Low-key big living

Tag: Find Your Style

Something borrowed – take a little #RoyalWedding with you

Something borrowed – take a little #RoyalWedding with you

Did you watch the royal wedding? It was the type of event that was hard to avoid, but has it happens, it was worth watching! After the initial wait to see the dress, there were the sweet little exchanges, the very popular bishop, and the […]

The dreaded ‘Dress Code’

The dreaded ‘Dress Code’

Confession time: I did another order from Everything5Pounds. I have mixed feelings, and this is why. I has been trying to resist fast fashion. Having said that, some of the items from E5P are excellent quality. The other reason for internal disquiet is that the […]

Is it really a bargain?

Is it really a bargain?

Fast fashion.

Once upon a time, the “skint” reason made sense. If my work shoes broke and there was only enough money for bills and a spare £12, I couldn’t go out and buy patent leather brogues. Buy I could by something for £9 that would get me through until the next payday, or maybe the next three. I had all the different shoe glues, and I could hand-stitch repairs like a pro. I did what had to be done. I also did what I though I deserved. How could I spend big money on something as frivolous as fashion? I felt embarrassed to spend money on myself in that way.

But now that the insanity of my teens and 20s are over and life is much more secure and stable (in every way), why am I buying things that I know won’t last? Many people are still in that position, and having been there I know how wonderful it is that there are budget places to buy clothes. And, to be fair, I still have some £5 items that have lasted for years. It’s a gamble, and sometimes it’s a necessity.

Now I want to think more about everything that I buy. The most recent item in my collection is a pair of boots for work. Three cheaper pairs I bought fell apart in the first week (I won’t name the high street store). So I went looking for something more dependable. I came across the Schuh 365 day returns. Most of my shoes only last a few months. Every time I throw a pair away (or put them in a shoe recycling bin when I can find one), it just feels uncomfortable. And that’s not just because I’m in new shoes.

It’s hard to resist a bargain, but if I can’t rely on it to last, maybe it’s not a bargain after all.

 

Not resolutions, just good ideas

Not resolutions, just good ideas

Happy New Year, and all that. You had a good Chrissy? A nice break from work (for some)? Laughed, drank, got fat? Good job. Have you set any new year’s resolutions? Ugh. No. No I have not. You know why? Because I’m really not that […]

Beautifying a Business Bod – How to accessorize a suit

Beautifying a Business Bod – How to accessorize a suit

I adore the crisp lines of a good suit. Executives, military, flight attendants; there are plenty of suited and booted looks that can draw you in. No doubt someone has done a study about why some work wear is just so appealing, but for me […]

Adding some international flavour

Adding some international flavour

Have you ever looked at a national or cultural outfit and wanted to borrow parts for yourself? Not that you want to encourage commercial cultural appropriation, but something caught you eye. The colour, the lines, the pattern, the fabric – something made you feel good and you wanted to be able to feel it again.
 
It’s easy to take inspiration from something without thinking about or acknowledging the history that may be behind it. Fashion choices such as ladies arm bands or dreadlocks have caused tension, not just in fashion circles but also in society in general. Certainly in the blogosphere!
 
 
Here are some tips for taking inspiration without giving offence:
 
  1. Know what the item/choice actually is and why you like it.
  2. Find out a little about its use in its country of origin.
  3. Work out what element of its significance inspires you so you can share that knowledge and positivity with others and acknowledge the significance.
  4. Honour and respect it.

For example, here is me in a kurti.
 
Why do I like kurtis? Well, I didn’t always. Before I tried wearing one I thought they looked like nightshirts, which I’m not fond of because they feel restrictive. But then I visited family in India. They all were wearing them as standard day-to-day attire and gave me some as a gift. As soon as I started wearing them, I loved them! The giant slits up the side mean they aren’t restrictive, they are as light and comfy as a t-shirt, but they don’t ride up at the back, and they always have a pocket. Plus, they colour and pattern choices are endless! But I particularly liked the plain tones on myself. I felt like I was wearing it as it was meant to be worn – a regular outfit, not a souvenir. The closer I got to my friends and family, the more comfortable I was wearing their clothes (literally wearing their clothes, I’ve been known to borrow outfits on occasion!). Kurtis are normal clothing, and I still wear them this way. Not as a gimmick.
 
Sometimes when someone sees me wearing one for the first time they ask about it, usually by asking if I got it in India. I tell them yes, and about how great it was to live like a local there. In general, people are quite curious about the world. If you have the opportunity to share beautiful stories about the world, I say “take it”.
 
 
Another cultural fashion choice I adore is a headscarf. When I played dress-ups as a kid, I loved the look of a scarf flowing down over my ponytail, like a wedding veil in reverse, or over my head like Red Riding Hood. These days I love the elegance of hijabs, turbans and head wraps. But I don’t wear them. These items have deep cultural significance that I don’t feel I can honour and respect in a way that I feel they deserve. And I definitely do want to be respectful. I also would wish that headscarves of any kind were seen as a positive personal choice, which sadly is not always the case.
 
But scarves themselves are probably part of all varieties of cultural heritage, one way or another. It’s the most basic item of fabric you can have. So I wear mine in hybrid ways and happily tell people why – whether it be me once again tapping into my eastern side, or showing support for friends whose clothing choices are inspired by their faith, or sometimes, just sometimes, literally just wearing a scarf.
 
In any case, respect is always good look.
Hair choices… sombre or ombre?

Hair choices… sombre or ombre?

I’ve been thinking about doing something new with my hair. I’ve always had a history of playing withcolour, but for the last five years I’ve been rather tame. Partly because I was being “sensible” (i.e. “corporate”) and partly because I was growing it long and […]

Working it: Eye Shape

Working it: Eye Shape

Once again, The Pool has sent me off on a research mission. I follow The Pool on Facebook and find it’s a solid 3-way split: 1/3 disagree, 1/3 agree, 1/3 “Oh hell yeah, right on, sista!”. The post that sent me searching was this: How I […]

Review: New Look “Yazmin”

Review: New Look “Yazmin”

 
I had been hunting around the UK for cheap high-waisted jeans for about a year and could not find any that fit. I finally came across the “Yazmin”. When did jeans all get their own names? I have a “Bailey” in my wardrobe as well.
 
But I digress.
 
According to reviews on the New Look website, the sizing has been changed recently so if you have previously not had any luck with Yazmins you might want to give them another go. Also, it’s not clear on the website image just how short the length of these jeans are (let’s face it, on a 5’9” model wearing ankle boots, any pair of jeans will look longer). These jeans are short. Let me say that again. These. Jeans. Are. Short.
 

What to look for in high waist jeans:

There are two main things I look for in a pair of high-waist jeans. Firstly, it should have a button fly. Zipping my belly tends to  make it sag a little, whereas a button fly is a firmer fit. Secondly, it should fit without a belt. This one is the tricky part because high-waist jeans cover more of the body than regular jeans, which means there are more areas to potentially not fit properly.
 

What the Yazmin jeans offer:

The Yazmin jeans are a skinny fit in a 7/8 length which is very much on trend at the moment. The fly is a combination of zip and button, but the button is on the belly region so it performs the same amount of firming you’d expect from a full button fly. I’ve gone for the black and it’s a soft black, not richly dark but not faded either. The colour options, along with the length, put them in the casual category. You can dress them up into a smart-casual look, but because if the length it’s really the footwear that will make or break your chosen look.

How they fit on a pear:

Miraculously, I can actually wear these without a belt. Strangely though, I still wore one for the first few weeks. I suspect this is just out of habit. They feeling of a belt gives me reassurance. I fought against this and have worn them for the last week without a belt and they stay up. Plus, they are more comfortable.
The zip fly is very short and I have had a few occasions of the zip coming down. Not sure what movement is causing this, but if I figure it out I will update you here. It’s probably just a fault in my pair.
 
In terms of comfort, they are very good. 2% elastane means that there is enough stretch for the areas that need it, but they are still firm enough to feel like jeans and not jeggings.
 

Overall rating:

Fit: 4/5
Colour: 4/5
Comfort: 5/5
Durability: 3.5/5 (mainly because of the falling fly issue)
Price: 4/5
Swimwear nightmare – the one-piece, one-style-suits-all nonsense

Swimwear nightmare – the one-piece, one-style-suits-all nonsense

Don’t run away now, but I’m going to talk about something that might scare you. It might make the acid in your stomach begin to bubble or hot fury rise up your neck. Swimwear. It’s okay. I’m not going make you try any on. I’m […]