How To Cope With Heartbreak (The Shoe Inflicted Kind)


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    It's finally happened.

    It's over. There, I said it.

    O-V-E-R. Over. Done. Finito. Devastated.

    It took waking up for the third morning in a row to the sound of rain pelting my window to finally admit defeat. It wasn't the angry, hammering rain of November but more like the light tapping of rain, stereotypical of September. The kind that taunts you as you stare longingly at what's left of your summer wardrobe, regretting how you took it for granted and promising that next year will be different. You promised for the millionth time that it would be different this time but right on cue, you let them down, wore only half of its contents and now you have to suffer the heartbreak of packing up your memories together and watch them walk out of your life - potentially for good this time.

    The anger gets the better of you and so you retaliate, toying with the idea of seeking comfort in winter boots but instantly regret showing such signs of betrayal to your beloved mules. No boots cosy enough could ever replace them. While the thought of jumpers, long sleeves and boots may be tempting, you're not ready to move on so quickly. You admit to having fantasised about a particular pair of winter boots and you let slip that you've already planned outfits with a particular winter coat but that's all, it meant nothing to you. But it wasn't just a meaningless fantasy. It was the final nail in the coffin, the straw that broke the camel's back, the reason it's time to accept that your relationship with your summer shoes is well and truly over.

    You prepare yourself to say your final goodbyes while staring lovingly at your trusty backless loafers. You've been through a lot together this summer but puddles and lashing rain isn't their scene. They kept your look fresh all summer long but people and shoes, well, they change and the spark is gone. While they walked into your life as a breath of fresh air, maintaining a gentle breeze and circulation of fresh air to your feet, they now leave your feet feeling cold, neglected and now, totally abandoned.

    So what's girl to do? The backless loafers are out and while mules make for a great rebound fling, it's time to start keeping those expensive pedicures to yourself. Trainers may be the perfect shoulder to cry on (comfy AF and bang on trend), they're not ready to commit to an entire winter. So, you can throw pity party after pity party and dwell on your heartbreak all you want but the reality is that winter is coming a lot faster that we thought and it's time to grow up.  Yes, you're a little rusty but it's time to get back in the game, see what's out there and have a little fun again.

    The Boots

    They may have been on the no-go list earlier on but things have changed. Throw on a maxi dress and would you look at that - hello, best dressed list. Or what about that cute little tea dress you've been eyeing up all summer long? Unlike your sandals, this summer hit hasn't abandoned you. Pair it with your boots and look at that, you're feeling like the ultimate Reformation girl.  Stick with brighter colours for now. You've got plenty of time to adopt the dark floral prints and longer hems of Autumn. Plus you could do with a little colour in your life after what you've been through. All break ups are hard.

    Ballet Flats

    Yes, it broke your heart to say goodbye to those backless loafers but talk about an upgrade, ballet flats will have you smiling again in no time. And with the glitz and glam of designer's current embellishment obsession, here's to moving on to bigger and brighter things.


    Kitten Heels

    Let's not get too ahead of ourselves here. Dior is still out your league but you'll do everything in your power to recreate that kitten heel look. Like it or loathe it, you may as well admit defeat. Kitten heels are on your radar and you're into it. BIG TIME.


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    Vintage Sportswear: Why You Need It And Where To Get It

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    Last week I wrote a post about comeback fashion trends from the 80s and 90s and how we should be wearing this time round in 2017. I’ve also been known to rant and rave, wear and wonder at the ever persistent sports luxe trend here on the blog. Last weekend saw the resurgence of my love for Urban Outfitters closely followed by the devastating moment of comparing price tags with my rapidly decreasing bank balance. Back on the shelf the Fila dress went. The weekend brought my obsession with checking Belfast’s own Octopus's Garden’s instastories for updates of new product drops. Then came the lightbulb moment. I’m maybe, probably, definitely obsessing over vintage sportswear.

    Trust me, it’s come as a surprise to me as much to anyone else that Sporty Spice has suddenly become my fashion muse. I have no idea how or when this happened but for now I’m going to go with it and the upcoming fashion calendar thinks you should too.

    The problem is, us 90s babies forgot the one very important thing when we offloaded our ‘tacky’ sportswear to our little sisters; fashion is cyclical and even the most unexpected items come back around to taunt us from wardrobes that are no longer ours. We played ourselves on this one.

    Here’s the thing. I’ve got good news and bad news.

    The good news is I’m here to tell you where to get it all back.

    The bad news - your bank balance may take a (worthy) hit in the process.

    Frankie Collective

    Firstly, where have you been all my life?

    Secondly, kind of wish I’d never found you.

    Upon first entering the online store you’re greeted with one of those irritating little “subscribe to our newsletter” pop ups and upon first impressions I did think could you maybe go away, thanks. That was until I spotted the sneaky little discount offer of 20% off your first order when you sign up. The logical side of my brain was screaming 'NOOOOOOO' while the marketer’s dream within me did the typing and before I knew it my first email as a subscriber was in my inbox. What have I done?

    Annoyingly, they are based in Canada like most of the best things in life but with international shipping, brands that Sporty Spice wannabes can usually only dream about and exclusive products that will have all 90s fashion heroes drooling, how could you say no? Sometimes girls, you just gotta do what you gotta do to reach best dressed status.

    If nothing else, I recommend you give them a follow on instagram for the best of the best vintage sportswear outfit inspiration.

    ASOS Marketplace


    Good ol’ ASOS Marketplace, an online shopping destination far to frequently (and completely unfairly) forgotten about.

    They have an entire shopping edit with pages upon pages dedicated to vintage sportswear. They’ve got Champion, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, adidas, ellesse and Lacoste. Not to mention a blog filled with styling solutions and if that’s not enough to feed your sportswear addiction a) I don’t know what will and b) maybe you should lower your standards a little.


    Urban Outfitters


    There’s no place I love more for sportswear outfit inspiration than Urban Outfitters. Sometimes the window displays are enough to get the cogs moving but then of course walking past without having a look inside and mentally adding every item to my wishlist would be a complete sin.

    Walking into Urban Outfitters feels like walking into a time machine sometimes, which isn't something I’m complaining about given my current love for vintage.

    It all started subtly for the brand through introduction of Tommy Hilfiger sports bras and underwear sets to rival the famous #MyCalvins social media campaign, Next came the Tommy Hilfiger vintage clothing and before we knew it, we were surrounded by vintage sportswear stock that now boasts a collection of items from brands such as Fila, Umbro, Champion and Reebok along with so many more.


    As owners of renowned vintage store, Rokit said “Why by new when you can invest in the real thing? Vintage did it first so carry on the tradition and add authenticity to your daywear.”

    Shop Vintage Sportswear

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    A Guide To The 70s, 80s And 90s Trends Making A Comeback And How To Wear Them In 2017

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    Maybe I’m just massively ignorant but given I only gained a fashion conscience post 2010, my knowledge on the fashion trends from decades gone by is a little rusty. Don’t get me wrong, I could tell you the basics - the 70s were all about suede, fringing and flares, 80s brought the infamous shoulder pads and the 90s introduced us to the world of tube tops - but if you wanted more detail than that, I’d be winging it. Maybe if you put the clothes in front of me and asked me to sort them into their respective decades I’d get away with some serious bluffing but for the most part while you stand there telling me that AW17, SS17 and AW18 are all about the retro trends, I’ll be standing there nodding along hoping you don’t notice how truly clueless I am.

    Getting more and more paranoid about being caught out in my fashion lies, I’ve decided now is the time to brush up on my knowledge and get researching. So if like me, fashion from our parents heyday all blurs into one massive fashion faux pas, class is now in session. It’s time to raid their wardrobes for vintage gems and fork out a little dollar online in the name of looking fabulous.

    The 70s

    Ah, yes. What a time to be alive. It was the decade of the creativity, freedom and a lot of chilled (and possibly very unsure) vibes. Whimsical and unique, it’s a harder decade of fashion to pin down (possibly because to us millennials, it’s ancient history) but by no means should we allow that to underestimate its sartorial strengths. There was a little bit of everything - boho chic, glam rock, utilitarian/military styles and sport chic. It was the years of the mustard yellows just like the ones you’ve seen plastered all over Zara and that soft rusty red lipstick you’ve seen in Zara lookbooks? Yep, thank the 70s. It’s a shade that by some miracle, suits every skin tone, has inspired rails upon rails of red clothing and has gained popularity so significant that millennial pink soon may be all but silenced.

    Shop the Trend

    The 80s

    Let's start the shoulder pads, let’s avoid the metallic leggings that went with them and let’s definitely start thinking about bringing roller discos back.

    Balmain was all about the shoulder pads in the last few seasons, incorporating the trend into almost every runway look. While at first you might feel a lot like your granny, choose wisely and focus on the bigger picture. Skinny jeans, killer heels, perfectly balanced proportions and I’m telling you, you’ll be completely converted.

    Oversized denim jackets? 80s written all over them. Bonus points if it actually does have the 80s written all over it because apparently the more graffiti, badges or patches decorating said denim jacket, the better.

    White boots? 10/10. Add to basket. There’s nothing more to say.

    Now, this may come as a shock but also may just reveal my severe lack of fashion knowledge BUT mirrored sunglasses are in fact a legacy of the 80s. In my defence every Tom, Dick and Harry (including myself) is wearing them these days so I mean, surely my mistake on this one can be justified. Plus there’s the whole argument that we’re a narcissistic generation and if we can use other people’s accessories to check ourselves out while feigning interest in a conversation not about ourselves, it wouldn’t surprise me if we tried to take credit for this trend.

    Shop the trend


    The 90s

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    Ok so, realistically we should all understand 90s fashion. It was the years of Tom Ford at Gucci, the rise (or fall) of Kate Moss and the godly gift of Saint Laurent slip dresses. Charity shops were cool and Patricia Field brainwashed the nation with heavenly Carrie Bradshaw style as Sex and the City entered the world. Chokers made their first and apparently lasting impressions. Yes, dungarees were in but no Mum, you should never have let me fall so in love with my lime green pair . As for vintage sportswear, let’s be real, there’s a whole other blog post in there about that. Champion, Fila, Le Coq Sportif were all there and now we’re trawling every vintage store to reclaim them as our own.

    Even the trends once dubbed as the huge fashion faux pas of the era have been welcomed back with open arms by us copycat 2017 fashionistas. She’s no Cindy Crawford but Kylie Jenner we’re looking at you for the lip liner comeback. Pant suits? That one’s on you, Hillary but the jury is still out on whether its time to hire or fire the stylist.

    Shop the trend



    On that note, who’s ready for a shopping break?

    Class dismissed.

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    The Power of Finding The Right Dress

    For the most part I wouldn’t class myself as a dress girl. Then again, I also wouldn’t class myself as an accessories girl and what do you know, my most recent wardrobe additions have been this dress and a mountain of accessories. Hello identity crisis.

    Joking aside, I’ve learned that when it comes to fashion it’s not about being a dress kind of girl, an accessories kind of girl, a jeans kind of girl or the kind of girl who couldn’t care less about any of the above. It’s about finding what works for you, what you feel most comfortable and most confident in and getting creative with that.

    Take this dress for example. Despite my previous statement about not being a dress girl, believe it or not I've actually lost count of how many times I’ve worn this dress since Cari’s Closet so kindly gifted it to me. It’s perfect for wearing casually, paired with trainers and a bomber jacket. For when you feel like dressing up a little but not committing to getting dolled up to the nines, slip on a pair of mules like I have and seek comfort in your denim jacket. The best thing about this dress is it speaks for itself. No more working out what goes with what when it comes to this look. It’s a ready made outfit so dress girl or no dress girl, what is there to complain about?


    Admittedly had I been faced with the slightest suggestion of wearing a dress beforehand I probably would have turned up my nose and flashed my most disgruntled look to the camera but that reaction came down to me closing my mind to the styling possibilities offered by a dress - an approach that often leads to the power of a dress being underestimated. The same goes for my birthday dress. Pink, frilly, lacy and feminine. Hardly my usual style. It’s no surprise then that when it came to wearing it on the night, questionably paired with pink metallic heels (we all make mistakes), I felt far from confident or comfortable. After it’s one and only venture out on the town, the dress hung in my wardrobe for months before either of us could trust one another again. As I started paying more attention to the clothes that do make me feel good, a lightbulb went off. I tried a different styling approach with the dress, finally fell in love with it and even braved featuring it on this blog.

    My point is that once you allow yourself to get creative with clothes, you’ll come up with all sorts of outfit combinations that had never even occurred to you before. Fashion is supposed to be fun. It’s about experimenting and finding new ways to let your fabulous personality shine through. To do that to the best of our ability we need to stop ruling out certain trends and items of clothing. Open your minds, people and let yourself wonder at the amazing opportunities that present themselves - an approach that can be life changing for more than just your wardrobe.

    Thanks to Cari's Closet for so kindly gifting this dress

    Photos by Matthew McCracken

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    The Surprise Dress Trend Taking Summer By Storm

    There’s no doubt about it, winter fashion is significantly better than that of the summer season. Don’t get me wrong, there are huge elements of summer style that I can’t get enough of - floral dresses, pretty playsuits and wearing a denim jacket with everything makes my heart very content - but for the most part, I find myself struggling more than ever with what to wear. I seem to go into sheer sartorial panic on the rare occasion that we have a day full of cloud splitting sunshine and raised temperatures. Then there’s the holiday packing where I seem to pack absolutely every item of remotely summery clothing that I own in the hope that when I open the case on the other side the items will all have magically transformed themselves into complete outfits. During our most recent heatwave and gloriously lengthy 2 day summer, I found myself trying on no less than four different outfits before settling on one to sit around the house in (a slogan tee and denim shorts - hardly a masterpiece.) It was then that I realised the extent of just how much I dislike summer fashion. After an (accidentally) lengthy discussion at the dinner table with my mum and little sister, we concluded that the problem with summer fashion is the bare all approach we all seem to have adopted. We’re not the only ones to have noticed either, as confirmed by a quick scroll through the feeds of the favourite influencers and street style stars of the industry. This summer’s style squad are all about modest dressing in the height of summer.

    Think high necks, long sleeves and full length dresses (not necessarily all at once), pulled together with the most delicate of sheer material, ladylike prints and looser silhouettes. It’s time to embrace more feminine and luxurious pieces, the kind that give true meaning to the term, day-to-night dressing. Translate the look into into everyday wear simply by toughening it up with leather or block heels, adding an unexpected element to do all of the talking. The best part about the trend is come winter, you'll have a perfectly curated collection dresses to layer until your heart is content. Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you have to flaunt it if you don’t want to.


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