Reasons to write

Writing about beauty and fashion on social media makes me a dime-a-dozen. There are probably hundreds of thousands of lifestyle and beauty blogs out there, and it seems like every blogger has their own special recipe to ensure their voice is heard.

As for me, I honestly don’t have a recipe or a strategy. I don’t have a team of content creators or developers, and I often sit, staring at my laptop in frustration when I find mistakes on the blog that I have no idea how to fix. I depend on my friends and my network to get my work “out there” and I hope that someone sees what I create, and something small resonates with them.

I sketch this picture because it is part of the message I have in mind when I write. If you told me 5 years ago that I would be writing about fashion and beauty in such a public way, with my own name attached to my work, I would laugh because I have never been so scared of anything in my life!

But this is why I write!

I write to share my vulnerability. To show others that it is good to pursue your dreams, even when they don’t amount to what society sees as success. I write because I have confidence issues with my looks, my body, my personal style, yet I know that I am more than the total of my issues combined.

I write because I HATE seeing social media flooded with pictures that fill women with the need to have perfect eyebrows and fake lashes each day to somehow be of value to the world. I review products honestly, because I buy them and I will not make grand claims about something that is hyped up on social media just for the sake of popularity.

I write to send one small voice of kindness into a world filled with so many beautiful people who mostly believe they are not. I write because no one can ever accuse me of perfection and that gives me approachability.

In writing, and sharing and snapping away, I want to speak to you, whoever you are, wherever you are in life. I want to be a voice of reason, someone who says that it’s ok to splurge on a new pair of shoes, but it’s not ok to squander your hard-earned money to fit in with a society that is obsessed with buying things to be worthy.

I create so others can find their own inspiration in my work, so I can nudge you to take the step in whatever direction your heart is pulling you. I create for my friends, for young girls on the verge of womanhood, for ladies who are unsure about their “mom-bodies” and women who are underrepresented in mainstream media and fashion.

I stand for valuing you as a person with a heart and soul before valuing you as a body that needs to be posed and plucked and perfected at any cost.

I believe that each and every woman can be her own brand of beautiful wearing whatever makes her happy. But more importantly every woman should feel beautiful underneath the clothing and make-up. I would be the happiest lady alive if every woman can find her perfect shade of lipstick and her ultimate skinny jean.

Will you join me on your own journey in finding your beautiful?

 

Photo credit: Simone Franzel  (I cannot recommend her highly enough for any occasion photography. Find her work at http://www.simonefranzel.com/)

 

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Dressing like you mean business!

Whether you are an old hand at corporate wear, or selecting you first interview outfit, I have some great tips to climb the corporate dress ladder! Read on for some advice to help you liven up your corporate closet or guide you in your first steps to becoming a style savant in the office.

Elevator pitch

Here are some great general tips to sharpen your look without fail!

  • When in doubt, dress formally. They say there is no such thing as overdressed and over-educated, and I totally agree. I am not referring to wearing a ball gown to a family dinner (which would be fabulously daring, BTW!) but rather about the events that you are not too sure about. When done right, formal is never too much whereas you will easily stand out if you are not dressed formal enough.
  • Business does not mean boring. You can go a long way with a basic ensemble and change things up with accessories like scarves, jewellery and shoes. By using accessories to liven up an outfit, you avoid the risk of overdoing it and looking unprofessional.
  • By investing in classic, high- quality pieces you are giving your wardrobe longevity that will benefit you in the years to come. Beautiful fabrics in classic colours and quality cuts will never go out of style.

Now, on to the more specific guidelines!

Colour within the lines

  • Stay away from too many colours at one time
  • Stick to a colour palette, this will make it very easy to mix and match items without worrying about clashes. I opt for white, black, grey, blues and burgundy coloured items
  • Add a flash of colour to your wardrobe with cardigans and jewellery

 Proportions = promotions

  • Be deliberate with your proportions. I have way too many items that fall in the mid-range (especially bottoms). These include jeans that are too relaxed fit to be skinny and others that are too tight to be a boyfriend cut. These items make your outfit look “lukewarm”
  • For the office environment, anything too baggy or too tight-fitting can really leave a bad impression. Leave your super comfy, two sizes too large jersey for Saturday Netflix sessions on the couch. Also, don’t even look at the second-skin skinny jeans that force you to go commando in an effort to avoid the dreaded VPL (visible panty line). You want people to notice your intellectual assets, not your “other assets”
  • Same rule applies for anything that is too short or too long. Mini-skirts are usually not appropriate (depending on how they are worn) but what about your dramatic long sleeve shirt with the cascading French lace cuffs? It might also be a bit over the top, especially if it gets in the way of actually doing your job (theatrical lace and keyboards? I don’t think they are comfortable colleagues)
  • Limit the amount of accessories you wear. Coco Chanel was quoted as saying: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory”. You don’t want to look like a Christmas tree. Leave that for the weekend or girls night.
  • Keep your shoes polished and stylish. Don’t opt for casual shoes- this is one small detail that can really bring your outfit together
  • Remember that high heels are not always appropriate and when you do choose to wear heels, stay away from sequined, leopard-print stilettos with huge bows and cartoon characters to top it off. If your shoes speak louder than your resume, you are not doing yourself any favours

Trends

  • No matter what the fashion magazines say “sports luxe” or athletic wear is almost always out for business attire. Some exceptions may apply and you should use your judgement in this matter, but I know I would never feel comfortable wearing a baseball cap to the office unless it is a sports day or some other specific reason. And for the love of all things fashionable, remember you are not a Kardashian, you most likely cannot pull off wearing sweatpants and heels to the office. Just don’t do it!
  • Some trends are great for the corporate environment, including the masculine trend, minimalism and beautiful winter textures that are coming into the stores in South Africa at the moment
  • If you love a specific trend, don’t be afraid to incorporate it, but do so with caution. A neon-coloured ring or silver studded bracelet would be great ways to liven up an outfit. Neon leggings and a biker inspired sleeveless t-shirt on the other hand, not so much!
  • Generally speaking I would advise not to over-invest in trends. They come and go faster than the latest corporate buzz-word and your money is much better spent on key, timeless pieces that will add to your wardrobe for years to come

Whether you love dressing formally every day, or you are a jeans and sneakers kind of girl, spending some time on your professional wardrobe will keep you looking ready for the corporate world, and will save you money in the long run (by avoiding overspending on trends and replacing lower quality items frequently).

Go on, conquer the boardroom and show the world some love while dressing to impress!

Lsj (1)