Serotonin, Style & Sustainability

This happens to me, I wake up and all of a sudden have an urgency to write about something that has been pulling on my heart strings (without having realised it).  The upside is I get so excited I don’t waste timing putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), the downside is, I don’t plan the post, which means you lot could end up reading a lot of babble…

Over my years of styling various people in various careers and walks of life, as well as following my own journey of ups and downs, one thing I have come to realise is that no matter where you are at or what you are doing we all benefit from feeling good.  Ive been through periods of feeling great, possibly because Im fit and healthy, and other times of feeling really miserable about myself, probably because Im going through a slump, not keeping up with exercise and poor diet.  That’s step one, feeling good from within.  Following closely on the heels of step one is looking good, dressing well! Whether I’m fit or not I need to maintain a level of style in my life otherwise I begin to feel even worse.  Ive noticed when I have let myself go a little on the dressing front I really do feel awful.  I totally can see how I’ve let this slide over the last couple of years and I’ve decided this year, whilst I certainly don’t have a new wardrobe to parade, I’m going to try and be clever and think out the box, whilst Ive adapted to a more classical look (for simplicity) I will try to add a (teeny tiny) edge to give it a touch of “me”, and these small efforts, I know will boost my happiness.  I will be trying my best to get fit and eat cleaner (mental note to self – stop eating children’s leftovers).  Ive seen it through so many women, how taking care of appearances boosts confidence and happiness.  Everyone has their own level of standards and they know when they are at their best or worst.  I could feel amazing in myself but to others out there look very average (hopefully nobody would tell me that – haha) and visa versa, but if you’re healthy and fresh faced then you should shine from the inside out and that counts for everything.  Once you’ve started with your body and mind you then move onto wardrobe and dressing well, present yourself well to show you care.  So that rounds up the bit about confidence and serotonin.

Next up is style.  Style is a very personal thing, Im sure everyone knows that.  Everyone has their own style and way of expressing this.  Style is not stepping out in the latest Zara/Topshop/Country Road and H&M haul, very far from it.  It is a slow and progressive collection of pieces that build up a wardrobe of pieces that you should always love.  They should be able to be worn with confidence and ease, if you ever feel uncomfortable in something, it’s not you, take it off and get rid of it.  Sell it, pass it on, alter it. Being trendy is not stylish! Dressing to suit your character is a good start although there are many women and men out there who battle with what works for them and will seek advice which is a great start.  I certainly don’t try and do my accounts, Im hopeless, so somebody else does that bit.  I do the parts I love and feel capable of doing and that is what we should all be doing.  Seek advice or help in the areas where you lack the ability to do it yourself.  My aim this year is to feel like Im trying my best from a wardrobe front (next mental note to self, try ditch all my t-shirt wearing and certainly NO more Havaianas every day)… if I want to wear a t-shirt, Im going to put it with something really striking at the bottom (haha lets see how this unfolds).  A friend popped in yesterday and said, wow look at you, is this just you strolling around in your best.  I have been “trying” a little harder this week, wearing bits that haven’t had a look-in in forever! So Im pleased to to say it never went unnoticed.  I’ve often had compliments on pieces that I’ve worn that are really old, but that’s where choosing a timeless shape helps as it doesn’t look outdated in 3 years.  That’s the bit about Style…

Now onto sustainability.  Like many others that share the same values out there, Ive become extremely conscious of our human footprint on this planet and Im desperate to be less of a consumer and more of a recycler.  We can all do little bits which will add up to a lot.  My goals for this year are to grow as many of my own veg as possible, buy less plastic, not purchase one plastic water bottle, I will continue to recycle all my rubbish as we have done for years and use earth friendly cleaning products (in fact vinegar is best, but Im not quite there yet). Being fully sustainable is quite a task and can be very overwhelming when thinking about absolutely everything we can and cant do, so baby steps makes me feel better and less stressed by it all.  Whilst there’s no way I will never ever buy another item from a high street store again, I am taking the saying “Buy Less.  Choose well. Make it last.” literally. (Thanks Viveinne Westwood).  When buying a dress for a wedding or special occasion, choose something that really suits you and that you absolutely LOVE so you will want to wear it for years to come.  Choose classic tailoring, simple sneakers, coats and jackets that suit your frame as well as being timeless. AND if you can buy from small business’s that are using sustainable practices & fabrics as well as having ethical values.  Choose raffia, straw, cotton or vegan material handbags over leather.

So how do these three topics all roll into one another? Well its simple.  Feel good, care about yourself, increase your serotonin levels by starting with the your health and fitness.  Style in turn makes you feel better, care about your appearance and I can promise you, the amount of people that I have seen transform in front of my eyes has been extremely gratifying.  Do good for your planet where you can and feel better about making a difference.  Transform yourself but be sustainable at the same time, choose carefully and don’t get sucked into consumerism, chasing the next trend.  Sure, from year to year you may want to update your wardrobe from the chunky knit to the twin set but generally trends like that last at least two seasons (so two years) before feeling the need to switch things around. Small updates can make all the difference and if you choose the classic version of a trend it’s likely to go the distance.  Keep it Simple! But hey, this is nothing you haven’t heard before, right 😉

I leave you with some of my favourite classic looks (most have been on my Pinterest boards for years, at least 3-4, and I still love them), so it shows, choose well, it lasts.

Have a fabulous week ahead everyone.

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.55.30

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.53.44

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.51.46

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.44.25

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.49.56

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.53.07

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.42.50

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.56.21

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.57.58

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.49.21

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.50.51

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.46.44

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 12.58.33

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 13.19.51

 

Jackets to get you through Spring, Autumn & Winter

There are so many reasons to invest in jackets for your wardrobe.  Jackets like these are so good because they can be thrown over something light, something slightly warmer or worn under larger and thicker coats.  The jacket is a fast way to update your outfit or create interesting layers.  I personally love wearing a leather or smaller blazer under a coat when it’s bitterly cold and in doing so it opens up the option of taking your coat off and feeling more comfortable with just a jacket on whilst keeping the chill at bay.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 14.00.47
The Military Blazer here
Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 14.05.39
Leather Biker Jacket here
Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 14.30.49
Quilted Bomber here

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 15.10.13
Gingham Check Jacket here

The leopard print faux fur does not exactly fall into the smaller jacket category but I thought I’d add it to this line up as it sure is versatile, brightens up any dull wardrobe and will be around for many years jazzing up your outfits.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 15.16.04
Faux Fur Coat here

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 15.33.00

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 13.35.03

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 13.35.57

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 15.35.01

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 13.39.21

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 13.36.30

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 15.35.09 Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 15.35.22 Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 13.47.01

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 13.47.32

 

 

 

Autumn Trends

Much to my delight, there’s a real chill in the air.  I’m so sick of the summer wardrobe I don’t have (that’s probably what the problem is) Whilst temperatures are still fairly high the breeze is cool and the mornings and evenings require slippers!! Some pieces that I love and will be wearing over the coming months will revolve around looks such as long sleeved floaty dresses, oversized shirts, soft loose fit trousers, loafers and hopefully I will be able to get my high tops out again soon (I miss them). Some autumn outfit inspo for an array of occasions. Shop directly from links below.

Slide1

Flounce sweater here // embroidered relaxed fit jeans here // Clutch bag here // Gold braided shoes here

Slide2

Patterned Dress here // Clutch here // Glitter sling backs here

Slide5

Jumper with wrist ties here // Mensy trousers here // Slingbacks here // Cotton bag here

Slide4

Printed T here // Blazer here  // Clutch bag here // Court shoes here

Slide3

Embroidered blouse here // Relaxed fit chinos here // leather mules here // Croc effect bag here

Hope you are all as excited about autumn clothes as I am, its always been my favourite fashion season 😉

X

Tuesday Talk…

Having skimmed through some of the AW17 NYC & London shows its clear to see that colour colour and more colour is everywhere.  There is no real trend happening just that different fabrics from velvet, tulle, silk and lace to metallics, embellishment and prints,  and styles from decades past are all on the horizon.  I think it would be pretty accurate to say just about anything goes really. And I think that’s wonderful as that is what fashion is all about, from that, individuals can create their own styles.

One trend I am talking about today is Gingham! I do love a bit of gingham but at the same time I feel one needs to tread carefully when choosing to dress in gingham, lets remember gingham has dressed many a tea table and jam jar for decades. If the incorrect garment is chosen and styled badly then you’re not going to be doing this trend or yourself justice.  My high street hits below.

Gingham blouse with tie sleeves here

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-10-55-06

If you know the styles I go for as often as possible you will know this style ticks all boxes, floaty, full sleeves, great length and such a cute fabric to match although it’s not a cute dress, I feel the style of the dress really balances out the fabric ensuring its not too girly. Especially worn with a pair of converse 😉 Buy here

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-13-36-23

This shirt is great for dress up a pair of high waisted jeans and a blazer, love the ruffles in all the right places. Shop here

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-13-46-50

This is a favourite, tried and tested I loved it on, I also felt its is such a versatile top, from wearing it with a pair of shorts to a pair of leather trousers in the evening, this top can really be casual or smart.  Shop here

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-13-47-45

This doesn’t come cheap but this embellishment!!! Shop here

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-13-55-21

If you’ve got a long torso, finding the right jumpsuit can be tricky, usually the Tall department is where you need to shop.  This Jumpsuit looks super cool and again could go from the office with heels and a blazer, straight to the beach with slides.  LOVE – shop here

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-13-57-14

Styling your gingham..

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-14-02-14screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-14-01-51screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-14-01-25

Well Tuesday Talk started yesterday and ended it this evening so I guess it’s happy hump day from me.

x

 

New Year, New Goals

I am sure we hear ourselves say this at the start of every year.  If I think back about the start of last year, I wasn’t thinking goals, challenges, resolutions etc.  I was focused on one massive continent move.  We celebrated Christmas, went away to the Countryside with friends for a couple of days over New Years, had a whale of a time and kept everything as normal as possible until that little trip was over…. and then, the big pack up begun.  Everything after that was a bit of a blur and I certainly was not focused on the year ahead, other than surviving the next couple of months.  Last year for me was about getting through lots of “news”.  New town, new home, new schools, new people, new absolutely everything.  So whilst I did a bit of a spring clean when we packed up in London, I also held onto a lot in case I needed it.  After having been back in SA for 11 months now I am starting to realise what is needed and what is going to stay and what is going to go.  I have worn about 5% of my wardrobe in the past year, which for me is really sad but the new climate and much more casual style here means I simply cannot wear closed shoes, high heels or coats and wooly jumpers for many days of the year.   On the interior front, our rooms now are a lot more spacious than we had before so things like rugs and tables and decorative stuff all feel rather puny in the larger space and rugs are not filling the areas as they should.

Having said all of the above my goals for this year are about slowly fixing everything to suit our new lifestyle.  We have survived the past year, now we need to thrive! Im quite an impulsive person and sometimes a little hasty, so when I get a bee in my bonnet or the slightest inkling of a “go ahead” from my husband, Im on to it.  I currently have the flooring guys in, ripping up carpets and sanding parquet and wooden flooring (we’ve only been home for 3 days after a month away).  Once that is done, I will move onto the next phase of this project.  Slowly but surely we will start to renovate and redecorate our home, but first we need to have a proper plan in place (which we are still working on).  The other goal this year is to not buy a thing! Other than the necessities of course. There are always those: “this is the best lamp I have ever seen and there will never be another one like it” (how many times have we heard ourselves say that and a couple of months down the line…!?!).  I want to utilise as much of my current bit and bobs as possible and make my wardrobe really work for me, discover new outfits and clear out what is not being worn.  Same goes for the boys.  The toys, and any home decor. This year is all about de-cluttering and then figuring out what exactly we want to replace and what we need once we are back to a minimal of everything.  I want a blank canvas to work with for the next phase.

Here are a couple of inspirational pics of those perfect spaces I would like to create, from bathroom to living to utility.

Bathroom Organisation – order and colour co-ordination

Make- Up, Accessories & Sunglasses. I seem to get a lot more of it all every year (clearly the older I get the more I need although the less I actually seem to use)

Books and Clothing – you need to see them both to appreciate and use them, tucked away and unseen, they become useless and forgotten about.

Kids play – I have this exact kiddies kitchen and I promise it is impossible to keep this tidy but I guess that is a sign it’s actually loved and is used regularly.  As do we have this many, if not more animals but I love the way they are displayed on the shelf (that wouldn’t last either).

The perfectly set up Utility room.  My lovely cleaner would kiss me if we set this up for her.  She is a laundry fanatic, loves it and takes great care in washing and retaining clothing colour and shape (we have a lot in common).

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-20-06-12

I will share any developments of the house and wardrobe with you here.  I will also promise to disclose anything bought that is not on the necessity list on my instagram page here, you have my word (basically a name and shame of myself, hopefully this will help to refrain from purchases).

I would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2017 filled with so much love and adventure!  And thank you so much for reading my blog.

X