20 things I've learned in my 20s

DENIM DUNGAREE DRESS UK FASHION BLOGGER
Am I an adult or a child? The outfit says unsure
I turned 24 this year, and I can safely say that your 20s can be a turbulent time. For me, they have achieved the status of being the most unsettled period of my existence so far.

Having gone from a very steady, clear and focused life with my parents to uni with the safe anchor of a boyfriend in-between, I had no idea what I was in for when I was thrust into the real world as a single adult.

At uni I carved out my own friends and life, prior to the relationship with my boyfriend breaking down and becoming single for my final year, which was semi-turbulent, yes, but not really, as the single life works well with the uni life and it's kind of expected. 

After graduation I moved home, got some internships and ended up back with said boyfriend. At this point, I still had a vague plan, a plan that I had mentally run through for years while in a relationship. My boyfriend and I would stay at home for a year or so until we both had good jobs and savings, then we would move out into our own place in a city. Unfortunately, my boyfriend did not share the same desire to live in a city or leave home at all. Inevitably, we broke up.

Since this point, my life has progressed in a lot more unpredictable of a manner than the original plan dictated. And this is what I have learned:

1. Living on your own and having a full time job is more expensive than you'd imagine. Seriously, every time you leave the house it costs money and when you're living on your own you're going to want to do this frequently.

2. People will let you down – don't let them do it twice. Friends, colleagues, boyfriends – I've learned that not every friendship, relationship or job situation will pan out as you imagine. Nobody's perfect and if you want to be happy you can't rely on others. If someone lets you down more than once, in most situations – like, not with your mum for forgetting to add avocados to the weekly shop – just cut ties. It sounds harsh but life is too short to surround yourself with people or situations that aren't good for you, I've spent far too much time hoping people will change.

3. Soon enough, none of your friends will have access to a student discount code you can 'lend' and this will be a sad, sad day.

4. Very few of us know what we want to do or in fact, what we are presently doing with our lives. We might think we know on graduation, but a few years into adult life we may realise the original plan is not for us.

5. Deciding what to do with this decade is not easy. The decision between investing your time in your career, simply earning as much as you can, doing that Masters you always kind of wanted to, or making the most of your youth and going travelling is probs one of the biggest dilemmas of our age group. 

6. It is very, very difficult to know whether you should be dressing like a sophisticated adult who has their life together or the 18 year old you are at heart. This has led to very bizarre outfits for me consisting of dungaree dresses and fishnets one day and a blazer and pointed court shoes the next.

7. You will think you're mega rich when you get your first pay cheque, but you will soon realise that life costs A LOT of money. I bought my All Saints jacket with my first pay cheque, and I don't think I will ever feel this frivolous again. 

8. At some point, you will use Tinder and it will lead to many mixed emotions. You will more than likely (only if/when you're single, hopefully) spend a hungover Sunday swiping primarily left through some very questionable humans. You'll question humanity on reading their bios, despair at the idea of ever having a boyfriend and experience confidence boosts from the few flattering Tinderians you thought worthy of a right swipe. You will then be too scared to actually go on a date with them, but at least you entertained yourself for a few hours and got confirmation that you do look alright in your best ever selection of photos.

9. Two day weekends are very difficult to adjust to. Three years in and I am still not coping, surely it is inhumane? We need at least three days to have fun, get our personal lives in order and recover from all of this.

10. You will question everything about yourself. A lot. From your attractiveness to your intelligence to your ability to hold down friendships and relationships. Everyone is doing completely different things at this stage in their life and this can make you question your self-worth. At one point I had my 'dream job', people messaged me begging to know how I did it and if I could help get them in. And while it was great in many ways, it wasn't as joyous as it seemed. Not only was I spending a large chunk of my day stuck in traffic, the working environment itself wasn't healthy. The business was run on fear and no one was happy. So don't judge a book by its cover and definitely don't envy people who appear to be doing well.

11. Exercise. It can be hard to find the motivation but JUST DO IT. There are so many physical and mental benefits.

12. You might cry,  and it will most likely be on a Sunday. My cousin and I coined the term 'Sad Sundays' because any random incidents of sadness tended to happen for both of us on a Sunday. Probably due to being hungover, not doing much and ultimately facing the prospect of Monday. My Sad Sundays only occurred in the few months after I became single and had started full time work. You work all week, look forward to Saturday, have a blast then suddenly you're nursing a headache, it's raining, it's a whole six days till you're free again and you don't have a boyfriend to give you sympathy (in my case). If you're going through this, I feel ya. Get yourself on Tinder as per point eight for a speedy dose of attention and a much-needed ego-boost, or better still, go for a delicious Sunday Lunch bc food is happiness.

13. All you really need to succeed is willpower. If you really, really want to achieve something, chances are you can if you set your mind to it. If you feel you're failing at something, ask yourself if it's what you really want and if you're doing everything humanly possible to achieve it. 

14. You have to make actual life changing decisions. On your own. Yeah, where to go to uni was a big decision but once you graduate you need to decide where you want to live (which can have a massive impact on your career and personal life), what you actually want to do, whether you will rent or buy, whether you will travel or thrust yourself straight into the 9-5 life. Even dating at this age is a hell of a lot more significant than it was in uni/college. If you end up boyfriend and girlfriend this may be it for life. You won't realise in a month that you actually fancy the guy from the year above who gets your bus and switch, you'll probs get married, unvoluntarily adopt each others families and be stuck together forever... OMG.

15. Semi-related to the above point – don't feel pressure to be in a relationship. HOW do some people go from relationship to relationship with zero break?! In my experience it's just not that easy finding someone with the same goals as you who wants to be with you and who you also find attractive. But TBF it did take me 17 years of my life to get into relationship #1, so I'm fully mentally prepared to wait another 15 years for the next one to transpire. Patience is a virtue. 

16. Do what you love. This doesn't mean you have to be doing your dream job. If not in work time, do what you love in your spare time, for me it's blogging and writing, but it could be anything from being in a band to photography or painting. Make sure you do it and you never know what will come from it, but if nothing else, happiness and self-fulfilment will.

17. Look young? People years younger than you can, and will, now flirt with you in clubs. Never let the conversation get too far without asking someone's age. I often interrupt people mid-flirt to cut to the chase with this, and more often than not, they think I'm asking because they're significantly older than me. FML.

18. Comparing yourself to others on social media is simply counter-productive torture. Don't do it. They're probably looking at you thinking you have way better legs/style/home than them while you're looking at them thinking they have way better hair/boobs/car. Everybody is different and comparing yourself is a pointless task that will get you nowhere with improving yourself. Read a book or go to the gym instead. 

19. See the best in people, but don't expect it. Be nice, but be wary that some people might take advantage of you for it.

20. Being single and free can be the most liberating and exciting experience in the world in your 20s. I can do what I want, live where I want or travel where I want. It's selfish but I don't have to consider anyone else when making plans and that is a huge benefit. Additionally, I'm not afraid to do things alone anymore. The first time I realised I didn't care about going to a café by myself was so freeing because previously I was relying on another person to also have the same desire to go to said café (this café can be a metaphor for many things in life). 

This place between childhood and adulthood may not last forever, but enjoy it while it does because we will undoubtedly miss the freedom that we currently see as uncertainty when we are tied to a mortgage and real life responsibilities. 

Let me know if you relate to the above or have any points of your own!x


SS17 trend: Eighties Fever



SS17 Eighties trend fashion blog
Isabel Marant, Saint Laurent, Rodarte, Rodarte, Haider Ackerman

Hello! I've decided to do trend posts, featuring a wish list of my favourite high street pieces that have been inspired by the catwalk. And I'm starting with the Eighties because how beaut were the Eighties inspired pieces?! I am loving the metallics, minis and fringed leather jackets.

While this trend could be a massive leap out of your comfort zone after the minimalistic trends of the past few seasons (/years) I think it's about time we all went a little bit extra with our evening wear (and yes, I am drawing the line at evening wear, because as much as I love this trend, I'm probs not going to step out in a sequinned mini dress or gold trousers during the day).

As well as sequinned minidresses, high shine materials, one-shouldered or off the shoulder styles, puff-sleeved detailing and OTT fringing as seen above, there was an abundance of stilettos, larger-than-life earrings (which I personally am not finding appealing atm because I'm stuck in my 'tiny ring and stud from Urban Outfitters' ways, which you can kind of see here), ruffles and bold colours (see below for a hot pink blazer).

My main NEED piece from this trend is the leather jacket. The one below is from Topshop, but you can get similar versions from Etsy for around £30-£100. As much as I love my All Saints Balfern leather biker jacket, I think one of these styles would be a great investment to mix it up from time to time, as I am a leather jacket addict and wear them farrr too much.


THE FLORAL DRESS & BAND TEE





 Dress: Topshop
Jacket: Urban Outfitters
Top: Topshop
Boots: Asos
Sunglasses: Asos

Despite having already shot this beautiful floral Topshop dress for this post, I had to use it again because it's just so versatile (as I think I mentioned in said post, along with the fact I have also worn it as a skirt).

I really love mixing girly pieces with edgier items like buckle boots, band tees and oversized denim, so the 'Floral Punk' trend that is everywhere in SS17 (black florals with leather, metalware, black lace etc) is right up my street and I will 100% max out on it!

I think this would make a great festival outfit too so I may well be wearing it yet again for Reading Festival next month - as long as it isn't as muddy as Leeds was last year because if so, I am going to require my Hunters fo sho.









My Top 10 Films

I'm not one to often watch TV or films, I'm far too fidgety and my mind always drifts to something else I should be doing. I need to practice mindfulness, I know. However, there are a good few films out there that have really captured my attention over time, you know those that stay with you afterwards and even possibly impact your perspective on IRL things?

My dad is a pro at turning the living room into a cinematic experience, so I love settling down to watch a good film at my parent's house. If you're looking for a good option, however, here's some advice from the pro himself - definitely, definitely go HD (4K preferably, which is about 4 times more detailed than original HD - I would not wanna be an actor in this day and age!), 'size is everything' so don't scrimp (personally I also wouldn't recommend going too large if you're working with a small space, you don't want the room to be 90% screen). and invest in a surround sound system. The Panasonic 4K TV range is a good place to go, as they look swish and stylish too with minimal frames.

Anyway, once you've got your viewing set-up sorted, I highly recommend having a watch of any of the below you haven't already seen:

1. Almost Famous 

Almost Famous is loosely based on the director, Cameron Crowe's experiences and the 70s rock band/groupie scene. The slightly geeky protagonist leaves his overprotective mother who wants him to become a lawyer, to tour with a rock band, and write about it for Rolling Stone magazine. Not only is this film hilarious and insightful, part of my love for it comes largely due to the inspiring 70s styling, which is just brilliant. Kate Hudson in this film is aesthetic goals.

ALMOST FAMOUS

2. The Boat That Rocked

I love any film related to rock music I think. Another brilliant, comedy-drama. I haven't watched this for a while now but it's one that, at the time I remember laughing at so hard and really enjoying the whole rock 'n roll vibe.

THE BOAT THAT ROCKED

3. The Shawshank Redemption

Until last year I had never seen this classic, I have now seen it a total of once, but it's a must for this list – and as you can see by the above, I don't just choose classics for classic's sake.

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION

4.  Amanda Knox

I was reluctant to include a documentary on this list but honestly, this documentary about the Meredith Kercher murder is so fascinating. Primarily because Amanda Knox, who was imprisoned for four years for the murder of her housemate features as a speaker in the film. How the filmmakers got her to agree to it is beyond me, because even if she is innocent, it's all still very controversial. It's fascinating to hear her side of the story and the side of the authorities to the point where you can psychoanalyse their facial expressions and emotions.

AMANDA KNOX

5. Pulp Fiction

Gripping and a great soundtrack. There's not much more to say, it's a winner!

PULP FICTION

6. Django Unchained

While most films have me scrolling Insta half an hour in, this is a strong attention grabber – and holder. I thoroughly enjoyed Django, with its mix of drama, action and history, from start to finish. I'm actually craving watching it again soon TBH because I can't even fully remember it now, woops! I swear it is good though.


DJANGO UNCHAINED

7. The Lion King

Because nothing has ever affected my emotions as much as when Scar lets Mufasa fall into the path of the stampeding wildebeest.

THE LION KING ANIMATION

8. Boyhood

Because it was filmed over 12 years with the same cast and follows the story of growing up. The realest Bildungsroman.

BOYHOOD FILM

9. The Notebook

Cliché for a reason. I challenge you to watch The Notebook and not cry.


THE NOTEBOOK

10. The Big Lebowski

For the lols. The protagonist, a middle-aged guy, gets mistaken for a millionaire and all unravels from there in the most unlikely yet HILARIOUS fashion. A must-see for all.

THE BIG LEBOWSKI

Let me know what your favourite films are, I always love suggestions!x

8 must-have investment pieces



I'm going through a bit of a strange style phase at the moment. Whereas sometimes I know exactly what I want and what suits me when it comes to fashion and style, right now I'm a bit lost - nothing in the shops is really exciting me and I just can't seem to find anything I absolutely love or want to spend my money on.

In times like these, it's important to remember the classics. And invest in any you don't have if you have a need to spend money... At least this way you won't be wasting $$$$ on some bizarre trend that you don't really like and will only wear for one month.

All Saints


1. Leather biker jacket

You probably have one already, but this has to be on the list. Personally, I have about 5 - a H&M one, a Zara one, a Topshop one and an All Saints one. All faux bar the latter which was a great investment as it has halted my constant purchasing of new faux versions. Ultimately I have probably saved money...

I'd highly recommend All Saints' Balfern jacket, with its relaxed shape, chunky hardware and super soft leather it can transform literally any outfit from standard to edgy and stylish. It looks great over wide leg jumpsuits, floral dresses and with jeans and a tee.

I've realised while creating this post that I do not have many outfit posts featuring my beloved Balfern. I am shocked and appalled and promise a change.

Topshop


2. Black jeans

A good pair of black jeans, either skinny or straight leg, will get you far (or at least from your desk to the pub). I like to pair them with baggy floral blouses and ankle boots for gigs, meals out, the pub etc, a nice shirt and flats for work and a big fur coat in winter.

However, I do I like to keep them up-to-date by investing in slight variants on the style over time, because let's face it, plain black jeans can get boring even if you style them in 789,327,389 different ways. For example, in 2014 I had simple black Topshop Joni jeans, then in 2015/16 I swapped them for the more on-trend ripped jeans, and now I have my eyes on these lace up beauties.

Zara

3. Ankle boots

I wear ankle boots every season, yep, including summer! I think they look just as good with thick tights or cropped jeans in winter as they do with bare legs and short hemlines in summer. They're comfy, they go with almost anything - what's not to love?!

I usually purchase mine from Topshop or ASOS, then wear them to the death. And sometimes beyond - my favourite 60s style boots from 2016 developed a rather large gap between the upper layer (not sure of the technical term) and the sole, meaning any slight puddle would lead to complete soaking of the foot - yet I wore them anyway. If I had any doubts as to the high levels of puddles in the UK I am no longer under any illusion.

I'm not even going to link you to an example of how I wear them because almost all of my outfit posts feature ankle boots so just browse the many styling options here if you wish!

Topshop


4. Breton striped top

This is possibly my favourite classic. Actually it's a difficult one to call, but it's close. The striped tee will always be on trend, always be incredibly versatile when it comes to styling (wear with dungarees, jeans and trainers, a floral skirt) and usually it will be super cheap too. Cost per wear will be incredible on this item.

Check out how I styled it here - this outfit made it on to Topshop's style gallery!

Jack Wills


5. The Trench Coat

I've been hunting for the perfect trench coat FOR AGES. It's the only one of the classics on this list that I haven't yet conquered, but having recently discovered Jack Wills' how to style a trench coat guide and incredible range of options (I just can't decide between the Dollyhill and the Duncombe), I don't think I'll be without one for very long.

Don't get me wrong, I have purchased trench coats before but for one reason or another they haven't been perfect, either too orange (I like a cool beige shade) or too wide-shouldered, or too long. So I think perhaps it's time to stop hunting for a cheaper option and invest in a decent, high quality trench.

If you have found the perfect trench coat, please do let me know!

Ray Ban

6. Classic sunglasses

Whether you prefer round metal Ray Bans, Aviators or oversized 70's style sunnies - invest in a style that suits you because sunglasses improve almost every outfit in my opinion.

Casio


7. A Casio watch

Yep, I'm an accessories fanatic, so I also think this watch is a must. I can't live without a watch and this one, which you can find online for under £20, is lightweight for a start, so you barely know you're wearing it (as opposed to my chunky DKNY watch which attacked my hand when changing gears in the car, often leaving visible marks – like seriously, going from 4th to 3rd was a nightmare of epic proportions for the back of my hand), it's digital, minimising confusion – which actually does often come with design-led watches, as proven by my mum's inability to tell the time when wearing her numberless, spangly Gucci thing. And it has alarm functions – none of which I have ever used purposefully, but nevertheless, I can assure you it has them! Plus it's been fashionable for years and the fact that they're still selling it in Urban is surely a sign that it's still cool.

Birkenstock


8. Birkenstocks

Okay, so they may not be fashionable forever, but I reckon they will be for a while because they are SO COMFY. This is like a skinny jean phenomena all over again. Except they're not actually that flattering, at least not for someone with skinny legs and large feet like me. Oh well.

These are all my personal favourites, but please let me know if there's anything you think I've missed! x