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)!

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

My Favourite Looks of 2016

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Not really a proper blog post, but it’s good to keep track, seeing as my outfits are my hobby, pride, and all round so important to me. So, here are most of my favourites, spanning from March 1st (because, apparently, I forgot to take any proper ones before then) to December 27th.

2016 has been a huge year to me, and these photos encompass everything from my boyfriend’s 21st birthday, through our incredible trip to Bristol, our summer of festivals, and, finally, the time spent at our new home in Brighton – with a few Christmassy bits at the end.

I hope 2017 brings everyone good mental health, amazing outfits, and good things all around ❤

Recent Outfits #1

Something I’ve always really enjoyed was putting together (and photographing) outfits, so here are a few of my recent favourites…

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Of course, having made this, I realise how many I never got photographs of. Brilliant.

Thank you so much to the positive response to my poem!

I haven’t been writing much because I haven’t been doing that much, uni has had a few things going on that have needed doing, so I’ve been somewhat distracted by that. Luckily, I don’t have any more assignments due until after Christmas, when I think I’m going to be going back to my parents’ house for a couple of weeks. Not too sure.

Have a good one!

 

Individuality and Developing a ‘Style’

Do you ever meet someone who just, entirely, seems to have it all going for them?

They look cool. They’re not necessarily confident, but comfortable in themselves. They’re well-liked and are very laid back. They like all these fun, obscure things and have social media jam-packed with amazing looking parties and brilliant hair. They’re just so… nice. It’s infuriating.

As someone with wonky self-image anyway, meeting this person can be challenging. It can give a sense of insecurity, feeling like you’re not up to their standard. You feel… boring.

I’m not about to preach any anti-social media sentiments, given that I very much support, you know, knowing what my friends are up to without having to hassle them every hour of the day. Effortless keeping in touch, I love it. However, I do think that social media is pretty significant in feeling inferior to that person you met outside your lecture and promptly searched up on instagram. Let’s face it. We’re all guilty of it. We only put the fun stuff on social media, stuff that will make us look cool and interesting. I’m not about to post about my trip to Tesco, but I will make sure to mention the really nice outfit I wore while spending a day exploring the town. To some people, it might appear that that’s just a typical day for me, when in actual fact that’s a one-off occasion, and my life is about as eventful as watching paint dry.

I guess that’s comforting? These awe-inspiring people do their washing up just like everyone else.

This isn’t really what I want to talk about, though…

I think everyone has someone they know who they wish they could be like. I know I certainly do, and now I’ve started university, it’s even more obvious since my friends are scattered around the country now. To be frank, the things I’ve considered studying at degree level, other than Politics and Primary Ed, are English Literature, History, Fine Art, Illustration, Costume Design, Journalism and History of Art. There’s a lot of creative stuff in there, and that’s probably why all the people I’m in awe of/jealous of/wishing I could hate but can’t because they’re too nice, are art students of some sort. Or, students of the arts might be a better way of putting it. My boyfriend is studying Digital Film, and I wish I’d done that, sometimes. My friend doing Creative Writing? Why didn’t I? English Lit? I could’ve done that. There’s so much I wanted to do, sometimes I wonder why I didn’t choose a creative subject…

The gist is, all the people I think look, and are, wonderful, and who I want to be like, study a creative subject. There’s an art student look, isn’t there? They have interesting colours in their hair, sometimes, or it’s not in a ‘conventional’ style. They wear those fun vintage clothes with clashing patterns. That sort of thing. They have weird badges, and obscure posters on their walls. I love it. I dig it.

Equally, though, I love my own style. I’m not about to cut my hair into a bob any time soon. I like my floaty dresses and jingly jewellery, all my paisley bits and colourful vases. Whereas, when I was younger, I’d try and emulate the admired style as best I could, now I’m a bit older – and have a much better sense of my style and personality – I now prefer to pick and choose  aspects, and combine them, into a wonderfully odd cocktail. Isn’t that what a personality is?

So, yeah, I have strange badges on my coat and posters everywhere, there’s independent shop advertisements blu-tacked onto the frame of my mirror, and… it works. It’s very me. I’m much more comfortable like this.

 

As a teenager, I felt I had to fit into a style or subculture, but, really, it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s so much easier not having to fit into the rigorously structured box you’ve made for yourself. In fact, it’s stressful. It’s so much more… fun… to be able to take inspiration, without giving up your individuality. Plus, in all honesty? The people you think are so cool have probably, if not definitely, done the exact same, because I don’t think it’s actually possible for someone to solely like things which fit their online vibe to a T. Let your style grow and evolve, you can always change it again, after all.

I guess the point of this is, as much as you may envy someone else’s life/style/whatever, there’s nothing stopping you from being inspired by it – which, in turn, doesn’t mean, necessarily, abandoning all the things which you like. Be happy with your own style because it’s yours. Alternatively, if, like me, you’re someone who lives for the validation of others (haha, that’s healthy, I’m sure), be happy with your own style, because someone’s going to come along and think your bohemian/gothic fusion is incredible.

(Ooh, style fusions… they’re bizarre and I love them!)

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new badges, because I need them back in my life

In case this isn’t obvious, be sensible/sensitive when borrowing aspects of a style. If the thing you think looks cool is something of cultural or religious significance to the person – and it’s not a culture or religion that you belong to – perhaps it’s better to admire it from afar. Don’t take something for aesthetic value, which may have a deeper meaning. Look groovy, but be considerate. (Just thought I should mention this. I doubt anyone needs to hear it, but it’s better to be on the safe side.)

A Note About University: I’ve started my course now, and it’s… good. Yeah. Not much else I can say about it. It’s good and it’s very busy. I’ve been pretty neglectful of this blog, and I know for a fact that I’m not going to be posting with any frequency. I might put some poems up, but I don’t know if, or when, since they’re meant to be spoken, rather than read. Whatever.

That’s enough notes for now.