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: Engulfed

Do you ever feel like your surroundings are engulfing you? I know I do. They influence how I think, how I feel and certainly how I dress. Over the years my style has adapted to the surroundings I have been in and as a result, it has changed invariably. I like exploring how an outfit can fit in with it or go against the grain.

When I was at an all girls secondary school, everything I wore was about fitting in with the people around me. I fell into the awful trap of brightly coloured Ralph Lauren polo’s-shoot me-that epitomises that private school “chic.” Moving on to sixth form college is where my style really started to come into it’s own, it has definitely evolved six years on, but they were the years that taught me a thing or two for the now. I was surrounded by kids whose bank accounts knew no bounds. An example of this was girls with a different Birkin bag for each day of the week, believe me, that is no exaggeration. My love for luxury goods was born here (and never died, LOL) and it marked the occasion I bought my first timeless piece, the Chanel 2.55 bag which I still use to this day, duh.

Being at MPW, the college in question, taught me so much about how my individuality could be expressed through my outfits. I wanted to have a part in all the luxury but I didn't necessarily have the funding for it like the rest. So, I learnt how to make any outfit I wore look luxe just by how I presented it. I practice the same thing today by mixing high end with the high street. Style is, in my mind, all about adapting to where you are while maintaining your individuality. Clothing aside, I definitely felt being at that college started to engulf my entire identity. With hindsight, I can see how it did that, but I can safely say because of that it has taught me not to be entirely eaten up by everything around me. Instead, I use my surroundings as muses to inspire how I want to look at any given occasion, place or time.

Speaking of feeling engulfed, for this weeks look I have gone for an elevated and up to date version of what I would have put together if I were at college. From the jacket to the boots, everything is from Zara, a definite favourite high street store. The accessories are where the luxe comes out to play, wearing the very Chanel bag I mentioned and have had for 10 years. I decided to visit the area the college is in, exploring all the mews’s once more to shoot for this post. A place I was once engulfed and encapsulated by, revisited with a new stance and a fresh set of eyes.

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Teddy Jacket, Zara

  2. Faux Leather Trousers, Zara similar here

  3. Boots, Zara

  4. Sunglasses, Le Specs

  5. Bag, Chanel Sloane St

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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