Vogue v.s Neiman Marcus v.s Bloggers

bloggers

Fashion, Bullying and Cat Fights

Wow, what a week. Talk about The Debate! The fashion world has had its own this week between fashion institution Vogue (.com – which remember is rather separated from Vogues various publications) and bloggers. Then, not to be left without jumping on a well-timed bandwagon American department store, Neiman Marcus placed their own falling sales figures on bloggers heads, claiming that they were killing their profits.

 

Let’s kick this off with Vogue however, in the companies recap of Milan fashion week a bunch of its online editors began attacking the bloggers in attendance. Creative Digital Director Sally Singer let the claws come out first offering the bloggers a less than friendly, ‘note’ on fashion week. “(Note to bloggers who change head-to-toe, paid-to-wear outfits every hour: please stop. Find another business. You’re heralding the death of style.)” She was then backed up by fellow Vogue.com cat, Chief Critic, Sarah Mower who spoke of “the professional blogger bit, with the added aggression of the street photographer swarm who attend them, is horrible, but most of all, pathetic for these girls, when you watch how many times the desperate troll up and down outside shows, in traffic risking accidents even, in the hope of being snapped. The non-photographed interested me far more.”

Nicole Phelps was softer, heralding from Vogue Runway calling it the street style mess. “It’s not just sad for the women who preen for the cameras in borrowed clothes, it’s distressing, as well, to watch so many brands participate.”

In my opinion however, it was Alessandra Codinha whose bark was worst, a Vogue.com Fashion News Editor who should have known better went for bloggers intellect. “It’s pretty embarrassing-even more so when you consider what else is going on in the world. (Have you even registered to vote yet? Don’t forget the debate on Monday!” I sort of want to play devil’s advocate and ask, well do you? Considering that you too have spent an inordinate amount of time on those same streets, most likely being ‘papped’ or perhaps by your comments looked over? It was a low blow and highly unnecessary from all three girls. (To call them women at this point seems to only give them a station they’ve not quite reached.) The real issue when you bring in intellect is honestly everyone in this industry has to have a degree of love for being frivolous, clothes might be necessary in the modern world, high fashion? Not so much.

Bryanboy said it best in his tweet, “It’s school yard bullying, plain and simple. How satisfying it must be to go for the easy target rather than going for other Editors.” It ties the whole issue right up in a bow. Other bloggers who have chimed in with some absolutely on the nose observations include, Ella Gregory who reminded us all that, so many participating in the street style mess are “Editors not Bloggers” Susie Lau (Style Bubble) meanwhile, realised we’ve done a 360 back to 2006 where the same arguments surfaced as Vogue and other archaic publications came to the startling realisation that no one is safe when it comes to digitalisation and that actually, your name is not enough, you must adapt.

Caroline Vreeland and others pulled up Vogues own crimes, including their money sources (funnily enough paid advertising for both shoots and in publication advertising not to mention attending certain shoes for an undisclosed fee, after all you’ve gotta bring in that dough! My favourite of course had to be from Shea Marie who pointed out, vogues most commented Instagram was actually of herself (a popular blogger) alongside Caroline in guess what? A street style photo.

Now let’s talk Neiman Marcus. On twitter, Stella Bugbee points out the main problem of luxury anything is not its style and quality points but the mere fact that in a post-Brexit-recession world no one really has the money for luxury and once you pair that with the dangerously unstable business model for fast fashion you will eventually suffer a dip in profits without any help from bloggers.

Quite frankly, it was an unnecessarily low blow and another obvious result of e-commerce. The problems both Neiman’s and Vogue have in common is an inability (or perhaps more an unwillingness) to adapt. Not to harp back too much but a while back when I spoke of bloggers still being relevant I mentioned bloggers and online fashion publications such as Man Repeller, Bryanboy and Style Bubble all of which have websites which continue to far out perform vogue.com for quality of content and engagement. They are more interesting, more intriguing and insightful and ultimately hold consumers interest far more. As this is the case it stands to reason that the only way for both companies to survive is to change their strategies and quickly.

Of course for Neiman’s they have more issues than Vogue*. Why? Because their product is in trouble. Firstly if your customers don’t exist you’re always going to find it hard to sell products no matter the beauty of it. Furthermore, physical, bricks and mortar stores are always going to struggle in the face of global online paradises like Net-a-Porter. They aren’t just looking to shoppers on the streets of New York and LA but everyone from graduates clasping their first pay checks to farmers wives in the middle of nowhere to new mums and housewives, there’s no real limit to their reach. They reach those with money when a physical store can’t and with limited overheads they can also provide their product at reduced, competitive prices and right there is Neiman’s real problem.

Secondly fast fashion. I won’t sugar coat the fact that fast fashion makes everyone’s lives harder. From busting consumers bank balances and wardrobes to the stores trying to continually stock something new and finally the environment suffering from our buy, wear and trash mentality. It’s an ultimately unsustainable business model. Eventually it’s going to tip over and maybe Neiman’s have already found their own tipping point.

I’m not actually the biggest fast fashion fan myself and I actually completely understand where Neiman’s are coming from. I too have lusted over something my favourite blogger has worn (not going to lie, usually Kendi from Kendi everyday) but of course she has the product before it comes even close to me and by the time it does I’m already lusting over the next thing and that is unsustainable. We can’t keep up with this buying pattern and actually why should we want to?

For Vogue and Neiman’s however, the big issue is competition. We’ve all been there, scared of losing our jobs, our roles in the world and for both they are under threat.

With Vogue it’s a case of losing their elitist edge. It’s no longer the only way to the top of the fashion journalism tree. In fact you’re probably weighed down far more by the pressure of bosses and regulations, not to mention being paid less. Meanwhile, bloggers aka self-employed, entrepreneurs wholly control not only their own time and budget but their content. Even I with my tiny not even a blip of a blog have come under scorn for being a blogger, seen as a lesser voice “oh, it’s different for you as a blogger, you don’t have to answer to anyone.” As if I couldn’t possibly understand how to write for anyone bar myself. After all, the majority of my content is for my readers not myself. If that was in fact the case you’d find a really strange mix of business, fashion and paranormal fanfiction. Then of course, include a pitying look and it will continue to be the hardest thing for bloggers to explain their right to a place in the world.

Vogue has held an invisible mantel, unthreatened for so long and I can see why they are so concerned, hurt and possibly scared. Suddenly the fashion world is flooded by looks and voices previously unheard from that threaten their existence, they undermine their one sided opinions and views and quite frankly I feel both companies don’t want that change, because change is hard and sometimes you can’t last within its vortex.

Perhaps what we all need to be discussing in terms of Fashion Week is not the problem with the new but the dying of the old. This switch appears to be happening everywhere at the moment but in the face of a tidal wave we will all be powerless to stop it.

Vogue.com do you think we could do a little less bullying and instead do a little more reporting? After all, the only way to get ahead is to stay ahead and dare I say you’ve feeling a little . . . irrelevant of late?

 

*This was not meant to be a joke and yet . . . I couldn’t remove it, it was too good.

The High street and a lack of Women’s size nine shoes.

When did size nine shoes on the high street become an impossibility?
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Finding shoes bigger than an eight on the British High street is fast becoming more than difficult, it’s becoming impossible. A former shoe haven where almost all shoes where made to a size nine is Next PLC.

I have never struggled with Next for anything that a tall girl might need. Whether it was tops, dresses, trousers and shoes they catered to us and catered to us well. Even this summer there were size nine shoes available, although not all too supportive they sold out quickly and yet . . . this Autumn (Fall) finds Next supplying seven of the most un-innovative boot options in the entire world.

Don’t get me wrong, I have loved Next for a long time and have worked for the company alongside two other family members so to find that this season their buyers have shut the door on those of us with bigger feet has caused more than a stubbed toe’s worth of disappointment. The Tall range seems to have only expanded so to not also make shoes available seems like an odd move?

They are not however, the only ones. Fellow high street brands including Clarks have also lessoned the amount of options available in bigger shoe sizes. Thankfully in the case of Clarks this brand has tried to rectify the problem.  Having found vast amounts of customers taking advantage of the entirely free to store service over the past year they have now retracted this offer (meaning you pay entirely up front for shoe orders). The reason for this was that it had left stores over loaded with shoes that they can’t sell which then made them unavailable online (where customers would find them). As can be seen from their most recent sale however, there still appears to be a severe lack of each product available in each of these larger sizes.

Other brands dedicated to the tall demographic such as Long Tall Sally have also tried picking up the slack with their own extensive range as well as carrying other reputable brands larger lines. None of this however, rectifies the fact that there seems to now be far too few products for far too many feet. It seems like a bad move on the part of the high street to not be capitalising on what can clearly be seen as a ‘growing market’.

After all, if we are growing taller, our bodies getting bigger then it stands to reason that our feet will too. I rarely don’t find size nines sold out when I do find them so why are buyers not thinking about the larger footed lady?

The problem with ‘buyers’

Next shoe tweet feedback 2016

Now I hate to go on about Next because I honestly love their products and I don’t intend to stop buying from them, but this hasn’t been the first time that their buyers have gotten the seasons fit so incredibly wrong. Only last year I was commending the manager in Next, Victoria for the far improved fit of their trousers and chinos following a disastrous year of incredibly snug waist sizing with all too often far too much material on the hips, promoting the question, is my body shape so strange? (It isn’t. Fellow Apples unite!)

In fact, when I mentioned the lack of shoe choices for size nines Next said that they would inform their buyers. It makes me wonder however, who their buyers are. Are we all so average that for size nine feet there are only 4 options needed? Worst still, at the next lowest sizing there are 139 options for those with feet, size three and a half. If I have my maths right that’s an increase of 3375%. Meaning that if you have petite size 3 ½ you are 3000% more likely to buy a great pair of shoes.

How did anyone think that that makes sense or would please their taller demographic?

Worst still is how can we and buyers make predictions for what consumers actually want and need. Especially in the case of a size requirement. This last summer I didn’t buy one pair of sandals. Not because I didn’t need any but because the choices out there were either so horrendous I couldn’t bring myself to pay the price tag or they were uncomfortable or even better, sold out.

Now that would leave most buyers with an obvious solution to the season ahead. No one bought anything? There is no need for it. However, what if there is a need but no one bought them because what you all offered us were odd looking, flat foot making concoctions that we didn’t want?

A lot of the time tall ranges falter because the ranges themselves are often misguided. There has been a time where I have lamented the fact that there are huge petite ranges and no tall counterpart whatsoever but in actual fact petite ranges often get more creative and interesting items. They get colour and alternative shapes, whilst tall women repeatedly get offered only basics, such as jeans, white and black T shirts and trousers.

Why do tall women only want black? Why do women with big feet only want simplistic shoes reminiscent of secondary (high) school? The Answer? We don’t. So we don’t buy it, you think tall people don’t exist and the circle continues.

Its no wonder that buyers are buying poorly fitting garments and ignoring big feet. It couldn’t possibly be that their sartorial choices have been, on occasion abysmal and tired. What I actually wonder is how can our process of feedback in stores survive in a digital age?

If you buy shoes from your local store and they know you well and control the buying process then you are more likely to find shoes suitable to your tastes. This is because the shop owner grows to know their own market and individual customers. With national companies and a huge amount of customers only buying products online that feedback is severely limited, either by character restrictions or just a lack of space and time to offer feedback and it thereby, limits our ability to control what stores offer us.

But then the big question remains, “Where does that leave us?”

Where does that leave us?
Long Tall Sally

I only wish that I might have an answer for all of you like me struggling with the new seasons lack of options. On one hand I luckily picked up Clarks Classic’s desert boot in the most stunning of orange suedes this past week. Although it might not see me through the rain and snow for those cold days lit up with sunshine, golden leaves and pumpkin spiced everything’s however, I am one happily booted customer. However, on the other I’m still stuck with outdated feedback policy’s and a high street that might actually struggle to really gauge their customers needs.

We have all become so seemingly advanced in our pursuit of a modern, technological world but in essence are we really overlooking the fundamental needs of our customers by not going to the individual(s)? Maybe its my family’s roots in Bricks and Mortar business which makes me want to go back to a time where a personal service for the real people in your surrounding area was a given, not a privilege but I can’t help but think that it was a better time for both retail and customer service. Now its in the hands of the retailers to redesign their currently poor substitute for actually talking to their customers individually and find a way to better buy for a nations worth of shoppers desperately searching for something to fit and make them feel good again, because goodness, don’t we all want to feel good again?

While I keep a keen eye peeled for a low waterproof ankle boot, stores still realising the benefits of stocking size nine includes, New Look (They even have a well-made and priced, leather and suede range). Online we have Long Tall Sally (now available in the US!) and they stock other reputable brands including, Hush puppies for those with problematic tootsies, Blowfish and Nine West to name a few as well as lesser known Barefoot Tess (my leopard print slip ons from last year are from here). Also never discount Office, Zalando and ASOS (they also offer 9.5 at the moment!) online for a larger selection of what’s out there. Clarks for great quality, classic pieces and also strangely George at Asda do great cheap one season shoes and boots that are also perfect for those in school/college or those who have kids struggling to find larger shoes. Large stores where you can try on a range of shoes also includes Shoe Zone (cheap shoes abundant) and Brantano. Meanwhile for fancier hipster shoes, Tom’s offer some uber comfy options which are also helping sole children in third world countries.  An off the beaten track option is Scholls (the insoles company) who also offer the odd larger sizes with the benefit of great supportive soles.

 

For American, Australian & other European readers please update me via the comments and twitter (@JessicaabigailL) so I can keep an up dated list here of affordable companies offering great shoes and boots at great prices.

 

And if you know more than me please tell me, “Where did all the big shoes go?”

Fashion | The Last of the Summer Shorts

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Sleeveless jacket: New Look, White and grey linen dress: H&M, Patterned Shorts: Sainsburys TU, Shoes: Clarks

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Honestly I am shocked by how long I have managed to wear shorts into what should be autumn. In fact in the UK autumn starts in September however this week we have had highs of 30 and I’ve worn shorts and T shirts, its that hot.

I’m actually beginning to wonder whether autumn will ever happen, maybe we will have that summer wedding after all . . . regardless I’m still hoping that these might be the last of the summer shorts, I’ve worn them religiously for the last few months so to be honest they are probably looking forward to a rest!

Bake | Need a Friday pick-me-up treat?

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Friday treats are a must and with it being Autumn now this could be the last weekend to make the most of those warmer afternoons eating outdoors (or at least with a lovely sweater on!) so why not live it up this Friday?

Add to Brownies a little fudge sauce and the last of summer strawberries, perhaps some Ice Cream with vanilla pods and you’ve got yourself a party! Am I wrong?

Brownie Recipe +

Fudge Sauce Recipe+

AW2016 Fashion | A little more shopping?

I know, I know I’ve spoken a lot about planning, a lot about being responsible and I am, this is not, for right now! No, this is for moving forward. Let me explain . . .

Last year I somehow got all my basics in a row. The year before that I messed with colour and had a basics palette (which I still own) and loved but by last year I was reaching for even simpler, partly probably because I didn’t entirely feel like myself this year. However this year I knew I also needed some forever pieces (or the next five years pieces) and they needed to be in colour.

First let’s talk coats

Suede Coats for Fall

Real Suede (green) or Faux Suede (Tan)

Checked Coats

Pink Checks or Red Checks

I’m very sad to tell you all that my trusty camel coat is now leaning on thread bare. In response I’m of course looking at checks and suede! Very tempted by suede over everything (mainly because I have a coat with a fur lining, sure its a waterproof thing but what can you do? Suede is calling!) Of course the big issue is which of which, are any a great investment?

Excuse me but . . . Boots

AW2016 Boots

Over the Knee boots+ Hiking style Boots+ Blue Velvet booties+ Grey suede flats+

I don’t think boots need much information only that I need something a little unexpected, a little ugly and a whole lot of comfortable (bar those velvet ones, they are just plain beautiful)

What I really need however? Tops.
AW2016 flared sleeves and autumnal colours

Pink lace up T with Flared sleeves+ Patterned Foxes T with flared sleeves+ Batwinged Aubergine Shirt+ Foxes Shirt+ 

The biggest problem with my current wardrobe? I’ve upped the amount of gorgeous skirts I own but zero tops. The fact that I also want to add a pair of tailored trousers (pants) sometime this year means I need to invest and work out what tops and shirts could work for me.

Firstly I know I like comfort, I also hate things which become static, overly cling or gape because they are buttoned (the vein of all busty ladies) I also know that  I would like some autumnal colours for fall. Best still, the reds and burgundies work great with my natural hair colour whilst also feeling warm and comforting.

I am also keeping an eye out for some great pinks, so fingers crossed a few more soft pink tops make their way onto the high street!

For those who wonder where the other colours are I will soon be sharing what I have already purchased and start sharing the beginning of this years ‘vision’, because what is a wardrobe without a vision?

Summer 2016 Fashion wrap up

Summer Clothes wrap up

It seems a little odd this year to discuss summer outfits especially since I only gave you guys about one photograph a week.

For the UK as well we didn’t exactly have weather that leant itself to great, inventive outfits, it was either cool-cold (I wore a jacket well into July) or so hot and humid that the idea of clothes became repulsive. On the whole however, I spent the majority of the summer in skirts and then shorts on the weekend.

Last year I was in love with dresses, as you all know I had the same dresses in multiple colours and this year I fell into the same pattern. At the beginning I picked up a couple of sale ones from The Gap but this year they really didn’t get worn. Maybe it was the lack of summery weekends that weren’t hot to the bone but this year for work I have lived in skirts. The blue one above as well as my grey midi wrap skirt and my two corduroy ones on repeat, in rotation. So much so in fact that I realised I don’t own nearly enough tops in comparison to bottoms.

On particularly humid days I also wore my jersey harem trousers on repeat. Again, like last year my wardrobe was pretty predictable, but maybe thats exactly what summer is about spending more time doing things and wearing what allows you to do whatever it is you want to do until the cooler months where you can spend more time  developing interesting outfits instead.

If I have learned anything however its this, whatever your wardrobe size you need a good deal of balance between the items, if you have 100 skirts and two tops you’ll never get the best from your skirts and vice versa. Even more so don’t over purchase one item if you never wear it and don’t purchase too many colours that don’t all merge!

Also for summer in the UK? Buy a fan and yes I bought shorts to work just to wear on the train home! #skills

What were your summer clothes clothes like this year? leave your comments and links below!

26 and The September Reset |Lessons Learnt

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I’m a tad unwilling to let go off the September fresh start. After all Autumn and my birthday mean that this is my favourite season. In response to that for my birthday I wanted to share some off the cuff lessons of being 25 and the horror which has been 2016 so far. (Also new year now? My wedding is safe in the new!)


– Sometimes you have to strike out on your own.

– Not everyone will understand your art or your vision.

– Josh is quickly learning all about pest removal. As proven by the manic five o clock wasp spraying.

He’s also great at removing stubborn house spiders. Thank heavens because I’m still petrified.

– Commuting is harder

– “Be careful what you want because you might just get it” What if you only got what you really wanted? Would that finally explain continually not getting what you don’t?”

– As Beyoncé says, only you can make yourself happy. Spend time loving and understanding yourself.

– Say what you mean, ask for what you need.

– Get to the point

– Unselfishly put yourself first

– You’re worth more than this.

– It doesn’t have to be so hard.

– You’ve been braver, learnt to be wiser, now be bold, be brave again.


I don’t think that 2016 has been necessarily easy in any respect. If anything, I feel as though I have been battered and bruised and in more ways than celebrity deaths and brexit. The most interesting part of it all has been the further from easy I’ve been the more I came back to a place of great learning, of unexpected wisdom and a backbone of truth.

It’s not been all highs and success but in finding a place of centred love and respect. It’s been a year of tough growth, of hard lessons all of which have reopened the doors to my own pschy and inner voice. I’ve beaten myself up a couple of times but I’ve also taught myself to consider, to listen beyond the bullshit and others opinions and when I least expected it saw myself as an adult for once. As a decision maker, as someone who is able to be calm and deal with it, get over it, not focus on the me me me. I’m in the right place for getting married as my authentic self, my child self, teenhood, young and adult self all converge into one.

I’m choosing to step backward, to be brave for once. Im tired of holding myself back when there is better, there are achievements which need and will be met.

Speaking recently with my good friend and motivational speaker Adam Tuffnell I mentioned how, “it seems impossible not to have some blinding brilliance come out of a slog of a year like this!” And I wholeheartedly believe that for all of us. I know we are split all over the world and not going through the same things but the community I’ve seen here for me ages 25 has been beyond encouraging and inspiring. I feel like i have met some truly incredible men and women this year who have shifted my mindset, proved me worthy, and supported me in so many, unexpected ways.

I have a lot to be grateful for as I turn 26 and a lot to look forward to. On the top of my list of course is to finally follow my grandmas saying to the full, the time for living is now.

And isn’t it just?

Fashion | Before Shopping for AW2016 plan this . . .

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Before you hit buy on your next online purchase (or hand over the credit card in store) I want to ask you this question, have you planned for this wardrobe or are you buying on a whim?

If the answer is on a whim keep reading on as to how you can use planning to make an even better wardrobe than you have ever had before . . .

the comfort factor

Three things to think through before you buy for a new season –

  • What styles and features of your look do you always gravitate towards
  • What colours do you love and pick out regularly and from the new season trends what will fit in seamlessly with this that you will love
  • Thirdly what shapes and style suit you, your lifestyle and how do you wish to present yourself moving forward.
  • Lastly of course we have, what do you already own?

I have shopped in all different ways during the last couple of years and the worst way to shop? When you are feeling low to make yourself better and when you shop without a plan.

  1. Most recently I took to my own wardrobe to find repeat style ideas and combined it with what I saw on my Pinterest+ pins as to my actual style and what I actually like to wear. The three key themes I saw are outlined in these images. Structured clothes with a lose, comfortable element and something exciting. These three collages in fact sum me up perfectly and prior to this I had never even utilised this but now … now I have a perfect way to shop and get dressed in the morning.
  2. What I also need to be really, really careful about is what does my life actually need? A massive fan of casual, comfy clothes I always have to be really careful to not overload my wardrobe and find that I can’t go to work in the morning for racks of leggings and no trousers! So be careful to shop for what you actually need. What my Pinterest pulling has proven to me is that I can mix my love of relaxed comfort with smart. I don’t have to look like I’ve rolled out of a hedge backwards! Its not a requirement!
  3. Finally and I am so excited to do this is pull out your autumn winter clothes before you start buying. Remind yourself what you were wearing back in May, you might have forgotten that actually you have enough sweaters to sink a battleship and maybe like me you’ve invested in a load of skirts but only have three T-shirts (real story.) Remember what you own! And yes sweater and jumper season is my favourite time of year!

Leave your thoughts below on new season shopping and also let me know what you think of your own Pinterest boards! Are you pinning things wildly different to your own clothes or spotting patterns and likes? If your not a fan of blog commenting you can also tweet me! @JessicaAbigailL

THE STRUCTURED ELEMENT THEREALJLOW clothes

Beauty | Loving Right Now. Detox Mask

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Nightwear +

Not so long ago I spoke about the new, high street charcoal mask range from L’Oreal. A great, affordable product I have continued to use and enjoy this mask but I have however had problems. The problems that Charcoal with its ability to draw out impurities means that acne is a given when it comes to using it irregularly, or even regularly.

Something I’ve found to combat that a little? Or at least amplify the healing process has been Estee Lauders 3 minute, NightWear plus detox mask. I don’t know what it is about this brand but my face loves its skincare. I’m more than sure that there will come a time when I can’t use these products so well but at the moment? I am in love.

A simple white chalk-esque mask, this goes on thinly, lasts a long time and feels as though it has drying qualities without over drying. Upon removal it leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated, which is what we all want right? Better still I have found that this works perfectly for acne prone skin and as a calming, after mask for the L’Oreal Charcoal mask. I realise that it is better not to overload skin but this has proven itself to be the perfect remedy to post-charcoal acne.

A skin saver if you will. It also works great for acne prone skin generally! Let me know below if you too have a favourite mask for these types of issues as I’d love to try some others to compare!

Fashion | The trainers we all want.

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Clarks Tri-Amber

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For a great pair of shoes in a size nine is a difficult thing to find. Thankfully there are still companies like Clarks who still cater for those of us with bigger feet than average and who need comfort and style in our wardrobes, or shoe-drobes as it is.

The brand recently released their new tri-amber collection and let me tell you I am in love. They are wide around the toes (rarity!) feature foot support as well as ingenious soles which allow for more natural movement.

I was sold the moment I saw them on the site but since wearing them on the regular I can say with even more certainty that these trainers are ideal for anyone looking for something stylish, fun and comfortable!

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Fashion | Like Johnny Cash

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Longline Jersey Blazer: Anthropologie, Black Peplum T: New Look, Black Harem Trousers: Next, Red lace up flats: New Look

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Lets chat about trends and the joys of wearing all one colour. Both are the best things you can do and also the most predictable.

Firstly lets talk about the Johnny Cash style of wearing all black. In the right situations an entirely black outfit can be incredibly slimming and make an attractive outfit. During in the winter of 2014/15 I wore an all black outfit similar to this which was broken up with a red belt and my purple hat. Theres nothing more fun than taking a blank canvas and building on it.

In terms of this outfit I created interest with the black peplum and broke up the colour with my grey marl blazer. To make a splash? red flats and a scarf tied around my wrist? we have ourselves an outfit.

Initially when I saw the scarf trend I was apprehensive. Was this look for me? Or was it too trend led to even consider? I took an extraordinarily long time deciding but eventually I felt drawn to the classic silk scarf and loved the idea of playing with proportions and being interesting again. Far less norm and way more abnormal.

This scarf has become increasingly interesting to style. From wrapped around my wrist to tied around my hair, tied into my belt its made getting dressed that little bit more interesting again and thats been thoroughly enjoyable.
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Beauty and Health | 7 things I’ve learnt about my skin

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I think that there is a lot to learn about our skin as we grow into ourselves. From small things like what irritates, what foundations won’t sit on ‘that’ moisturiser to learning that skin is one of our most important body parts and to give it bad products and food choices can make life long affects.

It made me think, maybe I should share 10 things I’ve learnt about my skin.

  1. Adult acne, its real and its not going anywhere because its hormonal. 

Learning that my adult acne was not an infection but instead, a hormonal issues was almost the best moment ever. For the majority of 2012 I was on antibiotics. Antibiotics which I’m pretty sure caused IBS for several years.

The lesson here is if you hit 21 and your periods are all over the shop and you potentially have these symptoms its worth telling this to your Doctor. Polycystic is not the end of the world (and it often doesn’t cause infertility so you know) so make sure you have covered all basis, overloading your body with antibiotics is never good.

Your doctor will most likely prescribe drugs for this but there are other ways, I find Alisa Vitti to be on the right track so check her out . . .

        2.  & 3. Sensitivity

Cheap skincare products hurt my skin. I wish that they worked for me because hello savings but oh my gosh my skin hurts and erupts when they are no good.

I have to wear gloves to use cleaning products and nail polish isn’t worth wearing. Nail polish remover is now my enemy and leaves a feeling that I can only describe as being  like having bamboo placed under my fingernails. If it hurts, don’t do it.

       4. eczema 

My legs are uber dry, I must remember to moisturise, I rarely do but every four weeks guys, my legs, uber itchy.

5. Sometimes your facial moisturiser likes you other times, its gonna not be so happy

I have come to the conclusion that sometimes you have to have to separate regimes ones for summer and one for winter. Also sometimes our skin changes or its needs change and you just have to switch it all up!

6. Allergies

Who knew you could be allergic to hairspray? Apparently all my hairdressers is who. They look at me pretty oddly. Somehow its something that happens, I’m onto my forth attempt but I have been keeping it as far from my roots as possible and so far its working!

7. It might work for someone else, it might not work for you

My dad washes his face with soap from Sainsburys. Its basic but his skin never breaks out, always looks healthy and I’ve never seen it oily or greasy. If I did that to my own there would be a drastically different reaction. The reason for this is not for any other reason other than that we are different and our skin reacts to things in a different way.

At almost 26 the key to my skin has been playing with different products and combinations to see what sticks. Right now my skin is working very successfully with Estee Lauder skin products and it doesn’t work so well with the L’Oreal products which I used consistently from 22. Skin changes and thats been another discovery to find the right products at the right time!

What are your skin lessons? Leave them in the comments below!

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