Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Fashions Little Lambs


What makes a sheep? I’m not talking about the woolly kind that live on hills and ‘baa'. I mean sheep in terms of people, or to give a further description; people/persons that follow the crowd. Maybe this is just an English expression, hence the description, just in case you wondered why I turned all Wikipedia /Collins dictionary on you. The reason I ask the question is because, I wonder if I am one?
Let me explain. The other day I bought a t-shirt (pictured) that I had seen on another blogger (the man repeller) and loved it so much I felt my shallow life would be incomplete without it. But does this make me a sheep? If you asked me when I was in high school I would have said yes, the thought of someone copying my style when I was younger would fill me with dread and although my mum gave me the advice 'take it as a compliment’ I never could, as I always felt it was like someone trying to steal my identity.

As I have grown older (not wiser) I have started not to care or notice as much when a friend has the same item of clothing as me, but I draw the line at wearing it at the same time! With the increase in fashion blogs and access to the worlds street style you would think it would be inevitable that someone somewhere would have the same taste and buy something that you would want to buy, maybe I'm just making excuses because I bought a T-shirt I saw on someone else! I started wondering if I was a sheep again the other day when I was shopping and I overheard a conversation between two girls (clears throat) ‘I hate those boots, people only wear them because they ‘think’ they are cool, such sheep!’ As I looked at the boots the girls were giving there 'informed' critique on, I noticed they were a pair that I own and I wondered again, 'am I a sheep?' However (in my defence) I bought these particular boots because I liked them not because everyone else had them and to be honest when I bought them, not many other people had them. But now if I wear them, regardless of when I bought them, I look like I am following the crowd. So does this make me a sheep? 
Maybe I should stop caring so much about what others think and if I like it, wear it, or maybe I should just stop being nosey and listening to fellow shoppers conversations!   
To summarise, in my opinion, a 'fashion sheep' is someone who likes something, but doesn't have the courage to wear it until everyone else does. Mainly so they do not stand out from the crowd, which means they cannot be open to criticism. With this in mind I think that this T-shirt does the total opposite, so maybe I am not a sheep? Maybe I am just paying a fellow blogger a compliment and reinforcing that product placement works! What do you think makes a 'sheep'? 
Hollie x

Coat- Zara 

Friday, 25 October 2013

What I wore today


Just a simple post of what I wore today. Enjoy your weekend. 
Hollie x

Shirt-La Boyfriend
Shoes- Primark

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Staples Pieces



So often I hear the phrase 'its an investment' or 'its a staple piece', more often than not the phrase is coming out my mouth and I am often justifying to myself another piece of clothing that I don't really need. So, with these phrases in mind I started to think what actually makes a piece of clothing a 'staple item'? I started thinking about this today when I was deciding what to wear and I came across a black tweed blazer I bought using the exact two phrases above. The truth is I have probably worn the blazer three times, which for the price I paid, does not justify it! After getting over the slight pang of guilt I feel every time I don't wear an expensive item, I started to quandary why I thought the piece would be a 'staple item' what makes any item a 'staple' and with the rate fashion changes, is any item no matter how timeless really a 'staple'? (Could I say staple any more in the last sentence?). You may admire the cut of a piece, or the designer, but there will probably be a point were it sits in your wardrobe and you admire it, but don't wear it. I think I probably do this with a lot of my clothing and honestly I don't know why they sit there waiting to be worn especially as there supposedly 'staples' and I should be wearing them weekly. Really though, what I am waiting for? I am not a child, I wont spill my dinner on them or play in the mud (I promise). I know exactly why I bought the blazer, because I thought it would make any outfit more put together, but more specifically it's what I had heard/read or saw and finally I caved and thought I 'should' have it. I know, I know shame on me for buckling under the pressure of a well placed magazine article, but I started thinking 'why don't I have a blazer?', instead of 'will I ever wear the blazer?' With me, there is always the fear that I will think of the perfect outfit and not have the item in my wardrobe, I think that's why I don't throw items away, maybe the phrase 'staple' is also just another way of me justifying my hoarding habit.
I sometimes think maybe its the colour that makes an item a 'staple'. For example, I seem to wear a lot of black, but then my blazer is black and I hardly ever wear it, perhaps if you have to justify an item to buy it you sort of deem it practical, which is fine, but shouldn't you love each piece of clothing you own? And if you don't, why is it still hanging in your wardrobe? Maybe that's why I don't wear the blazer a lot, my heart just wasn't in it when I bought it, I thought I needed a blazer in my wardrobe, not, 'I love this item I need to have it'. After reading this back I think I am being a bit harsh on my poor blazer, maybe it is just the items time to wait it out until I forget it was bought for practical reasons and fall back in love with it. So, what other items would I truly deem as a staple in my wardrobe... It varies, give me a couple of months and it well might be my black blazer.
Do you have a staple item in your wardrobe? Or like me do you go through different phases?
On a totally unrelated matter here is what I wore today all black but still not 'staples'... well not yet!
Hollie x

Dress-Charity Shop
Shoes-River Island


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Anything to add?

I think everything you could probably write about black has already been written, but that's not going stop me writing something else about the colour. For a colour that is so simple to wear it seems to get a bad rep sometimes, almost as if its simplicity is something we should frown upon. Lately I have been drawn to a lot of black clothing and it is usually when I am extremely busy. It's just so easy to get it right when you are wearing all black. Should I be punished for what some might call a lack of imagination? Believe me, I do this myself sometimes when I find myself in a full black outfit. I feel like I have failed to make an effort, but after saying this, when you think about it, it is in fact the effortlessness of the colour that makes the outfit chic. Take, for example, Marc Jacobs final show for Louis Vuitton in Paris. Nearly the entire collection was made up of black and I defy anyone not to find at least one piece they would not wear, and why is that? Well, apart from the amazing design, it has to be the colour, it really is the colour everyone can wear. For me, when I wear a full black outfit I try to add contrast through texture. Which is what I did today, by adding a thick knit roll neck Jumper from H&M with one of their faux alligator style leather skirts. What do you think to the colour black? Does it bore you, or ignite your imagination when you get dressed?
Hollies x

Jumper- H&M
Skirt- H&M
Shoes- River Island


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Keeping it Casual


It's Sunday, it's a day of rest and in my case eating... So as a result, the stretchy pants are on and I am raring to go/eat. Oh, also, what do you think of my version of the Celine sneakers? As I don't have a couple of hundred pounds knocking around to buy a pair I decided to pay 10 pounds for a version from Matalan! Enjoy your Sunday!
Hollie x

Leather Jacket- Topshop
Jumper- H&M
Jeans- Topshop
Sneakers- Matalan

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

ASOS Feature

Recently I was given the AMAZING opportunity (yes capitals are warranted in this case) to do a feature in ASOS' monthly magazine. For those who don't know, I work full time and blog in any spare minute I have. As the experience of being involved in any sort of photo shoot, let alone a feature, was totally alien to me, I thought I would share this with you.
Firstly, you should know there is a lot of emailing that goes on prior to any pictures being taken. You have to send photographs of outfit options, information regarding these and any little styling tips you might have. Also for the feature I had to send a description of my daily work duties, but as I work for the NHS the description had to be rather limited. Luckily, the feature is more about what you wear to work rather than what you do!

There are also things that you would never even think of as you flick through any perfectly put together feature, for example; locations to shoot in and a base to work from. Lucky for me my apartment is in the centre of the city so we were able to use this! Not so luckily is the fact I work within a Hospital, so shooting inside my office was pretty much a no go. However, I will point out I did gain permission from the Head of Media within the NHS and my manager before going ahead with the feature. I'm not sure how relevant that will be to yourselves, but due to nature of my job and where I work, it was a must.
So after reading all this you would think that would be it... But no. The editor of ASOS magazine has the final say on who is featured and so after all that emailing I waited. I waited like a girl willing her date to call back, staring longingly at my inbox waiting for it to ping '1 new message'. Honestly, I need to sort out my spam feature because every time it ping'd with a bloody email from Groupon I nearly fainted! After waiting for, well, not that long really (I think I over dramatised the previous paragraph) I was told I was chosen and that the shoot was going ahead on Wednesday the 4th of September. Which, considering the issue is now out, isn't very long to turn the whole thing into an article! 
Now the fun part... the clothes!! So after being told I was going to be featured (apart from having to peel myself off the ceiling after jumping with excitement) I had to go through the website and email the stylists with items I would wear for work, so they could mix them with my wardrobe. After spending a full day looking through the website I finally sent my eight page email... Which, at the time, I thought was excessive. But in the words of the great stylist Rachel Zoe 'options, options, options' and it would appear the stylist on the shoot was a girl after my own heart and added further pieces. The final email I received was the call sheet, this detailed meeting times, who was involved, there roles and contact numbers.

Okay, so I realise now this post is getting excessive, but when I was first emailed about this feature I 'Googled' to see if there was any information about what to expect, and there wasn't. So If you guys ever get the opportunity at least you might be less of a 'Deer caught in headlights' and be able to act slightly more cool than I did (I got a little to excited!). Seriously, think Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed, the part before she turns cool, and that gives you a slight indication as to how 'uncool' I was!!

D-Day - Also to be known as the 4th Sept (cough, cough clear throat and crack my fingers to begin typing).

9:45 - I meet the lovely ladies who were all really friendly and set me instantly at ease. We then headed up to my apartment with there 3 massive suitcases full of ASOS goodies.

10:00 - After meeting everyone and having a brief chat about the day they all set off on their tasks. The stylist took control of my bedroom turning it into a massive wardrobe... it was a dream!! After running through locations with production we mapped out a plan of attack. Then the make up artist, and in this case she really was a an 'artist', making my face photogenic before 11 am is no mean feat! We talked about how I normally would wear my make up to work and she worked around that. I must say I loved getting my make up done professionally especially the little tips she gave me! Unfortunately the photographer had to do a lot of waiting around at this point.

10:45 - After doing my make up and hair, I headed into my new 'wardrobe room' and went through outfit options with the stylist, trying on several different looks and determining which represented my work wear closet best, but also taking into account the latest A/W trends.

11:15 - After playing dress up (my words, not theirs), we locked down 3 outfits and decided to take them with us and change on location (Don't panic no one saw my arse I just used toilets... How glamorous). Changing on location really helped with time and after the 2nd outfit change I really got into the swing of things.

11:30 - We arrived at our first location and I was already dressed in the first outfit option. To begin with I felt quite self concious, which is silly when I think that I normally shoot my outfits on the street anyway. But when its a stranger behind the lens I became really self conscious and that; A. I didn't want to let anyone down, and; B. I wanted to make sure I didn't tilt my head in a way that gave me double chins!

13:00 - After changing locations and outfits we finished with the 3 outfits we had bought and headed back to my apartment to re-style the next outfits. Although the column only lists outfits I wore from Mon-Friday, they explained they needed at least 7 to give them more options. So it would appear ASOS also live by the Rachel Zoe mantra of 'options, options, options!'

13:15 - After having my make up touched up I headed back into the 'wardrobe room' and we started styling the next few looks and working out how to style my hair and adapt accessories.

14:00 - Finally we were ready to take pictures of the final outfits and grab some lunch on the go. I now know why fashion girls are so thin, you literally are so busy, you don't get time to eat! While we were having a spot of lunch I managed to take a minute with the girl interviewing me (Annie) and run through some of the aspects of my job and also, how I style my outfits and were I get my inspiration from.

17:00 - The final photograph was outside a local bar to represent how I change my work wear to evening wear. And although the bar was packed with thirsty workers I didn't care by this point I was loving it!!

17:15 - Heading back to my apartment I sat with Annie and we discussed a few more points while the other ladies scurried around packing up the clothes and accessories and tying up any loose ends. I was tempted to lock them out my apartment at this point, so I could keep all the clothes. Please don't judge me... If you saw it all you would understand, I was like a kid in a sweet shop!

17:45 - After sitting on suitcases and squeezing the last glorious ASOS items into them they were ready to head back to London on the train and I was left with an massive grin on my face. Honestly, it was one of the best experiences I have had and if you ever get the opportunity to be involved in any form of  photo shoot I would definitely recommend it!

If you read the whole post, sorry for giving you square eyes and I hope you found it interesting. Unfortunately I didn't have anyone to take behind the scene pictures but I hope you enjoy the article in the magazine which is available online now (see link, page 44).

Hollie x

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