Saturday 31 December 2022

Collaborative / Partnered Post - Easy Ways To Up Your Fashion And Style Game In 2023*

When it comes to clothes, and creating an outfit, for me it's always been more about creating my own personal look or style, rather than wearing what's on trend or what a fashion editor says I should be wearing. For me  looking stylish is about more than just wearing the latest fashion trends. It's also about looking put-together and polished, no matter what you're wearing. So as we head into a new year I'm going to share a few quick tips to help you up your fashion and style game in 2023, including a few ways to step out of your comfort zone and to create your own signature style.

Put Together a Signature Look

Now this first one straight off the bat, sounds a little bit daunting but, there are two ways to look it. Look at what your wear on a regular basis there must be some similarities in your outfits, although I'm trying to branch out into other things not, my signature look, and something I always felt comfortable in and keep coming back to, is a patterned, colourful top, and a pair of plain skinny jeans, and all I did was mix the shoes up depending on the occasion. Simple, but I used to get comments on my look and tops when I used to attend blog events - people remembered me because of my outfits which I guess is a good thing.

A signature look could basically be a whole outfit that you can wear on different occasions, but when put together, it looks chic and stylish, for example a pair of jeans, a striped top and a blazer - a classic but it works and it can be dressed up or down depending on the accessories . You could also maybe add a signature piece of clothing to your wardrobe. Consider investing in timeless pieces that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Invest in a waxed jacket from John Partridge to add some practicality to your outfit, or a cute leather jacket or even a classic beige raincoat - instead of looking like everyone else you could be the person in the wax jacket! It surprising how quickly people start to associate us with a certain style or item of clothing.

Add A Little Pop of Colour Or Just Experiment With Colour Full Stop

Ahhh my favourite thing - colour! I've always loved colour, the brighter and more garish the better, even now, when the world tells me as a bigger girl that I should shy away from brights and drawing attention to myself I still love it, and my overflowing wardrobes are full of bright colours and prints. Don't get me wrong I still love neutrals but sometimes all you need to make an outfit look a bit more stylish or put together is to add a pop of colour. It doesn't even have to be a pieces of clothing even if you're wearing a head to toe black outfit adding a bright scarf, statement earrings or even a pair of colourful shoes, will help pull your outfit together and make you stand out from the crowd.

Upgrade Your Accessories

Now as much as I love my clothes, I think accessories are probably my real love, I love jewellery, scarves, hair ties, and of course handbags. Even if you lose or gain weight 9 times out of 10 your earrings and your handbags will still fit. It's really easy to underestimate just how much of a difference a necklace, or even a bag can make to an outfit. Accessories can take any outfit from average to chic in seconds. Investing in quality accessories such as handbags, sunglasses and jewellery can really upgrade your style and give you that polished, more thought out look. If you're going to invest look for classic pieces that won't go out of fashion and consider investing in luxurious items such as leather goods or designer bags, or better still invest in something that you'll love. Don't forget as well though that more budget friendly pieces especially jewellery can make a huge difference to your look, and by experimenting with budget pieces you can also afford to get out of your comfort zone, and try something new, for example colour, or new pieces such as scarves or hats

Quality Pieces

With so many peoples finances taking a down turn at the moment, it's hard for a lot of people to think about spending a lot of money on seemingly frivolous things such as clothes and accessories but buying cheap isn't always the best option in the long run. As well as the obvious environmental impact, a cheap pleather bag is never going to look as good or last as long as the real thing. If you invest in quality pieces you should be able to wear them and use them for years and years to come. Investing in classic pieces such as a leather jacket, a good wool or cashmere jumper or a designer handbag, will really elevate your look, and will never go out of style or fashion. Something worth thinking about if your considering buying a higher price item is to try and work out the cost per wear - for example despite the initial outlay an everyday style, designer hand bag that you could in theory use everyday for a year and beyond, would work out better value than a dress from the high street that you could only wear a couple of times. Obviously don't spend beyond your means, to try and keep up with the Joneses but it's something to keep in mind

Pay Attention To Fit

This one I guess goes without saying, although fashion trends sometimes include clothes that are oversized or too slim fitting, and personal preference also plays a part a well-fitted outfit makes all the difference when it comes to looking fashionable. Make sure that everything fits properly and doesn't look too tight or baggy. There is a difference between something being intentionally baggy or tight and something that just doesn't fit. If it doesn't fit put it to one side or donate it, or if it's a higher quality item tailoring can also make an item fit better and look more polished. Getting clothes adjusted used to be commonplace but now thanks to cheaper, more disposable clothing, it isn't as common but if you have a item that you love that just doesn't fit the way it used to then consider taking it to a professional or a friend or family member that's pretty handy with a sewing machine.

Layer Your Outfit

I don't know whether it's down to practicality (a lot of tops are too short on me) or aesthetics but I'm a huge fan of layering and it's something I've always done. I remember wearing vests over long sleeved tops and now I'm a huge fan of wearing long line t-shirts or vests, under everything from shirts and blouses, to jumpers, and cardigans. Layering is a great way to instantly look more fashionable. Consider adding a blazer or cardigan over a dress or wearing a t-shirt and a sweater together for an effortless yet chic look.

Mix And Match

Something else that I've done for quite a whole now is to play with clothes and team different things together. Don't be afraid to mix and match different pieces to create unique looks. From pairing unexpected items, such as a skirts and dresses, with trainers, and more street shoes such as Converse or Vans, to clashing styles and prints. Mixing prints is something that I never feel quite comfortable with but it's something I definitely want to try more in 2023, if it looks silly, then just get changed. Don't be frightened to try new things and experiment, it won't always work out but when it does, you'll look amazing and stand out from the crowd.

Play With Fabrics

Although I don't necessarily agree with the term fast fashion (no matter what I pay for my clothes I will either wear them till they fall apart or I'll donate them, I don't buy things to wear them once and move on!), there is no denying that clothes these days just aren't made as well as they used to be, there are a lot more synthetic fibres out there, and also some recycled material fabrics and lets be honest, a lot of times they develop those silly little holes and lose their shape. Again the initial outlay may be higher but fabrics can be important when it comes to looking stylish. Investing in quality fabrics like silk, linen, and cotton will ensure that your outfit looks polished and luxurious. Spending a little bit more on high quality basics even the sales will always be a worthwhile investment.

Confidence Is Key

The most important thing to remember when it comes to looking fashionable is that confidence is key. If you feel confident and comfortable in what you're wearing, it will shine through and make you look even more stylish! Too many times over the years I've worn on trend things that haven't suited me, my body shape and my lifestyle and I've felt and looked uncomfortable. Finding what suits you, and most of all what you like and feel comfortable in is definitely the way forward.

Don't feel you have to go with flow, wear what you like, it's more about style than fashion and don't be afraid to make 2023 the year that you experiment a little bit with clothes and accessories. Fashion is meant to be fun, and despite what the magazines and Instagram would often have you believe, there are no real rules!

If you are looking to upgrade your look and get yourself out of a fashion rut then hopefully some of these tips will give you a starting point or some ideas when you next go shopping x If you have any questions or any of your own style tips then please leave me a comment and let me know, and whether your dressing up to the nines tonight or like me vegging in your PJ's I hope you have a happy and safe new year x

*Collaborative / Partnered Post

Thursday 29 December 2022

COVID, Fatigue, Pain, Piercings, Another Christmas That Didn't Quite Go To Plan And Looking Forward To 2023*

Hey, I promised I'd be back this week and here I am, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas if you were celebrating. I did but like so many things this year it didn't quite go to plan. 

My usual Christmas dinner buddies, are my mam and my Godmother, and after last year when my mam was poorly, I wanted this year to be even more special, so we really had gone all out, but our plans were slightly thrown into disarray when a related called early on Christmas morning to say that my Godmother had been taken into A&E after a fall - I admit it a few tears were shed but me and my mam finished opening presents and decided to proceed with our plans anyway and it was just as well we did. After the 9 hour wait in A&E didn't quite come to fruition (probably because of my Godmothers age and history - she's 92 and a multiple cancer survivor), she was home by 10.30, all be it battered and bruised with a broken arm. Whilst she needed a lot of assistance and was still pretty shook up she made it down for dinner, and with me and my mam on cooking, cutting up food, and present unwrapping duty, a nice if slightly truncated Christmas day was had by all. She's quite shook up still, and a little battered and bruised but she's been well looked after by an army of relatives popping in and she has an outpatients appointment sometime this week to check her over again, but I must stress she was very lucky not to do any more damage!

I suppose that one incident kind of summed up how 2022 has gone for me, we started the year with the aftermath of my mam's Christmas hospital dash, before moving on to my 2 month long flu virus, and another diagnosis or two in my never ending list of ailments. By September though things were starting to sort themselves out a bit, apart from the usual stuff I started feeling a bit more normal, I got a few posts and eventually I felt as though I was turning and then wham! 2 steps forward and a zillion back over! 

I was posting well into October and then boom nothing until Christmas Eve, so I guess you deserve an explanation as to where I went. Well I was right it started off with an iffy reaction to my flu jab, before moving on to another iffy nauseous reaction to my COVID vaccine. Despite that though I'm still a huge advocate of vaccinations especially considering what happened next!

About 3 weeks after my vaccine I started to feel a bit unwell, a bit chesty, a bit coughy, a bit snotty and my ears were really hurting, I suffered in silence for about week before I decided to do a COVID test and low and behold it was positive! After getting COVID really early into the pandemic, I'd then managed to avoid for over two years and then bam! I'm not going to lie even fully vaccinated and boosted, it knocked me for six, it was nowhere near as bad as it was first time round but as well as the flu like symptoms, it was the sweats, and the all over body pain and fatigue that finished me off. It took 13 days before I eventually tested negative (unlike Mummy Lou who tested positive and then negative within 4 days and had barely any symptoms!) and even then with December approaching at the rate of knots I still felt like death, so much so in fact the one of my besties even helped me with a little bit of my early Christmas shopping. 

By the time I had pulled myself together Christmas was rapidly approaching and nothing had been done, there was a house to clean, cards to write, presents to buy and wrap, and friends and family to see. My energy was sapped even more quickly than usual, and everything was all a bit of struggle. I only made it to the Metro Centre twice before Christmas and even then for no more than a couple of hours at a time. On the first trip I treat myself to same Bath and Body Works goodies, and on the second I treat myself to another 2 helix piercings at the fabulous Doc Black Ink (the same place where I got my daith done), a sort of Christmas present to myself and a congratulations you survived the last few months gift! By Christmas Eve I was ready to flop and with the added stress and effort of Christmas Day, I've spent the last few days catching up on my sleep, dosing up on painkillers, eating and watching a bit of football.

So where does that leave the blog, well it's fair to say that 2022 has been a bit of a fail! I've achieved nothing that I intended to and I'm so far behind on every regular post that I write so what do I do? Well I have one very belated Glossybox unboxing post that was in the final stage of prep, so that one will go live, and the rest will alas never see the light of day. I have a basket full of Glossybox products that I've received over the last year which I'll hopefully get round to either reviewing at some point or that you might see in future empties posts, so hopefully all my photos won't go to waste. I've actually got so much unused Glossybox stuff floating around that I'm seriously considering whether or not to cancel my subscription - we'll see and I'll keep you posted either way x 

I'm also way behind Trimming My Stash wise but I can assure you that those posts and the accompanying mini reviews will still be going live - I aim to be all up to date with those by the end of January, and it goes without saying that empties posts are going to be continuing in 2023.

So what else have I got to come, well I've got an overview coming up of the products in the 2022 Glossybox advent calendar, no full reviews or anything like that, so if you want to see a product in more depth don't forget to comment on the relevant post and let me know x I've also got a whole load of products to review for you, as well as maybe a few more fashion posts (I enjoy posting outfits on Instagram so maybe I should do more of that on here - let me know your thoughts x) and maybe some more home and lifestyle stuff, as well as a little giveaway just to say thank you for being there.

My aim in 2023 is get back out there and produce the content that I know I can - I hit 1,885,000 all time page views whilst I was AWOL, and I'd love to hit the old 2 million by the end of 2023 but I can only do that by posting regularly again and posting content that I'm happy with and content that you want to read - so I'd love your input on what you would like to see on my blog going forward. My family and my own health will always come first but I've had lots of time to think about what I want my blog to look like, and the content that I want to create so hopefully 2023 can be a more successful year blogging wise x 

So I just want to say a huge thank you for sticking with me in what's been another flaky year. I really appreciate your support, every like, every comment and every follow, be it on here or on my other social media channels (get following me elsewhere if you haven't done so already x - links in the sidebar →). Regular posting will resume asap with a little paid collaborative post this weekend (sorry if they aren't your thing but Christmas is expensive especially at the moment), and then a very late unboxing of the March 2022 edition of Glossybox before moving forward with some reviews and empties catch up x Thanks again for being there and I'll see you soon x

*This Post Contains Both Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links 

Saturday 24 December 2022

A Quick Merry Christmas And A Promise

It seems to be something of a reoccurring theme this year, that I have a post either planned out in my head or drafted, and for what ever reason I've never managed to get most of them published x 

Well the same thing has happened again - I had this post all planned out in my head, an explanation for where I've been for the last month or so, a little bit on the future of the blog, and of course taking the opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas. 

Today has been a little bit busier and crazier than I'd anticipated and even at 8pm at night every thing that needs to be done still isn't done - never mind that's clearly the story of my life lol, so anyone I just thought I'd stick a super quick post up to wish all of you that are celebrating a very Happy Christmas, and even if you aren't celebrating tomorrow I hope you all have a happy, healthy and peaceful holiday weekend. 

If life isn't that great at the moment though, don't forget that you are never alone and even over the holiday period there will always be someone out there to listen, I'm still pretty active on twitter so please feel free to message me or tweet me x  

So I hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow and I promise I will be back in the next few days with a more detailed post xx