Fashion | A ‘shorts’ story

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Do you know what proved to be a difficult piece of clothing to buy? Shorts.

What should have been a ‘short’ story (haha) was in fact endless, almost a year in fact. The factors against me was firstly I’m an apple shape so I wouldn’t say that shorts are necessarily the most flattering but secondly I had to go through the trends none of which were particularly flattering.

Last year I thought a great equaliser would have been the boyfriend short. In distressed denim I thought they would be good to equal my top heavy shape. Instead they didn’t work on my skinny legs and so the fit was supremely odd looking.

In all honesty I gave it up for a bad egg last year. My other issue was with being tall, shorts have a tendency to look indecent. If your shorter or petite, shorts work to your advantage as they can make your legs look endless, I don’t quite have that problem.

This year I took another tact. I went back to the form fitting ones and also high waisted. I’m kind of in love with high waisted jeans at the moment. I have a feeling that by Autumn I’ll be on the look out for another pair of high waisted jeans to fill that gap. In the meanwhile however, shorts!

I decided that this year I was also going to have a pair in denim and a soft loose pair. So knowing that I love new look jeans I went there for their high waisted shorts, looking for those with the slightly longer legs (although i’d still consider these hot pants!) and secondly I went looking for a patterned pair as well.

With one pair down I did not expect to find the second so easily but then I was in Sainsburys (supermarket) of all places when I saw them. A highly patterned pair of culotte shorts (who knew that that was a thing?). I think worn with a fitting shirt and maybe my new long armless jacket would be perfect and can be dressed down with sandals or up with heels.

Fashion | A season of style, an introduction


I keep reading about them, I keep seeing them, I keep on wishing for one. A uniform.

When I see a perfect outfit of normcore I’m wracked with envy, how has she done that? Looked so effortless and polished… I bet she didn’t struggle to put her clothes on this morning!

I believe now that I only, ‘think’ that I want a uniform.

The problem with things being uniformed is that they struggle to lead to any outlandish expressions and as you might remember from forever ago, I dress to my mood. I dress to an inner artist and she works from shapes, not colours and certainly not what might traditionally suit a six foot, plus size woman. If I told that inner artist that she had to colour within the lines (never my forte) she’d most likely stomp her feet, scrawl on the walls and would I be happy?

For a while perhaps, until the glitter wore off.

Instead I want to challenge you to create something different, I want you to consider how you dress as being a season of style.

The idea sprung from thinking about a post on designing a capsule wardrobe.

Recently I had been worried about my house. I went through it quickly to start and sometimes I worry, “what happens when the house is complete?”. For some that is the dream. To have a complete house, to feel whole, it’s enough. This I would consider to be happiness with an end result.

My inner artist, whether she’s pulling clothes or painting skirting boards isn’t happy with ‘content’. I realise this and so seasons came around . . . What if the way I wear my clothes is not a fixed, forever uniform but instead a season . . .

What do you think? Are you up for a season of style?

Fashion |Light Layers and posing



Everything here is old but it was from… Umbrella: Tiger, Pink Blazer: H&M, Sweater: Zara, Lace T: H&M, Jeans: New Look, Leopard print flats: Barefoot Tess c/o Long Tall Sally
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I’ve got to be honest these photos are probably a month old. Since posting less often I keep getting a backlog of photos on my camera which in all honesty I forget to post.

Apparently I’m still good at the photographing part but not so on the posting. Another I’m not so good on? Posing. It’s down the drain. Here I have even resorted to finding statues to lean on.

I’ve gotten desperate guys, desperate.


Fashion | Throwback Dungarees


from the bottom, Shoes: Clarks, Dungarees: New Look, T: Zara, Green Bag: Paperchase, Tasseled Cardigan: Zara, Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters


Fashion | throwback dungarees

I distinctly remember getting into the back of our family car as a kid wearing dungarees. The first house I remember had its garage as the walk through to the front of the house and we, by this time I think had a navy Astra. I remember sitting in my seat in the back and unclicking one of the straps, just because … I think. It’s my first real fashion memory, they were comfy and for a long time I have related them to being a kid.

Last year I started the search for dungarees as an adult. First I bought an oversized white pair which were seriously not the right decision! They went back and honestly I figured I just wouldn’t have a pair!

This year however I was back on the hunt and although I would say these aren’t long enough for me … (I like wearing them undone in a very 2000’s Rock n roll metal rebellion way – see below). In simple black I am in love, in fact when it was hot the other weekend I was slightly sad, how could I wear my dungarees now? I don’t see myself giving up on them that easily however, I’m very much planning on wearing these well into autumn and probably next winter!

What do you all think of the dungarees trend? Are they a yes or a hell no?


Happiness is |In the Countryside

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Happiness is . . . 

A couple of weeks ago I sat in my empty house while Josh was out in the garage and I had a plan to start writing a really quick, simple post entitled happiness is . . and then fill in the blanks. That week it was clean work surfaces as I realised simple things create the biggest rewards and this week past it was from the simplicity of a bike ride.

Its funny how you can see those closest to you everyday and think you know their happiness inside out but whilst we were cycling I got to see Josh in his most happiest and relaxed state and that is out cycling, a really well loved past time of ours we have finally brushed off the cobwebs and are taking back out to our new countryside and believe me seeing Joshes happiness gave me the greatest happiness this weekend.

Not to mention how much I needed the headspace of that ride! All I can say however is this, bring on the summer filled with bike rides and space for recollection!

What have you done this week for happiness? Leave your comments below as I’d love to hear how you find your daily doses of happiness!

Baking | Wednesday, weekend baking


“No more excuses for uneaten food in the bin. I’ve made muffins from nothing more than porridge oats, bananas and greek yoghurt! Granola held together with bananas alongside every seed in the house and cupcakes with only egg yolks . . . “

I can no longer leave food uneaten in our house. I dread the idea of chucking perfectly good, healthy food uneaten. So much so that I have begun a baking revolution of finding ways to use things up and banana loaf is my all time favourite example of this.

I always end up with bananas that are going more than a little brown around the edges and for me thats a no go in terms of regular eating however as a binding agent? As banana loaf I am all in.

This last weekend I decided to make a different type of banana loaf which used Maple Syrup and Cinnamon in the mix. It sounds a little odd perhaps but a little odd is always a lot better than a little common, don’t you think?

I grabbed the recipe from here+ and only changed it by using slightly less maple and more cinnamon and of course, chocolate drops. Who could say no?

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p.s if you received this post in error (potentially three times) You have my apologies as WordPress got in a funk and decided that the 9th was in fact last week . . . to receive day to day updates and future post apologies please find me on Twitter+

Personal | Tea for the Soul


Tea for the Soul

I have always been funny about hot drinks. On the whole I rarely drink them however recently I have been drawn to tea.

As a child when I was ill my dad would often make me these uber milky (another thing I rarely drink), sugary tea and it would instantly make me feel better.

From this I have begun relating tea to being comfortable and protected at home. In order to not lose that connection and feeling I no longer either drink tea unless I am in a comfortable home environment or if I have time to drink it as a pleasurable experience. All of this so that I can pay attention to the action of drinking it.

See, I have begun apply the idea of pleasurable experiences into my day-to-day life. Now I give myself a morning before work where I buy a tea at Victoria (station) and take my time to either read a magazine on the train with the tea or listen to an inspirational podcast while I take the longer walk from Clapham Junction to my office.

Our industry is such that we often don’t have time for lunch breaks so to take back my very early mornings has been incredibly pleasurable.

Another change I have started making is how I make use of my four hours on trains a day. Where previously I would immerse myself in books I now take the time to listen to podcasts and to also write for myself. In the last week I have written blog posts, book ideas and even developed Linked In articles. My topics are increasingly varied from Fashion to business and branding but I am reveling in these opportunities to explore my own self expression rather than focusing solely on work or others ideas.

It’s funny now that I think of it. This revelation ultimately stemmed from having tea one day in our home office where I realised that something so small could feel transformative. Its been as if I have taken a bit more of my time back for pleasure and that feels like a real break for the soul.

Perhaps we can’t all be ladies of leisure but in the time it takes to travel to London and back and the time it takes from Clapham to the office I get a little bit of me back and in the end isn’t that what we all want and need?

A little Tea for the soul.

Fashion |Double Denim

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Bobble hat: Accessorize, Shirt: Next, T-shirt: H&M, Jeans: New Look, Boots: New Look

Some get the fear of double denim, instead, I look forward to it. Granted there are certain colour combinations which don’t work but somehow I feel the dark on dark works pretty nicely.

Both Jeans and a chambray are two classic must have in your capsule wardrobe pieces. Both highly versatile a chambray doubles up as a shirt & jacket can be worn with jeans, trousers, dresses and skirts.

What I’m trying to say here? Buy a chambray shirt and be brave, pair it with jeans.


The Weekend | podcasts, videos and words to learn by

Wherever we are in the world and in our life sometimes you need a little inspiration, some guidance and a whole lot of guilt free/ judgement free therapy. This week I’m sharing three inspirational and forward thinking ladies who have rocked my 2016 world so far and the lessons that I have loved to learn from them.

Man Repeller, Monocycle  mono

Image property of Man Repeller

The Man Repeller website is my natural go-to on most weekends and week days on the train. I love how they take fashion, make it amusing when it needs to be and share ideas and thoughts less spoken about in high fashion. Recently they have branched out into podcasts and YouTube interviews.

I’ll be honest; I started with an Alexa Chung interview after adoring Alexa’s British Vogue videos on The fashion industry & The Future of Fashion series but then I found that Leandra too had been interviewed. These podcasts however, are about real life and even Leandra’s fears, great to listen to when you are feeling adrift.

From her interview my ultimate favourite quote was this … “It was so easy to write for myself. I could publish what I want and nobody could . . . edit out all the funny jokes and curse words.” Never was a truer quote than this for why most of us headed into blogging!

Tweet: @ManRepeller, @LeandraMedine

10 rules for brilliant women

Image property of Tara Mohr

Tara I found via the ever incredible Jess Lively. These 10 rules are perfect for re-purposing yourself and centering your vision, great bite-sized nuggets to take action on.

“Let other women know they are brilliant.” Let them know what kind of brilliance you see, and why it’s so special. Call them into greater leadership and action. Let them know that they are ready. Watch out for that subtle, probably unconscious thought, “because I had to struggle and suffer on my way up…they should have to too.” Watch out for thinking this will “take” too much time — when the truth is it always has huge, often unexpected returns.

Tweet: @tarasophia

Be Brave, Harriet Minter


Image property of The Guardian

Harriet Minter is the Editor for The Guardians Women in Leadership section. From this section she delivers a weekly email to your inbox all about women and of course in leadership, there is an awful lot of inspiration here! If that interests you at all then I really would suggest signing up! This week she talked about having a support team and concluded with an idea which I have always believed in. People come in and out of our lives for a reason and when you’ve learnt what they needed you to they leave. It’s not a bad thing but instead, a life thing.

I have loved this email, to the extent that I even tweeted her and it was there that I found this video below with her speaking at a TEDx event on being brave and on finding a safe place to fail. Both of which are two things that have recently felt more prevalent to me, so take a watch she is incredibly funny as well!

Tweet @harrietminter

The Consequences of Trends & Fashion Injuries


“I realise we most often say, fashion is pain. But how far is pain and how far is reckless abandon?”

Fashion & consequences of a #fashiondisaster

As I write this I’m stuck on a train. Not an unfamiliar place for me however, today it’s a special type of hell reserved only for the particularly clumsy among us. My love of fashion, like many also means that I take a great deal of risk in my every day-to-day life.

What am I talking about? The flatform brogue of course.

A flat, mannish shoe which is often the dream of all of us carrying a good chunk of the nhs’s aluminium rood allowance but for which is also perhaps our graceless demise.

I myself own two pairs. A well-worn pair of stone suede flatforms with patent inserts and a coral stripe through the heal; they give me bounce from their foam sole whilst keeping my foot nicely flat. Meanwhile my second pair, is an even more masculine copper pair, tied with laces they make me feel either part ahead of the curve or part Victorian man with curious looking bronze leather.

Usually we get along.

But then today* we had one of those rare accidents often only reserved for these shoes alone. I was minding my own business you see, making my normal game of chicken with train times at Clapham (a greatly unreliable train station for surprise cancellations and everyday delays which often prompts me to flick between platforms looking to grab the first train possible) when it hit. My knee that is.

Let me say at 25 there really is little more that is sexy than a woman who really knows how to throw down on a staircase. Just ask the same ankle which took the brunt four years ago. At least this was up the stairs, however!

Now, as I sit on the train from hell with my leggings and half of Clapham station welding itself into my flesh I wonder about the little talked about subject of fashion injuries.

Sometimes they are funny, one poncho I own for example makes it very complicated walking around the house without finding myself attached to every door I pass. Whilst others bruise egos and even break bones but where is the line in the sand, where does fashion overstep the lines of cool and practical and turn dangerous?

A quick trip up Clapham hardly seems a worry, but having had a step and a pair of badly fitting work shoes cause two breaks and a dislocation resulting in surgery & a year of my life that I can’t get back then I have to start feeling differently about my need to follow the trends blindly.

My old town, Maidstone was often a horror to witness on a Friday/Saturday … hell Tuesday night out. Here skyscraper heels you can’t walk in and bodycon dresses really are the lay of the land. Come dressed in anything less (or perhaps more) and you might as well of stayed at home.

Perhaps this is something you can only truly understand at the sounds of your own bones breaking but it would make me shudder to watch.

These girls could barely walk in these heels and yet as the brave souls they are they would track out (minus a coat, even in snow) to the town for dancing, drinking far to much all with no thought to their ankles whilst I would watch cringing and holding tightly onto Joshes shoulder down any staircase, even in flats.

I realise we most often say, fashion is pain. But how far is pain and how far is idiocy?

I’m pretty cautious about my fashion at the best of times but how far do you feel you can go? Personally I wear my flatforms a little less. Sometimes I need them but other times I don’t feel safe enough, or comfortable enough to wear them out. Having lost movement in one ankle, seemingly forever I don’t want to risk them again if I can. I make shoe choices based on comfort, on support and protection of every bone regardless of fashion and trends. It makes acquaintances laugh and think I’m strange but I just can’t justify the hurt of limbs for the everyday call of fashion.

How do you view fashion vs comfort and support? Are you the bravest of the bunch not afraid of a break or bruises or, like me, do you put more consideration into safety with your clothes? Leave your comments or own funny clothing story below or send me a tweet @JessicaALow #fashiondisaster I’d love to hear about your own disasters (it’ll help make me feel a little less embarrassed at least.)

*this was written a month or two ago and sadly forgotten on my ipad


Home Décor | Lessons in home ownership and not falling prey to Pinterest

(A blue so dark its black at night. I’ve paired this with so many patterns that it can make your head spin when falling into bed with a too big glass of wine firmly planted in your belly.)

Whether you’re renting, own a property or heavens, even live with your folks how do you think about buying furniture and designing a room?

I have heard so often and from so many people about how you should buy your larger pieces in neutral colours that I’m beginning to think that the whole world operates in monochrome. We are told daily, don’t buy that bright pink velvet chair unless you’ve got cash to burn. If I won the lottery I would . . . sort of thinking. Let me burst the bubble; you don’t have to play it safe.


During the house hunting process I had boards and boards of Pinterest with ‘minimalist’ design. I am talking full on grey as an accent colour style minimalism. It was fun, it was very capsule wardrobe obsession led but ultimately when I looked around at our existing furniture I realised, this dream of living the simple life was so not fun and so not going to happen!

In between these times I found, Abigail Ahearn and I quite frankly fell in love. She is this bold, experimental, love her colour, paint all your rooms dark designer and I fell really hard with her book, colour.

Within an hour I was thinking about bronze leaf kitchens, wood cladded hallways like a men’s smoking room and painting everything a dark moody blue. Suddenly I felt so revived that I went home to re-fall in love with our dark red leather couch. I re understood why I laid on our red and orange floral stool from my mums store in the middle of the showroom one afternoon. Quite frankly everything made sense in my world again.

Floral chair, TK

(A floral velvet Chair from TK. I stood in the Wandsworth branch for a full ten minutes drooling. Wondering, how I could convince Josh that the £300 price tag was an investment and moreso how he should for sure detour from Maidenhead to Wandsworth to drive us, (me and the chair) back to our home in Kent that evening. Ultimately, I realised this wasn’t going to fly. Especially after six snapchats from different angles went ignored. Thats not to say I’m not still waiting, thinking that he might re stumble across these and shout, lets go! Need that chair! He won’t however, sad.)

I had gotten so tied into this idea that a Scandinavian home would make me happy. I forgot that this home is not for Instagram. It’s for us and we like to be brave with our choices. I’m not afraid of making our long galley living room feel smaller by painting the room aubergine and bronze. Just think how wonderful that colour is going to feel in winter when we are watching The Flash or Arrow buried under our mountain of pillows and the long haired faux fur throw that I have yet to purchase.

Suddenly it makes sense. A narrow, armless futon in a rough grey fabric will never make me happy, so we paint our house in all the colours. We look forward to not thinking about paying out for a wedding so we can buy occasional chairs in crazy coloured florals even when it doesn’t match the rest.

This by the way is home bravery and if you didn’t catch it, this is happiness.

(Zebra rug, probably for a childs bedroom. It looks far better under my dining table.)

Fashion | Everything in Black & the Boxy Jacket


(Major Smize, I’ve been feeling the moody clothing vibe. Also these jeans are rolled twice! Serious long lengths from the New look tall section!)


Big busted and wearing a boxy jacket? It should probably be a fashion crime but then again maybe thats why I like it so much.

In the last couple of weeks I have been working on a couple of SS16 posts and they have all been very much focused on mixing it up and being braver with clothes. Now wearing black is rarely a brave statement, if anything it is a fall back but an unflattering shape & a neck tie? Its just safe enough and just exciting enough to work, although I think it looks better in person.

The scarf is Zara, The jacket Asda, The sweater Tesco, Jeans and boots New Look which is also nice as I so rarely mix stores so well! (I am a little bit of a Zara addict right now!).

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