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Five Days of Fashion

Oh haiii, here is (as promised) a post on fashion related things. I was going to do a week in pictures of my outfits but to be quite honest, I’m either living in pyjamas to do my dissertation (everyday is no make-up selfie day if you’re lucky enough to enjoy my snapchats) or I forget to take a picture (let’s get real, it’s mega awkward asking people to take pictures of your outfit). However, I have managed to pull together five pictures of outfits for your enjoyment / procrastination / lol-worthy material for today.

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This is an outfit I’ve been loving lately, consists of a denim Topshop dress (£38, http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/clothing-427/denim-897/moto-dark-acid-tee-dress-2438792?bi=81&ps=20), floral bomber jacket from Zara (£12 in the Christmas Sale, bargain!) and with a big gold necklace. I bought the dress a while ago, telling myself it would be great when I go to America (my best excuse for shopping at the moment). I’m pretty sure denim will still be big this summer, I’ve just spotted a denim boiler suit which looks ace! Plus this floral jacket is great in spring to just throw on.

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This was an official tomboy day, there was no lipstick and no heels involved! I’m really getting into t-shirts lately and this NASA one has been a favourite for a while (Tee and Cake, £28. Check out their range here http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/category/clothing-427/clothing-brands-1910272/tee-cake-996?noOfRefinements=1&cat1=203984&cat2=820009&cat3=820365 ). Worn with an oversized shirt I picked up in the Zara sale at Christmas, my loyal black skinnies and my dark purple Converse high tops. Topped off by my cross beanie, made by brand Alice Hannah but picked up in Topshop (http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/sale-offers-436/sale-799/accessories-809/gothic-cross-beanie-2440314?refinements=category~%5b398578%7c398526%5d&bi=21&ps=20, £7)

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I’m trying to wear this jumper less because I’m slightly addicted to it! Apparently made in Los Angeles from Topshop, now in the sale at £12, RUN TO THE SHOPS. (http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/clothing-427/tops-443/hoodies-sweatshirts-2289292/check-tri-marl-sweat-2678046?refinements=category~%5b1373604%7c208524%5d&bi=21&ps=20). Worn with a light denim shirt, and my double side split skirt I picked up from H&M in the sale a while back. It’s so impractical it’s ridiculous. You literally can’t walk along without it getting all caught up so I have to look like a pleb constantly trying to pull it out from my legs. Attractive, right?

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That friend who moved to New York for a year came back to visit last week. I guess it was alright to see him (ha, who am I kidding, I’ve missed that kid loads), but he bought me this t-shirt which he picked up at Reason Clothing which I love. He subsequently made me spill chocolate yoghurt on it (what a joker) but thanks to my A grade stain removal skillz, thankfully it came out. Nobody wants a dodgily grim brown stain on their top. If you haven’t tried Cadbury’s new Pots of Joy by the way, GO AND BUY THEM. They are literally incredible. (Fingers crossed Cadbury’s send me free ones for writing this).

Aaaand finally, my latest t-shirt which brings all the boys to the yard is this Topshop x Adidas Originals collection t-shirt. I’ve been waiting for this collection to come out for a while now, so when it came out last Thursday I visited a Topshop to see what it was all about (okay, official fashion nerd moment). It was all pretty cool but the shorts felt really naff and plasticy!? However, I liked all the tops and sweatshirts and I got this white t-shirt, which I wore out to The Nest, in Dalston, with leather shorts, heels and my metallic clutch from Dorothy Perkins. Metallics are looking like they’re set to be huge, particularly in accessories.

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Really though this is what I’ve been wearing. Form a queue, boys.

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Third year sucks.
SJW x

 

 

 

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Life in a Feminist Frock

Guess who’s back!? Sorry it’s been a while, it’s safe to say that the final year of university is truly a mountain to climb. I’ve hopefully already had my low point, and right now I’m feeling positive, just stressed and ridiculously busy. I can barely remember anything nor plan beyond the end of a week. I feel like I’ve been living in the library to get my dissertation done, just the other day I got chucked out by the security guard because I was the last person in there. Dedication, hey.

So what’s been going on, I can’t hear you ask? Besides dissertation, I’ve managed to get myself a great internship at the moment, in a Press and Marketing department of a vintage fashion brand, which I’m really enjoying and is a great experience! The thought of getting myself an actual job is however, a slightly more daunting task. I’m in that prime time of being asked what I want to do when I finish university, and no matter when you’re asked what your life-plans are, it’s quite possibly the worst thing to answer in life. Apart from perhaps if you get asked when the baby’s due when you’ve just over-indulged in a good meal. Anyway, I’d like to be able to say I’m going to leave university and start my own business and live happily in London. Unfortunately, I’m not rolling in the dollar. In reality, I hope to go into social media / marketing, perhaps in fashion, perhaps not. See where life takes me. I want to stay in London, but that’s dependant on earning a wage! I’m excited for the change, I’m hoping it’ll be a lot more rewarding than university was.

Don’t worry, it’s not the end of Slapdash! I want to earn some money, plan out where it’s heading and give it my all.

In other news, you might be aware that it was International Women’s Day recently. The more I think about it, the more I realise that I grew up with some sort of feminist influences on me. I’m not talking crazy feminist here, don’t get scared. I just believe in equal rights for women and am pretty independent. I guess it’s a result of some of the women in my family; my Grandma (and previous female generations before her) ran my family’s business and my Mum always told me to be an independent lady. I went to an all-girls grammar school for secondary school and I recently read a great article which summed up how this rids any gender gap in what you’re expected to be good at. (Read it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/19-signs-you-went-to-all-girls-school_n_3914785.html)
All-girls schools mean many things. There was definitely enough drama to turn Mean Girls into a TV series. Any young, male specimen that came within the school boundaries immediately became a God. Anything remotely to do with periods became okay to talk about, no shame. Quite frankly, I’m glad my ugly years were spent in an environment where men didn’t exist. It also means that you grow up with a mind-set that females can do whatever subjects they like. You want to be the president of the world? You go gurrrl. Dragging down those silly gendered stereotypes is something which I believe is really important these days. Not only for women but men too. Why should fashion be seen to be studied by women and engineering by men, for example!?

Feminism shouldn’t be seen as something which evokes images of women running around burning their bras. To me, it’s a really important value of equal rights, independence and choice. Freedom to fulfil the choice and paths you want to take. In the Western world, it shouldn’t still be so that women get paid, on average, less than men for the same role. People should be paid equally and have equal opportunities for promotion no matter their gender (or any other stereotype for that matter). Feminism isn’t about arguing over whether men should hold doors open for you or not.

I also believe that there should be more awareness of the treatment of women in other areas of the world. In so many cultures, women are mistreated and not given the right to simple things like education, solely because they are female. In another article I was reading, it brought up the violence against women. In so many cultures, violence against women, including rape, is seen as acceptable and this shouldn’t be so. Obviously no world will be perfect, but more awareness should be raised to educate and change the perception that women are inferior and that it’s okay to mistreat and violate them in such horrific ways. In particular, female genital mutilation is a subject which really irks me. It’s a horrendous practise with no known medical benefits and generally causes many complications. The thought that it happens to so many women actually disgusts me. Obviously it’s such a difficult subject as from the majority’s point of view, the issue with the practise arises from the physical force used to conduct it on children. However, within the culture, it’s seen as the norm and sadly women don’t have the independence to be able to step away from their circle and hence stop the practise of FGM.

International Women’s Day is about raising awareness of issues like these, just discussing them is important. Sorry about getting a bit deep for a blog post, but hey, equality is important, right!?

Next post is fashion related, I promise it won’t be such a long break!
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.

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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!

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£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.

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£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.

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£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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The Pitch; tears, bird poo and pies.

Bit of a ‘Throwback Thursday’ type post, but I figured that because I harassed everyone on Facebook / Twitter / everyone I work with to vote for me, you might want to hear about what happened when I went to pitch for Slapdash at The Pitch a couple weeks back now.

The big day started with THE worst morning of my life. Woke up fine (miraculous at 6.50am), got ready and tottered out the door of my friend’s house in Bristol (who has the bed of my dreams, SO comfy and up a ladder, with a desk underneath. Incredible). Then the nightmare began.

I went to pay for my car parking, realised I could only stay for 3 hours max and this white van man only added to my small drama by dramatically telling me ‘ooo love, you’ll definitely get a parking ticket if you stay over three hours!!’ every time he walked past me (which was many a time whilst he got his tools out the van, let me tell you). Time ticked by and I slowly came to the realisation that my booked taxi wasn’t turning up. Cue a rather nervy call to my Mum, I was meant to be at the place for registration for 8.30am, by now it was approximately 8.25am, and I decided the best option was to wake my friend’s housemate up so I could get back in the house, get my sat nav and drive to the place myself. Being an independent woman and all (ha).

Frantic apologies about getting the housemate to open the door so early in the morning over, I ran back to my car and received a call from the taxi. ‘I’m nearly there, just around the corner, sorry got caught in traffic. Where abouts is your house?’ … He was so ecstatic about me no longer needing the taxi he hung up on me. RUDE.

Let’s just say by this point I’m flapping big time. I try and drive in my heels, realise it’s impossible, kick them off and drive barefoot. In a blind panic I pull out a junction stupidly and have to reverse back into it, as I’m getting beeped at by traffic trying to come up the road. As I’m reversing I definitely did not lightly bump into a very nice black car. (Don’t worry, no damage, it’s all good. And I’m also a very good driver normally, promise). So by this point, I’m driving along in a major flap, hysterically crying every time I stop at traffic lights / in a traffic jam. Which when I think about it, was probably fricking hilarious for any pedestrians passing by. I get lost a good few times before I make it to where I need to be, and when I finally do, I could not find a parking space for the life of me…

A while later I finally park, compose myself, put my shoes back on and get out my car. On my way to walking to the building I feel something splat on my head. Yes, later that day I had to pitch to a room of people with bird poo in my hair. To look on the bright side, at least I’m brunette and the bird poo was brown…

I turned up 45 minutes late and sat in a daze about what just happened for the next 45. Let’s just say when my Dad and Stepmum turned up to support me and take me for lunch, I have never ever been more grateful to begin to be able to laugh at my nightmare!

Slapdash was in the ‘One to Watch’ category; for businesses which have yet to begin trading. We had three minutes to pitch our business idea to the panel of judges, some investors and the rest of the spectators in the room. I can’t say I remember my pitch but I felt it went well and I finished within the three minutes. We then went to question time and I got hit with ‘I just don’t understand your idea… why wouldn’t you just shop online?’. I genuinely felt like screaming ‘I have bird poo in my hair, please just give me a break!!’, but I passionately tried to explain that I’ve found that people don’t like paying delivery, hassle of returns and possibly the biggest factor (which I forgot in the heat of the moment) that people like to feel and try on before they buy. Honestly, I started to doubt that Slapdash was a realistic idea after that. However, afterwards I got some amazing feedback from other people who had seen my Pitch, who agreed there was a need for Slapdash and that the judge was too harsh. Which was a great round off to the day, along with the free pie and mash from Pieminister!

Unfortunately I didn’t win my category (Congratulations to those that did, check out www.thepitchuk.com), but overall it was a great experience; apart from the morning, ‘great experience’ not so much, but hilarious now I look back on it!

Apologies for a bit of an epic post, but I hope the hilarity saw you through!

SJW x