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: 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

Dressing up the Dictionary: Animalistic

One trend this A/W 18 I have been so on board with is animal print. I have always loved it and in all honesty, I used to have an apprehension about wearing it before now because it’s so bold. The kind of bold which gets you perplexed looks on the tube… I mean, it’s not as if I have been wearing anything zany, it’s just that people can dress so boringly these days and aren't used to seeing something different. As a result of the trend blowing up right now my wardrobe is, not so slowly, filling up with various animal print patterns ranging from leopard to snake with the odd feather in between. I’m literally obsessed.

On a deeper (and maybe more obscure) note, I chose the word Animalistic for this look not just because of my obsession with the print, but also because these days I like animals more than I do humans. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and family, but people in general can just be so… meh, basically. I sometimes look at my cat Mink and want to be her instead of being a human. Life just looks so much easier for her. She gets fed, she has a big old house to roam around in at her pleasure, she gets to sleep all day and she basically doesn't have to worry about anything. Also, let’s face it, when a cat is sleeping the levels of ultimate comfort and coziness are majorly enviable.

As Doris Day once said: '“I’ve never met an animal I didn’t like, and I can’t say the same about humans.” Yes, Doris, yes. I feel you.

Alright, obscure note aside, I have opted for a very instagrammable outfit this week (if I do say so myself). This Zara snake print skirt is hitting the nail on the head with the animal print trend, and I love the tones and the smaller details like the buttons along the top. I decided to pair it with a very cozy black jumper from Acne Studios, which I shrunk in the wash, but you know what? It totally works and I still love it. To finish the look off I wore my winter go to over the knee boots (they kept me so warm!) and oversized shearling jacket to add a masculine contrast to the femininity of the skirt.

I mean, you just can’t go wrong with a bit of animal print in your life, and more importantly you certainly can’t go wrong with loving animals. If wearing the print is the closest I will get to being one, then yeah I am totally on board. Thank you A/W 18!

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Black Wool Jumper, Acne Studios

  2. Snake Print Skirt, Zara

  3. Suede Over the Knee Boots, Stuart Weitzman

  4. Sunglasses, Celine Similar here

  5. Bag, Gucci

Dressing up the Dictionary: Pretty

Am I pretty? Do other people think I am pretty? Does the person I like think I am pretty? What does being pretty even mean?

Pretty, in Pink

It’s all just too deep. I know your supposed to love yourself and not seek validation from others, but heres the thing; I do. I don't rely on it, but without some sense of validation from others, I don't think I would know how to see myself as “pretty” entirely on my own. Also the fact of the matter is, I know I am, but it never hurts to hear it! Don't lie to yourself, we ALL think this way at some point in time.

Because it is too deep, and because the word itself suggests something a tad more superficial, my look this week is a reflection on the face value of what being pretty is. Familiar with the phrase “pretty in pink”? I mean, if not, you gotta get out of that rock your under. It’s an age old saying that stands the test of time. When I want to feel pretty in a whimsical kind of way, I think of that saying and in turn the colour pink. They both translate the dictionary definition of “being attractive in a delicate way” all too well.

I have wanted to get my hands on the perfect mohair blend jumper in a dusty pink and while I haven’t got my most desired one from Acne Studios (yet), this one from H&M does the trick. I must say they are killing it with their knitwear this year. On top of that I feel the need to add an edge to my outfits, which can often be seen as very polished, hence the fishnet tights alongside the more feminine skirt. While shooting these images I kept saying to my friend “ugh, I feel like this is too pretty for me!” So, I guess I was hitting the nail on the head for the topic this week! I felt exactly that in this outfit and it was exactly what I was going for. Sometimes it can be makeup, sometimes it can be clothes and sometimes (on a deeper level!) it can be someone else making you feel that way. Looking at the face value of the word serves as a reminder that yes, anyone can make themselves feel pretty on the outside, but it takes a lot more to feel that from within. Having said that, why shouldn’t you be able to do the former anyway? It’s all about perception in the end and as Tyra Banks says “you gotta fake it till you make it!” I’m totally inclined to agree.

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Pink Jumper, H&M

  2. Over the Knee Suede Boots, Stuart Weitzman

  3. Bag, Chanel

  4. Rectangular Hoop Earrings, Astley Clarke

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