Saturday, 28 April 2012

Top Tips from Bloggers Lips - Part 2

I wanted to simply call this post, What I have learnt but realised that I added the part 1 on the previous post and really didn't want to make it confusing for everyone. When I started this, I had no idea I would end up learning so much from it. Not because I am such an expert (because I'm not) but because I didn't believe people would want to get involved with this. I sent the email out to my blogger friends (who featured in my post last week) with an element of reservation. Would they reply? Would they like the idea? but most importantly, would they take part? You see, I have invested a lot of thought into this post and spent a while choosing the people I wanted to take part in it all. If I received any negative responses or disinterest it would have made me feel like I had wasted my time. This is the first thing I learnt through this process...

1. Believe in what you blog about even if others don't! After all, isn't that why we blog. A place to share our thoughts, ideas, inspirations and opinions. Starting my blog has made me more experimental with my clothes, more confident in my writing and has helped me decide to aim for a career in Fashion Journalism. I put this all down to being myself but having an outlet to express it.

2. Find your blog voice (tip from Sartorial Sidelines), Courtney wrote 'my favourites are those that read like a real reflection of the personal style and taste of the blogger behind them...'
I agree with this completely. Although I have already found my voice, I must keep developing it, right? We are all dynamic people with different opinions and outlooks - I really want to try and express what I am interested in a way that no one else has expressed before. Fashion is given a label of being shallow and only for the rich, slim, 'beautiful people'.  Fashion blogs have disproved this. Fashion is for anyone! My blog is on a budget and I am in no way slim. The term beautiful or attractive makes me uncomfortable - who is to determine the beautiful ones from the...not so beautiful...ones. Certainly not me.

3. Copyright your site (tip from Urban Umbrella). This is something I had been unsure of how to do for a while but Bree's tip finally allowed and encouraged me to take the plunge and do it. If you want to re-visit this tip Click Here. It is definitely something worth doing. None of us want our work being stolen!

4. 'Increase traffic by joining sites such as lookbook, chictopia, pinterest, polyvore etc.' (tip from Joyful Outfits). Most of us have a Twitter and Facebook account but I really think that Lookbook is time well spent for those of us who like to post our outfits or explore other peoples. *Opens new tab and signs up to LOOKBOOK*

5.  Vary photos for outfit posts. Maiken advised 'When doing an outfit post I think it's not necessary to add too many photos which actually look mostly the same.' This is something I agree with although I tend to see a lot of people post dozens of pictures that have the slightest changes between them. I wondered whether I was missing this point. It almost felt like playing that game, now what's it called...Ah! Yes, Spot the difference. It is like playing a good'ol game of Spot the difference. When I studied photography we were always taught to pick our best photos; the weaker ones bring the whole collection down. Part of being a good photographer is looking through your contact sheet and making tough decisions. I now certainly believe it applies to the pictures we post on our blogs - we are the editing chiefs after all!

6. Keeping an inspiration journal for your blog (tip from Dela Chic). Christine suggested this because, ' never know when an idea pops up in your head.' This has to be one that I took from the moment I first read my email responses. The other tips came to me over time but as soon as I read this I knew it was something I needed to do...ASAP. I went straight up to my bedroom, searched through my birthday presents and pulled out a notebook my friend Sophie gave me a few weeks back. My journal is quickly filling up with exciting, new ideas!

So, what is your favourite tip I have mentioned?? Maybe you have more than one. Please let me know on the comment form below!

As always, thank-you for reading! (All pictures, drawings and images used in this post were taken and created by me - not something I am used to playing around with so opinions on them will also be extremely welcomed!)

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Top Tips from Bloggers Lips - Part 1

FACT: Us bloggers all have different aims, styles, audiences and approaches. We've all had different experiences that we have learnt from. For a while now I thought it would be great to compile a post of top tips to a successful blog, a blogger friend prompted me to do so and last week I finally decided to contact a few blogger friends and ask them what tips they had to share. I received some great feed-back from them all. If I'm honest, I was hoping this would be, well, a chain reaction I guess! That after reading this, you would all feel inspired to share the things that keep you motivated in developing and improving your blog. So please read, take a few mental notes and then share your wisdom with the rest of us!

My top tips

1. Create a brand for your blog. Make sure people know what your blog is about from the moment they see your header or read your blog-name/address. It is important and it gives you direction, consistency and inspiration!

2. We all want people to visit our blogs but we want them to visit for the right reasons. Think about the kind of comments you like to receive! You want to know a person has read what you have spent time writing and photographing. Leaving a thoughtless comment like ''Nice Blog, please follow me!'' isn't likely to make someone want to come to your blog. You have to give to get back, that is the first thing I ever learnt about blogging.

3. Money doesn't matter. Many of us don't have bags full of money to spend on living a fabulous lifestyle but that doesn't mean your blog wont be interesting! It is your talent and interest in the subject you blog about that makes your site special. Who cares if someone has a pair of designer glasses and yours are from the high-street. Own what you blog about. Love what you blog about. Most importantly invest your time, dedication and personality into your blog - money only takes a person so far...

Joyce's tips - Joyful Outfits

1. Join : great resource for everything about fashion blogging as well 
as meeting other bloggers. After joining IFB, submit your link to the links a la mode because that can increase your traffic also.

2. Try to post regularly by having a schedule. For example, I post on Tuesdays, Thursdays,
and Saturdays. But you can also choose to post once a week or maybe everyday, it depends
on each person.

3. Increase traffic by joining sites such as, chictopia, pinterest, polyvore etc.

Courtney's tips - Sartorial Sidelines

1. Find your blogging voice. This is my number one tip for a reason. I've seen so many blogs that read very artificially and lack a genuine authorial voice but the ones that are my favourites are those that read like a real reflection of the personal style and taste of the blogger behind them. Sometimes (especially in the beginning) it can be daunting to find your voice as a writer and generate blog content that truly reflects your own individual tastes and loves but it's a challenge worth tackling and will make blogging a more enjoyable experience for you as the writer and editor and for your readers.

2. Branch out into other forms of social media. Develop Facebook and Twitter pages for your blog. Get a Bloglovin' account. Join the Independent Fashion Bloggers consortium. Use Instagram. Sometimes managing all these accounts can be a headache but they are great ways to reach a wider audience and develop more blogging connections.

3. Assess offers for sponsorships and commissioned reviews carefully. It's always nice to make a little cash with your blog or get some free products but (and this links back in a pretty prominent way to my first point) you want to be careful not to endorse things that do not fit with the style and voice of your blog. Doing so can affect your authenticity as a writer and readers of your blog will notice.

Bree's tips - Urban Umbrella

1. Blog about topics you're passionate about! Blogging about what you love will never get boring, you'll never want to stop writing. I know since I have started my blog I have written a new article every single day just because I love it so much! Don't blog just to gain followers, you'll never truly enjoy the joys of blogging for what it is.

2. Keep your blog clean! Messy blog layouts with too many images or videos can be a bit overwhelming to look at. Having a clean layout with a few images is just easier on the eyes and the mind.

3. If you're posting photos of yourself/ your style make sure you have copyrighted your site. There are plenty of free websites and actually if you go to my page you'll see a free copyright site link at the bottom of my page.

Maiken's tips - Part of me

1. Communicating with your followers is one of the most important things! It's always nice to read opinions from your readers. BUT comments like "cool", "cute" etc are something I find way too sketchy and pointless, to be honest.

2. If possible, photos should be in same size (width) because it's really good to watch them that way and it's the best for the layout of your blog. And photos should be of high quality and big enough as well!

3. When doing an outfit post I think it's not necessary to add too many photos which actually look mostly the same. It's boring to look at 20 photos which seem to have no variations.

Christine's tips - Dela Chic

1. Keep a running inspiration journal to write in.  This is where the magazine clippings go, future posts, inspiration, or maybe just jot down notes that come up on one of those random times.  I know that some bloggers have a blogging calendar too where they have post titles ready and hash tags for them.  This is also perfect if you want to write something around a holiday or an event. I also like to carry this notebook everywhere as much as possible because you never know when an idea pops up in your head.  Yeah, we can put it on our smart phones nowadays, but I still like the feel of writing and doodling and taping up things on paper.

2.  Give credit when credit is due.  Always always always give credit to the original source.  Link up from the original site.  Don't just do a search.  No ifs ands or buts about it!! 

3.  Be real.  People will appreciate your blog more.  Also, this will be important when you meet other bloggers.  If you aren't what you seem on the Internet...then what does that say? hmm.

To be continued (next week) Please, leave some of your own tips as a comment below or your thoughts on the tips mentioned! I cannot wait to hear what you all think.

Thank-you for reading and to all the bloggers that collaborated with me on this post!!

EDIT: To read PART 2, CLICK HERE!!!!! 

Monday, 16 April 2012

1930's the forgotten era - Part 1

(I do not own this image)
Everybody loves the 1920's and the 1940's. You often hear people talking about the 50's with similar affection but the 1930's seem to be the forgotten era. To me, it is a beautiful hybrid of both the 20's and 40's. It has the androgynous boyish strength and sexuality of the 20's, teamed with the femininity and elegance of the 40's. Doesn't that sound a perfect combination?

The 1930's was undeniably, an interesting period of time. The roaring twenties were filled with luxury, freedom, rebellion, considerable wealth and greed. Depicted in novels such as The Great Gatsby, rich Americans wasted there new found opulence and ultimately threw their sustainability into turmoil. When the 1930's came, the world fell into a deep and depressive recession. Suddenly jobs were being lost and people couldn't afford the beautiful Parisian couture gowns that were once a booming economy. The French designers had always relied upon there exports to the United States who's economy was quickly diminishing through the breakdown of its stock market. The house of Chanel cut its prices in half to survive this economic collapse along with other fellow designers who were struggling. Ready-to-wear pieces became available as new and old fashion houses began to diversify there collections. During this time, competition began from London and New York as they pranced into the fashion scene - although Paris still held the monopoly on style. Interestingly, America led the world into wholesale and ready-to-wear garments - arguably creating the spark of high-street fashion.

Vogue cover from the 1930's
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During the 30's, the linear, gamine* look  of the 20's was discarded and replaced by closer fitted garments to accentuate the female silhouette. Shapes, colours and styles became softer. During this diverse era, shorts became acceptable clothing for women, swimwear became more sexual and sunglasses became the ultimate fashion accessory.

[*A gamine is a slim, often boyish, wide-eyed young woman who is, or is perceived to be mischievous, teasing  or sexually appealing.]

The 30's were known for its recession but also escapism. During this time, Hollywood began to grow, film stars began to blossom and there influence began to create celebrity culture and powerful fashion icons such as Joan Blondell. I always stress through my blog, the link between fashion, culture and history.  I consider these to be synonymous with each other, fashion being a clear reflection of popular culture and current affairs.

Joan Blondell - Film start during the 30's (I do not own this image)
Here is a jazz song from the 30's - take a listen, I am sure you will recognise it!

A 1930's outfit post is certainly calling me. Let me see what I can come up with! What are your thoughts on the 1930's? I cannot wait to hear...

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sunday Traditions

Just checking in with you all. Letting you know I am still alive and haven't abandoned my blog. It has been raining outside, hailing in fact! but here I am tucked up in my warm house. When I go to University I will miss Sundays at home. I decided it would be nice to share with you a few of my Sunday traditions and also find out some of yours!

On Sundays I usually...
have a lay-in, receive a call from my Sister in Australia, watch homely television, have a lovely roast dinner (cooked by my Mum), wear warm socks straight from the tumble dryer, watch films, read books and then settle down each night with a cup of tea to get a dose of True-Blood. Somewhere in the midst of all of this, a couple of family arguments will occur! I can't imagine I will miss them too much. So yes, that is how it goes down in my house hold most Sundays. Even though I am 19, I would rather be with my family than my friends on Sundays; it is the only day we are all together. I guess when I am at Uni I will try and create a few traditions of my own so things don't feel too lonely! I am sure it will make coming home even more special.

Also on a side note: I was going to wear my new jumper but haven't ventured out because of the rain. It felt like a waste wearing it today! so I will include it in an outfit post this week. Cannot wait to see what you all think of it.

Happy Sunday Everyone! What are your Sunday traditions?

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

a catch up

I love blogging but I hate posting everyday. It just feels like it isn't enough time for people to read your thoughts and see your pictures. It isn't enough time to get feed back and despite all of is hard work. I like time to read your blogs and catch up on your lives. If I am writing everyday I never get time to read Those of you who post everyday or most - I applaud you. What are your secrets?!

On Friday night me and a good friend headed up to the cinema to see Titanic in 3D. Simply amazing and simultaneously devastating. We walked out and strategically kept our 3D glasses on...! Yesterday, despite the dire weather - was a brilliant day. I bought some lovely nautical accessories for my bedroom and it is in the process of looking very stylish. We then hired out two films, Hugo and The Help. As previous mentioned, I read The Help over Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have been debating as to whether I should see the film but then decided that if it corrupted my images and memory of the book, I would just have to re-read during the Summer! 

Anyway, here are a few snaps from Sunday...

My lovely Grandad
On a side note, I am now up to 123 followers! I am very proud of this number and pleased to be getting new readers every week. Thanks to all of you who read, support and inspire me! I hope you all had a great Easter and I will be posting a new outfit this week.

Let me know what you though of my snaps from Sunday!

Friday, 6 April 2012

a Good Friday.

Today is good Friday! Happy Good Friday everyone :)

I have actually had a really good day today although this evening I have been thinking too much. You know that feeling when you just want to stop what you are doing and starting living the life you want to live? There are so many things I love about my life but also so many things I need to change - it is hard to know where to start. Which to chose first? Which is the most important? I thought I would write a new post even though I posted yesterday! It is simply because blogging makes me feel like I am working towards gives me an immediate purpose. So yes, I will show you some of the lovely photos I took today whilst visiting a lovely local little Farm! It was a cool Spring day with heaps of wonderful sunshine - let us hope it stays that way. I hope you like my pictures!?

Have I previously mentioned my girl-crush on Zooey Deschanel? Well not only is she beautiful, stylish and a great actress but apparently, she can sing! This song really gets me in the mood for Summer. It is inspiring me to try out a few 'rad' retro looks. (I am thinking of posting my favourite song of that week, every Friday. Music is such a big part of fashion and such a massive part of my life. What do you all think?? Listening to it is optional so I can't see why not). Let me know your thoughts on anything and everything by commenting below!!

Happy Easter Everyone! 

Thursday, 5 April 2012

My Little City List

My top 5 cities to visit (in no particular order):

1) Paris 
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2) Tokyo

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3) New York

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4) Prague

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5) Rome

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Okay, so I have a tinsy little addiction to cities. I love how vast they are. They are little worlds away from everything - how could that not make me excited? They represent everything I have ever wanted. Not money or fame! Just pure adventure. The funny thing is, when you throw me into a city I struggle. I revel in the challenges that confront me but I think I look a little bit like a lost sheep. Growing up in a small-ish town, I can't say I am used to busy streets, cars everywhere you look, home-less people on every corner of every street and at times feeling like you cannot see your nose in front of your face. When I was in Sydney last year, I got slightly more used to the city environment. I spent 9 weeks there and in-between jetted of to Perth, Melbourne and Cairns. The more time I spent in them - the easier it became! But the days my Sister was working, I would just stroll down to the green grocers or catch the bus down to the beach. Small town life is what I am used to. It felt like I could breathe again. Maybe you are reading this and thinking that it doesn't sound as if I love cities at all. I guess I could say to you,  ''I was born to be in the city, I take to them like a duck to water! etc etc'' but that would all be lies. Just because I am not used to it, doesn't mean I don't enjoy the excitement and adventure of exploring a new city! Because believe me, I do.

Other than the excitement of adventure they bring, cities are full of fashion. Everywhere you look you are seeing fashion through culture and culture through fashion. It is impossible to walk through a city and not feel overwhelmed with inspiration. What more could a Fashionista want from a Holiday?! And the best part is, I am not likely to run out of them any time soon!

Do you love cities? What ones would you love to visit?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Get the Capitol look!

(I do not own this image)

Since seeing 'The Hunger Games' last Friday - I knew that it was bound to influence fashion and create a new look. When I first saw the people of the Capitol (the capital of Panem), I immediately thought of quirky Japanese street style - clashing colours, bold hair styles, intense make up which creates an almost futuristic feel to the fashion. Saying this, there are big difference between the two, only which I noticed after doing a bit of research and looking through pictures of both. The Captiol look isn't as busy and gives of an almost inhuman vibe but maybe that vibe is intensified by the narrative of the story! Strangely though, Japan is quite often depicted as being very futuristic - maybe there is more of a link between the two than I thought?

(Taken by my Sister whilst visiting my Brother in Osaka Japan in 2010)
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Fashion to inspire you

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These pictures have been taken from S/S Meadham Kirchhoff collection at LFW 2012. The bold colours, harsh shapes and quirky cuts really scream Capitol Fashion. A lot of the people in the film have dyed skin and have an exotic animalistic feel, this is therefore the perfect inspiration to get this look.
(I do not own this image)

9 ways to get 'The Look'

1) Crazy hair colours - think Katy Perry's blue locks

2) Big hair do's - curly and untamed

3) Statement lipstick - bright reds, pale pinks and purples. Just be sure to not apply it too fully on your lips

4) Full Volume dresses - puffballs and gathering

5)Layering - tops under dresses, socks, gloves and heels. In this case more is definitely less.

6) Bold Make-up - We have always been taught to focus on eyes or lips, that both is too much - forget this and make a statement with both!

7) Don't be shy to be fake - maybe fake eyelashes and nails aren't usually your thing? This is your chance to give it a go! The more...synthetic, the better.

8) Clash - Do not be afraid to clash colours, in this case it works!

9) Over the top - more! more! more! 

If you work of my 9 steps, you are sure to look as if you have just stepped out of the Capitol ready to watch the games begin. Maybe this look isn't for you though! I am not 100% sure that I will give it a try head-to-toe. It is very brave and where would I wear it? 

Maybe I will try a Capitol make up inspired look!? What do you all think...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

My Birthday: Part 2

A blurry snap of us all outside the restaurant! 

Me opening my presents.
Me and my friend Kristin.
My friends Sammi and Yasmeen.

and Beckie and Katie...
I should start by saying, the pictures weren't taken on my DSLR but on a friends digital camera. I love them though. So on Friday night, me and my friends headed out to a beautiful harbour just a short drive from where we live. In the summer it is booming was tourism but on the scale of other harbours it is pretty small in comparison to others in Europe. Nevertheless, it is a great spot to go for lunch, dinner or drinks. It has a cinema within walking distance so after we ate, we headed over to watch The Hunger Games. I don't want to say too much about this film because I plan to do a post on it within the next week or so. All I will say is that, it is an amazing film that should be seen in the cinema. The narrative of the story is so grand that it would be best seen in a large cinema where it almost feels as if you are another person watching the actual Hunger Games.  
(I do not own this image)
This is just a little snap of my new hair cut. I decided to go for something bold and had a big blunt fringe cut in! It is taking a bit of getting used to but it is so nice to have a change...
A snap taken on my iPod :)
Anyway, thank-you to everyone who made my Birthday wonderful and for all the lovely things I was given! 

Happy Sunday Everyone! Let me know what you have all been up to this weekend?