Fashion

    My Most Worn Jewellery

    I wear the same 4 pieces of jewellery every day. On my left hand its my two little pandora gems, one bought as a present for me, from me last spring and the other is the matching stacking ring bought as a surprise gift from my boyfriend, topped off with a little wrist candy given to me as a gift from my Mum for my 21st. On my right we have a much newer member of the gang, another pandora ring that I bought with a gift voucher I had (wishing this blog post was as sponsored as it’s starting to sound…).

    My choice in jewellery every day mostly comes down to the fact that I’m a creature of habit. That and the fact that I get emotionally attached to things very easily and if I broke the habit now and stopped wearing any one of these pieces daily, I would feel like I was missing a limb.

    I was explaining to someone the other day about how many times I’ve caught myself being that friend that turns to the cheesy quotes as an answer to all problems. A personal favourite being “What’s meant for you won’t pass you by”  - one I repeatedly rely on as I desperately try to figure out the rollercoaster that is your twenties but that’s a story for another day. My point is that that sentimental approach is something that spills into my choice of jewellery.

    Admittedly, some of my jewellery is influenced by superstition. Any exam that I’ve ever sat starting from A-Levels, right through to my first year exams at university, I religiously wore my black Pandora charm bracelet to every single one (again, I swear this isn’t sponsored. Apparently I’m just a Pandora addict). While I knew that wearing that bracelet made no difference to my grade, I still wasn’t willing to take the risk and “jinx” my exams. I’d love to say that looking back now, that seems completely ridiculous but I know I would still do the same thing if I had to sit an exam now.

    There’s the lucky charms and then there’s the sentimental pieces. These are the ones I wear on those days where I need a little extra push or to feel closer to the person who gave it to me.

    One of my most treasured pieces of jewellery is my Grandma’s gorgeous ring. As a child I remember being so fascinated by the way the stone changed colour in the light. Every time we went to visit I used to insist that my Grandma showed me it and let me play with it. The ring was a gift to my Grandma from my Grandad for their anniversary decades ago and much to my complete surprise, when my 18th birthday came around she passed it on to me. It’s one of the most meaningful gifts that I’ve ever received and I know it’s something I’ll hold on to for the rest of my life. As time goes on, the ring holds more and more sentimental value to me especially since my Grandma lives in England and we don't see her as much as we would like. In the mean time I’ve got her ring and while it may seem silly to some, this ring has got me through some tough days.

    Next up is a bangle my Mum brought home for me from a trip. Remember what I was saying about the cheesy sayings? This is one of them. Being 21 and trying to figure this adult stuff out can be pretty overwhelming at times and it’s easy to feel like you’ve lost your way. Some days it feels like everything is falling down around you and prospects of a settled future seems impossible. It’s those days that I throw on this bangle. Everything always works out one way or another and all you need is a gentle reminder that everything will be ok. This bangle is my gentle reminder.

    Photos by Lucy

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    Niamh ♥

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    Top 5 Trends You'll See Me Wearing This Spring

    At this point, spring feels long overdue. You don't realise until the evenings start getting brighter again just how painful it is to endure winter. Just yesterday following a brunch date in the sun with my family, I was thinking how all it takes is one afternoon of sunshine to make you question not only why we continue to put up with Northern Irish winters but also how.

    In true Northern Irish fashion, the second the sun appeared for longer than 5 minutes and temperatures rose above 12 degrees, I broke the news to my wardrobe that summer fashion is now the only thing on the agenda and it's time to switch it up with the following trends that believe me, I'm more than ready to embrace.

    The Cold Shoulder

    Hardly the new kid on the block, the cold shoulder is back to stake its claim over spring/summer fashion.  Last summer was all about the off the shoulder little tops and dresses, this time - in my attempt to be a "grown up" - we're all about the more sophisticated, dramatic sleeves and ruffles while still daring to bare a little clavicle and shoulder.

    Much as I try, I never feel entirely comfortable in a mini skirt and while I'd say I have a fairly healthy relationship with crop tops, they aren't the most ideal choice of clothing if you plan on eating anything that day. The off the shoulder top on the other hand? Could not be more inclusive a skin baring trend if it tried. Eaten an entire pizza and then some while sunning yourself somewhere off the coast of Italy? Hello, floaty off the shoulder shirt. Faced with the age-old "jeans and a nice top" dress code? Hello, sassy off the shoulder top. Taken to wearing your boyfriends shirts but worried about looking like a drowned rat? Hello...you get the drill. (FYI - undo a few buttons, slide around your shoulders and voila, femininity restored.)

    Although I'm very aware that everyone has their own issues with their body, I can only assume that people have less issues with baring their shoulders than they do about wearing a crop top or mini skirt but please, correct me if I'm wrong.

    Gingham

    Busy brunching in a West Village, v cool, hipster, Australian cafe in New York a few weeks ago, I noticed one particularly cool girl sat with her friends out of the corner of my eye. As with most people who catch my attention, it was her outfit that made me notice her. She was wearing a red gingham midi skirt, complete with ruffles - very Zara-esque, very chic, very effortlessly cool. I'd be lying if I said I forgot about that outfit instantly. I would also be lying if I said I definitely didn't search the internet for said skirt. Admittedly the outfit was a little reminiscent of a picnic blanket but fashion has done weirder things.

    Red gingham hasn't been the only kind of gingham on my mind lately. I recently found it on a list of article ideas from almost six months ago. Currently it's still much more of a lusting relationship rather than a trend I've attained within my wardrobe yet but something tells me that once I've got my hands on the infamous red gingham skirt, I'll be one step closer to head to toe picnic chic.

     

    Fishnet Socks

    OBSESSED.

    OBSESSED.

    OBSESSED.

    Who knew that a pair of socks could bring one girl so much joy and sass? I certainly didn't. Fishnet socks, for one reason or another have become my go to item when I want to spruce up any outfit. Emphasis on any. Dressed up or dressed down, I cannot fault the styling talent that lies within the toes of fishnet socks. Perfect to add a little grunge to an otherwise girly outfit. Perfect for adding a little personality. Perfect with blue jeans. Perfect with black jeans. Perfect underneath jeans (fishnet tights). ALL ROUND PERFECT.

    Similarly to the red gingham skirt gateway drug, find your outfit formula with fishnet socks and you'll find yourself braving glitter socks, novelty socks, striped socks, odd socks. You do you and do it well. I'm all for the interesting socks this season.

    Biker Jackets

    Let's all just take a second to show the old faithful, the leather biker jacket, some serious appreciation. Let's also take a second to acknowledge how different a biker jacket draped over your shoulders as opposed to worn properly, can make an outfit look. I took to the draping look while in New York. I had been wearing the same old trainers, jeans and a t-shirt outfit (diff clothes, same formula) for a few days as comfort had taken prominence over style while walking around the city and I felt I needed to up my game somehow, show New York the respect it deserves and (try to) stop looking like such a boring tourist. It was a little change but it was enough to make me feel less like a tourist and much more confident.

    It's a look I've avoided for so long because to me, it's negatively associated with being pretentious - something I don't ever want to be and yes, it definitely made me a feel a little bit more like a somebody but I felt significantly better about myself, something a good outfit should always make you feel so I was willing to look pretentious for a day in a city where no-one new my name.

    Pink

    At this point, I think my addiction to pink clothing has reached a stage where it's become alarming. What's possibly more alarming is the fact that I have no idea how or when this happened. Over the weekend, I thought I would torture myself with a trip to Topshop. I did my usual scour of the shop floor, headed to the changing room with 101 items of clothing draped over my arm, locked the door behind me and when I turned around was met with a sea of pink. Dusty pink. Fuchsia. Bubblegum pink. Pink trousers. Pink skirts. Pink dress. Pink shoes. You name it, I had it. It was like Barbie had taken over my changing room.

    Had you told me a year ago that I would pick pink as my colour of the season, I genuinely would have laughed in your face. This time a year ago it was a success to get me out of black let alone a colour that has the potential to be bright as pink can be.

    Fun fact: I currently own enough pink items of clothing that I can do a separate wash cycle dedicated to them.

    I'm not sorry.

    Photos by Kellie Scott

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    Niamh ♥

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    4 Affordable Ways to Update Your Wardrobe For Spring

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    If you take a look back over my last few outfit posts, (here and here) they’ve got one thing in common - finding affordable ways to update my wardrobe as the new season approaches.

    There’s a pressure within the fashion industry, whether thats blogging or working at a fashion magazine or PR company, to always have the newest, most ‘on trend’ clothes. It’s a pressure I feel predominantly within the blogging and social media world (ironic considering I talk so much about the Instagram comparison game.)

    As for working within the fashion industry, the pressure comes more form outsiders rather than within the office. People assume that because you work in fashion, you have access to all of the best clothes and you have no excuse not to be wearing your best outfit at all times. That couldn't be further from the truth.

    At the end of the day, I’m an intern which can be pretty tough on the old financial front. Yes, I have financial support from my Mum which I’m very grateful for but as much as I might like to, I can’t ask my Mum to fund my (now much more tame) shopping addiction. In the last few months shopping has really had to take a backseat which isn’t ideal when you’re trying to keep up with everyone else’s amazing, ever evolving wardrobes but I’ve learnt a few tricks along the way that has helped me to bring old clothes to life and update my wardrobe.

    TRADE OFF

    So I’ve already covered making the most of hand me downs and borrowing from your boyfriend to update your look so it seems only fair that we target the friends list next. This time there’s something in it for you both.

    You’re going on a night out, you’ve got nothing to wear but your best friend is the same size as you and she has that black lace dress that would look amazing with your new lipstick, you know the drill - time to raid their wardrobe. We’ve all been there. What if you could apply the same logic to your day to day wardrobe, landing yourself with three new outfits and not spending a dime? Gather up the girls (or the guys), gather up the clothes your bored of and organise a clothes swap. Everyone leaves with new clothes to get excited about and gets rid of the clothes dragging their wardrobe down. One girl’s trash is another girl’s treasure and all that.

     

    ACCESSORIES ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND 

    Everything within this outfit post has been in my wardrobe for at least six months. This maxi dress? Bought it in September for my Dubai trip and lived in it while interning because it was the only thing I could keep cool in with the Middle Eastern heat. This leather jacket? Got it for Christmas at least two years ago and thanks to the removable collar, I was able to take it from winter warmer to spring staple in 30 seconds. The trainers? If you can’t see in the photo, these babies have been well worn in, worn daily on my recent trip to NYC, worn at least twice a week at work and good luck getting me out of them at the weekend. So far, they’ve stood the test of time and hopefully that’s how they’ll stay for a little longer.

    One thing that is new to my wardrobe is this perfectly pink bag from KOKO Couture available at Topshop. Sometimes when it comes to updating your wardrobe it’s less about buying a whole new outfit and more about making good choices when buying new accessories. Every time I’ve felt the urge to go on a massive shopping spree, I’ve managed to calm the urge by thinking about my accessories. The key is choosing something versatile. It could be a pair of shoes, a new jacket or a new bag.

    Firstly, let’s talk about the colour. Pink is taking over the nation at the moment. Put it down to us Millennials. Put it down to the cherry blossom filling our Instagram feeds but there’s no denying that pink is the ‘It’ colour this spring.

    Now for the function. The beauty of this bag is that it can be worn as a clutch in the evening, a tiny tote during the day or cross body for venturing around the city. The choice is yours, ladies and gents. You’d be surprised how with the change of one item, you can create brand new looks without breaking the bank.

    PAY ATTENTION TO MICRO TRENDS

    While you may feel yourself cracking under the pressure to stay on top of all the big trends, ruffles, pinks, gingham etc, you can easily keep your look on trend by paying attention to the little details. A personal favourite of mine is fishnet tights. Simply by layering fishnet tights underneath jeans or with a pair of heels, you bring a completely new dimension to an otherwise simple outfit. Apparently, I haven’t been able to just leave it at the fishnets. Sparkly socks do the same job as do patterned tights. Get creative and start thinking outside the box.

    HAVE FAITH IN THRIFT SHOPS

    Never underestimate the power of a good charity shop spree. Almost everything comes back in style at some point or another and with current trends paying homage to the 80s and 90s, thrift shopping couldn't be easier. With charity shops, you’re more likely to find unique items so it’s a great solution if you’re someone who is sick of everyone looking the same in that same sellout Missguided dress. If you’re looking in the right places you might even find the designer shoes of your dreams going at a tenth of the price.

    With the right tricks on hand, it's all much easier to fake a new season wardrobe than it seems.

    Photos by Kellie Scott

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    “Instagram Stalking”: Why I do it and Who I “Stalk”

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    Confession time. 

    I sat in on Friday night feeling a little restless, a little bored and apparently ever so slightly self-destructive.

    I sat there thinking to myself, who can I stalk on social media that will wind me up the most? An ex? An ex's new girlfriend? The “successful” influencer who blatantly pays for their followers? The girl I've always hated for no reason? But I couldn't think of anyone I cared enough about to intentionally seek out.

    I was looking for someone who would really strike a nerve just to see their apparently undeserving happiness, how ‘ugly’ they had become or how they'd suddenly gained a lot of weight.

    I thought and I thought and nope, there was no one who would bring the social media stalking satisfaction that was I was looking for. Then I thought, hang on, Niamh, what the f**k are you doing? What would stalking someone’s Instagram - seeing their beautiful or not so beautiful Instagram feeds - how would that be doing any good for you?

    I'm not a nasty girl. I never have been and I never intend on being one. I wasn’t brought up to bring others down. I wasn’t brought up to laugh and mock others. I was brought up to celebrate others success, to celebrate my own success and definitely not to sabotage mine or others happiness. So why was I going out of my way to be nasty and negative not only to myself but to others whether or not they had done so to me?

    Confession time, again. This time, we’re in it together.

    We all bitch every so often. It's kind of, almost (possibly not politically correct to say) but it’s human and if you claim you don't, you're lying. This bitching, nine times out of ten is accidental. “Accidental bitching? There’s no such thing.” I hear you, I hear you but stay with me for a second. Maybe you're wound up and ranting, maybe they really hurt you and a sly dig comes out of your mouth without realising, maybe you’re jealous or insecure and don’t mean to be nasty. Though I may not have much authority on the topic, I’m granting you a hall pass on this one occasion but for going out of your way to be nasty? Not ok. Consider that hall pass well and truly revoked.

    Back to the story for a sec. 

    All in all, it was safe to say I was feeling pretty ashamed of myself. In a way, it was a positive experience because while there are people in my life I may feel uncomfortable around or intimidated by, there's no one I actively hold a grudge against, certainly not enough to ruin my own Friday night.

    Realistically, it’s none of our business how many ‘likes’ others are getting, how many ‘followers’ they have or how many amazing opportunities they’ve had that are yet to come our way. It’s none of our business if two separate friend groups in our lives are liking each others photos. How many likes or followers someone has on social media isn’t a reflection of a) how successful they are in life or b) how successful you are.

    We’re a generation crying out to be liked, even if it is mostly on a virtual basis. But what about how much we like ourselves? What about how much our family and loved ones like us? Are you healthy? Are you happy? Have you got a roof over your head and a bed to crawl into at night? These are the things that matter. Define your own success and move on from depending on the approval of others to see you through. God knows, I’m trying to.

    Today when I got home from work, I went through the list of people I follow and have started to remove those that provoke these comparative and negative thoughts. Let’s see how much of a difference it makes. Will I just seek them out again or is ignorance truly bliss? Here’s hoping for the latter.

    Photos by Kellie Scott

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    Niamh ♥

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    Steal Her Style: Bella Hadid

    Let’s be honest, no-one does off duty style like the Hadid sisters. What’s interesting (and very refreshing) is that despite being sisters, both girls have completely different style. For the most part I find myself resonating with Bella’s edgier, tomboy style than Gigi’s preppier Tommy Hilfiger style. She’s gone from Gigi Hadid’s little sister to The Weeknd’s girlfriend (then ex-girlfriend) and has now gone on to become a fully-fledged model within her own right. Bella brings the style both on and off the catwalk with killer personal style while strutting the streets of New York, flaunting abs in tiny crop tops that have us all joining the nearest gym and giving sports luxe an elevated status while on other days you’ll find her rocking mini skirts and thigh high slit gowns.

    If like me, you’re holding out for the day you wake up with Bella Hadid’s wardrobe, try stealing her style from her hottest looks below.

     


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