Dressing up the Dictionary: Discomfort

I wish I could say that a little bit of discomfort doesn't hurt, but it does. Well, that depends entirely on what we are talking about, in this case I am referring to human interactions. They have the propensity to make you feel so painfully uncomfortable. I have decided that I am going to take to task my approach on what comfort means to me. Just like you can’t have light without seeing the dark, you can't gauge what you're truly comfortable with without going through something uncomfortable.

It’s no secret I am a major introvert, as introverted as one can get basically. As a result it doesn't really come naturally to me to know how to be in social settings. I mean, I don't do stupid things in place of “normal” things, it’s that I don't know what to do at all. Legiterally I’m the kinda gal you'll find quietly observing a situation rather than getting all up in your face. Through interacting with new people lately I have learnt that my INFJ self has built a massive protective wall around me. I don't even put myself out there enough to feel any discomfort, perpetually living in a bubble of my own making. 

Seriously, how do I know for sure that the comfort I have been living with for 25 years is real when it could be because I have been protecting myself against the things that have brought me such discomfort in the past?… I mean, is it REALLY comfort or is it fear? To answer simply; it is largely fear based. I am afraid of being hurt, being rejected and not being liked. So what do I do to not feel those things? Just avoid any situation which may cause them. Obvs. 

Alas, that will be no longer. I have slowly but surely been putting myself out there, doing things I wouldn't ordinarily, even when it has sent me into internal anxiety overdrive. Through any discomfort I am seeing how valuable it is to hold myself in high esteem and understand my boundaries. That within itself is a challenge, because it forces me to see outside of my black and white thinking. Which leads me to this words look; an expression of what is comfort to me in all its monochrome glory. While I embark upon my journey to a grey space, I can at least outwardly project what I am comfortable in, right?

A.x 

Dressing up the Dictionary: Hopeful

Hoping is born from both negative and positive situations. Honestly without it over the years I definitely wouldn't have gained some of things I really wanted. The old saying “if you don’t ask, you don't get” comes to mind, and when you think about it, asking is the same as hoping. Woah, totally just got into a head spiral over that thought. 

Anyway… existential thought process over, lately I have neglected discussing anything mental health, which is very much part of my every day. If you have read some of my blog posts already you'll know that I am diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and if you haven’t, well, now you know. I suppose the topic isn't one I can just whip out in a blog about a guide to buying the cosiest coats now, can I? In any case, I wanted to take this topic as an opportunity to point out why I really believe in the importance of hoping. 

Given the nature of being extremely depressed, it’s a no brainer that one would lose ALL hope about everything. That includes living, which yes, is very deep but very very true. I have had periods of time where I stopped believing anything good could ever happen to me, frankly because I didn't see the point anymore. It’s a dark and abyss like feeling. Coming out of that mood and state of mind sheds new light on the positive things about life. I see them differently and with more hope than if I didn't come out from that black vacuous hole. 

As I set out on this blogging path I am hopeful for all the things I can get out of doing it. For example, I hope to own this beautiful coat from Verheyen London one day. I want to keep buying the luxury items I am total sucker for whether thats straight from the store itself or second hand from places like Vestiaire Collective. I hope to become the presence I am aiming to be and make a living out of this. The thing is too, I can only hope about these possibilities because I can’t foresee my future and what it may or may not bring.

The other great thing about hope is that it has taught me to be grateful for what I have already, it’s likely I would not have those things without having hoped for them. Like good old Epicurus said “…Remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Leopard Print Coat, Verheyen London

  2. Straight Leg Jeans, & Other Stories

  3. Bag, Gucci via eBay, similar here on Vestiaire Collective

  4. Pointed Perspex Heels, Gianvito Rossi via Vestiaire Collective, similar here

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Dressing up the Dictionary: Aloof

Switch off. Shut down. Isolate. Disengage. Whatever you want to call it, it’s all a part of being aloof.

I have found myself in this mode for various different reasons. As I sit down to write this, I am feeling an overwhelming sense of wanting to hide away and honestly just not bother. It very rarely has anything to do with having no motivation or willingness to engage, it’s actually quite the opposite. Believe me, I want to, for the better of myself and my future pursuits, but sometimes the world we live in and the people around us leave me feeling at a loss about how to do it.

Over the years, I've learnt how to force myself to take part in all the things I need to even when I don't want to. Buuut there are times when you just can’t keep up the facade anymore. Ironically, even when I am not intentionally being aloof I somehow give off the impression I am, however, it’s for a far more deeper reason like being catastrophically depressed. Either way, I guess it has a part to play in my existence whether I want it to or not.

This time round, I find myself asking “why is there a total lack of honesty and transparency in so many layers of my life?” Everywhere I turn there is never ending confusion whether that is at home, with individuals at work and in my social life or with my blogging pursuits on social media. Where do the lies end? When do things start to make sense? How do I stay really really true to myself?

I don't have the answers to the above questions and I don't consider myself a saint in the matter either. Because of all these things it really isn't any wonder why one would like to turn off the switch button, shut down the mind from external exposure, live in a cocoon of isolation and disengage with “reality.” Consider this look a fashionable take on the conspicuously uninvolved, if you will.

A.x

Shop the look:

  1. Patent Trench Coat, Similar here (RAINS at net-a-porter.com)

  2. Flared Black Jeans, J brand, Similar here

  3. Black Cropped Sweater, J Crew, Similar here (& Other Stories)

  4. Platform Leather Boots, Zara (on sale now!)

  5. Sunglasses, Le specs Similar here

Dressing up the Dictionary: Expectations

It’s a New year and I have a whole new set of expectations. They can fall flat or be exceeded and until things happen you forever live in the unknown. I used to get the worst anxiety about a year ending and not knowing what was going to happen, but not this time. 2018, to quote Ariana Grande, thank you, next. I am so ready for all the challenges I will face this year, especially because I have found my footing with what I want for myself. So what is it exactly that I expect in the year to come, you ask?

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What I learnt last year is there really are two things which remain a constant: change and of course, your expectations. In fact, they totally work hand in hand. Everything you expect is always changing but you have them nonetheless. Of course, change is an inevitable fate and it doesn’t cease to exist. What 2018 really opened my eyes up to is the notion of “anything can happen.” It was the things I least expected (or didn’t at all for that matter) which changed so much for me, including what I expected from myself.

I expect to push myself outside of my comfort zones, to try and explore the things I love doing and not stay home so much (as cosy as it is), to learn, to love and most importantly I expect to be valued and to value myself.

I am excited to see where this year takes me, especially now that I have embarked on this blogging journey. At the beginning of 2018, I didn’t anticipate I would be doing what I am doing now. But by the end of 2019, with my new path and a clearer direction, I expect to see a growth from the hard work I put into writing (and shopping hahaha) in my pursuit to dress up the Dictionary. Plus, it means I get to hang out in très très chic places like this one (The Hari) which always makes for a great photo. For this words look I wanted to portray what expectations can look like in literal way. Just your every day jumper and jeans but with the addition of those red bottoms as a symbol of what I expect for myself; the very best.

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Pink Mohair Jumper, H&M

  2. Straight Leg Jeans, Topshop, Similar here

  3. Pointed Sling back heels, Christian Louboutin, Similar here

  4. Necklace assortment: Amelia Pendant - Cinco Store, Zodiac Pendant - Vanity&Rose, Mother of Pearl Pendant - Astley Clarke , Chanel Pendant from a selection at the Bond St Boutique

Dressing up the Dictionary: IRL

Doing it for the gram, every single day…

We are all living in this world via social media, more or less. It’s what “real life” has become and it’s all just a tap away on your phones screen. As a result, it’s really hard to distinguish what is actually real and what isn’t, the line is so blurry that we are thinking our own lives aren’t good enough because we are comparing ourselves to what we see of others all. the. time. It begs the question, how much of what I present to you is really true of myself?

Well, I want to keep things as real as possible, but I know there are certain tricks of the trade which mean I inevitably give off the impression my life is a certain way, when perhaps it might not be. That’s not to say that what I put out on social media didn’t happen, it just may not be happening that very moment.

So, for this blog my outfit and location is about keeping it really real with you. We shot on the streets I walk on everyday in West Dulwich where I live, and my outfit is one I wear all the time, whether a photo of it is taken or not. You can’t go wrong with all black and a touch of gold! With it being winter, this is my go to jacket and has been for years now. I practically live in it. All in all, and on a daily basis, I like clothes you can just chuck on without much thought and yet look totally chic anyway.

Yes, I curate an image of myself that I present to you. Yes, I work from home so you know what? Most of the time I am in loungewear (I think my next post will a guide to loungewear, as a self proclaimed expert in that department!). Yes, it’s me in the photographs, I am not catfishing your asses. YES I do own and cherish all the things you see, but they don’t make me who I am in my entirety. These photos don’t capture the nitty gritty, the struggles and the anxiety. I know I know, it’s unlikely anyone shares those things in their lives on social media because they are very personal. Nonetheless, I am telling you that they are there, nearly all of the time. Just because I share carefully chosen snippets of my life does not mean that I live a perfect one. Who does!?

A.x

Shop the look:

  1. Satin Jeans, Topshop (Now on sale!!!)

  2. Leather Shearling Jacket, similar here (H&M) and here (All Saints)

  3. Mini Leather bag, Balenciaga

  4. Boots, Gucci