got some kind of idea of what type of colours, shapes, fits, textures and all that malarkey that you’re quite fond of, it’s a good thing to see if these styles will suit your everyday life. Smart and casual dressing are figurative ideas that differ between every person, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to prioritise either of these categories. Likewise, look out for clothes that will suit your lifestyle. If you’re a student who’s plans can vary each week, then you may want to look for pieces that can be used to dress up/dress down a look (consider shirts or t-shirts, jeans or trousers, blazers or cardigans etc).

So now you’ve got a good understanding of what you want out of your wardrobe. Now is the time to bring a friend or your mam and go on a good shopping trip. But… if you’re wanting this trip to be on a budget, I’d highly recommend checking out the charity shops, thrift shops and Depop first. These shops are the perrrfect way of trying out new styles at a cheap price, and if you try out each piece and don’t find them to be exactly what you’re looking for, you can easily resell or donate them to a charity shop again and there’s been no environmental harm done in the process. As we’re heading into the colder months, charity shops can also be the perfect place to find jumpers and coats without having to worry about specific sizes.

If you’ve found a few pieces through this method but you’re still looking around for those more specific items you’ve been hunting for, have a good browse around many different stores both in person and online, just to test the variety. Many shops will sell a pair of white jeans but they will each have something slightly different to them than the shop next door, and it’s those little details that end up being the make or break of your relationship with them. Although the budget may be a focal point for shopping, it will be worth it in the long run spending a bit more on a skirt that you’ll wear forever than one you’ll wear once before you don’t like how short it is. Always try clothes on when you have the chance, and a good tip to follow is imagine at least three pieces in your wardrobe already that you know that they’d work with.

My final tip: wear what you want to wear. You’re going to feel a lot worse if you walk into uni wearing jeans and a t-shirt if you really wanted to wear a particular dress that day, but you didn’t have the confidence to try it because you haven’t tried to before. Your wardrobe is what shows your personality before you’ve even opened your mouth, and so why would you try to hide that? At the end of the day you can literally just take your clothes off and wear something completely different the next day, and so if you’re wanting to ease into a style that you’ve been wanting to wear for a while, then you can take it a step at a time. If a dress or a pair of bright red shoes are going to make you a bit more confident than normal, then don’t hold it back. Once you start taking it step by step you’ll eventually be wearing exactly what you want to and the consideration of what other people are thinking will completely evaporate.

Well, those were my tips on how to find your style on a budget. I know that this can be quite a common issue for younger people who are trying to put more effort in with their wardrobe or don’t seem to know exactly what their style is. This process isn’t necessarily to reinvent your style but more to keep up with its continuous evolution as the years go by. So, I hope you’ve taken something away from this and I hope to see you again tomorrow for a continuation of this back to uni series!

Sophie x

20 years of fashion

(Well, 19 years and 11 months.)

Hello everyone, I’m back again with a more personal blog piece today. As of the past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes (as always, but this time in a different way) and more particularly the way in which my own clothes reflect on myself as a person. It’s sounds like a cheesy statement that many fashion based individuals may say from time to time, but in between getting dressed for work everyday and browsing through Instagram for some inspiration, I’ve also started packing my wardrobe for uni and my god is it a challenge.

Now don’t worry I’m not finding the folding and packing part to be too much of a stress, yet. It’s more the continuous questioning of frivolous ideas like ‘will this make a good impression at uni?’ Or ‘is this something that would be practical for the everyday student life?’ Even beyond the generic worrying of fitting into the uni student lifestyle, I’m also picking up pieces that I’ve had in my wardrobe for many years and questioning if they still fit into my idea of ‘me’.

As a kid I never ever cared for clothing at all. Whenever my mam would take me to town I’d probably cry because I hated walking around Topshop and Primark and the closest thing I would get to accessories is the overpriced key rings in Claire’s (r.i.p Claire’s on Linthorpe road). Like many other girls my age, I only had any idea of ‘fashion’ when tumblr became a thing and every girl thought that a flower crown and Chelsea boots were the look.

All things must come to an end and thank god for that, as it wasn’t until I started studying the history of fashion in one of my a-levels that i started getting more of an insight into how fashion has evolved throughout it the decades, and more importantly, I found my own style through it. Along with other factors like colour and preferences that seem to come more naturally, I found exactly what I liked and what my style was.

Not much has changed in that time. My love for colours has also began to include even more brighter colours whether they suit my pale skin or not. I’ve became comfortable with adding trainers into day to day life, as mid heels aren’t really ideal for working in an escape room. I’ve became ever so slightly intrigued by men’s street style and how that has became such an important factor in men’s lives today, however I would still call myself a bit of a rookie in that field of styling.

So, I’m soon to be 20 and I know what I like and what I wear, yet I’m still clenching onto certain pieces that I just can’t let go of. As Marie Kondo would say, they do in fact bring me joy just from looking at them, yet at the same time I’m also recreating that scene from Toy Story 3 where Andy drops off his toys to Bonnie before he leaves for uni. I am Andy, the toys are my past loved pieces that I treasure deeply but never wear, and Bonnie is in fact the friends that I trust enough to make good use of them (Holly you better look after that paisley shirt).

This post didn’t exactly have a particular purpose other than for me to reflect on my clothing pieces that I treat like my own children. Fashion is both my aspiring creative field and also my hobby, I love getting dressed in the morning and thinking of what to wear the next day. Call me sad but I can’t wait to see what half sober outfits I chuck on together at 9am in a few weeks time.

P.s. trends come and go, wear whatever you want and laugh back at it in 10 years time.

See you soon,

Sophie x

A week in outfits: holiday edition

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all doing fab in this mid August. I’ve been inactive on my blog for the past two weeks now mainly due to a lot of personal issues and the dire need for a break from life in general, and so I decided to take a last minute holiday for a few days during this week.

For the 4 days of just caring about sunburn and sangria, I captured a few outfits from day and night that I thought you might enjoy looking through for some holiday blues or even some holiday excitement!

Night 1:

So as most people would do once they first get to their accommodation on holiday, we had a brief unpacking session that quickly turned into a ‘shot on a bikini and get in the pool’ type of scenario. After a good few hours of pool time and a well needed midday nap, we decided to head out on the night for some good food and more drinks.

I went pretty comfortable and casual with a white ribbed halter neck top paired with a floral midi skirt I bought last year, finished with an old topshop handbag, the classic Stan smiths, and some gold details to completely the look.

Night 2:

After we were a bit more caught up on sleep and sunshine (and a bit too much sunburn), we headed out to an American restaurant on the night to grab a bite to eat.

I could definitely feel the heat by this point and so I went for a little white crop top and denim skirt combo. The top is one that I’ve had for many years (originally from Urban Outfitters) and that I especially cherish in the summertime. The mint green denim skirt is a recent purchase from Missguided that is surprisingly good quality and I know will last me many years to come. To finish it off I wore some strapless heeled sandals from Topshop last year and a matching faux snakeskin handbag, also from Topshop.

Night 3:

As for our last night, we decided to venture into Santa Pola for a late evening beach trip. There was some good food had and many a mile walked due to our inability to find a taxi, yet once we finally found our way home we ended it with a few drinks at the same bar we had been to the night prior.

I found this to be a perfect opportunity to bring out the Shrimps X Warehouse sea print dress that I’d invested at the start of the year, as it seemed fitting to finally be worn by the beach. I paired this with a pair of purple heels that I purchased from Primark a while ago that are surprisingly very comfy to walk in, as well as bringing my beloved circle handle handbag that I’ve had for a few years now.

So that’s it for my holiday outfits and for the holiday spam in general. It was definitely a well needed break (even if we did book it 4 days in advance) and now I’ve got a much clearer mindset for moving to uni in 4 weeks time. Anyway, hope you enjoyed browsing through this blog post and if you have any suggestions for future posts then do let me know!

Thanks again,

Sophie x