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: Lithium

Lithium

/ˈlɪθɪəm/

noun

noun: lithium; symbol: Li

1 the chemical element of atomic number 3, a soft silver-white metal. It is the lightest of the alkali metals.

◦ lithium carbonate or another lithium salt, used as a mood-stabilising drug.

Needle in. Blood drawn. Three working days. Results. Every three months (if I’m being good about it) I have to go through this process to check the levels of lithium in my system aren’t toxic and are within therapeutic range. It’s strange, right? I’ve literally got the stuff inside batteries running around in my blood. One of my brothers actually told me this officially makes me the Duracell battery habit in the adverts, LOL. Whether or not I want it to be, it is a part of me, and the odd hand tremor here and there serves as an obvious reminder.

I’ve been on the stuff since I was 19, and believe me it’s not been a straightforward journey these past 6 years. It hasn’t been the only medication iv’e been on in an attempt to level out my mood. At one point one of my Psychiatrists had me on 7 different things on top of lithium in one go. It’s safe to say I was one hell of a fat zombie at the time. Now I am just on the one thing, I don't really notice it all that much, apart from having to pop 4 pills of it every night. Doing that has become second nature though. I don't really think about it, think brushing your teeth twice a day, it’s just routine. If you look at me, you wouldn't know that I take medicine let alone know that I have Bipolar. Ultimately the only reason I feel different to others is because said others make me feel that way through their reaction, not because I really am. Anyone living with a mental health related diagnosis will know what I mean, you live with it every single day and in the end it is your normality.

If you've read my blog so far you know the drill by now; this topic features an outfit I have curated to go with. I have opted for the very party season appropriate metallics. I am loving this pewter knit from Zara, it provides a different take on the usual sparkle from sequins and I can’t wait to style it in all sorts of ways. Being the magpie that I am, I have teamed it with my Valentino Tan-go pumps and Fendi Silver Du Jour bag. It all just works together without being OTT. To me this outfit represents what lithium is to me, from the inside out.

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Metallic Sweater, Zara

  2. Velvet Bomber, similar here

  3. Metallic Pumps, Valentino

  4. Bag & Sunglasses, Fendi previous seasons

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Dressing up the Dictionary: Identity

5ft 4, brown skin, mid-length dark hair, big eyes, slim(ish), resting bitch face with an air of ambiguity are some of the things that sum up my external identity. Who I am isn't just what you see on the surface, and that is something using social media has really got me thinking about. Instagram in particular creates this overall sense of “black and white,” only two very extreme versions of yourself are put on display - your image and what your selling through your image to all your followers. It begs the question, what happens to all that grey matter which makes up who you really are? 

Well, my grey matter is composed of being 24, diagnosed with Bipolar, a Muslim woman, South Asian, a sexual assault victim, a sister (of THREE brothers), an introvert, shy, quiet, anxiety ridden, hyper organised, a mental health advocate, a campaign assistant, list obsessed and so so much more. You don't get to see those things in photos, you probably wouldn't even guess it. Of course you can’t see these things duh, nonetheless, they make me who I am and effect how I choose to portray myself. Having worked in environments where identity was heavily scrutinised made taught me I don't need to focus in on just one aspect of who I am - for example being a Muslim woman - instead I want to explore my identity as a PERSON on a whole. 

Sharing my looks and my lifestyle isn't a matter of falsifying elements of my life. I tirelessly put tonnes of energy into what I put out there. Every image is tied to a mood, a feeling and a thought, all of which I set out to share with you through my writing. In that respect I am trying to set myself apart from the usual “look at me and my amazing life” set we see everywhere. My life isn't always amazing. I don't always look how I do on the days I shoot my looks. The days that aren't so great like when I am just running errands, working and even sometimes being incredibly lazy and watching too much Netflix, make me all the more grateful for those where I am doing what I love: writing, shooting my curated outfits and seeing it all come together on my blog. 

This weeks look is just one example of many to come, inspired by my thoughts on how identity is portrayed on social media. As the saying goes “nothing is ever black and white” hence this monochrome ensemble. I’m making my point, even down to the stitching in the garments everything is black and white. See, all that thought! Theres definitely always more than meets the eye. 

A. x

Shop the look:

  1. White Shirt Body, Zara - Similar here

  2. Trainers, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand

  3. Bag, Fendi

  4. Sunglasses, Fendi

  5. Libra Coin Necklace, Vanity and Rose

  6. Amelia Gold Necklace, Cinco Store

  7. Oval Ring, Annina Vogel

  8. Crown Ring, Annoushka

Photography by Hayley Ku'unani - Instagram @thoualone

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