Question: what do three single Londoners do when Galentine’s Day happens to fall on Pancake Day? They celebrate with pancakes and martinis, obviously. Christopher’s Grill, Covent Garden offers the perfect place for a little upmarket luxury in the heart of London. It has the ambience and air of a decadently expensive restaurant without the price tag. The lighting is low and the quality of food high.
I used to be guilty of wearing prescription-free glasses as a fashion statement. Apparently, the universe took this as a sign. After months of squinting, headaches and a noticeable decline in my sight, I booked an eye test. Turns out that not only did I need glasses, but I’ve got a considerable disparity between my left and right eyes.
Finding the perfect hotel in Paris was, and still is, a mammoth task. Hotel Panache, Paris is the perfect balance of affordable and aesthetically pleasing. Hotel Panache fits the perfect trifecta of location, style, price A 15 minute walk from Gare du Nord and scant steps from Boulevard Haussman, it’s ideally located for us out-of-towners.
Cath Kidston has just dropped some new pieces from their new Spring/Summer ’18 collection. They’re just as whimsical and magical as expected.
Finding inspiration to blog over the last year has been a losing battle. Fortunately, as I type this, I’m in a good place. The previous 12 months have been trying. “Uncovering” Weinstein’s abuse exposed a spiders web of systemic sexual abuse that continues to grow. 450 people were injured and 58 people died in one of the worst mass shootings the US has ever experienced. Devastated by Hurricane Maria, the island of Puerto Rico is still without power.
On a micro level, times were also tough. There were breakups and breakdowns, hangovers and hangups and one too many nights staying in and recovering from the stress that life dishes out.
The beauty of the New Year is that is holds the promise of change, of reincarnation. It means progress and growth. So even if you are a rigid resolution-follower or you make them knowing you won’t remember them by February 1st, 2018 should be the year of you.
I struggle with mental health issues and sometimes self-care falls to the bottom of my to-do-list. This year I’m setting myself the challenge to make 2018 the year of you. Taking care of yourself and your health can be an uphill battle. Starting January 1st, I’m going to start a monthly series where I outline self-care tips that put a focus on making yourself feel great.
Let me know in the comments the resolutions you’re making to start (and continue) 2018 in the best way.
The words “affordable designer fashion” sound too good to be true. However, an enviable couture wardrobe is 5 simple steps away.
1. The £100 Rule
Do not spend more than £100 on a single item – and yes that includes P+P. This is my personal rule of thumb when it comes to affordable designer fashion and it hasn’t failed me yet. While this may seem like a measly sum when shopping upmarket, don’t be fooled. Considering triple figures the maximum, will help you find a healthy balance between your wardrobe and your wallet. In exceptional circumstances (like when Balenciaga is on sale), don’t be afraid to be a little flexible. Just the other day, I broke this rule to by a stunning pair of Frye Engineer 8R Boots. I’d be lusting after them for years, and I found them at Revolve for a little over £100. You can check out how I styled them here.
2. eBay is Your Friend
While the ideal scenario would be dropping a few thousand pounds at Harrods every week, unfortunately we’re not all billionaires. For British buyers, using the American counterpart at eBay.com offers you better prices. There is greater competition between sellers, therefore buying from the US is easier on your wallet. On the other hand, prepare to face some possible import charges for your troubles. Do a little maths and determine whether it’s cheaper to buy overseas or domestically. If you lust over pieces from ShopBop and Revolve, you’re also more likely to find brands that aren’t as popular in the UK (such as J.Crew and Camilla Franks). IRO boucle jackets can be found for under £100, as can Frye Boots. You want it, they’ve got it. Be brand specific in your searches and try not to impulsively buy just because the price tag is practically a steal.
3. Secondhand Is Also Your Friend
I feel like I’m betraying my most guarded secret in sharing this one, but we’re friends, right? There are a number of websites that sell secondhand designer clothes for incredible prices. Just between us, my go-to is always Hardly Ever Worn It. It has a handy filter tool where you can choose your maximum price, which cuts down those heartbreaking moments where you see that outstanding dress before you realise it costs more than your car. Hardly Ever Worn It (or HEWI) highlights certain products that have never been worn. So if you’re uncomfortable wearing preloved clothes, there’s still plenty on there for you to browse. Similar to eBay, show caution in your buying.
4. Estate Sales Are More Like A Creepy Uncle
I stole this incredibly morbid trick for affordable designer fashion from Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS. Sites such as Everything But The House host estate auctions of practically everything, but they do have a pretty amazing array of designer clothes too, often in bulk. Not everything listed is haute couture, but you will find some great staple pieces from brands such as Prada, Chanel and Burberry. This could be also be a thrifty way to make a little money on the side. Buy products and bulk and sell them individually – but you didn’t hear that from me. However, estate sales are undoubtedly a bit of bummer, so you’re worried about bad karma, try tips 2 and 3.
5. Outlet Shopping Should Be Done Sparingly
Outlet shopping is hit and miss, especially in shops such as TKMaxx. I bought my killer IRO tuxedo power jacket from TKMaxx for only £99 but I had to wade through mountains of unwearables to find it. Huge retail parks, like Bicester Village, attract fashionistas from across the UK. Unfortunately, outlet shopping is best saved for when you have a little chunk of disposable income you want to invest into your style. Often places such as Bicester Village and the Burberry Factory Outlet in Hackney (also, online stores like The Outnet and Saks Off Fifth) are great for splurging on statement pieces. If you’re looking for wardrobe staples and big savings, it’s best to steer clear of outlet shopping.
Although they may seem glaringly obvious, things like changing shopping regions and finding the perfect secondhand store honestly makes a huge difference to your bank balance.
What is your best piece of advice for finding affordable designer fashion? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
I need to be painfully honest when writing this: Port Eliot Festival 2017 was the first festival I’ve ever attended. I, Katie, was a festival virgin.
Recently, a friend of mine asked me to weigh in on what I like most about London’s independent bookshop scene. She took a quick quote, and I’m delighted to say that it has since been published in this amazing article on The Urban Watch. Click the link, head over and check it out.
5 Great Bloggers Tips They Don’t Want You To Know
- Check the weather. When the weather is poor, as is often here in Blighty, check out that new exhibit at the V&A that you desperately wanted to see or go watch that film you want to review. Natural light, and therefore clear weather, is better for taking blogworthy pictures. So plan your blogging around the weather as best you can.
- Keep your colour scheme consistent. Make a note of the colour HEX codes you use, it will save you having to meander back through your settings every few minutes. Try colourlovers.com to find brilliant palettes which, blessedly, also list a variety of codes to help you personalise your blog.
- Tweak your blog constantly. Personalise it to the hilt. Add a profile shot. Update your “About Me” page. Connect your social media profiles. Optimise your navigation. Format your font for readability.
- Don’t forget a “Contact” page. Whether you’re wanting to blog to vent your frustrations or in the hopes of it becoming your new career, make sure your readers can get in touch. Reply to their comments, show your gratitude that they took time out of their day to reach out. Adding a contact page adds another medium through which people can interact and it gives your page an “official” vibe.
- Blogging takes time – more time than you think. Between editing your photos, finding your bloggers voice and perfecting post format, you should set aside a decent chunk of time to put it all together. Whether it takes an hour or six, allow yourself an extra 25%-50% leeway to dot your “is” and cross your “ts”.
For more help try these killer posts: How To Rock Your About Me Page (by A Problem Like Maria) & 17 Things You Should Do To Every Blog Post Before + After You Hit Publish (by Melissa Griffin)
What are your best tips and tricks for new bloggers? Any advice you wish was given to you before you began blogging? Comment below and share!