The Wide Leg Striped Trouser

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Topshop Striped Wide Leg Trousers | Topshop Polo Neck | Topshop Leather Jacket (similar here) | Zara Bag | Zara Mules (similar here) | ASOS Fluffy Keyring

It's not even the end of January yet and I've already successfully fulfilled one of my Style Resolutions for 2015. Experiment With New Silhouettes. Of course, they are only a pair of wide leg trousers. Where's the drama with that? 

It may be one small step for flare aficionados, but it was one giant wide-leg stride for a skinny-jean obsessive such as myself. As I said in my previous post about body confidence, I sometimes worry that adding volume to an area that is already somewhat voluminous can make me look super-sized where I would way rather downsize. But fashion is all about experimentation. It's all about how you feel. I once read some advice in I-D that said buying an item of clothing which you know deep down isn't really you, will always mean you feel like a tosser wearing it. Usually I would completely agree, but what is fashion without having a bit of fun? 

These trousers definitely are not a classic Sophie piece. Screaming out against the bleak wintery streets of London in all of their bold, garish, blue-striped glory, I felt like a bit like a kooky art teacher wearing their Grandpa's striped pyjama bottoms. And I loved it. 

There's a retro elegance to the trousers: high waisted, wide-leg, long vertical stripes. It was like almost suddenly I was transported back to 1970-something. I should be wearing a boldly clashing pumpkin coloured top, working my way down a soul train line, and stacking it at the end in my blocked platform heels.

Get me to a disco. Pronto

Bodycon(fidence)

Topshop Skirt | Topshop Top | River Island Boots | Zara Bag

There was this one time that I ate pizza. And then I cried. Hilarious and rather embarrassing, really, looking back at it...

 The logic (if there is any) behind the tearful breakdown was the sensation of a post-pizza guilt-wave pouring over me: I could literally feel the cheese melting into my thighs and becoming part of my being. Looking down at the half eaten pizza, the pepperoni may as well have spelt out "you fat bitch" for all I cared. Because that's exactly how I felt. Like a Michelin man made out of mozzarella.

Pathetic, isn't it, considering I'm a UK size 8 (sometimes a 10 on the legs and bum, if we're talking post-pizza). But when you are working in an industry where images of idealised perfection bombards you continuously it feels almost normal to maintain a little bit of self-hatred, despite being completely healthy. My confidence is forever being destroyed by Kendall Jenner's abs and legs... The truth is, no matter what size anybody is, everyone is going to have something they don't like about themselves. It's completely normal.

So what makes me feel slightly better about myself when I feel like a total chunk of cheddar?

  • I remind myself that if you don't like something, you should either change it, or accept it. I can't seem to accept the fact that my thighs have the circumference of approximately 5 of my heads, so I'm eating less pizza, doing more squats, and eating more carrots (hopefully until my thighs are then the circumference of a carrot...)
  • Fashion is a mode of creating and channelling confidence, so use it. Known amongst my friends as the Queen of Oversized Knitwear, sometimes it feels so good to hide yourself under a chic roomy jumper (I'm telling you, nothing hides rolls better than roll necks). But then weirdly, what also works for me is wearing something bodycon. No short basic bitch bandage dresses, but sophisticated, sexy pieces and show off the right curves. The way I see it is like fighting fire with fire, or maybe fighting lack of body confidence by showing off my gargantuan arse? Either way, do what makes you feel happy. 
  • Don't take what you see so seriously. Instagram is a curated gallery of an individuals' best photographs. We think it's more real life than what we see in magazines, but the truth of it is nobody is going to upload a photo of themselves that's so bad it'll make them lose followers rather than gain followers. 
  • Everyone's idea of perfection is different. So don't let what other people think is perfect make you feel imperfect. 
  • No matter what size you are, there are always going to be things that you're not happy with: having or not having body confidence isn't size specific. 

  • And if you want to eat pizza, then eat the damn pizza. Just don't cry about it afterwards like I did...

Cue cliche but very true girly quote: 

You will never look like the girl in the magazine. The girl in the magazine doesn’t look like the girl in the magazine

Specs Appeal: The Pros and Cons of Geek Chic

One thing that I've always been aware of is that in the case of a zombie invasion, my chances of survival are pretty low. I'm not a very fast runner, I'm not very strong, and without contact lenses or glasses, I have very bad eyesight. It would be just too easy to mistake a blood thirsty zombie for my mother, leading to a very confusing, painful, and most likely life threatening embrace. 

I needn't worry about any impending zombie invasions anymore, however, as I have prepared and bought some trendy new glasses to keep me seeing everything clearly. But with the popularity of wearing glasses as a fashion accessory or a sight-seeing tool at an all time high, it's forced me to evaluate the pros and cons of being bespectacled (zombies aside.)

 

Pros

Hiding Your Face

Ever wanted to look like somebody else? Well glasses can (sort of) help you do that. In the same way that sunglasses do, they hide part of your face, so can instantly take you or somebody else up a few notches on the hotness barometer. 

Earlier this year I dated a guy who one day came to meet me in a pair of new glasses. By some kind of divine miracle of plastic tortoiseshell thick frames, he all of a sudden looked just like the one and only David Beckham. I sat there praying he would never take them off, but because they were just fashion glasses, the reality of him removing them at some point in the evening was pretty high. Perhaps I could accidentally fling my dinner knife into his eye rendering him slightly blind and in need of wearing real glasses forever and ever? 

Later that night when he took off his glasses, it's safe to say I took off home... The specs appeal was gone, and so was David Beckham.

 

Visually Delete Somebody

Have you ever been somewhere with somebody so annoying that the mere sight of them makes you want to rip your eyes out? Well with glasses, you can basically do just that. Simply take off your glasses and all that's left is a skin coloured blur. It's like magic. 

 

You're so much hotter

Not only do you now have the quirky sex appeal of an American high-school movie geek stereotype, but when you take off the glasses you can't see the bloated evidence of the Five Guys burger and two portions of chips you just demolished. 

 

Cons

Getting Steamy

Scenario 1: It's winter and you're on the way to a bar. You have already pre-imagined your entrance to a bar wearing your cool new glasses. But then you walk into the bar, and your glasses steam up almost instantly. Blinded, once again. James Bond-style entrance ruined.

Scenario 2: You're kissing a very sexy man, but you cannot see him because of all the steam that has appeared from having someone breathe all over you. There's nothing good about this situation. 

 

Getting in the Way

The hot nerd can be a bit of a fantasy for some people. But I'm telling you, nothing is less sexy than having someone's greasy blackhead covered nose all up in your frames. Think of the smears! 

 

Losing Your Glasses 

What happens when you lose your glasses? Nothing. You can't find them because you can't see them. Game over. 

 

Putting on Makeup

If you're as blind as I am (-4.5 to be precise) then you'll know that putting on your makeup without contact lenses in is a whole different ball game. Unless your nose is about 1 inch away from the mirror then chances are you will overdo your eyebrows, and apply too much bronzer. Clowns wear glasses too you know... 

 

London Hotspot: The Goodlife Eatery

Sunset Salad

Goodness Bowl

Chock Norris Shake

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January. It's that time of year when everyone makes promises to themselves to eat less crappy food, consume more vegetables, drink less alcohol, and to be a better person.

Cue the onslaught of new gym memberships and all of the places on my thrice-weekly Legs Bums and Tums class being booked out. Brilliant. 

So rather than squatting my way through January at gym class on Sunday, I took myself down to the Good Life Eatery in Chelsea to indulge in some serious health foods instead. It might not have been some aggro gym instructor screaming "PULSE PULSE PULSE" at you, but it beats caving into a roast dinner. 

The tiny restaurant has only 25 seats and they don't take reservations, so it was lucky we managed to get a table for four within 5 minutes. We all know how completely boring healthy eating can really be. You come home from work to a plate of dry grilled chicken and bland steamed vegetables. But somehow The Goodlife Eatery have managed to make the food fun, fresh, and completely delicious (possibly through the extensive amount of ingredients used) 

Being a sweet potato addict I had the Goodness Bowl. If you're the kind of person who loves variety on their plate then this one is for you: sweet potato falafel, a kind of asian slaw of cabbage, cashews and a fresh gingery dressing, a mixed bean salad, sweet potato dip, and half an avocado topped with seeds. Eating healthy never tasted this good. 

But when it comes to health food extras, I wont pretend that I like them. I'm actually still convinced that people who say they love healthy and green juices made with spirulina and wheatgrass are actually compulsive liars that want to look like they enjoy health food because being healthy is now tres chic. Either that, or they have simply burnt off their taste buds with all of the crazy juices they've been pumping down their throats and cannot tell that what they're drinking actually tastes very similar to licking a frog. 

With this in mind, what kind of idiot goes and orders a chocolate shake in a health food restaurant? Me. That's who. I'm that idiot. The Chock Norris Shake was pretty disappointing. Made with banana, almond milk, blended raw cacao, there's only so much faking indulgence you can really do before you realise what you're drinking actually tastes a bit like dirt. The food didn't compromise any of it's incredible taste by being so strictly healthy, but the shake tasted a bit like eating a Freddo you found in a backpack you wore to school when you were in primary school. At £6 I should have just reaped the benefits of an ice cold glass of water...

If you're on a new year's health kick and in the area then it's definitely worth popping in to for some food! Maybe even skip the gym for it... it might free some more space up for me at Legs Bums and Tums... 

Styling Tips with Avenue 32

Inspiration is endless when you work in fashion. I always consider myself lucky to work in such a colourful and dynamic industry. Your surroundings might not always be completely glamorous (think working from home in pyjamas) but something beautiful and stylish is only ever one click of a button/flick of a page away.

Whether it's some girl in the office wearing a vintage scarf in a way you never imagined, or your editor coming in wearing new Celine, there's always some serious styling tips to be shared in fashion. So when Avenue 32 asked me to be part of their e-book of styling tips alongside others in the fashion industry - as well as Made In Chelsea's Rosie Fortescue - I couldn't say no to sharing my favourite tip. 

Check out the full e-book here for the full compilation of industry insider's style tips!