Fashion

    #TuesdayShoesday: Why I'm Embracing Kitten Heels

    For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be the kind of girl who can wear heels every day. Pre-hip replacement my Mum was one of these women. She's still just as glam minus the heels. My mum has one of the most impressive, beautiful, absolute dream shoe wardrobe and I've longed to be able to dip my toes into it and borrow them for years. Sadly, she’s a size 6 while I’m a size 4 on a good day.

    I remember one of my friends in primary school (she was a cool kid, I was not - still not sure what made her adopt me) always had the coolest shoe collection of all of my friends. She was the youngest and only girl of the family and so as you can imagine, was treated like some sort of precious stone. I remember going to her house one day and playing dress up with her clothes. I tried on these heeled brown boots and fell in love instantly. She took pity on me and allowed me to keep them - apparently my first ever pair of treasured shoes were a pair she would have thrown out otherwise. I brought them home and my parents were having none of it. Looking back now, of course they weren’t. I was 11. My little sister is 15 and even now I think I would struggle to allow her to wear heels.

    Fast forward a few years and aged 14 I’m going to see The Script with my friend Clara. Clara was also one of those friends with a shoe collection I was envious of. Again, I fell in love with a pair of her heels that she let me borrow for the evening. I couldn’t walk in said heels. Said heels did not go with my outfit. I wore said heels anyway. I’m pretty sure we then ended up spending a lot of the evening switching shoes every so often and if memory serves me right Clara wasn’t quite a pro at heels yet either but was significantly more talented than I was.

    Somewhere between 14 and 18, I accepted that heels take practice for people with little legs like mine and took a different approach as wedges began infiltrating my wardrobe. The patience soon wore off and I was back to obsessing over stiletto high heels, a far cry from comfort and a far cry from safe. It was my 18th birthday and my mum and I had been doing the then annual birthday shopping trip. I spied these metallic pink, barely there high heeled sandals in my beloved Kurt Geiger and was instantly sold. I insisted on wearing them that evening when going for cocktails with mum and family friends. Big mistake. You’d think I would have learned by now that heels aren't my friend just yet. I’m still that uncool kid in the playground who has to grow up a bit and earn their respect before heels make themselves comfortable in my wardrobe (and on my feet).

    In the mean time I’ve discovered a love for kitten heels which thankfully for me have become a big trend for the upcoming season. The Dior pair are of course a thing of dreams but for now I’ve been able to hunt out my little nude slingbacks that have been hidden in my wardrobe for a few years now, reserved for singing recitals and summer events when I needed a little height but couldn't handle “real” heels.

    If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that I’m big into comfort. I love that kitten heels help make a sophisticated style look professional, well put together and elegant while keeping comfort (and practicality) at the forefront. Even better, throw them on with a pair of jeans and a top and you’ve got feminine, smart casual look nailed.

    Where to buy your own to get in on the trend? Easy, check out the edit below and get heel happy.

    JEMMA Point Mid Heel Court Shoes, £59 at Topshop

    MALBEC Sock Boots, £79 at Topshop

    Suede Mules, £85 at Uterque

    Slingbacks, £19.99 at H&M

    Photos by Alex of This Beautiful Moment Photography

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    International Women's Day 2017: Why Women Everywhere Are Wearing Red To Show Their Support

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that tomorrow, March 8th, marks International Women’s Day.

    As explained on their website, International Women’s Day “celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.” Celebrating and acknowledging this day will always be important but this year, it feels more significant, emotional and poignant than ever. While International Women’s Day resonates with every country, minority, group and individual for different reasons, on a global basis it’s a chance for us to not only reflect but join together to take action in order to make this world a much more equal and fair place for all to live and work in.

     

    The same women who brought us the Women’s March following Trump’s inauguration have organised A Day Without A Woman, a chance to “act together for equity, justice and human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people through a one day demonstration of economic solidarity.” Although deemed as an Anti-Trump protest to an extent, the event is open to anyone, anywhere as a way to recognise the massive value that women bring to society while still receiving lower wages and being subject to gender inequality. Anyone can take part in A Day Without A Woman in any of the following ways:

    1. Taking the day from paid and unpaid labour
    2. Avoid spending money for one day (with exceptions for small, women and minority owned businesses)
    3. Wearing red in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

     

    While I won’t be taking the day off from work I will be wearing red to show my solidarity and support for the movement. Red symbolises resistance, revolt, revolution. Fashion gets an unfair reputation for being trivial and superficial but it deserves much more respect as a credible platform to raise your voice in political and social issues like these. Over the course of the last few seasons we’ve seen fashion take on the political world weapons raised with fashion houses from Dior to Prabal Gurung using their voice for all that it’s worth in a protest against today’s political climate. More so than ever feminism is staking its claim in the fashion world so this International Women’s Day it’s time to say it loud and proud, wearing your support for feminism on your sleeve.

     

    PETITE Red Vinyl Jamie Jeans, £55 at Topshop

    **Pussy Cat Red Faux Leather Crop Top by WYLDR, £26 at Topshop

    Red Metallic Backpack by Hype, £30 at Topshop 

    Tie Bandeau Jumpsuit, £59 at Topshop

    KARPENTER Loafers, £45 at Topshop

    Slim Fit Double Breasted Coat, £59 at Topshop

    Red Leather Look Zip Skirt, £32 at River Island

    Red Floral Print Frill Blouse, £25 at River Island

    Red Contrast Striped Hooded Sweater Dress, £20 at Missguided

    Red Popper Front Detail Wide Leg Trousers, £28 at Missguided

    Photos by Alex of This Beautiful Moment Photography

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    Say It With Flowers - It Costs Nothing To Be Nice





    Recently in work one of my colleagues was sent a thank you note from a client who had attended a recent event organised by the company. While my colleague gets sent things regularly, the main thing that caught her attention and really stopped her in her tracks that day was this handwritten thank you card. Her initial reaction was “How does she find the time?” - put simply, the sender finds the time because she makes the time to be nice, something we should all pay attention to. It got me thinking that about how really, it costs nothing to be nice (except maybe a stamp and some loose change for a nice card in this case) - something we all need to be reminded of sometimes.

    It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of everyday life and our own problems so much so that we often forget about those around us. Every now and again I have to remind myself that I have absolutely no idea what’s going on in someone else’s life in the same way that they have no idea what’s going on in mine. You also have no idea how someone’s brain works. They may come across as a very calm and collected person but in reality the thoughts going on in their head could be telling a completely different story.

    I’m not suggesting that we have to start sending flowers to everyone as this blog title would suggest but feel free to send a bunch if that’s what you feel like doing - no one is ever going to complain about receiving flowers. It can be flowers, chocolates or another gift of some sort but it can also just be a simple thank you whether that’s in person, over email or through a hand written card. You wouldn’t believe how little gestures that took 2 minutes out of your day, can make someone else’s entire day. Equally, you wouldn’t believe how much an insensitive handling of a situation can bring someone down.

    We live in a society that can really feel like it’s every man for themselves sometimes which makes life difficult for all involved. I understand the need to practice self care and put yourself first but it’s important to strike that balance between practicing self care, not surrounding yourself with negativity, looking after yourself first and foremost and still being a good person. This is something that author Sarah Knight talks about a lot in her book The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k and at one point even provides her readers with a diagram of how to handle situations in a way that stops you from wasting your f**k budget on things you don’t care about while not appearing to be an asshole (her words not mine).

    I may be naive about a lot of things but believe it or not, I’m well aware that life isn't all sunflowers and rainbows. All I’m suggesting is that next time you’re in a bad mood, think twice before snapping at someone irrelevant to the reason behind the mood. Next time you’re at a really beautiful event and you really enjoy yourself, thank the organiser. Next time you enjoy someone’s blog post/article/art/speech/music - whatever it is, take the time to tell them.

    They may not remember your name and they may not remember what you wore that day but people will always remember how you made them feel. Positively or negatively, that’s what stands out to people and I don’t know about you but I would much rather the former. I’m thankful that my Mum brought us up to be polite kids and to treat people well even if that’s an attitude we need reminded of every so often. It costs you nothing to simply ask someone how their day went, make the effort to smile at them or offer to make them a cup of tea when you’re going to make yourself one anyway.

    If you don't want to take my word for it, fair enough but at least take a second to appreciate Maya Angelou’s wise words on the topic - she’s much more of an expert than I am.

    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

     

    Photos by Alex of This Beautiful Moment Photography

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    Niamh ♥

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    Giving Winter The Cold Shoulder

    When I first decided that I wanted to write about the cold shoulder trend, I was thinking more along the lines of the brightly coloured, delicately designed, filled with optimism, spring dresses - specifically this one. Then I checked the weather this morning and quickly realised that we're still busy fending off chilly temperatures of 3 or 4 degrees celsius which meant it was time to reel in the summer sunshine daydreams. Instead of waving goodbye to these dreams completely, I've compromised with myself. I'm not entirely happy about it but if easing my wardrobe into spring fashion with cut out jumpers and deconstructed shirts is the way to go, I guess I've gotta do what I've gotta do...

    First up? Jumpers.

    Self-appointed Queen of the Cosy this month, I'm still not ready to wave goodbye to my jumpers. In true salutation to this, today's outfit of choice - this Missguided jumper and jeans - was what I reached for without thinking about it (also very coincidentally happened to be a jumper with cut out shoulders.) Said jumper has become a serious staple in my winter wardrobe ever since I bought it late last year. The current weather combined with the portion of my fashion brain that actually takes practicality and comfort into account over style still has me reaching for jumpers first thing in the morning (read: any chance I get) but that's not going to stop me from giving the cold shoulder trend the recognition it truly deserves.

    Yellow Tie Shoulder Knit Jumper, £36 at River Island

    Black Cold Shoulder Frill Knit Jumper, £34 at River Island

    Pink Cold Shoulder Frill Knit Jumper, £34 at River Island

    Next up, let's just take a second to discuss a trend that has become known as "shrobing". Yep, you read that right. Brought to my attention by this Vogue.co.uk article, apparently the term means shoulder robing. You know all those cool people you've seen on instagram and all of the amazing street stylers that have been plastered all over the internet in the last few weeks? They're the people you will have seen flaunting this trend in our faces. It's that look of pulling your coat down to reveal your shoulders (bare or not) in a look that I can't quite decide whether it's sultry or scruffy. (See below for your own verdict.) It seems we have creative director of Balenciaga and Vetements, Demna Gvasalia to thank for this (odd) phenomenon - as we do for most crazy and refreshingly creative things going on within the fashion industry at the moment. For a much more in depth, expertly written explanation of the trend, head to Vogue.co.uk and read this article to understand shrobing in all of it's true glory.

    Image sources: Vogue.co.uk, Popsugar

    Last but definitely not least, the beautiful cold shoulder midi dresses that my spring wardrobe dreams are made of (and the originally intended focus of this post). Last summer we chose to bare all when it came to our shoulders and embraced all things off the shoulder. This Spring/Summer season we're much more subtle in our approach, keeping things flirty and feminine with cut out shoulders and floral patterns. If these don's scream SS17, I don't know what does.

    Hanky Hem Floral Skater Dress, £49 at Topshop

    Cold Shoulder Dress, £24.99 at H&M

    Purple Tile Print Cold Shoulder Midi Dress, £45 at River Island

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    The One Accessory I Can't Live Without This Season

    While at school there was nothing I hated more than carrying around my goofy looking backpack. Every August, when summer was coming to an end and my Mum and I (siblings in tow) traipsed around doing the annual back-to-school shop. I persistently begged my Mum to let me get a fashionable oversized handbag like the cool girls had, to use for my school bag. First of all I was not a cool girl and I should have known that dressing like one wasn’t about to elevate me to popularity. Second of all, I should have known then that as always, Mum knows best and backpacks were the way to go.

    Fast forward a few years and you’ll be lucky to see me going anywhere without my backpack. Ever since starting my new internship in January, I’ve yet to be separated from my beloved Stradivarius backpack. I’m one of those people who packs everything but the kitchen sink into their handbag and I quickly realised that a 25 minute walk from my house to the station and back in the evenings with a heavy handbag thrown over my shoulder really wasn't doing my back any favours.

    Enter the backpack.

    After about two weeks of constant back pain I decided enough was enough, headed to Stradivarius and grabbed the only backpack they had left in stock at the time (this was bang in the middle of the January sales so stock was fairly low). Covered in badges and embellishments I initially only intended for the backpack to be a ‘starter’, something that would do until I could afford a more sophisticated one but I’ve grown to love my studded backpack, using it every day rather than just for work as originally intended.

    It makes most things so much easier. Your hands are free so shopping is made easier, transport is made easier and general moving is made so much easier. It’s also taught me to carry less and only carry the essentials - the sizing of the bag allows me to carry my notebook for work, blog notebook and a book along with snacks (very essential), my purse and all the little bits and pieces you keep stored in your handbag for emergencies.

    I’ve got the practicality locked down but still working on the cool girl aesthetic. Some day…

    Shop my favourite backpacks

     

    West 57th Centennial Stripe Travel Backpack, £375.42 at Henri Bendel

    Zip pebbled Backpack, £29.99 at Mango

    adidas Originals Adicolour Classic Mini Black Backpack, £33 at Urban Outfitters

    Trefoil Backpack by adidas Originals, £22 at Topshop

    Nylon Backpack, £25.99 at Stradivarius

    Photos by Alex of This Beautiful Moment Photography

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