Suede: The Textile of the Season

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Milk It at ASOS Suede Patchwork Dress | Zara Jumper | Zara Bag | Topshop Shoes | H&M Hat (similar here)

Fashion has a funny ability of being able to look to the future and look back to the past at the same time. We may all like to look a little retro (it comes from our love of dressing-up) but that doesn't mean that you want to look as though you're lost on the way to a 70s themed fancy dress party.  Whilst retrogazing back to the 70's, pulling back some of the best references (Gucci, Etro, Saint Laurent SS15 shows anyone?), this season couldn't resist reviving one of the most popular and versatile fabrics from that decade: suede. 

The suede trend is SS15's answer to old boring leather. So smooth and shiny is out: soft, downy fuzziness is in. If you find yourself residing in the Minimalism fashion tribe this season, suede will strip away some of the harsher elements of this trend and add some soft, luxe texture to your look.  

Because most of us can only dream of owning a Gucci suede belted coat, I've compiled a list of the high streets best suede items below. Mango will be your go-to store for anything suede this season. 

 

Suede Skirts & Shorts

The classic leather mini skirt is reinvented this season in a softer, downy texture. Whist it's still a bit cold, pair with polo necks and oversized knits. For the warmer months of SS15 get hold of a sheer pussy bow blouse.

 

Suede Jackets & Coats 

Update your wardrobe this season by getting hold of a suede coat or jacket. Soft tan leathers can be paired perfectly with denim to nail the 70s trend. 

 

Suede Shoes

90s minimalists rejoice: even the beloved trainer has been given a SS15 update in bold colour pop suede. Retro style over the knee boots look best in hues of burnt tan. 

 

Suede Bags

Want a bit of suede but don't want the investment of buying a whole coat that may only last a few seasons? Work the SS15 trend with total versatility in a super-soft suede bag. Hobo and drawstring bags have the boho feel that will run through the whole season. 

Get Naked: My Top 4 Nude & Natural Matte Lipsticks

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Left to Right: 1) Bobbi Brown Nude Sand 2) MAC Velvet Teddy 3) MAC Kinda Sexy 4) Mac Yash

First off, I'm a red lip addict. From deep berry reds to sunburst orange hues, it's my favourite colour to wear. However, it's hardly the most practical lipstick. If you've ever tried to eat a burger whilst wearing a perfectly classic red then you don't need me to tell you that - the red smears all over your chin and nose will say that for me. So my everyday colour is often something more nude and natural. As a tan-o-holic, I opt for darker shades of nude that err on a natural side to avoid that whole 'foundation-lips' circa 2003 in secondary school thing. Seriously, why was it ever acceptable to make your lips the same colour as the rest of your face? So here are my top 4 nude and natural lipsticks for tanned skin tones. 

 

1. Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Colour in Nude Sand

Although allegedly discontinued, I'm pretty sure they have a stash of these Bobbi Brown creamy matte lip colours in Selfridges on Oxford Street because every time I've ran out they've been able to replace it. I first came across this colour because my mother purchased it online before trying in store (rookie error) and didn't like it. It's perfect for a deep, mocha/mauve take on nude. Friends described it as 1990s grunge/goth lipstick, if that's what you're into. 

2. MAC Velvet Teddy

Ah, the holy grail of all matte nude lipsticks thanks to Kylie Jenner's infamous real/fake/real/fake lips. It's a deep-toned beige that make your lips look so soft and full they look almost pillowy, with just enough colour to stand out against most complexions and avoid foundation-lips-fiasco that you might get with other nudes. The problem, that I'm sure you already all know, is that MAC's Velvet Teddy is nearly impossible to track down. I had two, dropped one to its watery grave down a drain, and managed to get hold of another one by sheer luck on the MAC website as a spare. Just keep checking back because they will come in and out of stock! It's the closest you'll get to Kylie Jenner's lips without shelling out £100 for some fillers...

3. MAC Kinda Sexy

Weirdly, MAC's Kinda Sexy was another one of my mothers finds. I'm not quite sure what made her pull this lipstick out of the stand- perhaps she's struggling in a midlife crisis and needs to redefine her sexuality? Whatever it is, thanks Mum, for bringing this soft, neutral pink lipstick into my life. Way more of a natural than a nude, MAC'S Kinda Sexy is like "your lip colour but better" with a matte finish that's just a little bit like dusty rose petals. It's Velvet Teddy's girlier sister. 

4. MAC Yash

If you can't get your hands on Velvet Teddy or think it's a bit too dark, then MAC Yash is a great alternative. It's a slightly paler and peachier nude and looks beautiful against glowing tanned skin. 

Is Instagram Killing Your Self Confidence?

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It's just a casual Sunday afternoon and I'm scrolling through Instagram. What does my explore feed look like? 

Well, there's a flat lay with a Daniel Wellington watch, some coffee at some new independent coffee store in East London, a gazillion street style photographs, some semi-naked men with beards and tattoos, Dermot O'Leary, and about 27 pictures of cats. Oh, and did I forget to mention that almost every other photo is of a bikini-clad babe snapped on a Thai/Australian/Californian (delete as appropriate) beach? Complete with serious abs, thigh gap, and the kind of hair that looks like it got photoshopped out of a L’Oreal advert. Sometimes it's even captioned with an inspirational quote that basically translates into "you too could have a perfect life if only you looked just like this"

And if you don’t look that good? Then your life is just crap, obvs.

Cheers for shitting on my Sunday afternoon, Instagram. I'll just go back to my cold desk and eat another bagel and watch as my tan fades into the same shade of magnolia as my bedroom walls.

It’s already established that social media can be detrimental to our wellbeing, but there’s a good chance that Instagram is killing your self-confidence more than Twitter and Facebook. It whittles down the elements of social media that are most likely to cultivate feelings of self-loathing: photos, likes, and followers. It’s like being at secondary school all over again, looking at the popular girls with their great bodies, gang of clone-like friends, and hot boyfriends (although they are all now fat anyway).

When you're constantly bombarded with pictures of women that are this idealised image of perfection with 50k plus followers and 3000 likes per picture, it doesn't take that long for thoughts to seep into your mind that to have perfectly toned abs, arms, a Kim Kardashian style arse and a thigh gap is actually way more common, and more ‘normal’ than you may have thought. You then begin to compare yourself, identify your flaws, and slowly this sense of dissatisfaction crawls in and begins to eat away at your self esteem.

Our self-image can be warped under the pressure of social media. It turns into a vicious cycle of liking photographs of things we like, desire, and want that have appeared in the infinitely scrollable explore feed. And of course the Instagram algorithm creates this explore feed “based on people you follow”, which for me just so happen to be ridiculously pretty women with seemingly perfect lives, wardrobes and bodies. So next thing you know, you’ve been sucked into the black hole of insta-babes and being force-fed more and more of it.

One of the biggest issues around Instagram is that it by being a mobile app, the images are perceived to be more ‘real’ in comparison those seen in magazines and billboards. We all know how much photoshopping goes into advertisements and editorials, but we often take what we see on Instagram for truth because it’s supposed to be behind the scenes, real life snapshots. Even if we know that these people we follow may have edited the pictures using other apps, we generally trust the fact that what we are seeing is reality, taken candidly on someone’s iPhone. 

Putting yourself online creates a lot of transparency: anyone with an internet connection can see you and judge you. So of course you’re going to want to appear your best to this infinite number of people that might virtually stroll past your profile. Who doesn't want to feel liked, appreciated, and attractive? Our Instagram profiles become a carefully curated version of ourselves that hides the flaws and pushes our most positive physical attributes. Curating reality warps our self-perception. We are pulled into a cycle of constructing our perfect virtual self, but when we see others profiles we take that as pure reality.

So what do you do when you feel a bit self-loathing after an Instagram explore sesh?

Put it into perspective

Is it really real? I may have just posted a selfie or outfit post, but chances are I might not have taken it at that very moment. People are never going to post an image where they look like a vile spotty teenager (unless feeling adventurous for a #tbt ) they are going to post something that looks fun and attractive. Right now I'm writing this wearing my mum's pyjamas, greasy hair scraped into a bun, and no makeup apart from what little remains of last night... (forgive me beauty bloggers, for I have sinned.) Would I put a picture of that on my Instagram? Hell no. I'm more likely to take one of the BLT sandwich that I'll probably have for lunch, next to a copy of The Sunday Times because I want my profile to look pretty and consistent. So when you see something, look at it through the eyes of curated reality.

Stop Comparing Yourself

We're all different. We are all individuals. You will never be that person in the photo, so what’s the point in comparing yourself? It is only ever going to maximise the things about yourself that make you unhappy.

When you think of something negative, replace it with a positive 

So you're sitting there scrolling through your feed and thinking "Jesus her nose is so perfect and better than mine dear god why don't I look like her why??" Stop with the negativity. Think of something that you like about yourself instead. Say your eyes, or your lips, or eyebrows. See somebody having an amazing time on their holiday? Whatever. Sure, you might just be sitting on your bed shivering because your housemates switched off the heating, but you don’t need to worry about getting sand in your pants and having super dry sea-washed hair. Winner.

Only a small percent of the population actually look like this

It may be taking up 95% of your news feed, but only a small percentage of the human population look like this. Just remember that. 

 

5 Reasons Why Wide Leg Trousers are Your New Fashion BFF

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Topshop Top | H&M Trousers | Forever 21 Bag* | Topshop Shoes | H&M Hat

It's been long established now that one of the biggest trends for SS15 is the Seventies. Every store you look in or magazine that you open is saturated with sepia tones, double denim, and styling that looks like it has been copied directly from some sun-bleached vintage Woodstock photos. Having been a skinny jean convert for around 8 years now, I decided it was about time to move on and find a new go-to fashion piece. Welcome the wide leg trouser, my personal game changer for this season. This silhouette has always scared me slightly: I have deemed it far too dramatic in all of its swooshy, flared glory. After all, wide leg trousers were my wardrobe staple during my Sk8r Girl days (thanks for that, Avril Lavigne) and that's not a part of my life I've been overly keen to relive... But now they seem way more Studio 54 glamour rather than a grungy-punk-teen-diva. Here are my 5 reasons why wide leg trousers are your new fashion BFF for SS15.

  1. They are basically pyjamas. Let's face it, who really wants to wake up and get out of their pyjamas? I'd happily stay in mine all day if I could. You know those scraggy but oh so comfortable tartan pyjamas your mum bought you for Christmas 6 years ago? These are better. Light, airy, and baggy enough to swoosh about the house in. Lazy dressing never looked quite so chic. Pair with a kimono jacket for a seriously relaxed seventies PJ vibe. 
  2. Amps up the glamour factor. They may feel and (sorta) look like pyjama bottoms, but they also have all of that glamour from a 1970s Vogue shoot. Elegant, timeless, and disgustingly chic, think Bianca Jagger in Studio 54. Now all that's needed is a rock star husband. 
  3. The fit is a game changer for Pear Shapes. All you pear shapes out there answer me this: are you fed up of trying your size on in skinny jeans and slim fit trousers to find they are super tight on your thighs but then about 2-5 inches big on your waist? If I was an emoji right now, I'd be the little brunette girl sticking her hand in the air. But the joy of wide leg trousers means you can buy the size that actually fits your waist, because the loose legs means you're not going to be squashing all your thighs into something as restricted as you get with skinny fits. This leads me to number 4...
  4. They are super flattering. Fellow pear shaped ladies take note! There's such a joy in wearing something so tent-like in silhouette: it hides your thighs, accentuates your waist, and lengthens your leg, meaning your body is getting completely balanced out. 
  5. They make your bum look great. Now I won't promise that these trousers will turn you into Kim Kardashian. Who wants an arse so big that it has its own gravitational pull anyway? What I will promise you is that wide leg trousers will definitely enhance your assets (sorry, simply could not resist the pun). Whether it's big or small, I guarantee a pair of high-waisted wide leg trousers are going to make your bum look peachy AF. 

Thank you, Fashion Overlords, for reincarnating wide leg trousers from the grungy pop-rock grave they shared with Avril Lavigne. 

Here's my edit of the best high-street wide leg trousers online


Like Girls & Boys? Then You'll Like Girls & Boys Magazines

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What is it that's still so special about picking up a heavy, high quality bi-annual magazine? Of course the obvious reason is that you can take a wonderfully cliche Instagram picture next to your latte (bonus points if it's a green juice that tastes like dirt) and let your 15k followers think you are so magnificently cultured for straying past your usual commercial choice of Cosmopolitan. But there's more to it than just those 350+ likes. 

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Girls magazine and Boys magazine are bi-annual printed and online publications celebrating new model talent. Printed on beautiful matte paper, every page features minimal black and white photographs of the industry's upcoming girls and boys that capture their personalities in a way no regular editorial usually would. Working closely with the model agencies, the site was created as a platform for brands and casting directors to head to for new talent. 

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If I asked you to reel off the name of the top female models, most likely you'd hit back with Cara, Kendall, Jourdan, Gigi... or something along those lines. As for the guys, you'd probably struggle after David Gandy, and timidly offer up the suggestion of David Beckham as a desperate attempt to fill in the gaps of your male-model knowledge. But if you really want to know who's going to be landing the best campaigns and walking in next seasons shows, then this will be your beautiful persons bible. 

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It's publications like Girls and Boys that show that no matter how far we move into the digital world, there will always be a place for print. 

For more photos, check out their twitter and instagram. Just please don't blame me if your self esteem takes a slight hit after staring at these beautifully chiselled people.