This post is a lil’ different to my usual pre-planned, location-driven, countless photos to choose from instalments on the blog, but I wanted to share these photos nonetheless. My incredible Mum held her sixtieth birthday party on the weekend, and the theme was sixties; an era that already shapes many of my style choices and one that will forever inspire me with colours, designs and spirit. After too much deliberation (there are so many cool icons I would have loved to dress as) Jack and I were encouraged by one of our favourite films, Legend, to go as Reggie Kray and his wife Frances (although Jack actually ended up being Ron so he could wear the glasses…).
DRESS Oxfam | SHOES Topshop (old) | BAG Oxfam | HEADBAND Primark
Naturally, dressing up in a fully sixties influenced outfit felt so right to me; the mini dress, groovy prints, patent, classy accessories and voluminous, exaggerated hair styles pulled back off the face. This gorgeous dress (originally from Next) was just £6 from Oxfam, and as soon as I spotted it I knew it would make the dreamiest centre-piece for a Frances-themed look. My bag was £1 from the same shop and I actually have incorporated it into my daily ensembles quite regularly, although it really enhances the sixties vibe in this instance.
My sister helped style my hair, which involved quite a few rollers to poof up my usually flat locks, so they may be something I actually invest in for my daily hair! The floral headband was a pound from Primark and I think it’s the smallest touch but teamed with the other accessories becomes super retro.
Piecing this outfit together and finally dressing up on the night I realised how much I wanted to wear similar clothes everyday, and that joy filled me with that strange, out-of-place nostalgia that you sometimes experience, of feeling like you should have been born in a different era.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not just the power of the outfit that triggered this emotion, but also the photos of my Mum in her youth living through the decades that have always interested me, and pondering the happiness and simplicity apparent in the photographs – the point and shoot mentality that came before our obsessive desire to get the ‘perfect’ out of everything. ‘Perfect’ has never been something I’ve believed in, everyone is unique because of our differences and if we all aspired to be what is perceived as ‘perfect’ (which is totally unattainable because everyone’s idea of this is personal) then there would be no originality or beautiful individuality.
I am guilty, however, of being a little too social media obsessed and focusing on the wrong priorities. I’m not blaming this blog but I think it has definitely played a part recently in pushing itself up to the top of my to-do list and squeezing time from other important factors of my life like relationships and academic work. Sometimes I wish we could be transported back to the sixties where there was no social media and every good life moment was savoured there and then rather than demanding hundreds of pictures be taken to capture the right one to be revisited on Instagram or Facebook as many times as we or anyone else likes. Photo albums have such a sentimental value for me because they are books of special, selective moments that haven’t been curated for anyone else’s eyes except those of family and friends and future generations.
I think particularly being a millennial the internet is something we have genuinely, unavoidably grown up with: it’s ingrained in our lives in such a significant way that it would be useless to pretend the modern standard of technology is not there and try to ignore it. We need to embrace the constant developments of apps and social media, but in a healthy and balanced way. I think this is an area I need to consider strongly as my intense third year of university is underway, and my deadlines are fast approaching. I love writing and this blog is my favourite way of channelling my personality and sharing my style with the lovely people who read it.
Recently however I have found myself worrying about keeping up with my twice weekly posts, making sure I have them up on time and that they’re detailed enough, as opposed to excitably pouring my heart and soul into a once weekly post like I used to. As proud as I am of the direction my blog is going in and how happy it has made me up until this point, it’s draining a small part of me to be so involved with the effort that goes into each shoot and accompanying article while I have lots of other major things to work on at the moment.
I think I need to temporarily take a step back and cut down my workload for the time being so I can achieve to the best of my ability at university while also juggling my social life and managing to sleep, eat and go to the gym! I will still be creating content each week, but most likely one post instead of two so they are of a higher quality and the end product is something I am happy with. I’ll be interested to see how long this lasts because I’m constantly planning outfits and brainstorming ideas I want to try! I have moved away from gig reviews of late too, so I may attempt to bring the music aspect of my blog back in the meantime.