I’ve always loved fashion. Not the ‘hot of the catwalk’ or ‘must imitate my favourite celebrities’ sense, but in a sense that’s all about expressing who I am through the clothes that I wear. Whether it’s keeping it casual with jeans and a tee, or vamping it up with heels and a boob-enhancing dress, or somewhere in-between when I know a classically cut dress will always do be right, what I adorn my body with is a huge part of who I am. I love to shop and always have, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to invest in classic pieces or quality garments that will last longer than a season, as well as opting for more flattering cuts rather than just what’s hot in the shops right now. Fashion blogging was always the last thing on my mind, but when presented with the opportunity to document some of my favourite outfits (notably when Kirsty from Fashion For Lunch just told me she was going to start taking my photo!) it was hard to say no… Over the last few months I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing some of my looks, but the process has definitely taught me a things about outfit creation that I never realised before.
Have you ever gotten ready of a morning, looked in the mirror feeling fabulous, and then caught a glimpse of yourself in a shop window and wondered what on earth you were thinking? Yeah, imagine that but instead of a shop window it’s 500 photographs. An outfit that I think is super cute at home doesn’t always look good in the real world, and the issue is more times than not that there’s not enough going on. Denim is a firm favourite of mine, but without some bold accessories and a statement coat it can start to channel ‘mum and the school gates’ (nothing wrong with that – it’s just that I was going for ‘hot lady that can still totally rock Topshop’!) Rather than choosing one item I want to wear and throwing on the rest, I’m starting to visualise a whole look instead. Check me!
The best outfits in my opinion always contain a pop of colour, or a spectrum of complementary tones that work to create an overall feeling of ‘oooh that’s pretty.’ Documenting my looks has definitely made me step out of my usual colour palette (a lot of black, grey, navy and white) and towards shades that I know will look a lot better on camera. I’ve started to add in a touch of colour or a sprinkling of pattern where I would’ve previously felt overdone – and all I ever get is compliments. I’m getting a little more daring with clashing prints, colours and textures too: because fashion is supposed to be fun after all, and what’s the fun in a LBD?
I’m well known within my friendship circle for having a mild problem when it comes to shoes and bags, but in my opinion they can absolutely make or break an outfit. What’s the point in curating a fabulous look, only to ruin it with a pair of boring and slightly scuffed shoes? Since documenting my fashion choices online, I’ve noticed that the accessories are just as important as the main part of the outfit (your skirt, dress or top) and sometimes even more so; if you invest wisely or treat yourself to some statement accessories, then the rest just kind of all falls into place. A statement pair of trainers instantly lifts a pair of jeans, while a funky sandal can make a classic summer dress feel a touch edgier – and don’t even get me started on the power of handbags!
Six months ago if you’d asked me about layers, the response would have been something along the lines of ‘warm, fluffy and with the sole purpose of keeping me cosy’. Skip forward a little and I’ve realised that layers can be an incredibly effective way of showcasing a look and the contrast between material (leather and cotton, gingham and and a trench) can really give your outfit something special. Historically I used to use layers purely for keeping me toasty and most were meant to be invisible, but I’ve started using them for more than that – whether it’s a tee underneath a dress or a big fur stole over a leather jacket, it not only gives me something to take photos of but makes the whole thing a touch more on-trend too.
Like many others, I do have a tendency to stick to the same makeup every day and opt for whatever lipgloss or balm is lingering in the bottom of my bag. However, one of my main observations since starting fashion blogging is that my makeup is important to get right and is always part of the overall look. Whether it’s a pink lip to match my skirt, or a powerful eye flick to work with heavy black tights, it really does make all the difference. Bronzer is my friend, I always need more gloss and a slick of mascara is not enough; the pictures I don’t like are always the ones where my makeup is too nude. Note to self: always have a stash of lipstick in your bag for fashion blogging emergencies!
I have to admit that ‘dressing up’ for the camera took a little getting used to, and I did feel a little awkward in some instances, but in reality those are your best looks. When most people are lounging around in jeans and a tee, or have put more thought into their breakfast than their outfit, then you can feel a little uncomfortable and overdressed. Over the last few months I’ve learned to stop caring and be confident in my fashion choices, because you guys tell me you love the outcome. What’s more liberating and confidence boosting than that?
For years I thought that fashion blogging was as simple as standing in your garden and getting someone to take your photo, but now I realise it’s a whole other ball game. From lighting and location, to hair and makeup, something to hold and plenty of accessories to make it interesting, it’s a lot harder than it looks.
I take it back: I salute you fashion bloggers! You’re doing a great job.