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WERK WERK WERK: Put em in the dirt.

This is my third draft today. I wanted to write a list of sassy girlboss quotes because I feel like I could take over the World today, but then I realised we all have Pinterest for that. So here’s an old post I hand wrote on the train to Plym a couple months ago, accompanied by a McDonald’s and sat next to a man reading his bible.

This January, I started a new job and with it, the realisation that I’m on countdown to being a full-time working gal for two whole years. The notion of this both makes me sound like a legit adult, whilst simultaneously want to run back under my duvet to hide and pretend that life doesn’t exist.

My legit full-time job count has hit a grand total of 3. A number that’s probably pretty scary for one of those frumpy careers advisors who tell you that a job is for life. Mine didn’t even understand the concept of working in fashion or that a ‘Fashion Buyer’ didn’t just mean I wanted to go shopping full time, so there’s that.

The rollercoaster of jobs have provided me with my fair share of tears and lols, so here’s a list of my ‘learns’ for all of you in this ‘not sure what I’m doing with my life’ shaped boat:

      1. You will believe you can take over the world on a daily / weekly basis.
        Know something your manager didn’t? Finish everything on that epic to-do list? Gurl, you’re killing it.Point 1
      2. You will cry.
        At your desk, in the toilets, to your boss in a meeting, maybe just a private tear shed at home. Work. Is. Tough.Crying
      3. Polite conversation rules:
        Monday – Tuesday: How was your weekend?
        Wednesday: Jesus, this week has felt long. / Weekend soon!
        Thursday – Friday: What are your plans this weekend?
        At all times: The temperature of the office.
        REPEAT.
      4. You will fantasise about throwing your keyboard at your bosses head. 
        Because your inner sass queen has to be unleashed some time, right?
        sass queen
      5. You will become ever more creative with your excuses for being late.
        I got sucked down the plughole when I was showering and had to climb my way out? That’s definitely why my hair still hasn’t dried.
        FullSizeRender
      6. Free office snacks are THE ONE.
        Let alone blagging a free dinner – THE DREAM.
        free pizza
      7. You will have a work husband / wife.
        The Tina Fey to your Amy Poehler, you’re the comedy Kings and Queens of the office.
        sisters
      8. You’ll find the best hiding places to text / watch tv / snapchat.
        Because nobody has time for 110% concentration all day. Unless a potential new employer is reading this… If so, please erase this point from your memory.
      9. At some point, there will be major work dramz.
        From people getting fired, to redundancy to your start-up not getting funding. You’ll never be prepared and it’ll probably happen when you’re on holiday.
      10. Meetings.
        You’ll flip between loving that they’re a waste of an hour to loathing not being at your desk and actually being productive.
        family guy work
      11. The pure joy of achieving something is beyond expectation.
        And it’ll sound like no biggie to anyone you tell. (If they’re good friends, they’ll still pretend to be interested / impressed that your tweet went viral, you made a snazzy spreadsheet or that you tidied your desk.)
        achievement
      12. Endorsements on LinkedIn are somehow addictive.
        And are also my new favourite joke. Good at snacking? Endorse me on LinkedIn or it doesn’t count, bbz.
      13. You’ll fantasise about leaving, but the thought of applying for jobs is too much. 
      14. The salad days.
        No matter how ready you feel you were to move on, you’ll always look back on the lolz, your work family and the perks with a rose-tinted shade of fondness. And then reality hits when you remember all those times you wanted to shut your head in the photocopier out of sheer rage.
        work

Peace out,
SJW x

 

 

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That Graduate life crisis.

I’ve been reading a lot of hilarious blog posts recently on the ‘twenty-something life crisis’ and it’s inspired me into blogging about it myself. I did the official graduation jazz a couple of weeks ago now, and I’m going to put in a picture of my dress because, quite frankly, I loved it. (It’s from H&M in case you wondered, mega-bargain of the century).

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So that’s my posing over with, how’s the big dark doom of life after graduation? Well, it’s definitely a whole new rollercoaster adventure. I’m not going to lie, it’s tough out there. I’ve become a legit traveller woman, for the past 3 months I haven’t been in one place longer than a week and a half; I’ve become a pro at packing a suitcase at high speed, running for trains and sleeping where ever is possible. It’s hectic, but all that travelling is giving me time to plan how I’m going to conquer the world.

So here’s my list of all the signs of a Graduate life-crisis:

1. If one more person asks you what your plans are next, you’ll scream at them.

2. You’re so bored of writing cover letters that you just want to send ‘PLEASE EMPLOY ME, I’M AMAZING’ and hope it still gets you a job.

3. You’re amazed at how much competition there is for proper jobs. Like, where are all these people coming from? 600 applicants in 2 hours, is that even for real!?

4. You’ll be equally amazed at how many jobs there are in recruitment. Where are all the jobs these people are recruiting for? How is that actually a thing?

5. You become ridiculously savvy at knowing which job adverts are just covering up ‘sales’ (cold calling) jobs. I was never aware that cold-calling was marketing. And who even buys stuff from cold-callers these days!? Ridiculous.

6. You begin to contemplate ridiculous careers. Dog walker for the rest of my life? Yeah, I can do that. They won’t mind that I’m not an animal person, right?

7. The joy of getting good news feels better than you imagine getting married / having your first child will be.

8. Someone mentions taking a Masters and you think back to the dark, dissertation days and shudder. Never, ever am I going through that again.

9. Money: You have none. You have to go back to the teenage days of begging your parents for a tenner so you can live.

10. You dream of your first pay-check. You then see the average salaries and cry at how you’ll be a penniless tramp.

11. The whole ’employment status / occupation’ box on forms brings on a whole new crisis. You can’t quite bring yourself to write unemployed. That’s only a temporary thing, right? I was actually signing up to the doctors today and they asked me on the form; so I put my occupation as ‘Graduate’, like it’s an actual thing. I look for jobs and I write letters telling people how amazing I am and how I deserve a job, whilst crying at how bad the competition is. Definite legit career.

12. There will be a lot of ladytears shed. It’s a life crisis, you have to cry. Sometimes you aren’t sure why.

13. The pure confusion of, just, life. Where will I live? Do I or do I not apply for this job? Will I be able to afford to live? What skills do I have for this job? Will I ever get a job? How do people ever go to the bother of changing jobs once they have one? WHAT IS LIFE?!

14. As you apply for a job, you begin planning your whole life if you got it. It seems like bliss. Then, application done, dream over. Next application, next dream life.

15. Your parents suggest careers for you. You wonder if they ever even listened to what you did at uni. Do you not understand my dreams!? Am I adopted? Who even are you!?

16. Moving back in with your parents. Actually I think this needs a whole blog post to itself.

17. Those over-wordy job descriptions are just hell in themselves.

18. The hatred you develop for the generic ‘Due to the large amount of applications, if you’re unsuccessful, we will not be able to let you know’. You may have put your heart and soul into that application, but nah, soz, bit busy to let you know you haven’t got it.

19. The jobs that ask for ‘Recent graduates with at least [what seems like 10 years] experience’. I was at university, how did you expect me to work full time too!? I’m not silly, I have a decent amount of experience, but equally, it sometimes feels like jobs want you to have experienced enough to be qualified for a managerial role yet it’s still entry level. Bizarre.

20. The wonder of if you’re the only one going through this. Then you look at the ridiculous numbers of applicants and laugh to yourself that you could not possibly be joined by more people, attached to their laptops, scrolling pages of potential jobs and despairing. That’s the reality of your problem.

21. The hatred for the words ‘job’ and ‘application’.

So basically, the graduate life consists of a lot of confusion, realisations of how poor you’ll be, how competitive the world is and how you need to escape moving back home. If you’re in this situation then I guess the crux of the crisis is that it will all work out. If you’re determined enough, you can make your own path and trot on down it like the superstar you are (girlpower inspiration at it’s best there). So keep your head up and enjoy having the time to catch up on all those things you missed whilst writing dissertation. The despair is real… But keep doing your thaaang.

SJW x

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been busy with a couple of exams, which finally came to an end on Tuesday! I’ve now completed half of my degree and only have my dissertation to write, which seems so crazy, but if I’m honest I’ve realised that the end of university couldn’t come soon enough for me, maybe I’ll do a separate post on my thoughts on that, but honestly I’m excited for the opportunity for change that graduation will bring.

Anyway, I wrote this blog post yesterday whilst sat on a bus for the third time, going back into Central London yet again. I feel like I spent most of my day sat on the top deck, moving at about 2 miles per hour through the streets of London. As I’m sure most of you are aware, yesterday was the first day of a 48 hour tube strike, which is planned to repeat itself next week. As I mentioned, my exams are over so I actually had nowhere to be, but I wanted to be a culture vulture and go to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, held at the National Portrait Gallery. It’s one of my favourite exhibitions every year; I find it really inspiring and some of the stories behind the photos are truly incredible. Highly worth a visit, but be quick as it’s in its last weeks.

I planned my journey so I could just get a straight bus and then a small walk, and quite frankly I’m not really going to complain about it. Yeah all my journey’s yesterday took a little longer and were busier than usual, but I had a seat and I also quite like buses as you can actually see the sights of London, rather than staring at a black tunnel. Apparently I’m not the only one, check out ‘From The Upper Deck’ by photographer Przemek Wajerowicz, (http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2014/02/06/in-pictures-see-london-from-the-upper-deck/). However, having said this, I am truly grateful I wasn’t commuting as obviously it just caused chaos during this time. Below are some of my favourite, most crazy pictures of the chaos the strike caused.

Stratford Underground Station was like this.

Queue Tube Strike

Stratford International and Bus Stop Queues; taken from http://www.buzzfeed.com/scottybryan/the-best-of-the-internets-reaction-to-the-tube-strike

I guess the strike should make people realise how reliant we are on the tube system; yeah we all complain about it (don’t even get me started on my hatred of the District Line), but really it’s an amazing transport system which needs continued investment to manage its upkeep and improvement. Usually I’m totally against Tube Strikes, as I feel the staff strike solely for improved pay, when it’s been well documented that they get well paid and get plenty of benefits. However, on this occasion the strike was in protest of the upgrade of the system leading to the closure of ticket offices. I’m unsure where I stand on my opinion on the strike, obviously I am behind them all the way if job losses are on the line; the staff are so important in the running of the tube. However, reading both sides of the argument, TFL argues that there will still be jobs for all that want to stay with London Underground; staff will be more visible instead of stuck in the offices, they just have to be willing to be ‘flexible’. So who knows how flexible, flexible is. In all honesty, it feels like the unions were quick to take action (there was a very low response rate to the strike ballot), but as with all contentious issues, communication is not great on either side. I guess it’s just going to be interesting to let the fun and games work themselves out.

Let’s just be grateful that London isn’t cut off from the world, unlike Devon. I’ve always said that the rail network into Devon is the slowest, most ridiculous thing. We still have those trains where you actually have to pull the handle to open the door; apparently electronic doors haven’t hit Devon and Cornwall yet!? Literally, the pressure to open that door in the quickest time possible is sometimes quite hard to handle (LOL, bad pun alert). However, due to bad weather Devon has literally been cut off from the world, with train tracks literally being left suspended in mid air, after the foundations have been washed away, see pictures below.

Pictures taken from: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Minister-promises-look-alternative-rail-route-SW/story-20566246-detail/story.html?005

I swear this happens every time it rains quite heavily, you think they would actually do something to help prevent it. Like maybe not building the track directly next to the sea-front, or building a wall capable of defending a wave. Finally there has been news that there is some funding being given towards building better weather defences and the Government has said they will ‘consider’ alternative railway routes into the region. Really though, there is a desperate need to invest in the Devon / Cornwall rail network as a whole. As counties very reliant on the tourist trade, you think they might want to make it feel less like you’re travelling to the other side of the world when you decide to take a train to Devon. Easily accessible surely equals a boost to the economy, right? I literally have no clue how the people with power fail to see this.

What gets me every time on this matter is the fact that the Government has previously baulked at the £100 million price tag of improving the rail network into Devon, yet this is a fraction of the £30 billion being ploughed into the HS2 high speed link from London to the North. When they already have high speed connections to the North, this seems ridiculous. I swear it just feels more and more like the South West is falling off the edge of the Earth; in my hometown they are also closing the local airport. Don’t complain about a bad economy when people can’t even easily access the region.

If only the local paper could channel their dramatics into issues that matter, rather than posting (albeit hilarious) stories about the local shop chasing some poor lad who stole some condoms (my favourite comment on that story has to be ‘Must of been a posh date’, #stayclassyPlymouth) or a post about Wayne Rooney tuning in to Plymouth based TV channel God TV to take his mind off Manchester United’s loss.

All in all, let’s be grateful the London transport system isn’t down for the six weeks the railway into Devon is likely to be; I think Londoners would quite literally be going wild and killing eachother in rage by then.

SJW x

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Sales Haul!

Fashion post without sounding up-myself yet still interesting, part 2.

Boxing day morning: the happiest I’ll ever be to spring out of bed early. Mumma SJW, my brother’s girlfriend and I were all ready, with our elbows sharpened, to hit the sales bright and early. Here are my tips if you want to feel like a God at shopping in sales, rather than a frustrated grump who just wants to go home. I’ll get the generic ones out the way first:
– Get there early. As in when the shops open early… no, not Next 5am early. That’s just mental. 9am – 10am timeframe.
– Consider each item’s price individually. Don’t look at the bulk of what you’re spending to start with, consider each item’s value and don’t just buy because it’s cheap.
– Shop in a small city. Sounds strange, but it really works. Less people here are after the most fashionable items, leaving more choice for you.
– Try on clothes in bigger sizes. Mainly tops and jumpers work really well oversized. This Christmas sale I bought a top which is 2 sizes too big, no harm in trying it on!
-Shop at both the start and end of sales. Usually new lines are added to sales and further reductions happen, unless you have been banned from shopping by then.
-Shop with your Mum. You may think Topshop is the only store to hit, but I’ve often found some great items (accessories mainly but the odd piece of clothing) in Marks and Spencer (look for the Limited Collection) and Next.

wpid-Snapchat-20140121101613.jpg

Right, end of the generic ‘ah ma gaaad, here’s my shopping tips bbz’. Onto the ‘ah ma gaaad, look at my new clothes!!’.

My favourite purchase of the sales (if that’s even possible to choose) has to be my new coat. Reduced down to £25 from £52 in Topshop, it’s my favourite colour. I have to give some credit here to my brother’s girlfriend who was definitely the driving force behind me buying it!

wpid-DSC_0371.jpg

£25, Topshop

I had my eye on this Next rucksack when it was full price, as my older one was falling apart, and this one was reduced to around £12 in the sale. The pictures have been taken from my trip to Ikea this week, and yes I am sat on a kids rocking horse, no disapproving looks please. Have to admit I sneakily got the rucksack into my Mum’s shopping so I’m not totally sure on price. (Thanks Mum!) Invest in your secondary school self and buy a rucksack, you won’t regret it.

wpid-IMG_20140117_181714.jpgwpid-Screenshot_2014-01-16-21-28-08.png

£12ish, Next

I can feel myself developing an obsession with rings and my newest addition is a cracker from &otherstories. Half price, I couldn’t say no to having a lion clutching my finger. Need I say more? Buy cool rings. Your friends will be jealous.

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£12, &otherstories

The final thing I’m going to picture is this t-shirt, which for £12 (down from £25), seems to me like a right bargain. It’s made by Escapology, which through more research is a brand created by Topshop. I’m not sure if it’s being continued, but it appears to be very print-based affordable pieces. I personally love the print and think it’s a great top to just be able to throw on; recently I wore it with black leather dungarees.

wpid-DSC_0373.jpg

£12, Escapology

Other items I’ve bought have included some fake leather trousers (invest in these), a maxi skirt with slits up both sides; looks amazing indoors, really blimming impractical in everyday life. Little bit windy? Trying to walk up the stairs on a bus? Do. Not. Bother. Aaaand finally, some shoes with cut out detailing. I wanted to picture these, but I’ve already worn them a lot and the shoe fairy (a.k.a. my mum, is not here to clean them), so I’ll picture something similar below. Highly recommend you buy some shiny socks to wear with them, I’ve heard Topshop and Primark have a great range of these at the moment.

cut out boots copy

Cut out boots, £74.99
http://www.newlook.com/shop/shoe-gallery/boots/limited-burgundy-leather-metal-tip-cut-out-ankle-boots_300337062

shiny shoes copy

For those of you who prefer flats, I love these cut out brogues, £32
http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?searchTerm=cut+out&storeId=12556&productId=12813300&urlRequestType=Base&categoryId=&langId=-1&productIdentifier=product&catalogId=33057

In other news, I’ve put myself on a shopping ban (#prayforSJW), saving for travelling America in the summer is in full force!! (I could do backflips about how excited I am about this!!).

SJW x

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Oh Hai There!

My very first blog post! It’s only been a few hours since I actually decided to start this up, but what’s life without a little spontaneity?!

A little about me: I’m SJW. I’m originally from Plymouth, Devon, but I now live in London as I’m a third year student of Fashion Management at London College of Fashion. So as you can imagine I have a wardrobe I struggle to shut, a Mum who would love to ban me from ever going clothes shopping again and shoes people can’t fathom how I walk in. I’d also like to set up from the start that I’m not a fashion school cliché; I definitely do not eat a single lettuce leaf a day (hate the stuff), I can add up (all hail A Level maths) and I don’t just wear pink on Wednesdays (okay, maybe that’s just in Mean Girls). I also don’t take myself too seriously…

My business is Slapdash, a trend-led womenswear business which aims to make fashion forward clothing available to all, regardless of their location. The idea was born out of growing up interested in fashion, but in a city where the high street wasn’t great, with small shops and basic ranges. I want to change this! I plan to make fashion accessible through a series of pop-up shops and by selling online. I’m still working out my business model, how I’m going to fund it and making some big decisions for my life after university, but I’ll guess you’ll hear all about that through this blog.

I’m not quite sure what to promise this blog will contain, I guess my life ramblings, hilarious stories, business activities (oo jazzy), maybe an outlet for quotes of the day from my flatmate… a screenshotted snapchat or two of my life. It’ll be joyous anyway, so make sure you follow me! 😉

My bed is calling me, thanks for reading, you’re a babe. Laterzzz x