I don’t know what it is about this particular January that has got me feeling so glum; maybe it’s the fact that I know the next five months of my degree will be the toughest yet, and then I’ll have to face the uncertain road of where to go next and give up living with my best friends and being constantly surrounded by the comfort and support of some great people.
Perhaps it’s because I usually spend a more lengthy period of time at home over Christmas and I feel as though I haven’t spent enough time with my friends and family to deal with leaving them for yet another term.
Or maybe the blues have hit because I gave myself the gift of two weeks completely work free, which was bliss and very much needed, and now I have to suck it up and throw myself back into uni life: studying and gym and cooking my own meals after being dreamily lazy and well-fed for a fortnight.
Whatever the reason, this January has felt bluer for me than any other, and the usual excitement I associate with returning to Nottingham has slipped away. I have felt lost in a way I can’t really put my finger on, and am finding it difficult to come to terms with the year ahead.
However, I’m a positive thinker and determined not to succumb to these blues all month long. Rather than ‘beating’ them, I’ve decided to embrace them. I’m a firm believer that crying is therapeutic, and when things get overwhelming it’s good to let everything out (even if you don’t really know why you’re upset). It helps me come to terms with what’s going on and I feel a sense of refreshment afterwards; ready to address challenges and problems and accept the day ahead as it happens.
To embrace the dark days and nights and bitter cold of January and the solemn mood that comes hand in hand with it, is to accept it is there and figure out ways to deal with it. Pulling on an outfit I love makes me confident and positive about whatever I’m doing, so clothes are usually what I find comfort in to get up and be productive when I actually want to hide under my (new pastel pink) duvet all day.
I recently read an article in Oh Comely that explored the cathartic benefits of knitwear, and how it gives you a kind of hug when no-one else can. I have a special place in my wardrobe for knitted sweaters, they are one of my favourite basic pieces and a good one will last me years. I received this amazing fluffy H&M jumper as a Christmas present and I’ve barely taken it off since. The material is warm and cosy (just like an oversized hug) and I love everything about the design; the turtleneck and the massive puffy sleeves and ribbed detailing. I especially like how the colour is set off by my shade of lipstick (matte Sin by Mac) giving it a frosty tone as opposed to a warmer pastel blue.
My jeans I mentioned in my most recent post; they were my first sale bargain of 2018 (unfortunately now they’re back up at full price) and at first I wasn’t too sure about them. They looked totally different to how they had on the website and I couldn’t decide what to wear them with, but after several outfit changes and realising they’re the exact style I’ve been wanting I kept them and they have seeeriously grown on me since! I don’t have much in the means of dark denim, so they give my wardrobe a bit of variation and allow me to experiment with alternative colours. I have a thing for cropped jeans that I can’t seem to let go of (even in the depths of winter) and so now my ankles are permanently cold but I’m embracing that too because cropped just works better for me.
The frayed bottoms and shorter length compliment my shoes dreamily, which I’m happy about because it’s rare I can incorporate this old but beautiful Topshop pair into a more casual daytime outfit – normally I reserve them for the evening. The super high-waisted feature is great for teaming the jeans with shorter tops and for tucking in baggy items. The majority of my jeans are pretty loose all over, so I like how these start tight at the booty and become increasingly flared as they go on.
I’m very excited to announce I’ve found a beret that actually suits my small face and covers up the fact that I desperately need my roots done. I’ve been on a personal mission for about 6 months to track down the right beret for me, all the while watching other people work theirs in awe. Finally I found this gem at the Old Electric Shop in Hay-on-Wye and went back about three times to make sure it suited me before buying it! The simple accessories paired with this outfit are what make it pop: the navy blue beret and the antique-looking handbag add charm and create an ensemble I love.
You may have also noticed I went for a biiiig hair change and decided to get a fringe cut (thank you to my multi-talented sister Amy!). I’d gotten so comfortable with the middle parting I gave myself in high-school and the gradual upgrade to blonde that I doubted a fringe would suit me despite wanting one for absolutely ages. I had a surge of confidence and a ‘so what’ mindset on this particular day though – if I didn’t like it it’d grow out and I’m not really that fussy about how my hair looks! But I love it and am surprisingly enjoying the extra attention I’m paying to my hair each morning; I’m used to not styling it at all, but now I’m brushing and straightening (I’m unsure how long this enjoyment will last).
This new style seems to be another method I’ve adapted to overcome my spout of the blues, and it certainly has left me more comfortable in my own skin and feeling more like ‘me’ than I have in a long time. I think I forget how much personalities and fashion senses grow and develop and that it’s also important for me to refresh my hair / beauty routines every now and again to suit this.
Sorry this post has been a huge splurge of what’s on my mind and my attitude towards tackling negative thoughts in the coming year. I love these photos and the content we managed to create, I think they’re some of my favourites in a long time and the outfit and location of pretty Lichfield definitely played a part in that!
ph. Jack Smith.