HOW TO SHOP YOUR OWN WARDROBE

Having a fashion blog can sometimes create a bit of pressure to keep buying new clothes. But as we’re now all much more aware of the environmental impacts of fast fashion, I am trying my best to shop a lot less. I’m also trying to be a bit wiser with my spending habits as I definitely don’t have the budget for excessive shopping, or the need for it.

But, when I come to write a new blog post and I want to feature outfit photos, it’s hard to resist buying something new. However, last week I had a real rummage around in my wardrobe and to my surprise managed to put together this dreamy outfit.

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For years now I have loved the idea of a red colour block outfit, but I’ve never had the money to buy something like a red suit. So, for years, it has remained an idea. But then, a few weeks ago I was determined to put together a ‘new’ outfit from clothes I already own, by mixing and matching my regulars with my unloved items. Although some of the looks I created didn’t work, I managed to put together some outfits that I really loved.

I found a red pencil skirt just sitting there, collecting dust, that I hadn’t worn since my graduation FOUR years ago. I tried it on with a few different options. I paired it with a long sleeved cherry red top, with my red ankle boots but this felt a bit too extra for my liking. So, I decided to try it with this t-shirt that I would normally just throw on with a pair of jeans. I loved how it broke up the red, but maintained the boldness. I completed the look with my red western belt to add a little bit more structure to the skirt.

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It is definitely the sassiest look I have ever put together and one that got a lot of side-eye, which to me is always a good sign of a great outfit. It made me feel powerful, confident and strong. Putting this together reminded me of what I love about fashion. It isn’t the feeling of buying something new, it’s the excitement and inspiration I feel when I style an outfit that I love.

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If you are watching the pennies or just want to be a bit more eco-conscious, take another look at your wardrobe. Get creative. Is there something you haven’t worn for a while? Could you simply just mix and match some clothes from other regular outfits? Could you maybe layer some of your summer pieces over t-shirts or knitwear? I think you will be surprised at how many looks you can create from what is hiding in your wardrobe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY I’LL NEVER BE A TRAVEL BLOGGER

While I was away in Thailand, I had planned to get some blog photos. I couldn’t wait to show off my holiday outfits with the glorious scenery in the background. But, I quickly realised that I’m not that sexy in the sunshine. Every day consisted of a 36 degree heat with 75% humidity. It didn’t take long for me to decide that the weather just wasn’t suitable for Instagram content. But then, there I was, with a SULA (sweaty upper lip alert), hair scraped back and a cherry-red face, when I spotted a travel blogger. Her perfect hair, outrageously stylish outfit and flawless makeup didn’t budge while she posed for the ‘gram. That’s when I realised I could never be a travel blogger.

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SKIRT – NEW LOOK, TOP – TOPSHOP, DENIM JACKET – URBAN OUTFITTERS, SHOES – CLARKS, HEADBAND – OLIVER BONAS, BAG – PAUL’S BOUTIQUE

At the beginning of the trip, I wore one of my planned outfits but instantly regretted it when I was overbearingly hot and my feet were sore from breaking in new shoes. It became abundantly clear that I would have to wear for comfort, not style. Forget about makeup or any form of tamed hair. It just wasn’t doable. So instead of scarring you with unflattering photos of myself profusely sweating, I decided to recreate my holiday looks back in the UK.

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It goes without saying that my appearance wasn’t a top priority while on a trip of a lifetime. But seeing flawless women posing for swoon-worthy photos got me thinking. Are all the Instagram users on holiday spending their entire trip making sure they looked perfect, for the sake of improving their feed, or do they honestly just always look good?

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I’m sure for some, the latter is true. But it made me realise how much work it must be to be a travel blogger. Obviously there are more demanding jobs out there but finding beautiful backdrops, looking your best while in the heat/cold, getting a collection of photographs and then editing them, isn’t the easiest task in the world. To the aspiring travel bloggers that commit to this in their spare time, I salute you!

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Being a travel blogger seems like a pretty awesome job but if you’re an average Jo like me, who just wants to get some nice photos to spruce up your grid. It’s just not worth sacrificing your holiday for, especially if your hair triples in size and makeup immediately melts off your face when exposed to the sunshine. I would much rather look like an egg, wear basic clothes and feel comfortable. Adjusting to different climate zones is hard enough without making it worse for yourself.

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If you can’t be bothered to make your holiday seem ‘Instagrammable’, you aren’t alone. Enjoy your holiday, take pictures if you want and if any of them are worthy for the ‘gram, then show them off. But don’t beat yourself up for not getting that picture. If you aren’t in the superhuman group of people that never seem to look bad, that’s okay too.

MY TIPS FOR TRAVELLING ABROAD WITH ANXIETY

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From being a teenager, I have found travelling abroad difficult. I dread the process of going through security. I worry about my luggage getting lost and fear I’ve been catfished by the dreamy hotel pictures I’d seen online.

Over the years, this anxiety tripled after a few unlucky scenarios while away, making the idea of travelling abroad feel impossible. But, I didn’t want this fear to get worse so I decided to face it head-on. I have just returned from a trip to Thailand, and although at times it was difficult and scary, I used these techniques to help get me through it…

RESEARCH AND PLAN AHEAD

To reduce my fears of being in a completely new country, I found it really helped to do as much research as possible. I envy the people that can spontaneously jet off on an adventure without any plans in place, but this just isn’t me.

I looked into the possible scams we might face, the rules on how to be respectful to locals, how to stay safe and researched what fun things we could do.

I made packing lists, to-do lists and filled a first aid kit with anything (within reason) I thought we might need. This all helped me feel ready, and take back some of the control of my fears.

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FOCUS ON ONE STEP AT A TIME

To stop myself from becoming completely overwhelmed, I had to break down each part of the journey bit by bit in my mind. I tried not to think too far ahead or let my thoughts run away from me. I took my time and reminded myself to just focus on what I was doing.

DEEP BREATHS AND REASSURANCE 

Although it’s a cliche, taking deep breaths always helps steady my thoughts and keep me calm, which is what I did whenever I approached a daunting part of the journey. I also reminded myself that I wasn’t trapped, nobody was making me be there. I was there because I wanted to go on this trip, and after the journey was over, an amazing holiday was waiting for me. I reminded myself that I had done everything I possibly could. Whatever happened to my luggage, or whatever my hotel would be like, was out of my hands.

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DISTRACT YOURSELF 

The actual flying part has never really been a part of my fear, so once I was in the air I just had to distract my mind to prevent anxious thoughts from seeping through.

I downloaded the Calm app and listened to the ‘calming flight anxiety’ playlist, took deep breaths and tried to focus on the moment. I also made sure I had plenty to keep me busy on the flight by bringing books and downloading Netflix episodes and podcasts that would keep my brain distracted.

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PREVENT ANXIETY FROM RUINING YOUR TRIP

Once I had my luggage, got in the taxi and made it to the hotel I managed to relax and enjoy my holiday. Every now and then an anxious thought popped into my head but I was able to push it to the back of my mind.

I know this isn’t always an easy task but I found being as prepared as possible, reassuring myself, taking each step at a time and trying to stay present was enough to prevent anxiety from ruining my holiday, and I hope it works for you too.

I know that my travel anxiety probably won’t ever completely go away. But, I can always refer to this experience and be reminded that I’ve done it before and I can do it again. Now I’m actually excited to book new trips instead of being afraid of ever going abroad. Try not to let any bad past experiences from stopping you replace them with good memories. Facing your fears is the only way to reduce them (even if it’s just a little bit).