style

A Stylish Mission, If You Choose to Accept It.

A Stylish Mission, If You Choose to Accept It.
A Stylish Mission, If You Choose to Accept It.

Lynsay and I first connected online when I asked to interview her for my Tattoo Talk series. We met soon after on a date at the cat cafe and while she lives up north in Glasgow, we keep in touch online and see each other when she visits London. I sure hope I can visit her in Scotland soon! Lynsay is an amazing friend who is always the first to send a celebratory card or love note. And her blog, Miss West End Girl, is an inspiring, colourful place for anyone with a love of style and adventures. Hello! As you might have noticed, this is a slight change to your regular programming schedule (do not adjust your set…) as the lovely Sarah has invited me to guest post about my relationship with self-love and share my views with you guys.

For me, self-love isn’t just about being OK with what makes you yourself, it’s about celebrating your quirks and finding joy in your individuality! And one way that I certainly like to express this is through my personal style. So today, I’m going to talk a little bit about the way that we dress and the direct link that it has to self-love.

Taste in clothes, no matter how good or bad you deem it to be, is a very personal thing. It can be the very thing that creates a feeling of being comfortable, confident and (on some days, with the help of VERY special shoes) unstoppable! When I wear some of my favourite outfits and key wardrobe pieces, I don’t have to be channelling a celebrity or a movie character - I’m channelling myself, and believe me, that can give you just as much sass in your step.

A Stylish Mission, If You Choose to Accept It.
A Stylish Mission, If You Choose to Accept It.

When I was a gangly teen, I didn’t feel confident or happy in my own skin. When I look back on photos now, it certainly shows! I lived in black ensembles, hid away and was painfully shy, and wouldn’t have dreamed that I’d be dressed like I am today. The last ten years of my life have been an opportunity for me to get to know myself and develop my own look that reflects that - rainbow dresses, glitter and all! I believe that the two go hand in hand and that if you are truly, deeply comfortable with yourself it will radiate from within and be totally visible.

Feeling good about the way you look is a lot easier said than done, and for some of us it can be quite a journey. But ultimately it’s one worth taking. Most people have parts of themselves that they wish they could change, but I bet there are things that you wouldn’t change for the world, right? Letting go of the negative view of yourself is the first step and the rest will start to fall into place.

It’s at this point that you stop wishing you could pull a certain style off and just go ahead and do it. Be brave, experiment with fashion and above all have fun. You don’t need permission, baby doll - go forth and be fabulous! Are you a modern-day flapper girl? Or maybe a bronzed glamazon? There’s only one way to find out...

I want to leave you with a little bit of homework - an actionable step to try out. Pick out the piece in your wardrobe that you think is a signature item. If you could sum up your personality in one garment or accessory, what would it be? Make sure you wear it right away - it’s time to channel yourself and show the world!

lynsay-bio
lynsay-bio

Lynsay Neil is a life and style blogger and shares her writing at her blog, Miss West End Girl - a guide to living a happy, colourful life in her home town of Glasgow. She also writes and presents a pop-culture and fashion podcast called Those Gals. Lynsay can usually be found exploring the city, snapping photos and hunting for kitsch accessories to add to her collection. 

Twitter; Instagram; Pinterest

In Favour of Wearing Your Sunday Best!

Do you have an expensive dress hanging in your closet that makes you feel like a complete bad ass, but you never wear it because you're saving it for a "special occasion"? Or are there a pair of shoes you've been lusting after but you always talk yourself out of them because you wouldn't have anywhere to wear them?

I went through a period in my early twenties when I lived in jeans and t-shirts. I was drawn to full, vintage-style skirts and edgy, punk rock accessories but I didn't think this wild style fit into my new role as an activist. I was restricting my fashion choices to fit into someone else's mold.

Eventually, the clothes I wanted to wear felt unnatural to me. It seemed too dressy and out of place to swan around in retro dresses paired with leather jackets.

Until I decided to just go for it. In 2013 my New Year's Resolution was to not wear pants. Skirts and dresses all day every day instead.

I started incorporating glittery hair pieces and brightly coloured lipsticks into my outfits until they became my signature style choices. I'm happy wearing a tutu to work, bejewelled bunny ears to the farmer's market, or a gown for a pizza date. Dressing up and expressing myself sartorially makes me feel good. And people have come to expect it from me.

It's also changed how I go about buying clothing and accessories. I'm happy having a closet full of high quality, statement pieces with a few basics to mix and match them with. And I'm especially drawn to any item I can remix or restyle to make it completely my own.

Which is why I completely fell for Kirk & Kirk's handmade sunglasses. You get to choose the frame, colour, and pin for a completely customized look. Jason and Karen Kirk are carrying on the work of their family, who started designing glasses in London in 1919. Each pair is handcrafted in France, while the adorning jewellery is produced in England.

They were kind enough to send me sunglasses from their Solarium Collection and I felt like a kid in a candy store getting to make my own creation. Inspired by the Victorian obsession with science and nature, each frame is named after a celebrated scientist of the era. I chose the Eleanor frames in anthracite with a silver fly pin. They're the perfect combination of vintage chic with a punk rock edge.

It's easy to let a high end product languish in a drawer for fear of them getting lost or broken. But I'm here to say: let's always wear our Sunday best! Let's get pleasure from the things that we love. Let's allow them to make us feel good, rather than collecting dust somewhere.

So last Sunday I styled my hair in pin curls and put on a fancy outfit for a trip to the market and a walk around East London. Here's what I wore...

I'm wearing sunglasses c/o Kirk & Kirk, Love, Yu corset top from my bestie's bridal boutique in Toronto, a Danier leather jacket, a Stella McCartney skirt (from the #VCSwapShop), United Nude shoes c/o AllSole, a necklace from a street market vendor, a tea rose crown c/o Crown & Glory, and an LYDC London bag.

I love the quote by William Morris, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." When we focus on quality over quantity, we stop our obsession with consuming and start actually getting pleasure from our favourite things.

So why not save up for the most luxurious item you can afford, rather than buying 10 cheap ones that will break easily?

Make "wearing your Sunday best every day" a personal mantra.

Put on your fullest skirt and twirl around your living room.

Instate "dress up Mondays" to add a little flair to the start of the week.

Always keep a bottle of bubbly in the fridge to celebrate good feedback, friend's successes, or awesome hair days.

Spray glitter in your hair before going to the movies.

Invite your girlfriends over and wear your prom dresses for a pizza party.

Buy beautiful vintage crockery and use it to serve tea every week (even if it's just for yourself).

Wear a different colour of lipstick every day of the week.

Use those luxury bath products that you got as a gift, instead of saving them.

Replace your mascara with falsh eyelashes that make you feel like an old school movie star.

Learn to do a hair style you really love and wear it once a week just because.

Support independent, creative brands.

Buy things that make you feel good.

Love, wild sunsets, & rose lemonade,

And tell me, which Kirk & Kirk frames would you choose? What can you do to celebrate the little things today?