Lifestyle . Fashion . Beauty . Culture

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Sentimentality of Fashion

I have a confession: I’m a hoarder. I hold onto everything from the perfume box a Christmas gift came in to my ‘homework club’ certificate I received when I was 9 (I was a cool kid). And don’t even get me started on makeup. The palette with hues so extreme it’s named ‘Acid’ and has only been used once when I spontaneously thought I could rock a hot pink eye (I couldn’t)? I definitely need to hang onto that just in case I need it someday. Basically, I’m crap at throwing things out.

I’ve always attached sentimentality to inanimate objects. There are just some things in life that we don’t want to bid farewell to because of the emotional connection they have to past memories. But then there are the more trivial relics that are just as hard to let go of; the tacky glitter globes I bought myself when I was 10 or the beautifully designed hat box that my younger, naïve self planned to store love letters in (I clearly didn’t predict the rise of technology/ just how awkward looking a teenager I would be).

My wardrobe’s the worst culprit and I’m not alone; it’s predicted that on average a woman only wears 20% of the clothes she owns on a regular basis. It’s a staggering estimate, especially when you consider the cost of the extra 80% left hanging.

And so, long overdue a clear out, I became inspired by Carrie Bradshaw and invited my three closest friends over, popped open the Moët and made them watch me parade around in every single piece I owned while they faked enthusiasm and held up ‘take’ or ‘toss’ cards. Only joking, I can’t think of anything more boring or self-involved to make my friends do (instead I’ll just write about it and make you all read it).

I'm with Miranda
I don’t know why I’m such a hoarder but I suspect in part it’s due to some subconscious romanticism of what things were in the past or could be in the future. Take, for example, the royal purple, silk dress that I just can’t throw out. It is literally too painful to wear, no thanks to the awkward placement of sequins that scratch your arms. For this reason I’ve only worn it once. I’ll never wear it again but I still can’t throw it away. Why? Because it’s too pretty to throw in a monotonous heap of unloved clothes, I bought it on my 16th birthday and, for me, it represents the person I want to be when I rarely leave the house after 10pm: fun, sparkly and joyous.

“Clothes are much more than just cloth. It’s giving the wearer something more than a garment. It’s transferring emotion,” fashion designer Jessica Ogden once said and it’s a sentiment I fully understand. There’s a reason why our tastes and preferred pieces change over the years; we change as people and this is reflected in our lifestyle choices, particularly what we choose to wear.

Some clothes are easy to throw out because of the memories they hold: that ‘night out only’ bodycon dress that I hung on to for a little too long despite it not fitting for the best part of four years? Gone. The try-hard plaid skirt I bought on a whim when I first became editor of my student magazine after another The Devil Wears Prada re-run? So long. But, despite my impressively ruthless clear out there are some clothes that will stay in my wardrobe indefinitely.

Fashion is simultaneously obsessed with the past and the future. Every season we see a version of a ‘classic reinvented’ or the trend pages of magazines refer specifically to a decade’s archetypal style. That’s what’s so wonderful about fashion: it’s constantly innovative, challenges conventions but is also significantly influenced by the past. It looks back and moves forward: something that I believe is reflected in our own collection of clothes too.

I will never stop pining over minimalist Scandi-style interior design on Pinterest, nor will I ever stop admiring the meticulously organised wardrobe spaces in Elle’s 'Closet Confidential' pages. But sometimes the most eclectic wardrobes featured were the most fascinating to read about because of the dazzling stories behind the pieces. By contrast, I can’t claim that I wore my purple, sparkly dress to the MET gala, or that it gifted to me from my dear friend Karl Lagerfeld, but it makes me happy, and isn’t that what personal style is about after all?

Still in need of a serious declutter? Image consultant and wardrobe organiser, Lis-Marie Liden shares her tips:
Fashion is a way to identify yourself and find your own branding but it is important to know your limits. Try on a piece and ask realistically will I wear it again? Why is it still in my wardrobe? Am I saving it for a special occasion that may not come? It’s important to be ruthless if you’re wanting a clear-out. Does the piece represent who you are now? Compare it to other clothes in your wardrobe. Can they be worn together? And importantly: does it fit? It's important to invest and if you have that one piece you can't let go of due to memories and sentimental value, maybe store it in a safe place away from daily outfits.”

NG <3

Photo Credit: Emily May via Flickr.


Sunday, 2 April 2017

Spring Beauty Wishlist

Spring has officially sprung. I never pay attention to equinox dates, ‘the first day of spring or summer etc…’, because let’s face it, the weather hardly matches. It was only a few years ago that I remember the start of spring was marked accordingly with a sprinkling of snow. 

But now it really feels like spring; it’s noticeably warmer (hello denim jacket- I’ve missed you) and there’s a fresh sense of energy in the air, probably resulting from leaving the newsroom after working on a computer all day and being greeted by daylight. The countdown to lazy summer afternoons spent in the beer garden has begun; I’ve even had my first glass of Pimms of 2017.

Before I ramble on about the weather for a whole post, (it’s possible, I am British after all) I will get to my point, after all Oscar Wilde once said “conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative”. Guilty as charged. 

Spring for me signifies change. Time for a refresh. As we move from A/W 2016 into S/S 2017 and welcome tulle, fuchsia and the 80s revival, it’s a chance to update your beauty routine and invest in some spring buys. Here’s my beauty wishlist for the next few months (all donations kindly accepted): 
Left to right:

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour, £8.99

I’ve been recommended this lip colour by the beauty pages of just about every magazine going. The promise is velvety, matte lips without the drying effect that many similar products have and there’s a variety of vivid shades available. Top of my list are ‘Flirtation’, a summery coral shade, and ‘Love’, for a more dramatic red lip.

Makeup Revolution 'Beyond Flawless' Palette, £8

I’m a recent convert to Makeup Revolution products after becoming obsessed with their blush palette and finding that their products are just as appealing as their price point. I’ve been lusting over Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky palette since I bought Naked 2 (treat yo self) but now that my student status has been reactivated I’m all about quality bargain buys. The ‘Beyond Flawless’ palette features 32 shades, ranging from dusky pinks to shimmery bronzes to jet black. All you need for the perfect smoky eye. Oh, and it works out 25p per shade. Like more incentive was needed…

A shift has happened over the past few years in my make-up collection and highlighter has become as much a staple in my routine as mascara. I always find myself complimenting my friend Rachel (check out her blog here) on her highlight and she is an avid fan of this Sleek palette. I’ve got a lot of time for Sleek products. I always find they have amazing staying power and I’m so tempted with this palette due to it featuring a mix of cream, matte and shimmery textures. 

I don’t use the term ‘the one’ lightly but when it comes to this moisturiser there was no hesitation. It’s lightweight, oil free, boosts hydration levels and smells incredible. The problem? The price point. Eeeek. Like l said, all donations kindly welcomed. 

Benefit, you’ve done it again. Just when I thought Bad Gal could not be topped I tried Rollerlash. I’ve never got on board with They’re Real, finding it a little too clumpy for my liking, but Rollerlash creates natural, curled lashes that are perfect for daytime. Plus the packaging is soooo pretty. 

Despite the smell I’ve always been a fan of Elnett and I’m so excited to try out the brand’s new release that promises to ‘magnify all types of waves’. I have naturally wavy hair and I can’t resist amplifying it with my Babyliss hair wand and using at least half a can of hairspray to preserve volume so I can’t wait to use this. 

Summer is the time of year when I desperately try to emulate Gisele’s sun kissed beach waves. Sadly I never reach the desired effect but if I start to practice in spring surely I’ll get there by June? Or maybe July? Probably not but regardless, I have faith in John Frieda. 

What's on your spring beauty wishlist? 

NG <3

Photo credit: Camdiluv ♥ via Flickr
© NG

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