Back to Blogging…Finally

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Well hasn’t it been a while! Writing this post, I’ve suddenly realised just how long it’s been since I posted anything to the blog! Life got in the way for a while there, but I’m back and raring to go.

So much has happened in the time I’ve been away – I finished university! Dissertation – DONE. Coursework – DONE. Exams – DONE. Miraculously I’ll be graduating with a first (pinch me…hard), and the hard (x 1000) work that has gone into the last few months – and years – seems to have finally paid off.

My plan after finishing everything off at uni was to get straight back in to blogging, no time to lose, create create create…yeah..well…as they say…the best laid plans.

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In the limbo between student life and the real world, I’ve found myself in a bit of a rut. Applying for job after job, unpaid internship after unpaid internship (never mind the rejection after refection part – it’s a dog eat dog world out there) began to take its toll and really sapped and drained me of energy and creativity.

So I did what I often do when life gets me down – I turn to my loved ones. Escaping the big smoke for a while I’ve come back to Leicester to recharge, refresh, and regain some much needed perspective.

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It’s amazing what some time with loved ones, R&R and a change of scenery can do (not to mention a sassy slogan tee). London can be a lonely place, and if there’s no one there to talk to, to bounce ideas and thoughts off, you can get far too caught up in your own thoughts.

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Having been home now for about 48 hours, I already felt the blogging bug making a return. Frustratingly my usual photography wiz kid (and best friend) Alice, was 200 miles away beavering away at an internship, so my lovely mum decided to step in and save the day. What’s so great about creating this stuff with a friend or family member is that there is literally 0 awkwardness, and countless countless laughs.

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Leicester isn’t known for its mediterranean weather..and this shoot provided no such climates..in fact it was bloody miserable! Whilst most of my wardrobe is still in London, and I try to carry as little as possible when travelling back and forth, my sartorial choices become somewhat limited. A capsule wardrobe girl I most definitely am not. Not wanting to wear yet another pair of jeans, I dug out this old pleated polka dot midid skirt, donned my sassiest – and comfiest slogan tee, and threw on my trusty Vans Old Skool. Whilst this may not be my most put together, or even favourite outfit, it made a nice change to my denim failsafes and added a bit of fun to a truly dreary day.

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Having never felt overly comfortable in midi skirts – at 5ft5 I worry they make me look like a sack of potatoes, this type of skirt was, oddly enough, quite an out there choice for me. I always love how midi length skirts and dresses look on bloggers and models, but am never quite sure I can pull them off. But sometimes you just need to bite that fashion bullet and try something different!

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I do hope this ramble of a blog post wasn’t too dull – more than anything it’s my “guess who’s back” post, and more regular and purposeful posts will be appearing from now on!

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E x

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Vulnerability

Vulnerability is a slippery little fellow. Highly dependent on the environment it exists in. Sometimes it exposes its host to pain, grief and hurt. Other times, it strengthens our sense of self, the resolve of our character and the decisions we make and the experiences we have can be most beneficial when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

Often, when vulnerability is most needed, it is the hardest mindset to conjure up. To wear our hearts on ours sleeves when they’re most likely to be broken, to be open and honest about our feelings when they’re most likely to be rejected. It’s no easy feat. Many people struggle to allow themselves to be vulnerable. After being hurt in the past, it can get harder and harder to put yourself out there.

For most of my teenage years, I had the opposite problem, and still do to an extent. I find vulnerability to be quite a natural state of being, being honest with my feelings, whether they be good or bad, uplifting or depressing, rational or ridiculous. Acknowledging the way you feel about a situation or a person, whether you’re happy about feeling that way or not, has for the most part, provided me with a contentedness and inner peace with who I am, that maybe I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

The flip side of being honest with yourself and others about how you feel 100% of the time is that it leaves you, to some extent, at the mercy of others, and your feelings can take on more power and sway than they should.

People can sometimes mistake vulnerability for weakness or passivity. And so you can be taken for granted, lead on, and used. For another thing, it becomes exhausting! The heightened self awareness that comes with an open and honest relationship between you and your feelings can lead to an almost daily assessment and evaluation. “What am I feeling right now?” “Why am I feeling like this?” What does the fact that I’m feeling this way mean about me as a person?” “Am I the only one who feels this way?” “Why am I asking myself so. many. questions.?”.

Often it can be hard to see the point of feeling so much, and exposing oneself so often to the potential for pain, grief, and confusion. When another relationship ends because the other party wasn’t honest with themselves, or with you, it’s easy to wonder why you bother. Especially when it can leave you feeling cheated, having laid everything out on the table yourself. This is when guards go up and walls are built. Not just in romantic relationships but friendships, relationships with family members, colleagues etc.

I must confess that 2017 has indeed been a year of guardedness, and caution so far. And whilst my ability to trust easily may be slightly depleted at the moment, I know that in time the batteries will recharge. And in fact, I have had to, and am still teaching myself to be guarded. To be cautious. To let people show you they deserve your trust before giving it to them blindly, on the assumption that because you wouldn’t abuse it, no one else will.

Being guarded, and careful, thinking with your head instead of your heart is a necessary part of life. And one I find tricky. How can I make rational decisions about experiences that are so full of feeling and emotion, this still doesn’t make much sense to me. Pro and Con lists are all well and good, but how do you reconcile that with a gut instinct, with intuition, with lust, with love. I have come to accept that I am someone who trusts easily. Who listens to her heart or that feeling in the pit of her stomach, far more readily than she’ll listen to reason, logic, and even, sometimes, proof. But as long as I’m aware of the inevitable pitfalls of this personality, as long as I, from time to time, put my brain firmly in the driver’s seat, then this is okay.

Trusting easily means a potential (lets face it a pretty high potential) for hurt.
But trusting easily means I trust my own feelings too. I listen to them.
It also means that I’ll miss out on less experiences and relationships because I won’t have my guard up, I won’t push people or opportunities away.

Wearing my heart on my sleeve means it’s going to get a bit battered and bruised. Maybe more often than others.
But it also means the people I love will never be in doubt of the extent of my love for them. They will never have to question whether or not I really care. It will be plain to see. And the right people won’t take advantage of that. They’ll treasure it.

Being open and honest with how I feel means, from time to time, I might scare people off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not running around declaring my love for every human I mildly get on well with. But I have little ability to play games. So boys, if you like the whole ‘hard to get vibe’ then walk on by because I couldn’t be cool and aloof if I tried. And believe me I have..it does not work. So if that means that some silly people with outdated ideas of how women should come across deem that ‘desperate’ or ‘too nice’ then so be it.

Whilst I’m constantly striving to better myself, to be more informed about the person I am and how I deal with what life throws my way, I have no desire of any kind to apologise or shy away from the traits that make me who I am.

There is no right way to be or right way to feel. I often envy you lot who- like my little brother- seem to be able to handle anything that comes their way with a cool assuredness that never fails to amaze me. I should at times take a note out of the books of all of you who take your time, who wait to give our trust until you know it’ll be kept safe. There are times that I wish I was more this or more that. But hey…

I am Eleanor.

I feel ALOT.

I trust easily.

When I feel. I FEEEEL. There’s no half arsing. Including the bad feelings.

I’m constantly self evaluating and self assessing. It’s like 20 questions on a loop in my head.

But when I’m knocked for six. I come back around all the better for it.

So that’s all okay by me.

 

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Things My Mother Taught Me

Mothers’ day has just come and gone and whilst I was a hundred or so miles away from my own, the lessons she has taught me over the years are still with me today. (N.B. My dad taught me these lessons too, and many more…but you know…Mother’s day and all – sorry dad!).

*This post features a vintage jacket that my mum passed down to me – so for once these photos are actually related!

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  • Hormones are a bitch. Don’t let them ruin your life As a woman hormones are an often overwhelming part of life, you can spend days feeling sad, despondent and depressed about the world and your life, and then suddenly, you get your period and “ohhh. That’s why I was so sad…hormones!”. Whilst any feelings we have are, I firmly believe, valid, purely because if you’re feeling them, they’re real, I’ve found it’s important to check yourself, ask yourself why you’re feeling this way, is it because of a genuine problem you have, or because your body is playing chemical and hormonal tricks on you? If it’s the latter, my mum taught me to acknowledge the feeling, acknowledge that the cause is hormones and put it to one side. This helps me so much when I’m feeling completely overwhelmed by things I’d normally be able to cope with: I think “okay I’m feeling like this because I’m hormonal, so let yourself feel it, but remember that in a few days, you’ll likely feel better about things”. And low and behold – nine times out of ten – I do!

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  • There are some things you will never be able to control, so stop worrying about them.  I was recently on the phone to my mum after having had a mini break down over the phone to my dad a few days previously. The thought of graduating, of leaving a place I love so much and having no real plan or structure to my life anymore was constantly on my mind, I couldn’t stop worrying about all the possibilities that were coming my way, and how I was going to manage them. Talking it through with my mum, she reminded me that graduation and the next phase of my life was coming whether I liked it or not, and so I could continue to worry and get anxious about it even before it’s happened, or I could just cross that bridge when I come to it – which isn’t for another few months. Why feel something twice when you don’t have to!

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  • Horrible, difficult things happen to us all the time, how we deal with them is what is important.  When crappy things happen to us, it’s so so easy to feel like the world is against you, that it’s so unfair and unjust that this thing has happened and you now have to deal with it. I often feel like that – I think often as humans it’s our default setting. But mum always reminded me that A) there is ALWAYS someone who has it worse than you, and that B) when something horrible happens, it tests us, and we all need testing sometimes, if only to reaffirm to ourselves that we can survive, manage, carry on and pull through, but also sometimes to help us realise that we were stronger than we thought and that if we can deal with this, then most other things life throws at us we’ll be able to tackle.

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  • A broken heart is always a lesson learnt about yourself.  Being broken hearted is THE worst thing. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions from one day to the next, sometimes from one hour to the next. Defiant strength and positivity followed by bouts of sobbing and despair, we go through the ringer. But what I’ve found, and what my mum has been key in helping me understand is that, usually, once you can see the wood for the trees and you’re out the other side, you can see that the heartbreak teaches you a lot. It teaches you what you will and won’t put up with in relationships, the things you value most in another person, that people may seem worthy of your trust but that you deserve to have that proven to you, and above all it teaches you that no matter how much you like, loved or fancied someone, you had a life without them that was rich and full and your life after them will be equally as rich and full of love and laughter, and whats more, it will be enriched by the deepened understanding you have of yourself. So, to those that have broken my heart I say, weirdly, thank you, and thanks mum!

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  • Having standards and expectations about how other people should treat you is not ‘picky’ -it’s proof that you know yourself and what you want and need from others. This applies to all types of relationships. This could easily sound snooty and selfish, but it works both ways – if you know what you expect from other people, you know better how to treat others – both the people who you care about and strangers you come into contact with every day. It’s one of the reasons I really dislike rudeness. If I want people to be polite and kind to me, it follows that I’ll always, to the best of my ability be polite and kind to others.

 

  • Kindness is a severely underrated quality. It costs nothing to be kind. This follows on from my last point. At school I was bullied quite a lot, and a point she always made is that kindness is often overlooked in people, it’s not cool, or edgy or funny and at times it can be interpreted by others as weakness. But it takes so much more effort to be nasty to people than it does to simply be kind to them. It can be quite easy to fall into habits of laughing at people, mocking them and even being mean to them – sometimes it’s easier to do that than to stand up against a bully or someone who’s out of line. But mum always assured me that one day, my kindness would be repaid, with respect and with the kinds of people who will be there for you throughout your life. And she was right! Whilst it might not be cool at school, with age kindness becomes increasingly respected and searched for. You find yourself surrounded by kind, good hearted people and you have the ability to spot an unkind person from a mile off and stay well clear. In the words of my mum – and I’m sure many other mums – If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. It’s a good mantra to live by – not always easy and definitely not one suggesting you shouldn’t have strong opinions or beliefs, but something to work on and strive for.

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  • Trust your gut instinct. It’s usually right.  “Gut instinct” “female intuition” whatever you want to call it, it’s often laughed off as an old wive’s tale, but I firmly believe it’s a thing. Often I’ll somehow be sure that someone is about to cancel on me – and then they do. Or I get the feeling the person I’m seeing isn’t feeling it and sure enough a discussion arises soon after. Whether its about things happening or gut feelings about certain people, my advice, taken from my mum’s to me, is to listen to what your body and mind are telling you, more often than not that feeling will come to be proven true. Sometimes you wish it wouldn’t, but at least you know yourself!

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  • Fake it till you make it – the appearance of confidence = confidence. Throughout my teenage years mum would always tell me to straighten back and hold my head high, it was partly about having good posture so I didn’t get a bad back (not even a great mum can stop genetics in their tracks), but also standing tall with your head held high gives the appearance of confidence even if you don’t have it. And lets face it, there aren’t many of us that can boast of being full to the brim with confidence at the age of 15 – I certainly wasn’t. But often, if you fake confidence when you walk into a room full of strangers, people will assume you are confident and that affects how people interact with you. Eventually you’ll realise that you’re not actually faking it, you just are confident and comfortable. It’s an ongoing process that means having to go back to basics and fake it when walking into a room full of new people, starting a new job or anything unfamiliar and scary. But with each new uncharted territory, more confidence is faked, and more confidence is felt.

These are just some of the things my mum has taught me in my 21 years, in reality there are probably so many things i’m not even conscious of that both my mum and my dad have taught me that have gone into making me who I am today. And it doesn’t stop once you get to be a kind-of-sort-of-pretending-adult, my mum will continue to teach me lesson after lesson long after I feel I should be still learning lessons.

  • Jeans – Topshop –  Similar here,
  • Shoes – Zalando – Similar here
  • Blouse (tucked in dress) – Here
  • turtle neck – Topshop – Similar here
  • Jacket – vintage

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March Trend Chat

It’s already been a month since I did my February Inspo post and boy oh boy did that go fast. With that in mind It’s time for my March update, now, not that much can really change too drastically in four weeks, the trends featured last month are still V. much something I bear in mind when window/online/imaginary shopping, and when I get dressed in the morning. However there are a certain few things I’ve noticed have crept up on me that I’m really looking to try and incorporate into my looks in the coming weeks: that is if the nightmare that is dissertation work doesn’t completely bury me!

  1. (It’s got to be) Gingham

Gingham is EVERYWHERE right now. Seriously you cannot miss it. I myself have gone gingham obsessed. The high street is full to bursting with the print. The choice really is yours, you can get involved as much as  you like, from headscarves to blouses, oversized shirts, ruffle-tastic skirts and dresses, even picnic blanket trousers, you can get on board with gingham as subtly or as outrageously as you like.

 

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2. Stripes.

Stripes are a classic. A wardrobe essential. For some reason i’ve neglected them of late and it’s time to give them some much needed TLC. They instantly add something chic and classy to a simple outfit and pair them with a clashing colour and you’ve got a sartorial extrovert’s dream. What’s not to love?

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3. Shirts (Oversized and Deconstructed).

I’ve always loved shirts but struggled to incorporate them into my look without feeling like I’m back at school or at my first day in the office. Oversized shirts are a really good way of avoiding this, messily tuck them into a pair of vintage jeans and voila! You have an effortless, chic “I woke up like this” look. Pair them with a turtleneck underneath or a neckerchief strategically tied and you have a day to night oh so on trend look that never fails.

Deconstructed Shirts are big right now and I must say I’m LOVING it. They can seem seriously unwearable at first, and perhaps only for those gracing the catwalks or the front row at Fashion Week. But I think if done right (and worn the confidence they deserve), they can be wearable and a statement twist on a timeless classic.

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4. A mix match of other stuff I’m loving:

 

Hope you enjoyed my March trend chat!

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Always A Woman.

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N.B.: Photos were taken in my tiny non instagram/pinterest friendly student flat because I don’t have a photographer on speed dial and the weather is making me want to cry.

Wednesday was International Women’s Day – and whilst there are some people who will proclaim “What about a Men’s day?” or “it’s just an excuse for middle class white women to feel good about themselves”, on the most part it was a day that, probably for the first time, filled me with a real sense of pride, love, solidarity and most importantly of all – hope.

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With all that’s going on in the world right now, it can be hard to not to switch on the news and think: “fuck”.

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With the current President of the United States a serial sexual harasser of women, AND having signed an executive order in his first week essentially blocking funding for abortion   organisations and charities abroad, AND with women disproportionately facing the brunt of austerity measures around the world, AND taking sole responsibility for birth control, AND having to make the choice between a successful, long lasting career and a family…AS WELL AS having to put up with subtle, normalised sexism and misogyny on a daily basis…It’s hard not to feel like we’re going backwards not forwards.

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But then I woke up to a stream of messages from my girlfriends telling each other how much we loved each other, and were inspired by each other. My instagram and Facebook feeds were FULL of friends – both men and women- paying tribute to their mothers, grandmothers, aunties, friends. Not just that, but people were paying tribute to women. not women they knew, or women they owed their life to, or women they were in a relationship with, but just women. Woman Kind.

Because why do you need to know a woman to respect all of them? Granted, if you don’t know one single woman, frankly, where have you been living all your life – we are 51% of the population, but nevertheless, respecting women-wanting gender equality and simply coming out of your mum’s vagina are not mutually exclusive.

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The strength and solidarity amongst people emanated from every laptop, tv screen and woman I encountered. For once, women felt entitled to feel proud of being a woman, not to feel ashamed for simply having a vagina and breasts, for covering up too much or not enough, for not being pretty enough or being so pretty you’re asking for it. Those pressures and double standards were still there of course, they will be until that pesky patriarchy is dismantled, but women seemed to bond in defiance of being pitted against each other and the idea of ‘sisterhood’ became almost tangible to me.

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Lots of people like to criticise things because it might make them seem cool, aloof, cynical and above it all. International Women’s day is no exception I’m sure, and there may be some legitimate criticisms to raise in order to help the women’s movement progress, but really, what is so wrong with celebrating women all over the world. We are all different yes, we all face different challenges depending on the colour of our skin, the class we were born into, the countries we live in. But we are all women. We all share a history of oppression and degradation, but we also share a history of victory and humanity, and strength and a belief that this cannot be the best it gets.

 

A simple way of stopping the progression of gender equality is to pit different demographics of women against each other. These women over here only care about themselves, don’t listen to them etc. But feminism IS intersectional – and is getting more so everyday, difference and unity are not mutually exclusive by any means and being white and middle class, or white and working class, or black and working class (Etc) does not mean you have no part to play or voice to be heard.

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Women are the lifeblood of this earth in more ways than one. When women prosper, the world prospers. I have truly amazing women in my life that give me strength, direction and guidance in a world that can often seem like its out to get you. I have amazing men in my life too. Who would never tell me I couldn’t do something because I was a woman, or blame me if I was raped.

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International Women’s day showed me all of the things I have to be grateful for as a woman living today. I have family who see me as no less than my younger brother. I have friends who are constant source of support and inspiration and solidarity, and I have wonderful women and men from around the world filling up my news feed with messages of support and feminism and love, and that is nothing if not reassuring and heart warming.

E x

 

 

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Transitions

This year is THE year of transition for me. My time at university is coming to an end and I’m on my way into the big bad world. This time of year is also all about transition, in the last few weeks the blossom has appeared on the trees and the weather has [very slightly – blink and you’ll miss it] warmed up.

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With this in mind, transitional dressing will be the buzz word on every fashion savvy pair of lips in the upcoming weeks and months, and so I’ve thrown together an outfit that, I must say, I’m loving.

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This outfit is all about layering, and for me that’s a key trend for transitional dressing as it means you can turn summer pieces into spring ones just by adding a turtle neck under it like I’ve done here.

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Lately I’ve gotten into a bit of a light-wash denim rut that I just cannot get out of, and to be fair, with good reason  – it goes with errythanng. But when I found these jet black kick flares from Misguided I saw an opportunity to switch up my denim, and I’m so glad I did!

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This shirt from Next is one I saw on epic blogger Megan Ellaby and cheekily decided to copy, the gathered sleeves make it a bit funky and different and the stripes make it oh so chic. I’ve paired it with a neutral stone turtle neck ribbed top from Boohoo – really this colour combo shouldn’t really work, and I have no idea why it does, but I think it does!

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Now I’ve had the same glasses for ages and I am sick to death. But as a poor poor student [insert sad violin music here] there ain’t no way I can currently afford new ones that I actually like, but when I saw that Asos had brought out a load of different clear lens glasses, I thought I’d try out some different frames so that when I can finally get some new specs, I’m sure of the one that will suit me best. These massive goofy frames were just £12..£12!! Bargain.

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^^^ *How I feel about ma funkaayy frames* ^^^

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Teaming the outfit with my trust Tamaris Leopard Print Sock Boots from Zalando. I think these are one of my all time favourite boots. Weirdly they seem to go with everything, have the perfect sized heel and are incredibly comfy. WIN.

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My bag is from Missguided also and I loved the metal hardware details and the neutral colour palette, I’m not massive on the gold chain, but it is also a clutch and so this can be removed.

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So there we have it, a layered transitional look with clashing patterns and colours but I think it works!

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February Trend Chat

In a month where I’ve been staring at my wardrobe thinking I have nothing to wear, as well as scouring the shops and finding nothing that gets me going or makes me excited about getting dressed in the morning, I’ve been doing some MAJOR interesting. And I’ve come up with a few themes that have given me some direction when thinking about what to wear, how to style key pieces and particularly when thinking forward to transitional dressing going into spring.

**All Images found on Pinterest-not my own, I claim no ownership**

  1. Colour Blocks: My fave – Red and Pink.
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Pink and Red is a combo that has felt for so long totally wrong. And yet for some reason I find myself loving it more and more, suddenly, it really is so wrong its right – so uncomplimentary it’s complimentary – don’t ask me how or why but I. Am. Love. Ing. It.

2. White or Cream Denim

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I don’t think I’ve ever worn white, cream or even off white on my bottom half. It’s never really felt like my style, but recently I’ve been noticing a chic, fresh and oh so me styling of all things white and i’m digging it! One of my faaave bloggers Shot From The Street by Lizzy Hadfield is wearing cream denim so so well right now and i’m lusting after her white denim collection (that pair of ASOS straight leg jeans that are only £14 but out of my size 😦 ). Thinking about it, I’m not sure why I ever had an aversion for the trend, it’s different, crisp, chic and summery, and whilst we’re still in the depths of winter here in the UK [despite the unusually mild weather] I am dreaming of warmer climes and the lightness and freshness the comes with spring and summer style.

3. Fishnets

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Fishnets have been back in a big way for a while now and the 90’s throwback looks like its here to stay and I for one am rather glad. They add an edge and a bit of interest to otherwise simple outfits, they allow you to bare your skin just a little bit in shoes that the time of year normally wouldn’t allow. Micro or Macro, socks, tights or stockings, get o’self some fishnets!

4. Loafers + Mules

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Backless or closed or slingback, open toe or closed, flat or heeled: These two shoes are just dreamy. Loafers are a perfect [and my go to] alternative to flat boots or trainers when they’re feeling a little too worn and your shoe choice feels repetitive. Closed toe mules with a block heel are perfect for adding some chic to an outfit. Loafer or mule, heel or flat they work with jeans, trousers, wide legs or straight, bare skin or tights..even socks if you’re feelin’ crazy, they go with everything, and the best part is that there are too many dupes to the designer ones [hello Gucci], you really don’t have to break the bank on this one.

There we have it: a few things that i’ll be bearing in mind when trying to spice up my looks going into spring and summer, more monthly inspo’ to come!

Love E x

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