Let’s talk about…bloggers

Blog:  website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences,observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.

Do we love them? Do we hate them? How in the name of God do they afford all those clothes? How can I make my husband take outfit pictures of me while also avoiding divorce/him making me feel like the biggest eejit in the world/me actually being the biggest eejit in the world (Can you take it again, try a higher angle and no flash and make sure you crop out my arm … unless of course you think that I’d like the way my arm looks at this particular second in time?)

jealous.jpg

…even if her designer wardrobe definitely highlights the absence of yours!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of being well jeal when I see a blogger do her thirteenth haul of the week in prep for her thirteenth holiday of the year while I feel guilty about that Zara dress that I bought last week that ‘I really like but probably didn’t actually need which to be fair wasn’t that expensive and has a totally different floral pattern to the three other floral patterned Zara dresses that I own’. (Disclaimer – Zara are not sponsoring me to mention them but if they ever feel like they’d like to, I’d be open to consider a collaboration. Postal address for freebies available on request – or do you know what – I’ll just send it on anyway ye’re probably very busy!)… BUT if you can see beyond the fact that blogging (particularly fashion and beauty blogging) is now such a huge part of companies’ content marketing and if you can think of these platforms as well edited productions that, to be fair, a lot of work can go in to, I think that bloggers and their content CAN be useful, entertaining and fun.

So it can be a business – not for all bloggers, but for a few of them this is their job. These bloggers are essentially selling and marketing products for companies and brands, generating huge revenue and advertising their products to large audiences so why shouldn’t they be paid for their time and effort? I think that’s fair…however for me transparency is key. I think the majority of us realise that when a blogger raves about a certain product we need to realise that they are (often) being paid to do so…think of them like a sales assistant …. Of COURSE they’re going to tell you to buy their product – it’s their job. Where things become a little irritating for me is when I see bloggers living lives that might make younger, more impressionable followers or those who are for one reason or another, more vulnerable followers feel inadequate. It’s normal to be a teenager and not own designer bags…scratch that – it’s normal to be an adult and not own designer bags!! 

I don’t think the solution to the problem is to boycott or berate these bloggers – I think we need to be honest to ourselves about what this relatively new role in society is…the larger bloggers/influencers/brand ambassadors are marketers, they are telling you to buy something so that when you do they will make some money. 

The way I like to look at much of their content is the way that I look at ads in glossy magazines – it’s pretty to look at, the model in the ad didn’t pay what I’m supposed to in order to wear/use the product, it’s not something I sought out, it can be nice to look at but I have the power to turn the page and get on with my life, it’s most likely not a ‘true image’, a serious amount of glam, prep and thought went into it, it’s very similar to the 589 other ads in the same magazine AND that’s before we question the truth behind some of the ridiculous claims made in these ads/snaps/instas etc. (don’t get me started on detox teas).

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Online Shopping 101

Shopping

Online shopping. What are our thoughts? I for one am a fan. I like the variety and the value. Things I don’t like: apprehension over size/fit, long waits for delivery and the boohoo-dot-com whisper that is constantly stuck in my head.

Online shopping can vary from the bizarre world of ebay to the high end, highly desirable Net-A-Porter and everything inbetween. In this post I’m going to recommend some of the sites that I like to use and point out some items that I’ve put in my virtual shopping cart, removed, re-put in, removed and since re-put in spotted. I’ll also talk a little bit about some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up on online shopping that might come in handy.

I think it’s worth pointing out at this stage that I’m extremely aware of how important it is to shop locally and I’ll follow this post up with a piece on some great Irish shops and designers.


Mailing lists

I get it, mailing lists are a pain! But, if you have the patience to weed through the good, the bad and the annoying, there are genuine bargains and discount codes to be had. If mailing lists are not your thing, I’d recommend subscribing to bloggers who bring their ‘A Game’ when it comes to discount codes. Pippa O’ Connor is great for this kind of thing! Her posts cut out a lot of the hard work – she is always posting about offers and deals and I’m a big fan of her style!

Payment

I’d recommend setting up a Paypal account. It’s free, secure and simple. Once you’ve set one up you won’t have to fill in your billing details every time you make a purchase, making things easy, quicker and safer…sometimes a little too easy, quick and safe but that’s where empty bank account self-control comes into play.

Sizing

The one thing I have yet to buy online is shoes! I just can’t come to terms with buying shoes without trying them on. I generally find that I can ascertain whether an item of clothing will fit me or not by the measurements given and the reviews. I actually shop with a measuring tape – yes I mean business! Most places will give you bust, length, arm details etc. I mention the reviews because I find them invaluable. When it comes to sizing, like on the high street, different sites can run big or small. The reviews will often tell you whether you should size up/down as well as let you know about any flaws etc.

Where to start

For your maiden voyage I would recommend somewhere like ASOS. The site is huge so you’re definitely going to find what you’re looking for. If you don’t necessarily have something particular in mind and are overwhelmed by the vast selection it’s always handy to have a look at the personal stylists’ page. There are a number of stylists with a different looks/tastes and that’s always one of my first ports of call. Delivery with ASOS is free once you spend over €25, otherwise it’s €3.

Youtube/Bloggers

Youtubers and bloggers can be really helpful when it comes to online shopping. Lookbooks and hauls often give you an idea of what clothes look like on. People who I love on Youtube include idressmyself, The Little Magpie, TarMar and BeautyCrush. Vloggers do a lot of online shopping and they are also sent items by companies which they review. I’m not sure how unbiased these reviews are but they do give you the chance to see the clothes on.

Other bloggers who never fail to provide inspiration include the amazing Gary Pepper Girl (HER CLOTHES!! Mostly out of my price range but she does wear ASOS and ZARA bits too…sigh), the devine OP, and Shay Mitchell (who you might know from ‘Pretty Little Liars’).

Delivery to apartments

If, like me, you live in an apartment you might worry about getting parcels delivered. It’s worth looking at Parcel Motel which are located across the country. It’s a really simple process and can even help cut delivery costs (if buying form a website with free delivery within the UK). Basically you sign up for an account and then when paying for your goods you provide the Parcel Motel address as your delivery address. You then get a code via text from Parcel Motel and you can collect your item at your leisure…simples.

 

So now that you’re armed with a few (what I hope are helpful) tips, why not place an order?  Be aware that some sites may have a cut-off if you want to receive your delivery before Christmas. See below some of my picks, click pic to get to page. Enjoy!

 

Screen shot 2014-12-02 at 19.46.58

 

ASOS

 

 

suit

 

 

nasty

 

 

Other sites to check out – chicnova, chicwish, Sheinside, Folkster, PepperMayo, Romwe and Choies.

 

Who Run The World?…Solange.

This may prove controversial BUT given the chance to plunder either of the Knowles sisters’ wardrobes, I would make a serious bey-line to younger sister Solange’s.
SK11
The fact that I feel like a lot less boob tape would be necessary to dress in Solange’s attire is just an added bonus, the reality is that Solange and her ah-mazing wardrobe are, for me, a no-brainer.
SK7 SK8 SK9
Solange looks like the human manifestation of a one night stand between Coachella and Instagram…in a good way. She has friends with names like Imogene and Piera and they do things like bathe in lakes and frolic in fields. She might have a bit of a checkered past compared to her sister but in the style stakes she is, IMO,well up there with the Queen Bey herself.
SK frolic
Clashing patterns and a mix of colours are always right up my street so noooo surprise that I am all about S.
SK6 SK5 SK3 SK 14
Her dress sense is very cool, she doesn’t tend to go for the sexy sexy look and she appears to have made a conscious, or maybe unconscious, decision not to look like she steals from her sister’s wardrobe. Whenever they attend events together they don’t look like they are in competition. Where the Kardashians out-boob, out-arse and copy each other, the Knowles sisters compliment.
SK 13  SK 10
Solange has a blog (of course she does!) called mydamnblog and it’s basically a collection of images that inspire and/or feature her. She also posts announcements like her appointment as Art Director at Puma as well as music videos and general sepia toned deliciousness. There are Tumblr sites and Pinterest boards devoted to her style and it’s easy to see why.
This weekend Solange got married to her longterm love Alan Ferguson (what a normal name!). Her outfit(s) have divided opinion but I for one love what she did! It was so cool and confident and amazing! I mean Beyoncé was in her wedding pictures, WEARING A WHITE DRESS and Solange still stole the show. No mean feat.
SK wedding
SK wedding 2 SK wedding 3 Image by Rog Walker

Mira Mira on the Wall…

Sometimes I answer along as I read those ’60 seconds with’ interviews in the Sunday papers. I do struggle with most of the questions – What part of your body do you like best? I’m Irish, I can’t answer that. What is your favourite book? Prepared answer: (should I ever find myself in a spur of the moment interview situation) ‘Wuthering Heights’ (LIES) real answer: ‘The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾’.

The question that I never have any trouble with is Who is your style icon? Simples. Mira Duma.

Formerly the editor of the Russian Harper’s Bazar, she now runs one of Russia’s most influential websites Buro 247. The site is dedicated to fashion, art, architecture, cinema, music and style.

“I wanted to combine my interest in fashion with my journalism background and launch something that would be new, hip, and make a difference, which became Buro247.ru. And now, it’s one of the largest Internet-based projects in Russia and covers everything from fashion to street style to architecture to culture to the luxury sector to the latest news. We update the site with 25 news items each day, have readers from all across the globe, and we have yet to launch an English version!” 

When asked what she does to relax, Mira once said – Some say yoga is the answer; as for me, I like to eat Toffifee caramel candies. Now that’s a logic that I can get on board with.
With 200,000+ Instagram followers and a wardrobe better than Cher from ‘Clueless’, this is one Russian Doll who has nailed the art of playing Dress-up
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“We interviewed Francis Ford Coppola when he was in Moscow. We don’t write about Kim Kardashian.” – Mira on her website.

 

 

.Mira 1 Mira 2 Mira 3 Mira 4  Mira 6 Mira 7 Mira 8 Mira 10 Mira 11  mira 15Mira 13 Mira 16  Mira 9

These are a Few of My Favourite Pins…

If you’re anything like me you use your journey to and from work to check out what’s happening on Instagram and Pinterest.

Someday I will be a grown up and will log on to find out what’s going on in the real world…but until then I’ll stick to hashtags and handbags.

Wed

Because it’s Wednesday and we’ve made it to the midpoint of the week, let’s take a minute to enjoy some of my personal favourites and some of what Pinterest has to offer The Current Affair-Avoiding Commuter…

Fashion – Blue

Fur and white

Black

White jumper

Pink

dress

White

Grey and orange

Silver

Yellow

back dress

White dresss

grey and chiffon

Timpeall an Tí –

Stairs Table and chairs Lilliies in room

Belfast sink

Green couches

Grey couches CAKE! – Cake Petal cake cáca

berry cake

storm

strawb

Magic Shoes?

Even when we were little, there was so much importance placed on what we wore on our feet.

Standing on that machine to be measured, the disappointment when there was no machine and you had to make do with that slidey measurer thing. Patent shoes at Christmas, white shoes for our Communion, learning to tie laces, tripping over open laces, the trauma of new school shoes every year, Jelly shoes, cuts from jelly shoes, Buffalos, Skechers, Adidas Superstars, clogs…the list goes on (unfortunately).

Did the strap go behind your ankle or in the front?!

Did the strap go behind your ankle or in the front?!

Still get sore feet just looking these.

Still get sore feet just looking these.

It's only a matter of time before these make their return.

It’s only a matter of time before these make their triumphant return.

My own personal favourites, and I’m sure I’m not alone here, were the Clarkes Magic Steps. I don’t think I am going overboard when I say that these babies were the equivalent of what getting a pair of Jimmy Choos or Loubs would feel like today. As it happens, just like Louboutins, with Magic Steps the key was in the sole (literally).

The sad reality of the Magic Steps is that ever since they came and left our lives we have been searching for a high as high, a buzz as amazing, a shoe that will turn us into a Princess and enable us to scale mountains while being encouraged on by nymph creatures…IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?! It also means that I personally have never seen Clarkes stores in the same light…as in, what’s the point!? YOUR ERGONOMICALLY CORRECT FOOTWEAR DOES NOT IMPRESS ME. I WANT MAGIC. Also, it’s worth pointing out that I’m still slightly dubious about the sales assistants (refer to Magic Steps advert above).

My pair of Magic Steps were white (initially) and they were bought for my Communion day. I think there was probably a slight conflict on the day with regard to the shoes – I was so into the magic on the soles of my feet that the whole ‘he turned his body into bread and his blood into wine and now we get to eat it’ thing paled in comparison.

My magic communion shoes.

Just like my magic communion shoes.

Fast forward twenty years and I’m still searching for a shoe that can make me feel like the Clarkes Magic Steps once did.

Below are a few pairs that I spotted recently. Maybe they’ll help some of you on your quest to find the pair that make you feel like a princess…or maybe you, like me, will have to keep on searching.

€41.99 - Missguided

€41.99 – Missguided

€29.95 -Zara

€29.95 -Zara

€69.95 - Zara

€69.95 – Zara

€79.95 - Zara

€79.95 – Zara

€50 - River Island

€50 – River Island

€50 - River Island

€50 – River Island

€50 - River Island

€50 – River Island

Oh. My. Blog.

So I could say that I’ve always just loved fashion and style and have yearned for an outlet to express my love of the above…but that’s not true. I just kinda got a bit brave and bought a pair of risqué boots and wrote about my inner conflict re. how to style them (The dilemmas I face).

Like most people, I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a blog for a while, but I realised that I’m not actually qualified to talk about any subject in any great depth for more than 30 seconds (except ‘Arrested Development’, the culinary flexibility of the egg and, Tetris – but those topics seem a little niche).

When you write anything like this there’s always the fear that people will think – ‘who the hell does yer wan think she is with her blog’ but sure look it!

Anyway, I’m not sure what I’ll write about in the future so I’ll make it up as I go along. Feel free to read on or abandon ship now!

As I mentioned above, I don’t consider myself an expert in the field of fashion but I do like it and maybe you’ll also like what I like and if you do, sure isn’t that great! Anyway, this post is going to talk about a shop that I have largely overlooked – mostly due to the fact that it always made me think of neon before neon was cool, crop tops before crop tops were cool and slogan tshirts before… you get it. However, in the last year or so I’ve noticed that this particular shop has become a regular port of call for me. It’s pretty cheap, not bad quality, on trend and full of designer inspired pieces – happy days! The shop in question is…drumroll The Modern (BAH! Cork reference) – no, it’s Bershka and I’ve picked out a few bits that are in there right now that I would like to be in my wardrobe right now. Maybe you’ll see something you might not seen ordinarily because you have similar Bershka issues (the definition of a first world issue?!). I also really like the styling on the website! Enjoy.

€45.99

€45.99

€24.99

€24.99

€39.99

€39.99

€55.99

€55.99

€12.99

€12.99

€24.99

€24.99

€24.99

€24.99

€35.99

€35.99

€17.99

€17.99

€19.99

€19.99

€29.99

€29.99