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24 Nov 2016

At capacity

For a long time I have wanted to post about how the rampant consumerism that pervades blogging and social media has been slowly turning me into a wannabe minimalist. This post would also touch upon the hideous rise of the trend towards "luxury" and how the gross amassing of designer goods has only served to remove any sense of relatability between blogger and reader. I've held off from doing this for a couple of reasons:

a) I may sound like a jealous cow who spends far too much time scrolling her Instagram feed and getting gradually enraged as she does so. Yes it's true and the amount of eye rolls I conduct on daily basis has now reached double figures status.

And then there's the fact that:

b) I feel like I am one haul away from totally contradicting myself.

In all seriousness however I really have cut down on spending this year. There is a reason for this and I do fully appreciate the irony in stating why but.....after I bought my dream Chanel bag I really felt that I was done, that I was at capacity. I didn't crave anything else with real feeling or passion and if there's no yearning for an item then I'm not going to buy it.

Marie Kondo has something to do with this as well. I did many clearouts this year, throwing away those silly impulse purchases and only holding onto the quality, timeless pieces. This leaning towards classic has jolted how I spend money.  I am stoically trying to resist the temptation of the "trend". It's a process and I'm still in the midst of working it out.

I have consciously tried to avoid reckless shopping. ASOS for example is a vice that I am trying to remove myself from - most of that stuff hauled ends up in the charity bin - but there is no denying that online shopping in itself is not easy to quit.

I still surf Net a Porter and peruse Topshop for "must haves" and I am not always a considered shopper. Case in point, and prepare for the tenuous link, is this new top from Topshop.

I saw it online, along with a pair of shoes that I cannot walk in but now own, and added to basket immediately with no hesitation. I am not a person who lacks a selection of white tops so why I felt I needed this, I'm not sure. All I remember thinking is "oooh big sleeves/unique detail". In reality it is a nice top - a thick material that will hide a bra of any colour and with a detail that yes, proves different to anything I have. I know I didn't need it. I know that it's not actually "classic" but clearly my Fuck It slider was put at it's maximum when I ordered it.

Top: Topshop / Jeans: Topshop / Shoes: Topshop (disgustingly I paid £66 for these and they have now been reduced to £20!!!!) / Bag: Chanel / Sunglasses: Celine

If we go back to the key topic for a moment, there is something really nice and almost subversive about feeling like you are "done", that you have what you need. Okay, it's a little boring as well because new stuff does mean new content, but stepping outside that subtle pressure to buy while recognising the strength of a pre-existing wardrobe is also a little bit freeing. I'm never going to be a minimalist - I like the thrill of the new and I don't mind admitting to it - but I'm really going to try and remember the waste of previous purchases and the need to make wise retail choices, buying good quality and versatile items that I can use repeatedly.

I see that the "helpful" Black Friday sales videos have already started flooding the YouTube so I'm really going to need to embed this thought deep in order to resist the hard push to amass.

I would genuinely love to know if this is a thought that has crossed your mind - do you feel overwhelmed with the external push to buy to the point where it turns you off or have you embraced the minimal/capsule wardrobe approach? 
11 Nov 2016

Thank you for reading

Since we last spoke I have been spending weekends lying on clean sandy beaches, developing a tan and vociferously turning pages of books. It’s been quite lovely.

I go through phases with reading. If I am not immediately pulled in by a story I get in a strop, file it on my bedside table and never pick either this or anything else up for months. Conversely there will be times, like now, when I am ripping through one or two titles a week.

I thought I would talk about some of these reads. Apologies if this is a bit snoozy for some but I always get asked about book recommendations and I love to hear yours so do feel free to exchange some suggestions in the comments!
17 Sep 2016

Where I'm at

First of all, how are you? I haven't seen you here for ages. I hope all is well and that you have had a good summer.

I thought it was high time for a catch up post - the kind that deviates from topic to topic with little structure.

If I am honest, rambles are my favourite.

1) Is blogging over?

I know that people don't read blogs that much anymore. Actually this is a horrendous generalisation but its based on the fact that I don't read many blogs and neither do my friends. I like a more instant connection - Instagram and Snapchat for instance - and tend to use that as a way to garner information and inspiration. I have pondered whether there is any point even me being here anymore but it always comes down to this: do I enjoy writing and keeping a record? Yes. Do I enjoy sharing opinions and interacting with you in a more detailed medium? Yes. With those two questions answered I think I'll keep this going - whether anyone reads or not.

2) How was New York?

It was just what it needed to be. My husband and I wanted a break that involved walking around in a reasonable climate and visiting somewhere with plenty to do. This was my 6th visit to New York so I've done all the tourist things before. We chiefly meandered around Lower East Side/Soho/West Village with me being in charge of the itinerary. You know what that means don't you? Cafes, wine  and coffee breaks and the odd retail pit-stop. Bliss! Funnily enough though I didn't buy much. This was due to a few reasons:

a) I wasn't in the mood - I found the sales approach a bit aggressive (Saks was the worst culprit) and that urgency to close puts me off.
b) Some things were disappointing - I went to Reformation on the first day, craving a good dress, but some felt a bit Missguided in quality, and cost a few times more the price,  and the majority of dresses required no bra and no problem showing cleavage...doesn't really work here.
c) I didn't know what I wanted - well okay I did want a bag but when it came down to it there just wasn't anything wow....I was thinking about the YSL blogger bag but the dreamy shade that is on mytheresa wasn't in stock and even if it was I would need to have a serious word with myself before buying it - it doesn't event fit the iPhone 6+ unless you stretch the bejesus out of it.

So I stuck with what I know - spending hundreds of dollars in Sephora (although that doesn't seem to add up to much in terms of actual products!).

In terms of New York highlights....I mean, its all food:

1) ABC Kitchen - DELICIOUS food that was recommended by Sandra (who I met for brunch when I was there :)
2) By Chloe - trendy wendy vegan cafeteria style eatery that even my husband enjoyed. The branding and menu are both well thought out - I love a good food concept.
3) The Butcher's Daughter - I ended up going here twice...once was planned and the other time was because Egg Shop and Jack's Wife Freda had an hour plus wait. Now you are likely to also have to wait in line here but the turnover is fast, the staff friendly and the menu hearty vegetarian grub. It could be very knobby (the staff wear t-shirts saying "We sell designer kale") but it's very relaxed with a good atmosphere and a positive acceptance of ordering mimosas pre-11am.
4) Dominique Ansel bakery - wait in line and order a cronut.
5) Big Gay Ice Cream - I had heard that this place was massively overrated but I loved the salty dog and would have happily ate multiple.
6) Tacombi - I love a good cantina and this little space on Elizabeth Street was good for a pit stop and a quick taco. Plates are small so order multiple items.
7) The High Line/Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum - a couple of non-food related highlights. Both are thronged with tourists but the walk to each offer a great way to see the city.

I didn't take many pictures. This is odd but it was also liberating. I spend so much time capturing moments through the phone or the camera and in doing so I think I become removed from what I am actually experiencing. It's nice to just relax and digest it - with your own eyes.

3) What am I buying then?

Well, I'm so glad this came up. I am having a Shopbop resurgence - (unfortunately) this is NOT sponsored.

I don't know what happened...I think because I always bought jeans or bags on Shopbop I naturally assumed that it wasn't a very economical choice for online shopping and so stuck with ASOS and Topshop. Well, it turns out that this is very wrong. There are some great and unique brands on there that offer clothes at reasonable prices.

English Factory - the top I am wearing in the image above and one that I posted on Instagram is by this brand. I was shocked by the quality - in a good way.
Endless Rose - this is the sister brand of English Chapter and offers a more ethereal take.
Style Mafia - I regularly stalk the off the shoulder tops as I think they look so pretty and are almost always out of stock. They also have some cool looking knits for the new season.

This is what I have bought so far and everything is fab!

Sidetone that military jacket is AMAZING.

4) What's next?

I am in the process of marathon training. Whether I want to run the marathon or not is another question (it scares me!) but I am doing a couple of half's before Christmas and it's nice to get back into a routine. You know what this impacts though don't you? Yes. My hair. My bloody hair. So it's going to be bye bye extensions and hello new haircut. I think I am going to chop a few inches off, go for blunt and balayage it to create a bit of dimension.  I still absolutely HATE my fringe by the way - NEVER DO IT GUYS, JUST NEVER DO IT.

In a nod to my first point I hope someone is out there reading this and I hope to see you soon x
26 Aug 2016

A mini update and yet another Bardot...

Ugh, I'm still not over it.

If you're a shop selling an off the shoulder top then you have a customer in me.
11 Aug 2016

Lesson learned

Want to know something hideous? I was cleaning out the shoe section of my wardrobe this week - and by section I mean the space on the floor I have allocated for shoes - and stumbled across a brand new unworn pair that I got in the Reiss sale a month or so ago. I totally forgot that I owned them.  While I did a little dance of joy when I found them I also felt a little sick and wasteful.

I immediately set myself the task of wearing them and attempted to sport them today. I say attempted because in wearing them out to a meeting in Media City I realised that trying shoes on in store, under a cushioned lush carpeted surface, has to be retail's biggest lie. These are not comfortable and I stumbled around like a lame foal.

No wonder they were in the sale.