Let them be young

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At the start of this year, I took on the challenging task of researching a topic that is not debated near enough as it should be in our society, and that is the over-sexualisation of children’s clothing within the UK fashion industry. The project was initially posted through my University’s news website; however, due to the upgrade of my blog, I thought it was time to upload it to here!

Admittedly as a young girl, I would always think about growing older. I would put on my Mother’s clothes and makeup, and pretend to be a grownup way before my time – let’s face it, all girls do it. But luckily my mum saved me from myself and always dressed me in appropriate clothing. However, when walking around high street stores nowadays, with family members of a young age (without trying to sound too old!) I always think to myself that the clothing for children is far too explicit, some you could describe as ‘scaled-down adult clothes.’

Using this observation I chose to develop it into a university project and whilst talking to peers and parents, I realised that this wasn’t just an issue that parents believe to be of high importance, but also the younger generation. Let Them Be Young explores the past, the psychological issues and the resolution to the problem to help raise awareness.

N.B. Results as of January 2015

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A triumph in the bra stakes!

A couple of weeks back I was emailed by the Triumph Lingerie’s Press Office inviting me to the launch of their new Magic Wire bra in Bournemouth. They offered me an opportunity that I could not possibly turn down. It consisted of a personal bra fitting with a lingerie expert, followed by sending me a free sample of the new bra.

Triumph Lingerie Magic Wire

For a girl with a large bust, to be asked this is a dream come true. I am a 32F so it is definitely hard to find a bra that fits me well without breaking the bank. Long gone are the days where I can wonder into Primark and pick up a £5 bra – my lingerie shopping trips now consist of travelling far and wide just to spend £25 on one single bra that just doesn’t even fit that well anyway. So I am definitely grateful to Triumph for both bringing my attention to the brand and for treating me with a truly amazing bra.

About the Magic Wire Bra

Triumph describes the bra as ‘providing women with the utmost comfort and support that is designed to feel like a second skin’. They believe that after extensive research, they have finally resolved the problem of uncomfortable bras, as the Magic Wire creates the ultimate fit due to integrated silicone strips fitted into the moulded cup, which contours the bust perfectly without causing discomfort like a normal wire bra.

My experience

I had heard of Triumph lingerie prior to this, however; I never actually knew that there was a concession so close to home in Beales, Bournemouth – despite me working there for nearly a year!

So one Friday, I headed down to Beales to have my fitting. Unfortunately they did not have my size in store, and had sold out online, so I had to wait in anticipation for a few weeks awaiting my new wonder. All I can say is that the wait was 100%, most definitely worth it.

When I received the bra through the post, it was packaged nicely, came with a lovely personal handwritten note, and to my surprise, three little lingerie pillows to make my drawers smell nice! These little touches are what I love and definitely add to the whole consumer experience.

Note Lingerie Parcels

It’s normally assumed that women with big boobs have to wear ugly bras, but Triumph sent me the Contouring Sensation bra in black and beige, and this completely diminishes my opinion on this. There are little lacy panels along the bust line, and a decorative bow at the front, and the simplicity of the design is perfect to wear under anything. It can be worn anytime, day or night, and is the perfect T-shirt bra. Also due to the plunge it is great for wearing low cut tops – there is nothing worse than seeing bras peeping through!

When I first put on the bra it felt like it had been specifically made for my boobs, unlike any other bra I’ve had before. The straps weren’t painful; the cups fitted snug and the bust line sat perfectly around my chest. The silicone strips literally made me feel that someone was just holding my boobs up, yet I could not feel a thing at the same time.

The best way I can describe it is say goodbye to the days where you come home and immediately want to take off your bra, adios to wires stabbing into your chest and ciao to just wanting to give up and never wear a bra again in your life. Some may think I’m over-exaggerating, but the bra is simply magic in every shape and form.

Contouring Sensation Magic Wire Bra £36

Contouring Sensation Magic Wire Bra £36

I do have big boobs. Sometimes I really do not like how large they are, I feel uncomfortable getting them out as some may know. But my goodness, never in any other bra has my boobs looked so amazing. And many people would pay a lot of money for boobs my size, so I have been blessed and should be grateful (cheers Nanna).

I would love to get the Contouring Sensation Highwaist pants to match the bra, so hopefully I can save up some money and get them soon.

For girls with big boobies: this bra makes them look better, girls with small boobs: it will give you boobs, and for girls that are fed up with having crappy old bras, just join in on the fun and grab yourselves one of these bad boys.

They are totally worth every penny – just think of it as a long term investment, none of us want tata’s down at our knees by the time were 30, so look after your lady lumps and get yourself a good bra!

Check out the whole Magic Wire collection here.

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Twitter: @TriumphUK Facebook: Triumph

Greek Sandals Trend

Greek Sandals Trend

The good, the bad, and the golden

As dawn approached in England this morning, pictures started to emerge of the red carpet fashion from this years Golden Globe awards. I was awake all night as I kept dreaming about buying furniture after a day of hell at IKEA, so I decided to use my time wisely and have a long look at some amazing and not so amazing dresses. No, I may not have an extensive knowledge about the fashion world, and I don’t really have any place in saying what isn’t great, but I have devised my top five favourite and top five least favourite looks from the night. Unfortunately, due to copyright issues I am unable to publish pictures alongside, but if you are unaware of who I am talking about, then give it a quick Google and you will soon see.

1) To begin with, despite what most people seem to be thinking, my absolute favourite outfit of the night was Emma Watson strutting her stuff in Christian Dior. I think she looked totally incredible, and I loved the quirkiness of the outfit with the backless bright red gown, the black trousers and navy heel. By the sounds of it, Emma seems to have hit the bottom of the best-dressed list over in the States, whilst fashion worshippers over the pond love her unique style, and I agree. This would be a prime example of an outfit that I’d personally want to wear if I was to ever hit the red carpet, although I would never look half as good!

2) My second favourite outfit was the stunning Sofia Vergara in an equally stunning Zac Posen floor length, black ball gown. It accentuated all her best features, including some ridiculously toned arms! Despite changing for a GG after-party, (I don’t know why she did, if I ever wore that dress I’d never take it off… ever), Sofia looked just as amazing in a revealing Zuhair Murad metallic fishtail dress.

3) In third place is the gorgeous Maria Menounos in Max Azria Atelier. Opposite to Emma Watson, it seems that the reaction to Maria’s dress over here is not as great as it is in America, however; I completely beg to differ with us Brits. The cheeky cutouts on this beautifully shaped dress creates the perfect ratio of daring to darling in this look. The colour suits her so well and the simple ponytail does not take anything away from the dress, keeping the whole look elegant. I just think she looks completely gorgeous and I need this dress in my life.

4) Zoe Saldana takes forth place in my ranks out of last night’s looks. With everything going on, this fitted Prabal Gurung dress should technically be wrong, but it is so incredibly right. The highly detailed embellishments, the contrasting pink off-the-shoulder silk straps, and the transparent skirt all add to the uniqueness of the outfit, which has been paired with Louboutin heels and Lorraine Schwartz jewels. For some strange reason, I could just imagine Carrie Bradshaw/Sarah-Jessica Parker wearing this dress in an episode of Sex and the City.

5) My final favourite look was from 12 Years a Slave star, Lupita Nyong’o, wearing a totally unique caped, red Ralph Lauren dress. Personally, I would never wear this dress because I wouldn’t have the gonads to do so, and it is made for Lupita so perfectly; but I appreciate how extremely well designed this dress is. (I know Ralph Lauren would be so pleased to have my approval). Matched with her short hair and simple gold jewellery, this girl looks so effortlessly beautiful.

Now for the bad bit – my not so favourite looks. I hate to say negative things about the outfits because I’d never even be able to afford one of these dresses – but I’m speaking as if I had to go to a red carpet event, and these would not be any of the dresses I’d wear. Sorry!

1) I haven’t heard of Girls until recently, but even so Lena Dunham’s bright yellow Zac Posen dress is pretty heavy on the eyes. She admitted to not exactly dieting in the run up to the big show, stating that she actually ate a thick patty of hamburger meat like a cavewoman, which probably isn’t the greatest idea before putting on a tight bodice. For someone that is supposed to be BFF-ing with Victoria Beckham at the moment, she clearly hasn’t picked up any style tips. If you want to do yellow justice, then wear a gown like Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch’s dress made by Romona Keveza.

2) I really do hate to say it because it’s Dior, one of my all-time favourite designers, and also Jennifer Lawrence, one of the best actresses on the planet right now; but this really does not work in anyway whatsoever. It looks like someone attempted to kidnap her with Gaffer tape mid-wedding, but failed to do so, leaving a very unflattering wedding dress. Unfortunately, social networkers are already mocking her internationally, taking pictures of themselves in a rolled-up duvet. For someone like Jennifer with a lovely figure, it seems a shame to hide it behind a frumpy, shapeless dress, but I suppose she does like to bend the norm, so if she likes it, then kudos to her!

3) My third choice is utter bullocks, (sorry I couldn’t help myself). Sandra Bullock has done extremely well so far in the ranks of awards, and is set to win many more, but this Prabal Gurung dress is not going to win in my charts anytime soon. It’s a bit too ‘try hard’ different, so much so, that it doesn’t work in any shape or form – probably because the dress has neither. Also, the poor design and colouring of this dress looks like something that could have been made in my A-Level Textiles class, but then again that would be an insult to us. Despite this, I do love her hair and makeup, and admittedly, she looks incredible for her age.

4) Paula Patton comes forth in her white Stephane Rolland dress with ruffled draping. It’s not the worse dress in the world, but for someone with such an amazing body, she could wear so much better. The dress would look miles nicer if it didn’t have that draping down the right-hand side. Her jewellery is gorgeous and she genuinely looks stunning, however; this dress is a no.

5) In fifth place is Drew Barrymore with her Monique Lhuillier gown, which to me, alongside the baby bump, flowers and long trail, slightly resembled Kim Kardashian’s Givenchy’s dress at the Met Ball last year… no comment. But hey she’s pregnant. If I ever look that pretty whilst up the duff then I’d be extremely happy.

Overall, my views on some particular designers like Christian Dior, Zac Posen and Prabal Gurung seemed to vary. Nevertheless, there were hundreds of lovely outfits seen last night and were very few terrible outfits – even some of the dresses mentioned above aren’t hideous, but just not up there with the standards of some other gowns. This is only an opinion and I guess everyone will think differently, as everyone has their own unique style.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with anything in this post!

fernsig2

A big thank you

A few days on from my post about anxiety and panic disorder I have received a huge amount of messages saying how helpful it was to know that someone else was going through the same. It was extremely difficult to write, but the response has made it so much easier to talk about. I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone that has either viewed, or messaged me about the post.

Just to re-iterate it is common, more people suffer from it than your realise; but if you do, you are normal, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Hope you all have a great weekend.

fernsig2

The struggle with anxiety

This is definitely going to be one of my most serious blog posts, and also the most difficult to write; but I think that it is something that is long overdue, and should be done in order to help overcome the problem I have faced.

Some may or may not know that I am unfortunately a huge sufferer of anxiety. I have dealt with it for the majority of my life, and still suffer to this day – although not as much. I do not want this post to be considered as a ‘cry for attention’, or asking people to feel sorry for me. I want to use it as a positive platform to help both myself genuinely think about what I, and many others have to deal with, and also to help individuals maybe get through the emotions they are feeling, as well as informing others who are unsure of the disorder.

Most people do not realise that it is a mental illness. When people think of the term ‘mental’, they think of an unpredictable psychopath who could snap at any moment, which is completely untrue. The connotations that come with a mental illness in general, are mostly negative. People need to realise that even stress is considered a mental illness, but just because someone is stressed, does not make them ‘crazy’. Luckily, through charity awareness weeks and social media, the barrier is slowly being broken down, and it is becoming more acceptable to talk about mental health with a positive outlook. However, I believe that more does have to be done if we want to completely diminish the overall negative views on mental health. Nevertheless, that is another story. I want to talk about the various stages of my life and the anxiety I dealt with.

As mentioned above, I have suffered with anxiety and panic attacks from an extremely young age. My Mum reminds me now on how I’d say I had ‘gone all funny’. I did not realise what was actually going on, but now looking back, I can see that in fact I was having a panic attack. The first proper panic attack I can remember is when I was about 10 years old. It was a Friday evening and I had just been dropped at my old best friends house for a sleepover. We were sat round her dining room table with a drink (no it wasn’t alcoholic!), when all of a sudden I felt sick, dizzy and hot. I wasn’t there half an hour until my Dad had to come and pick me up. Without knowing what was going on, my Dad drove us to our nearest shops as we normally did on a Friday evening to get snacks for the weekend, and went back home. When we got back, my panic attack had increased. By this time I had been panicking for 20 minutes, and I was certain that I would need an ambulance. I asked my Dad if we should call 999, but obviously I was fine and we didn’t. (Someone that has anxiety will know this horrible feeling). It may sound silly but as a 10 year old who has no knowledge of anxiety and panic, it was the scariest time in the world.

Unfortunately my teenage years were not any easier, for numerous reasons.

The transition of moving from primary school to secondary school is a nerve-wracking time. To face a new school with new challenges will definitely pressurise children, but at the time I moved I was also suffering with Glandular Fever, which didn’t help my anxiety. In lessons I would have to leave because I’d feel too ill, and sometimes I wouldn’t bother going in which made the girls in my class think that I was faking it. This carried on for a few years, but I had months of not having any panic attacks at all, to having around two or three a day.

At the age of 15 my dad was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, a terminal illness in which the muscles waste away, leaving the sufferer paralysed. This was an extremely difficult time, but oddly enough my anxiety wasn’t too bad, my family were still just maintaining hope that we could maybe find a cure. Eleven months after he was diagnosed, Dad passed away a couple of months before my 17th birthday. At any age losing a parent is horrendous, and the grief hits you like an atomic bomb, especially when they are taken from you so suddenly. At this time in my education I was studying my AS Levels, which didn’t make things easy. My school tried to make me leave on numerous occasions, and sometimes I was keen on the idea of just walking out, but knew in years to come I’d regret that decision.

The most annoying thing is that panic can arise in the calmest of situations. I could be watching the X Factor when all of a sudden I was certain I was dying or I could be lying down in bed and I would panic, for no reason. Like clockwork, it would happen every Sunday evening. One particular attack that I can remember so distinctly was one Sunday evening; me, my Mum and my boyfriend were watching The Apprentice Final (when Ricky Martin won), when all of a sudden I felt extremely panicky. I felt like my brain was shutting down, my heart hurt, my whole body was shaking, I was hot, I was certain that I needed to go to hospital, and was certain that that evening I was going to die. My Mum and boyfriend were just telling me to calm down, but during a panic attack, there is no telling someone to calm down. I was saying that I needed to go to hospital and was angry that they were just sat there, thinking I was going crazy. But your body feels so wrong, you don’t feel like yourself, and nothing feels real.

A year and a half on from my father’s death, and a week before my A Level final exams another huge event in my life happened. On Jubilee Monday, my house was destroyed in a fire. I had been home from work only 20 minutes when all of a sudden we had a loud knock at the door, and to our shock, someone was screaming at us to get out because our roof was on fire. Leading up to this I was sat in the lounge watching the start of the Jubilee celebrations, when me and my Mum had said that our next door neighbours must have been tidying their garage. On the other side of the wall our sofa is placed against, it sounded like they were moving things about. What in fact was happening were paint pots, gas canisters and electrical items exploding. I grabbed my dogs, phone and iPad (priorities?) and left the house immediately. When we got outside and looked at our roof it was completely on fire, and we had been sat under it for at least five minutes without any knowledge. As we watched five fire-trucks and over 40 fire fighters try and extinguish the 50ft flames, you can imagine, my anxiety was at an all time high.

Due to everything that happened leading up to my A Levels I was more than certain there was no chance I was going to pass any of my exams. I had already deferred my UCAS application and was prepared to have a year out working. Nevertheless, in August 2012, I received BBC in Business, Textiles and English – something that I could never have predicted. Within an hour I had called Bournemouth University to see if I could still go that year, and luckily got in through clearing. Again at the time of moving on from school to university, it is another scary time in your life. Luckily I had the comfort of still being at home, because I did not feel ready to leave home so soon after everything that had happened. In my first year I did deal with panic attacks – as you can imagine being in a fire, I was concerned about being able to get out of somewhere quickly, so I would worry in lectures, which made it difficult to learn, and most of the time, I would avoid them where possible. This may sound completely stupid to some people, but I guess everyone is different. 

I have dealt with anxiety and panic disorder numerous ways. I have been prescribed beta-blockers a few times, which stops the random rush of adrenaline, which initially starts the panic attack. But you have to learn not to rely on them, so I only used them when I felt like a panic attack was about to start. I’d listen to some music and have a sing along. Scientifically, you are more aware of your breathing when you are singing and breathe deeper, so you get more oxygen in your lungs. A panic attack makes you breathe very lightly and shallowly, and this will not help in terms of dizziness or the faint feeling you may get. This brings me to my next point – meditating. I’d often lie down in bed listening to a YouTube self-help video where someone will take you through a relaxation period, make you think about your breathing, and teach you how to clear your thoughts. I know it sounds annoying, but I think the only way to properly overcome the disorder is to ride it through like a wave. Everyone is different; some may like to meditate, some like to medicate. But the one piece of advice I can give is to just keep telling yourself: you are not going to die. A panic attack can not kill you. Although at the time you feel like everything is coming to an end – it’s not. Keep telling yourself that and you’ll soon get over it.

I know it is a pretty deep topic to discuss, and although I’ve talked about periods of my life which I don’t like to draw upon – they have all made me who I am today. I don’t think I would ever be as strong as I am now. And as mentioned before, I really have not done this for pity in anyway, shape or form, but I already feel like a large weight has been lifted off of my shoulders, because I’ve never discussed it in such great detail before. But everything I have dealt with has made me even more motivated and determined to work harder for what I want in life. I realised that even during some of the worst situations, I can still manage to get some qualifications! I realised that life is far too short to spend 90% of the time worrying about what could happen. I realised that all that effort going into me over-thinking could be put to good use thinking about something positive. I’ve got a lot of extremely exciting events to look forward to which I will talk about at a later date – some that I do feel anxious for, and worry that I will have a panic attack. But I have to take my own advice – and remember that everything is OK!

What needs to be mentioned is that anxiety and panic attacks can occur for no reason at all. I am in no way saying that my anxiety is any worse than anyone else’s due to the situations I’ve dealt with. Everyone with it feels the effects differently, but they suffer all the same.

Some time on, and halfway through my degree, I can finally say I’m in a steady point in my life anxiety-wise. Yes I get anxious every now and then, and sometimes have the odd panic attack – but it’s nowhere near as bad as what I used to get, which I am so thankful for. Now, I get good anxious – the excited anxious you feel when you are stepping into the unknown, not the bad anxious, what you feel when in midst of a panic attack. I have to thank all my amazing family, boyfriend and friends for being so supportive during the tough times, and I really honestly could not thank them enough for everything they have done for me. Sorry if it has ever annoyed you! At these times you definitely learn who are the ones you can truly rely on, cliché as it sounds.

I really do hope this may have helped other people, and I know it has definitely helped me get certain things off my chest. If you have any questions, or need to chat about it then please do send me a message on twitter, or by email.

fernsig2

Pastels

Pastels

Pastel nail polish
hottopic.com

OPI nail polish
$19 – asos.com

OPI nail polish
$19 – asos.com

Ciate nail polish
$15 – johnlewis.com

Essie nail polish
nordstrom.com

POP pastel nail polish
$11 – asos.com

Topshop matte nail polish
$9.83 – johnlewis.com

Topshop matte nail polish
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Topshop nail polish
$9.83 – johnlewis.com

Topshop pastel purple nail polish
$9.83 – johnlewis.com

Topshop nail polish
$9.83 – johnlewis.com

Topshop nail polish
$8.19 – johnlewis.com

Topshop nail polish
$8.19 – johnlewis.com