June Outfits

Another month, another outfit post! Only, this time, I’m going to try and note down where I actually bought everything – when I can remember it…

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Can we all be impressed that I managed that hoop shoulder stand? I’ve been trying to get it for ages! It’s not perfect, and I can’t transition from it, yet, but I’m getting there!

Oh yeah, in other news, I broke my toe a week ago on Monday. Dropped a 2 litre bottle of cider directly on it. I’ve never known pain like it, and have to walk with a stick every now and then. Luckily, I’ve had a LOT of painkillers, so it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it used to.

My next post is most likely going to be about the last festival I went to – 2000 Trees – although I’ve yet to decide whether to focus on the festival as a whole, or why it was so important for me this year… all I will say, is that I had the best of times there.

Here’s a photo to tide you over…

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Have a lovely week/month/time period!

Blog Hiatus Outfits (April/May)

Hello! Me again!

I’ve noticed that the posts which get most attention are my outfit ones – which I think is wonderful, because, if you didn’t already know, my clothes are hugely important to me in terms of who I am. While I didn’t get to wear many fun things over the past five weeks, when I did go out and do things, I made it count! So, here’s a collection of everything exciting I wore during the placement weeks.

Only ten, just goes to show how rarely I got to do things… the last couple aren’t even from placement weeks, they’re from the weekend!

I’m off out tonight, thankfully – my favourite Brighton night out is on a Tuesday, and I’ve had to miss it due to my 6am wake up for an 8am start… it’s good to be back, Brighton. Weird, though, that it’s midday Tuesday and I have time to sit home and write a blog post again. I cleaned the entire kitchen and bathroom yesterday, and made cakes. Will tackle the bedroom tomorrow, hopefully. It sounds boring, but it’s so nice having time to do things like that again, without worrying if I should be doing something, or thinking that I’m wasting my evenings. I’ve got so much planned, this summer – from the little things, like keeping up my skincare routine (I’ve been a bit lazy and it shows, my skin is even more vile than usual), to the bigger, such as my holidays. I’ve not felt this lovely in a while.

I’m also hoping to start reading, and maybe even writing again? We’ll see, though – I’m lacking inspiration to actually do anything, at the moment…

I’m off to grab a cider, I think, and I’m off to a flow arts jam later. Have a good one!

March Outfits

Sorry this one’s late again… I really need to start getting these ready for the end of the month…

I cheated slightly with this one – the last 6 are from earlier this month, the reason being that in a couple of weeks I’ll be on full placement for my course. This means that I’ll be leaving the house at 7:30am at the latest, and I can’t see myself being photographed… it’s not happened so far, anyway.

And, who wants to see the same variations on my ‘teacher’ outfits day in, day out?

It’s started to get a lot warmer recently, so most of the time, certainly in late March onwards, was spent outside. Other than that, I’ve not really been doing that much? I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London in the beginning of March – despite being ridiculous in places, I really enjoyed it. Aaaaaand… I went to Bristol last week for my friend’s 21st. That was good. Other than that, just the normal stuff.

 

Full placement should be good, but I’m not exactly looking forward to having 5 days of my week consumed by it… I never actually planned on going into teaching full-time when I graduate, anyway. We shall see.

There won’t be an outfits blog for April (officially) or May, because of that. I need something to write about in the meantime. I was originally planning to write about my time in Bristol, but I didn’t really do much except see various people, which probably isn’t that fun to read about… I can’t really say much about seeing Temples, either – I saw Temples, by the way! They were fab!

Hmm… I’ll have a think.

Until then, have a wonderful week (or however long it is until I next post something)!

Why I fell in love with the hippie lifestyle

Why am I a hippie?

Sometimes, I look back on the past four or so years, and wonder, out of all the aesthetics and lifestyles I experimented with, why was this the one that spoke to me the most? What separated this one from all the others? Why this, and not goth, or nerd, or art student?

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As a child, I never really fitted in, but in primary school, that doesn’t seem to matter. In primary school, or at least, when I was in primary school, kids enjoyed one another’s interests, no matter how strange, and celebrated them, in a sense. In secondary school, though, things were different. Not fitting in was a social death sentence. I had no idea about the ‘in’ clothes or music, and I was painfully, toe-curlingly shy. Not an ideal personality for that environment. So, for a while, I did my absolute best to fit in – I wore the same thing as everyone else, I tried to hide the things I enjoyed. Of course, it didn’t work, and I never magically became popular overnight.

At sixteen, I finally dyed my hair for the first time, I developed a personal style and stopped caring what people thought of it. The dark hair and the questionable anime t-shirts are long gone, but it was at that time that I discovered Pink Floyd – and I fell in love with classic rock on the whole soon after.

I joined Tumblr, and became a fairly recognised member of the ‘Classic Rock Fandom’, as we called it, by the time I was 17. I started learning about the 60s, and fashion, and the politics of the time. I made friends with some people who were hugely into vintage fashion and jewellery – two girls, who I sadly have all but lost contact with – and they very much influenced my fashion and makeup. I still own and regularly wear all the things they inspired me to buy.Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 22.38.38

In the summer of 2014, I spent much of my time listening to classic rock (the albums I listened to the most are, I think, largely listed on this post), and watching movies set in, or made during, the 60s and 70s – think the Boat that RockedQuadrophenia, and A Hard Day’s Night. One in particular, which is still one of my favourite films, was Across the Universe, and it was really the one which introduced me to the ‘reality’ of the 60s, so to speak (I know, I know, it’s not exactly a proper representation). I studied the Vietnam War protests, and the flower children, and I joined CND – overall, I guess I started to see what it really stood for – why it all began.

That was the turning point, really. It was when I adapted the ‘hippie mindset’, so to speak. And, for me, seeing myself as a hippie, someone who loves the 60s aesthetic, gave me a sense of identity. It was something I was that other people weren’t. Now I’m out of a secondary school environment, I love standing out, and I love being true to the things I like.

I soon began to meet and encounter people who shared my interests – I now follow a range of people on social media who regularly inspire me with their clothes and their adventures. I discovered that I absolutely adore wearing colourful clothes, and clashing patterns, and lots and lots of accessories. Before I really discovered this style, I’d wear fairly dark clothes – as in, I wore blScreen Shot 2017-04-06 at 22.39.01ack every day, pretty much. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, if it’s your thing, but I found that I was so much happier wearing lots of jingly bright things! I really don’t know why, but I always feel more confident when I’m wearing something colourful, or patterned, or just a bit different.

Furthermore, I’ve always had an interest in crystals, and that side of it. I’ve been collecting crystals since I was probably about ten, and I’d been interested in learning tarot for about six years before I actually bought myself a set. With hula hooping as well, I found that the hippie community was one which was welcoming, and full of love, and appreciated differences. I never got on with a lot of people at school, but I made friends quickly and easily when I became involved in the flow arts circle in particular. The hippie ideals allowed me to explore my interests, too – especially those which my mum deemed ‘nonsense’ (fair enough, but she refused to allow me to learn tarot because she thought it was a waste of time). And, surprisingly, I found that a lot of other people were actually impressed with the things that I’d learned to do. Finding myself this sense of identity allowed me to explore things I’d previously looked upon with admiration, and have a chance to take them up for myself.

Viewing myself as a hippie, and surrounding myself with the things influenced by this interest, has given me a sense of self which I’m so much more confident with. When I think about why it resonated with me, it makes so much sense. It gave me a chance to be myself, to meet new people, and to love the things I love. I finally found the person I wanted to be throughout my teens. I learned compassion, I became aware, and I discovered that the world has so much beauty if you look in the right places. I didn’t have to look a certain way to feel accepted, I didn’t have to keep my interests a secret. I could be the real me.

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And, to think, it all started when I listened to Pink Floyd’s Pulse one windy morning on the Welsh coast…

February Looks

Another set of outfits from last month – I meant to post these earlier, but I’ve spent most of my time either doing something uni-related, or sleeping. I’m three weeks into my school-based training, first observation over, and honestly I’m so tired all the time.

But, still, I looked fairly decent in February – seems like ages ago that I had so much free time!

The last one is from a Harry Potter-themed bar crawl, where I dressed as Professor Trelawney. Overall, it was good – even though they had us join the wrong group (which meant the night finished a bit too early…).

Ooh – I started curling my hair a bit more, using a completely natural, heat-free method my grandmother used to curl my mum’s hair in the 70s! I originally planned on keeping it up, but with placement, it really wasn’t possible. That, or I’m just a bit lazy.

While I’m a bit stumped as to what to write next, I do want to write something, when I have time at the weekends. More like, while I have time at the weekend, before I go on full placement and will probably end up having to plan things when I’m not working…

January Outfits

I’m becoming more and more aware that this is looking like some sort of clothes blog, which I really don’t mean it to be. I just see these as a good way to keep posting, if only I remember to do them early in the month!

In all fairness to me, this has been a busy month (and a half) since I got back to Brighton. I’ve had two major assessments due in, with another one coming up on Friday, and my placement is starting on February 27th. To say I’m stressed would be an understatement! Nevertheless, I’m powering through. I was also lucky enough to get to see my lovely, wonderful pal in Reading during my two week ‘break’ (my only motivation to get things done early, apparently), go to London and see a ballet with my mum, and I’ve been gradually dedicating a lot more time to my hula hooping.

Anyway, all that aside, here are the outfits! (In a layout I prefer to the slide show, I think)

I’d like to say that I can dedicate more time to this blog, but I really don’t think that would be truthful. It’s only going to get more full-on from here. I’m sure I can manage it, but still…

February’s outfits have been nice so far, by the way! Then, they too, will start to get a bit more boring as ‘professional dress’ takes over my life for the next three months…

Until next time, when I hope to talk about my hoop journey!

Wear Whatever You Want!

The other day, my boyfriend showed me an article by a certain online university “journal” of dubious reputation, titled “Things you should definitely stop wearing after graduation” (or something to that effect). It called on university graduates to stop wearing things such as tattoo chokers, facial glitter, tank tops on men, and wearing bumbags on nights out. A section which particularly struck me, was the one in which the writer instructed everyone to throw out their smelly harem pants, and buy a pair of jeans, “like a normal person”, and it’s that phrase which got me thinking, and came to inspire this post.

The writer of the article seems to misunderstand why some people, usually people wearing the pieces they deem unacceptable, choose the clothes they do. I wear colourful, patterned clothes simply because I like them. I’m not trying to show off about my gap year by wearing harem trousers (especially as I’ve yet to even go travelling), but instead, they’re pretty and soft and I can hula hoop in them. And, I can bend my knees without any fabric digging in, as an added bonus. My boyfriend, and my friends who all dress ‘differently’ are the same; we wear them because we prefer them in some way to the ‘normal’ clothes the writer advocates. In addition, that’s not to say we don’t wear that sort of thing, anyway. Mom jeans from TopShop are gorgeous and the thick material is warm and good for walks, and New Look is my absolute go-to for basics because they’re so soft and not too expensive. I’ve never met anyone into alternative fashion tell those who do not to change what they wear…

For me, and many others, our style is a huge part of our identity. On a personal level, I was bullied for the majority of my time at secondary school, for being shy, different, whatever you like. The day I discovered beautiful, colourful, unique clothes, my self-confidence skyrocketed. I no longer felt afraid to be myself – I had a greater idea of who I even was. Clothes are such a wonderful way to express oneself, and, as long as you’re not being culturally insensitive, they are a harmless way of doing so. In fact, I find it so much easier to make friends with people who dress like me – not for any particular reason, other that there’s already a platform for conversation, and therefore some common ground. Commenting harshly on someone’s clothes should be just as frowned upon as commenting negatively on any other aspect of appearance. If it’s not bothering them, if it’s making them happy, then why ruin that? Why make someone self-conscious for the sake of it?

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the dress in question

Someone I know, a friend of a friend, once asked me where I bought a dress from. Upon learning it was from TopShop, replied with “oh. I don’t buy from mainstream shops”. Though, given past interactions, it was obviously intended to try and make me feel bad, it was shocking to say the least, and actually did shake me for a moment. It took me a while to remember that there’s nothing wrong with wearing things I like, ‘mainstream’ or otherwise. There shouldn’t be gatekeeping or criticism for something so personal (especially not, might I add, that the day after making that comment she was taking a selfie in a High Street changing room, anyway).

As an aside, the writer of the article also decided to bring up the issue of professionalism, their main argument being that, this time, your festival wristbands – another thing they chose to condemn – will make you look ridiculous, immature, at a job interview. It’s the tattoo argument all over again. Surely, now so many of us are tattooed, or have piercings somewhere other than the earlobes, we should be working towards dismantling the concept that not being conventional automatically means you’re not professional. Furthermore, the writer seems to be forgetting that you can’t, just… remove wristbands, string bracelets, and piercings? As a trainee teacher, I know better than to wear my bracelets etc to school or professional situations, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be coming straight back on for the weekends. Am I suddenly less credible because I’m wearing my Boomtown wristband? Does the very presence of a visible tattoo on my body suddenly mean that all my knowledge of childhood development is gone? Similarly, is the dreadlocked banker at my local branch of Santander worse at his job than his colleagues?

I guess the main motivation for this is that I’m tired. Tired of people being judged on appearance, tired of people being designated outsiders because of things which make them happy. I’m not giving up my style after graduation, or for any reason other than my naturally gravitating away from it, to something else. I’ve found what makes me comfortable, and I’m not going to give it up so someone I’ve never met will perceive me as mature.

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my beautiful boyfriend, looking gorgeous and smiley at 2000 Trees festival