ON MY RADAR

Monday, 10 July 2017

Keeping stylish in the city heat


This weather is like marmite, you either love this humidity or hate it. Thank god my workplace has air con, but when it comes to choosing blog outfits in this heat I find it super restricting. There are so many denim jackets I have scheduled to shoot, but it was over 25 degrees last weekend and my tan would have probably have sweated off me and onto my brand new clothes (not a great combo!). This outfit was literally a last minute put together. It was too hot to wear a jacket, and too hot to wear a bodysuit and I wasn't in the mood to wear a skirt. When it comes to heat, I want to wear the floatiest, easiest clothing, yet I don't want to look boring or plain. 

So the first item I'm going to discuss are the Missguided shorts. I did wear these a couple of weeks back and they are probably my favourite shorts in my wardrobe. I just love the two tone block denim and the frayed hem gives it some detail. I genuinely struggle to find shorts that fit me. They are either too short, or they do not sit properly on the waist, or they are too small on the bum (I think we all have one of these struggles).  These tick most of the boxes (apart from being baggy around the waist) but it just gives me an excuse to wear a belt so I'm not complaining!

Now lets discuss this New Look kimono. If anyone is conscious about the top of the thighs then a long kimono is a winner! I also feel less exposed when I wear a long kimono with shorts, and I always find them really flattering. In this instance the floral print really makes this look extra summery! But a long kimono gives the illusion of slimmer legs because it covers the outside part of the leg and if you wear heels (like these New Look sandals for instance) then it helps to extend the legs too! I have to admit I haven't seen as many kimonos around compared to last year but I think they are a summer essential and it just goes to show that a simple print can really help transform a look. I definitely felt stylish in the city heat! 

Now I will quickly mention the Quay sunglasses. These have been my all time favourite pair this summer. The gradient really makes these different compared to the rest in my collection. Yes they were £50, but I'm sure I have got my monies worth out of these. I have worn them loads! 

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Kimono - New Look 
Shoes - New Look 
Top (similar here) - H&M old
Shorts - Missguided 
Belt (similar here) - ASOS old
Bag - From Holiday 

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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Feeling fabulous in floral!


Hey everyone! First of all, how the hell are we into July already!?! This year for me has gone pretty tits up, but I can honestly say things could be a lot worse!! I'm grateful that I've got a holiday next month, and a couple of festivals to look forward to. Bigger changes may happen near to the end of the summer but I am not going to jinx anything and say! We shall wait and see.. 

For now though, here's another outfit! I purchased this New Look blouse at work the other day and although it's very girly and different to what I normally like, I am really fond of this! In fact, I actually felt rather fabulous! I love the lightweight material and the tie up front makes it easy to have it loose, or tie it up to make it look like a floaty jacket. They also do a black version, but I always prefer light colours for summer. Worth it for £22.99! I think if you styled this nice with some trousers or a midi skirt, this would also be perfect for a wedding! 

So I styled it with a simple Missguided bralet which is weirdly from the petite section! I'm definitely not petite but this fitted perfect and I can't wait to wear it with some simple shorts on holiday. I think it has sold out but I will link below some similar bralets!

Now lets discuss this skirt! Missguided seem to be killing it with their summer clothing and when I saw this skirt I HAD to buy it. I love the lace up front and the light denim makes this so easy to wear. The only thing I wish this skirt has was belt loops. I would love to team this skirt with a western belt but this skirt I'm guessing is meant to be sleek. It doesn't even have pockets! 

The Public Desire Shoes have to be a must have for your summer wardrobe though! They make the perfect day sandals since the heel height is low and walkable, and I also like that the tie up laces hold throughout the day. I can't stand that bouncy fabric! Is that what you call it? When you tie something and the material springs back so it never stays secure? I hope you understand what I mean right now! Basically the laces stay tight all day without needing to adjust them!

The New Look pearl bag has been worn so much already and I've only had it a couple of weeks! It's the perfect size for the evening, and you could take it out for the day as long as you take the essentials (this is when I would need a mini can of hairspray!). They also stock the bag in black and knowing me, if I like something that much I have to buy every colour! Did I mention that its also IN THE SALE!?! 

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Blouse - New Look 
Bag IN THE SALE - New Look 
Bralet (similar here) - Missguided 
Skirt - Missguided 
Shoes (*) - Public Desire 
Sunnies (similar and cheaper here) - Prada 

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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Ultimate festival jacket


Happy hump day everyone! If I said I've been feeling fine these days I would be lying (this negativity is only going to be quick!) Basically, I have really been struggling to find my purpose at the moment. I'm accepting that my part time job in retail is literally a dead end job and I'm not interested in becoming a manager. But when it comes to blogging that I've loved since day one, I've struggled to to know my place in the blogging industry. I get the impression that there is such a divide now between bigger bloggers and smaller bloggers and I really do not know where I fit in, or if I still feel like I have a purpose in the industry. Its definitely not the same as it used to be and thats to be expected, but meh, I'm missing the old times where you could Instagram a photo up against a wall in the evening with the warm, crappy lighting and everyone would still love it. But I will leave this rant for another time, lets talk about the ultimate festival jacket!

So it's about time I blogged this khaki jacket from Boohoo. I went to a festival in May and couldn't decide what to jacket to wear, but the people of twitter voted this one when I couldn't decide between this jacket, or another one from Missguided. It comes in two sizes which is rather bizarre. The S/M or M/L. I'm wearing the smaller size and its still a tad loose so this is meant to be an oversized fit. I love the detail on the back and it's also a very lightweight material. You could easily say this is a shirt more than a jacket. But I got so many compliments when I wore it and the poms poms on the front made the perfect 'stress ball/fidget spinner/'. It was perfect to prod these whilst waiting in the queues at the bar!

I just decided to keep the rest of the outfit black with my Missguided bodysuit and some old River Island shorts. The Ego boots were perfect to wear just to add some subtle print for the bottom half of the look. Their shoe collection is insane right now! 

The Quay Sunnies are rather old but I've luckily been able to find them on a UK website which pretty much sells the entire collection! I love the tortoiseshell frame which makes these practical for your entire summer wardrobe. 

We also need to quickly discuss this gorgeous rose gold Daniel Wellington watch which got kindly sent to me! I'm normally into chunky statement watches but admittedly for a festival that may not be sensible but a sleek and small watch like this one is perfect! I'm only wearing it for a festival look but you can easily wear this for an evening occasion or it would make the perfect day, workwear watch. It also comes in silver if rose gold isn't your cuppa! 

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Jacket - Boohoo 
Bodysuit - Missguided 
Shorts (similar here) - River Island old 
Sunnies - Quay Australia 
Belt - ASOS
Bag (now in the sale!) - Topshop 
Boots (*) - Ego 
Watch (*) - Daniel Wellington 

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Sunday, 18 June 2017

COMMENT GROUPS! Do they REALLY beat the Instagram Algorithm

Ahhh Instagram. I will never forget turning 18 and my friends introducing me to this new app and I really wasn't that impressed. I'm never a fan of change in general, and I was probably still missing the old times of Bebo and MSN (who remembers sharing the love, or having your best mates mentioned in your msn name?!) Gaahh sad times!  I genuinely didn't think Instagram would be MASSIVE, nor did I ever think I would be earning money through the platform and running my own mini business. But as most of us know, Instagram has changed everyones news feeds so photos are not in chronological order but in their own algorithm. Even I get confused talking about it, but the best way to describe it is like this:

Say you follow a celebrity and you also follow a work colleague. The celebrity posts something in the morning and the work colleague posts something 5 minutes ago. Instead of seeing the most recent uploads, you are more likely to see the Instagrammers that have a higher engagement or the ones you engage with the most. Hence why you may see a celebrity's post from the night before, but you never saw that cocktail drink which an old friend posted that evening! 

Most people still complain about this because although they like and comment on their favourite Instgrammers, they NEVER see them appear in their news feeds and they have to always search them to see if they have posted any new content. 

So what exactly is a comment group? 

A comment group, is just a group chat (in this case with bloggers and influencers) where someone is normally in charge (admin) who has the control to add or remove people, and all of us throughout the day will post our Instagram images into the group and we all have to comment on each others. Ideally you HAVE to comment on everyone else's photograph first and be up to date before you post your own image. Some groups would maybe vary on how many times you could post in a day (normally it was only once or twice a day), and if you didn't use the chat for many days you were at a high chance of getting kicked out. (By the way I'm going by my own experience and some rules may vary but the gist is, you help each other gain comments!) 

I remember being added to some last August just on the Instagram group chat. You can only have fifteen people in a group, but at the time I was all for it! So many people on Twitter were moaning about their likes and comments decreasing, and there has been constant debates whether it's better to switch to a business account or to keep it personal one.  At the time on Instagram I was in a couple of all girl groups (so thats 30 people). 
So for a couple of months I was happy to be using the Instagram chats for gaining comments. It was a little shock to the system, especially when you hadn't been on the chat all day and there were several notifications to get through, but I found the process highly addictive and it meant chatting to other bloggers. It was a case of 'I scratch your back, and you scratch mine'. We were all in the same boat and I weirdly got a buzz getting some extra comments per photograph. 
But over time, Instagram group chats were not enough, and many people were moving over to an app called 'Telegram', an app very similar to WhatsApp, but you could have AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU WANT in a group. Again, me not liking change, I was one of the last to move over to Telegram and to give that a go. 

Now this is when things get fucking ridiculous. 

The most I was ever in on Telegram was four comment groups, all ranging from 50-100 bloggers/influncers. One of them I was in was strictly for over 100k followers because apparently 'your photographs reach out more to people when you have engagement from Instagrammers with higher followings' (this is apparently by the way, I've still not a clue, but I went with it). 
By being in these comment groups, you can't just upload a photograph to Instagram like a normal person. Instead your are getting through all the notifications beforehand (if you miss a day, you could wake up to at least 300+ notifications), commenting on everyone else's photograph which has been added into the chat (which I'm telling you now, can take OVER AN HOUR). Then finally, you can upload yours, and you feel a sigh of relief and you feel a little high out of seeing ten or twenty comments appear within ten minutes! Kerching!

The problem is, over time it gets really really exhausting and it was always really infuriating when you would comment nice and genuine words (apparently Instagram will only consider a comment genuine if it's at least three to four words, otherwise it's classed as spammy) and then others would comment 'Great shot babe'. Or 'Love this shot'. Normally there would be strict rules to not to post comments like this but people would still do it, as well as cheekily post their image into the chat saying they have 'caught up' with all the previous posts when they really haven't (they didn't get away with this for long!).

Over time, I think the quantity of the comments became less less and genuine and more and more spammy. I almost felt trapped because I knew that if I just posted an Instagram image without adding it to the group chat, the engagement would be rubbish on it, but I knew that if I caught up on the chat and posted my image, I probably still wouldn't be happy with the 50+ comments which I knew in my heart, weren't from my followers that genuinely WANTED to comment. 

So now it leads me onto this. Are the comment groups worth it? Do they actually increase your impressions and reach? 

About two weeks ago I decided to remove myself from all the comment groups and delete Telegram altogether. Annoyingly I can confirm that the comment groups DO HELP with engagement, but not massively. The photographs with the help of the comment groups had about 5k-10k more reach on average compared to my photographs now which are now getting NO HELP! This is the same for my impressions too. 

When I removed myself from the groups I did feel a little lost to begin with, but I know in my gut it is best and I would rather be genuine and engaging with any comments that I know are NOT from a comment group! I would rather ten genuine comments which I can personally reply back to, than fifty which I know are from other people helping each other and they don't always look natural.

Don't get me wrong if you are in a comment group I'm not saying they are all bad! I've interacted with some amazing bloggers and some of them are so lovely and have really helped with my engagement and some have posted really nice comments over the months. I've even been approached by brands that have seen my comments through other bloggers in the group!  If Instagram make things tougher then maybe one day I may join another again. But it will never be a massive one again! Life is too short and I would hate to know how many hours I have spent trying to get a few extra impressions.

 Instead I would rather focus my time on getting the ball rolling with Youtube where I can express myself to the full on there! 

So are you in a comment group? Has your experience been good or bad? Let me know

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Outfit details!! 

Top - Missguided
Shorts - Missguided 
Sandals - Missguided
Sunnies - Quay Australia on ASOS
Belt - ASOS
Bag (also comes in black!) - New Look

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Sunday, 11 June 2017

PINK DENIM

Apologies its been a couple of weeks since I last blogged! If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter, or if you have visited my Insta Shop lately you will know that I have started YOUTUBE! It's been a while I know, and I did attempt a video like a couple of years back, but I just never carried it on! I don't think the timing was right, but so far, I have videos a 25 Facts about me, a Vlog of when I went to have Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea and I have also got another vlog hopefully going live tomorrow! I am still getting to grips with editing and I'm trying not to compare myself to all the experienced youtubers. Everyone has got to start somewhere and I just hope people will understand that my videos are obviously amateur. Everyone has to start somewhere! 

So I actually wore this outfit in my future vlog. I am never normally a fan of pink, but for some reason I fell in love with this pink distressed denim jacket from Misguided. I think I was swayed by this colour because it isn't your typical baby pink colour, and I have been obsessed with denim jackets at the moment. This is a longline fit and it's rather oversized but the size 8 fits me just right (stick to your size if you like your jackets really baggy!). 

At the same time, I also ordered this Missguided black PU leather skirt. I never get much thrill out of buying skirts but I really fancied buying a black leather skirt but it was just finding one that wasn't too plain but I wanted something that had a bit of edge, but easy to style. Again, Misguided ticked the box and I love the zip front and the subtle buckle detail on the sides. I read reviews which said to go down a size and the size 8 fits me perfect! I sometimes find skirts from Missguided are either too snug or too loose and don't sit on the waist properly. I honestly couldn't fault this one!

Now the bodysuit I'm still unsure of. I love bodysuits, especially for evening looks and they do look rather cute with some denim shorts, and I was drawn to this one because it's easy to wear but the lace up front makes it rather interesting. You definitely cannot wear a bra with this (obviously), but I don't think you can wear nipple covers either! The ribbed material makes this rather see through so you can literally see everything underneath it! I tried bodytape (very visible) and I also tried blister plasters (probably the best alternative but it didn't hide a nipple on!) I was having to take the jacket off with my back facing any tourists (these photographs were taken in one of the busiest places in Oxford LOL). If you obviously wear a jacket over this bodysuit then you won't have this problem but the last thing you want is to feel conscious or paranoid when wearing something. If they stock this bodysuit in any other darker colour then that might be a better alternative. 

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Sunglasses - Quay Australia from ASOS
Bodysuit - Missguided 
Jacket - Missguided 
Skirt - Missguided 
Trainers (this years version) - Adidas Gazelles 
Bag (this would work!) - Ali Express old


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Monday, 29 May 2017

GOTTA LOVE GINGHAM


Evening all! Hope everyone has had a lovely bank holiday weekend! Last week it was fortunately really sunny on my day off so I was able to shoot this pretty 'Gotta love Gingham' look. Every outfit has a behind a scenes story to tell. With this one I was nearly at breaking point and was refusing to shoot this outfit. 
Did I forgot to add that it was 28 degrees that day? Don't get me wrong I LOVE it when the sun is out and I will literally absorb all that vitamin D, but when there is heat as well then I literally go into a meltdown. Putting my make up on takes twice as long because I'm getting so hot and clammy that my foundation is not setting or my contour isn't blending in smoothly so I'm having to always sit downstairs and literally cool down. What was bad in this scenario was the New Look bardot top. Now this is the first gingham item to enter my wardrobe this season. I love that it has tie sleeves. I love the wired cup fit. But this top is unfortunately one of the most impractical things I have purchased! 
Because the fit of this top for me isn't 100% I was having to use body tape to try and hold the bust area in place, but due to the heat, the tape was sure as hell not sticking and once you got this top on, you are so restricted! You can't reach out. You can't lift your arms up. It's the style of this top and putting this on was the last thing I did before leaving the house. In photos however even I was impressed with how damn cute it looks and it really does look flattering on. If you are going to buy this top, wear it for something like an evening meal or a bbq. Not a day in town when you are shooting this outfit, plus walking around and also shopping. No girl wants to feel restricted when shopping, so wear something comfier instead. Take this top out for a spin in a more chilled setting!
Something I really like in this outfit which wasn't restricting or a pain in the arse was my new Quay Australia Sunglasses! I got these whilst in London before my Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea (vlog coming soon!) but I love the black gradient effect and they really do stand out in photographs! These are going to break the bank sadly as they are £50 (I have over ten of these Quay Sunnies as well dammit!) but I have a feeling they will be my most worn pair over the summer. You won't regret this purchase I promise! 
The New Look sliders are also something rather new for my summer wardrobe. I was just after some plain black ones but I am a sucker for studs at the moment so these were a winner (plus they don't break the bank, YUS!) The only thing I'm undecided with is the sizing. I'm wearing my normal size 7 but I have a feeling these are slightly too big and the 6 could have fitted better. I know a lot of customers have issues with New Look shoe sizing so maybe its best to try these one first before ordering. 

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Sunglasses - Quay Australia 
Bardot Top - New Look (also similar here)
Sliders - New Look 
Skirt - Boohoo
Belt - ASOS 
Bag - Ali Express (this bag could work!
Watch (*) - Daniel Wellington

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