• GOING BACK TO COLLEGE AS A POST-GRADUATE

    I never knew getting a masters degree would involve so much free wine. Seriously, at every event the college provides so much wine. It’s crazy. At the last one, they literally gave people bottles to take home at the end because they had so much left. So it’s safe to say, I’ve really been enjoying college.

    When I finished my bachelors degree, the thought of doing a masters was the last thing on my mind. I was finished with education. Done. Over it. But after being away from it for nearly 2 years, I started to miss it. When I was college, my classmates and I talked about critical theory and different social issues over lunch like people chitchat about the weather, and I just assumed that that was how life was. That bubble was quick to burst after graduation and I soon realised that a lot of people didn’t want to talk about Judith Butler’s writings on performativity or Michael Foucoult’s thoughts on the Panopticon while eating their Chinese takeaway. So weird, I know.

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    So it feels nice to be back in a learning space; to be talking about things that I find interesting. I’m really not an academic though. I like being in class and hearing other people’s thoughts and opinions, but I have a terrible memory and I don’t work well on the spot. I also have some learning difficulties, so it’s not easy for me. Despite that, I’ve found being in college oddly comforting. It’s almost a form of therapy, learning about new concepts and talking about different social issues; it really is amazing how powerful that can be. Engaging with things that are bigger than yourself is like chicken soup for the soul. Or vegetable soup I guess, since I’m a vegetarian.

    I’m also really trying hard to be social with my classmates. It’s not a natural thing for me; I mean, I’m capable of socialising but I find it so exhausting. I get so anxious and nervous about everything, especially at the beginning. And I hate small talk. Although, I actually do rather enjoy talking about the weather, I feel like that’s an Irish thing, even if some Irish people won’t admit they actually like it. But I want to make the most of what I’m doing.  I’m surrounded by so many different interesting people from all around the globe: China, India, Denmark, the U.S., Italy, Switzerland. It’s really cool.

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    Being immersed in this new bubble makes me feel inspired and motivated. Well, most of the time I feel that way. I’ve had a lot happen in my life over the past 3 months and it’s been hard. Amongst other things, I had a person I loved and supported in every way cheat on me and just generally be horrible to me, and as much as I wish it didn’t, sometimes I feel that dragging me down. There was just so much pain and confusion, and just when you think you’ve gotten rid of it all, you find a spot (or multiple spots) that you missed. But I have been going to therapy and most of the time I feel like I’m healing. I try to focus on the positives and being back in college has put things into perspective.

    The free wine helps too.

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     Outfit info:
    Jacket – Misguided
    Shoes – Public Desire
    Bag – Matt & Nat
    Dress – Aritzia
    Hoodie – H & M

    Love Jane x

    P.S. This probably only makes sense in my head, but I feel like the coat combination I’m wearing here is the perfect post-graduate student outfit. The coat is professional, while the hoodie reminds people I’m still a hip causal student… Is that a weird way to think about clothes? Yes, yes it is.

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  • LIFE CHANGES AND AN EASY TRAVEL OUTFIT

    In my last post, I talked about how I wanted to get back into blogging again after going through some hard times; well, life has a funny way of kicking you when you’re already down and that didn’t quite happen. I won’t go into details right now but things got worse and I’ve just had so much going on. Some of it has been truly awful but some good things have happened too. For one, I’ve started studying to get my masters degree, and while it’s a bit scary, it feels so good to be back learning and challenging myself.

    I’m studying Gender, Sexuality and Culture, and while it doesn’t exactly lead anywhere specific or make me more employable (as everyone keeps pointing out), I’m so excited by the things we’re discussing and the topics we’re covering. I needed that back in my life. Sometimes you just need to do what you feel is right, even if other people can’t see the value. It’s funny because this was something I decided to do at the beginning of the year, and I couldn’t fully explain why I was doing it, aside from the fact that I found it extremely interesting and I was at a point in my life where I could actually go back to college and survive, I didn’t have many solid reasons in my mind, I just felt in my gut it was what I should do. And now I’m so thankful to past me for following that feeling.

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    Speaking of past me, these pictures are from back in July and it’s honestly quite strange to look at myself back then. The person in these photos had no idea what was about to happen and I fell so different now. Thinking about it almost causes a bit of existential crisis about time and life events and how things happen the way they do. But I won’t keep going down that path because it’s probably rather long. Instead, let’s talk about something frivolous and materialistic (and much easier for my emotions to take); my new sunglasses!

    I love these Miu Miu babies. I held back on buying them for so long cause they have gold hardware and I almost exclusively wear silver, but I caved because the gold hardware on them is quite muted (or at least that’s what I told myself to justify the situation). I wore this outfit travelling to London and wondering around on the first day. Now normally, I find it confusing when people wear skinny jeans when travelling (like, why would you do that to yourself?) but the flight from Dublin to London is so quick that it actually wasn’t too bad. I just wanted to feel semi-put-together when I got to London so I could wonder around and not feel like I needed to change. It’s a fairly simple outfit, I know, but it’s easy and comfy.

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    I know I said this before, but I am going to start posting regularly again. I have a bunch of fun posts that I’m currently working on from my trip to London and Brighton back in July that I’m exited to share. I know this post doesn’t exactly show it, but I have also been making an effort to try new things with my clothes and really narrow in on my personal style, so I will be sharing more of that. It’s been a rough two months but I’m excited for bigger and better things that are to come!

     

    Where everything is from:

    Jeans – Topshop ‘Jaime’
    Top – ASOS ‘Swing Cami’
    Sandals – Birkenstocks
    Cardigan – Brandy Melville
    Bag – Kipling
    Bee necklace – Alex Monroe
    Sunglasses – Mui Mui

    Love Jane x

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  • ALL THE FAUX LEATHER

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    I love a good leather look. Faux leather, of course. Honestly, faux leather can be just as smooth and buttery as real leather, you just need to look around. I recently got the shoes I’m wearing in this post from a portuguese brand called NAE, after featuring them on my Current Wishlist post. I was a bit nervous ordering from the company because the reviews said that returning items was ridiculously expensive. And I am the queen of returns. I feel like you have to be if you order clothes online often. So when a company has a bad returns policy, it makes me hesitant to purchase from them. But I really wanted to try these shoes, so against my better judgement, I bit the bullet and ordered them since except for the return policy, all the order reviews were great! Thankfully, my risk paid off, and they fit perfectly (I ordered my normal size, UK7).

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    The material is so nice and smooth and they don’t look or feel like cheap faux leather. I did get a few blisters when I first started wearing them, but I always get blisters when I’m wearing in new shoes, without fail. Other than that, they are very comfortable. I think they’re a perfect dressy-casual shoe. The style is casual but the material gives them something extra. A few months ago on my blog I featured the shirt I’m wearing in the post in an outfit I would wear to the office; this outfit is how I style it to be more casual. I like to have versatile pieces in my wardrobe and being able to dress things up and down.

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    The bag I’m wearing is from Stella McCartney and honesty I wear it everywhere, from going shopping to going out to the bar. It goes with everything. I got it right around this time last year and I’m still so in love with it (see what I keep in my bag here!). And of course, a good leather jacket is such a versatile piece. You can wear it for so many different occasions. I love this outfit because I feel like if I changed into dark skinny jeans, it would be quite smart and I could wear it to the office or a nice dinner. I actually did wear this outfit out to dinner, but if I needed to be a little bit more dressed up, it would be so easy to transfer this outfit because all the pieces are so versatile. The dressy-casual dress code can be difficult to work with, but I think this outfit nails it.

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    Jeans – ASOS Kimmi (old – similar here)
    Jacket – H & M (old)
    Bag – Stella McCartney (old)
    Shirt – Zara (old)
    Shoes – NAE ‘Bare Micro’

    Jane x

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  • NOT WEARING JEANS

    I’m a jeans person. I wasn’t always that way, but I recently noticed that denim was the only option in my wardrobe for my bottom half. So I decided to try something new. I bought these cargo chinos from ASOS (they’re actually from Superdry) and honestly I didn’t expect them to fit. They’re an XL but Superdry sizing, in my limited experience, can be pretty small.  I’m actually still surprised they fit. I think they’re supposed to be a little baggy but I really like the way they fit me. Did I mention that I’m still in shock that I was able to get them over my hips?

    I also love this top. It’s so easy to wear. You can throw it on to go anyway. I’ve worn it to the office with a black cami on underneath, or as it is to dinner and the bar. Really, it’s so versatile. I need more tops like this in my wardrobe. Tops that are easy, and that I feel comfortable wearing. When I think about those two things, the first thing that comes into my mind is the colour black. Sometimes I feel like people put too much value on wearing colour. If wearing colour makes you happy, then go for it, but I’ve tried and tried, I always feel better wearing black. I don’t know what it is, I just feel more like myself.

    That’s the look I like, and it’s a bit frustrating to always get the sarcastic ‘are you going to a funeral?’ question. Granted that seems to be a stereotype that I got more in middle America, I guess Europeans tend to wear more black, but it’s still annoying that people associate it with being depressed or sad. There’s so many videos on YouTube about how to wear more colour, and people seem to think wearing black is less fun, less happy. But I disagree, I think its a great colour (well technically I’m not sure it’s a colour, I think it’s actually the absorption of all colours, scientifically speaking). You can wear it anywhere and with anything. Except when it’s hot and sunny, I suppose. That is the one downside of black, it doesn’t work well in the heat. Especially if you’re like me and overheat easily. But still, as long as you avoid the sun like I do anyway, it’s great!

    I prefer to add texture over colour. Monochrome outfits can look so interesting if you have some different textures going on. And shapes. I want to focus more on the cut of my clothing than the colour. I think those things are more important than adding colour, for me anyway. I love the way the sleeves of this top tie at the wrists and balloon slightly, as well as how it laces up in the front. Such nice little additions to the lace fabric. I just love it, especially with these non-denim trousers!

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    Top – Tularosa
    Trosures – Superdry (via ASOS)
    Shoes – Birkenstocks
    Bag – Stella McCartney

    Jane x

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  • DAISY LONDON JEWELLERY HAUL/REVIEW

    First and foremost, please excuse my chubby fingers. They swell when it’s warm and it’s not fun but whatcha ya gonna do? Secondly, this is one of those ‘YouTube made me to it’ moments. I saw the Solar Plexus Chakra bracelet on Estee Lalonde and fell in love. It was a Sunday, and Daisy London were doing a promotion where all of the profits from this bracelet for the week would go to charities that help people struggling with mental illness since it was Mental Health Awareness week. So I bought it. And a few other things that had nothing to do with helping charities, I just wanted them…. opppsss…

    When the box arrived, I was so excited. First off, the packaging was great! Everything was wrapped in this pretty tissue paper. The bracelet was in a little bag and the earrings came in boxes. They also included a little Daisy London shopping bag, which was unnecessary and a bit wasteful, but it made me feel fancy! They also included information about the two Chakras that corresponded with my earrings and necklace I chose.

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    SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA CHAIN BRACELET

    To be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure how I would feel about the bracelet when I saw it in person because I like to keep things quite simple. But the silver is delicate and thin so it’s not too much. It doesn’t feel fragile though, it is nice quality. I like having the little semi-precious light citrine stone at the back but it does flop over very easily so it’s not always on show. That doesn’t bother me but it is something to keep in mind. My only complaint is the sizing. The smallest size is too small, but the middle one is a little loose. I think that’s probably why the citrine stone flips over so much. But I still love this bracelet and have been wearing it daily.

    I also like the idea of the Solar Plexus Chakra that goes along with the bracelet. I don’t know a lot about the Seven Chakras but my mum has always talked about them, and I would like to explore and learn more about the theory behind it. The solar plexus chakra is all about sensing your personal power and being confident, which is something I need to connect with.

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    BROW CHAKRA EARRINGS

    I bought the Brow Chakra earrings because I want to start wearing dangly earrings. I’ve always felt like they don’t suit me but I love them on other people, so I think I just need to get used to them on me. I though this pair was cute and versatile. They’re subtle, but they add a little something to an outfit. One of the closures was a little loose when I got them, to the point where it wasn’t staying closed, but I just squeezed the clasp a little but and now it works great.

    The Brow Chakra is emotionally connected with insight, self-realization and releasing negative thoughts; it was another chakra I felt I needed help with. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the jewellery is necessary going to have a physical impact on me, but they’re little reminders. Reminders to myself to focus on myself and finding balance within me.

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    B ALPHA STUD EARRING

    I also bought a little ‘B’ earring, and while I do wish it as a little bigger, it is really cute and fun. Again, it’s simple and  is great to mix and match with other earrings. The bit that you put through your ear isn’t too long and it’s sterling silver, so I’ve found it comfortable to wear all the time.

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    I hope you enjoyed!

    Jane x

    P.S. If you want to see some more jewellery content, click here to check out my Missoma jewellery review/haul 🙂

  • CURRENT WISHLIST

    As I stated in my last blog post, I’ve been trying to find brands that are more aware of the environment and working conditions along the supply chain, and while in general this search has felt a bit futile, I’ve found a few gems along the way that I wanted to share. So below are just some new things I’ve discovered recently that I’ve currently lusting after. I think these things seem pretty cool, whether you’re worried about the ethical stuff or not!

    MeUndies underwear and lounge pants (pictured above)

    These just look so comfortable! Since I started working from home I’ve realised I need to step up my lounge wear game. I just need more clothes that are comfy that I can wear around the house. I’m also loving this company. They’re clothes are made from Lenzing MicroModal, a sustainably sourced fabric that is supposed to be unbelievably soft! They support charities such as the Amber Rose Foundation, the LA LGBT Center, and Make-A-Wis and they state on their website that they’re committed to treating all workers in their supply chain fairly. They say that the factories they use to make their clothing offer their employees “more than just a pay check”, with opportunities such as free English classes and free transportation, as well as programs focusing on women in business and personal finance. My only complaint is that I wish they offered more sizes. I think I would be ordering the biggest size so that kind of sucks since they are a lot of people who are bigger than me out there. None the less, I definitely hope to order their Bikini undies and Lounge pant soon!

    Organic Bamboo Facial Rounds

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    I have always felt wasteful using cotton pads so when I heard about these I was really intrigued. They’re literally just re-use cotton pads that you can hand wash or throw in the washing machine (the Etsy shop also sells a mesh bag to put them in). The listing states that bamboo is a naturally antimicrobial and hypo-allergenic, which is great for sensitive skin. So win win all round. They also have a cotton version, but they say that bamboo requires less energy, water and space to grow than cotton (I should probably research this more before I purchase but it sounds good!). I’m always looking for ways to reduce my waste, but I also think that these will save me money in the long run, as I won’t have to continuously re-buy cotton pads.

    The Bare Micro by NAE

    002566_4_3 I’ve been looking for a pair of casual shoes that come somewhere between my Chelsea boots and my runners, and I think these might be it.  They’re  chic but laid back. The website states that they’re made from ecological microfibre, and a hypoallergenic, breathable microfibre inner lining. They were also made under fair working conditions in Portugal. So that’s all pretty cool. I don’t know what it is, but they just look comfortable, no? I bought a similar pair off ASOS a while back but I returned them because they were really uncomfortable and made my feet look weird. Hopefully I’ve have more luck with these.

    Charlotte Tilbury Kim K.W. Lipstick 

    Charlotte_Tilbury_Hot_Lips_List_Kim_K_W_3_5g_1489676560I don’t know how I never knew that Charlotte Tilbury was cruelty free! I’ve been only using cruelty-free products for 2 years now and for some reason, I just assumed they tested on animals. But apparently I was wrong. A bunch of their products are vegan too (I found a list on Logical Harmony). This Kim K.W. lipstick looks to be a great pinky nude so I’m excited to try it. I also found out the Pillow Talk lipliner is vegan so that’s something I also want to try since I’ve wanted to use it before but again, I didn’t think it was cruelty-free.

    I hope you enjoyed!

    Jane x

  • THE CUTEST BAG AND THE ISSUE OF ETHICS IN FASHION

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    I’ve been lusting after this little bag since I first spotted it on the Stella McCartney website a while back. I held back because it’s cheaper to buy from the Irish online store than the American one but now that I’m back in Ireland, I couldn’t resist. When I ordered it, I was so afraid that my iPhone 6 plus wouldn’t fit. I genuinely thought I would have to return it.  Thankfully, it just fits, because I love this little bag so much. And I mean it just fits, a millimetre or two more and I probably wouldn’t get it in (that’s what she said…..yeah.)

    So this bag is not cheap. It’s the most I’ve ever paid for a hand-bag. But I was tired of my bags falling apart. When I love something, I wear it to death. Literally. I’ve had so many handbags fall apart on me and it’s so annoying because then I have to go look for another one that’s just going to fall apart on me as well. This is my second Stella McCartney bag; the first one I got last July and I have used it pretty much daily. It shows basically no sign of wear. It’s not falling apart, the lining doesn’t have any holes, the stitching isn’t coming undone. Apart from the white details on it looking a little bit dirty, it’s like new. Now I’m not saying you can’t get a cheaper bag that wears well, but in my experience, it’s hard to find one that has longevity when buying from the high street. I can literally feel how well made this bag is.

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    But beyond this, I love Stella McCartney. Not just for the designs, but because they’re probably the most famous brand that is focused on improving ethics and sustainability in the fashion industry. I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called The True Cost and I would recommend it to everyone. It’s very educational about sweat shops and how people in the supply chain are treated, as well as the environmental impact the fast fashion industry has on nature and villages. To summarise, the fast fashion industry treats people like shit and is ruining the planet in many different ways. It is not sustainable. These are things everyone should know about. But the trouble is, even when you know about and want to change you’re buying habits, there aren’t many great alternatives.

    Firstly, you can buy from ethical companies that use sustainable practices. But these are far and few between. Even online it’s hard to find shops with a lot of variety; I’ve been trying to find companies for a while now and I still only have a limit selection. They also tend to have limited sizing and can be a bit expensive. Then there’s designer clothing. And while I’m okay with buying a few handbags from Stella McCartney, so many designer items are over-priced. You might be paying for the fact that is wasn’t made in a sweat shop but you’re also paying for the name. Not only do I not like that, I don’t have the money for it. Again, limited sizing is also an issue. I’m not saying I’ll never buy a designer clothing item but they’re never going to fill my entire wardrobe.

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    Then there’s second hand clothing shops. This is something I want to explore more but honestly, our second hand stores in Ireland are not great. In the U.S., they are big and have a lot of options. The ones in Dublin are small and cramped. It’s hard to find anything good, and it’s hard to find things that fit. Altering clothes or just making your own is something else one can do, and I do want to experiment with this, but again, right now that isn’t going to work for my whole wardrobe.

    These issues seems to be gaining more and more attention in regards to the fashion industry but change is happening very very slowly. There are tons of people talking about it online, but the Ted Talks on the issue date back years and are unfortunately still extremely relevant. It’s hard for me because clothes are my thing. I love clothes. But I also want to be a responsible and compassionate member of the human race. I think the answer is keep doing research but ultimately, don’t be too hard on yourself. Am I never going to buy anything from a fast fashion brand again? No. It’s not feasible for me. But am I going to think twice about it? Yes. Am I going to continue to look for alternatives and buy from them when I can? Yes. Doing their best with what they’ve got is all anyone can do but I really would love to see some bigger shifts in the industry starting to happen.

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    Dress – ASOS (old)
    Cardigan – ZARA (old)
    Boots – Vegan Doc Martins
    Bag – Stella McCartney

    Jane x

  • BACK IN IRELAND

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    I’ve been back in Ireland for 2 weeks now and it’s been a bit of an adjustment. Honestly I wasn’t prepared for that. I was just so excited to get home, having been in America for 14 months. And I really am happy to be back. But it still feels a little strange and almost disorientating to be here. Everything is familiar but different at the same time. It’s a hard feeling to describe.

    This has definitely affected my commitment to my blog. I still want to do it, but I’ve been feeling quite lethargic and just generally not enthusicicatic about things. I think that comes from feeling a bit lost and anxious. In hindsight, it makes sense that I would feel this way but it was so jarring to not feel completely at home right away. Still, I want to get back into a routine with my blog and keep it going. Unfortunately my photographer (aka my boyfriend) is back in the U.S. so I have to rope in other people to take my pictures now. But I will get back in the swing of things. I just need to give myself some time.

    I am definitely more inspired by the style in Dublin, which has been nice. I’ve always loved people watching but since coming back, I feel like I could sit and watch people for hours. I think there’s more variety and experimentation here and I love looking at people who don’t dress like I do, just for inspiration. It’s also fun to get back to the things I left behind when I moved to the US. I did go a bit crazy getting rid of stuff when I got back though and now I feel like I have no clothes ha! Well no clothes for the kind of weather we’ve been having, where it’s not super hot but not super cold. I need in-between clothes.

    While I work on that, I’ve been enjoying the stuff that survived the culling, like my creepers. I love my creepers. I like the contrast between them and this pink flow pyjama-style shirt from ASOS that honestly makes me so happy. It’s the piping, I’m a sucker for the red piping against the pink. It just works so well. I’ve worn this shirt to work, but on this particular occasion, I was going to a pub quiz and I think it’s was perfect for that too.

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    Top – Reclaimed Vintage on ASOS
    Jeans – Topshop Jamie jeans
    Creepers – Truffle Collection (via ASOS)

    Jane x

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  • SUMMER IS COMING

     

    Okay, I know everyone loves summer. The longer days, the sunshine, the heat. But I’m not convinced… For starters, I’m Irish. Do you see how pale I am? I was not made for the hot weather. I can only last about 10 minutes in the sun before it really starts to affect me. I actually don’t burn burn as quickly as you would think, unless I’m around water, but I get headaches and sunstroke symptoms pretty quickly. My eyes are also super light sensitive which doesn’t help anything. And my hands swell up pretty bad in the heat and that can get painful. I told ya, clearly not made for the hot weather.

    All of this gives me a lot of anxiety around summer. I want to love the nice weather, experience it the way other people do, but my body just doesn’t process the heat well so it’s harder for me to enjoy it. I get nervous about doing things outdoors because I know I’m going to over-heat and feel sick. But there’s another reason that summer gives me anxiety. I’m just not happy with my body. I want to be. I’m working on it. But I struggle with how to dress for the heat and feel comfortable. I spent all of last summer trying to figure it out but honestly I just feel so gross all the time. I get sweaty so easily and my thighs rub together which is one of the most painful things to experience.  There’s so many cute summer clothes our there but I know I would just feel horrible in them.

    But I’m trying to be optimistic about it, focus on what I know I like. For example, I love wearing my Birkenstocks. I like wearing flowy dresses with compression shorts underneath to prevent “chub rub”, so that’s what I’m going to look for. Hopefully by focusing on the positives, I can find ways to make myself more comfortable and relieve  some of my anxiety, while also working on how I feel about my body. Sounds easy, right? Urrrggghhhh…. Wish me luck!

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    Jane x

  • THE BOYFRIEND TEE

    Men’s clothing is often a much high quality than women’s clothing. Fact. Sure, they have less options but what they get is so much more functional and better wearing. Women need pockets too god damn it!! Seriously, it’s sad how excited I get when my clothing has good pockets. I recently read a blog post written by the mother of young kids about the differences she’s found between genders in children’s clothing. Obviously there’s a difference in colouring and symbolism, which is annoying but to be expected in our current society, but there’s so much more than that. She said that the quality of the fabric and the sizing of the clothing is dramatically different. These are all things that I’ve noticed in adult clothing but it’s crazy, and kinda sad, that it starts so young.

    Historically, woman’s clothing has always been made to be visual, and restrictive, while men’s clothing had to be functional. While modern clothing no longer needs to adhere to these cultural rules, the legacy of these concepts are still present today. It’s so frustrating. Recently, I just didn’t want to wear anything in my wardrobe so I turned to my boyfriend’s t-shirt drawer. Before living with my him I never really got the whole “boyfriend tee” appeal but I understand now; boys t-shirts are just more comfy and flattering. For starts, they don’t cling to every little extra bit of you. Seriously, why do they make women’s t-shirts to be so form fitting and unflattering? Probably because they’re designed by men….

    I tend to throw on my boyfriend’s tees when hanging out at home or sleeping, but I actually wore this one to dinner and the bar. Throw on a faux leather jacket and some fun shoes and no one’s going to notice. This jacket is a recent purchase from H&M and I’m so excited about it. I’ve found it really difficult to find a faux one that felt nice and butterly, like real leather, and that wasn’t cropped. But this one from H & M fits great and feels so nice; almost like the leather on my Stella McCartney bag. See, boy’s t-shirts can work for all occasions with the right accessories!

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    Faux leather jacket – H & M
    Jeans – Topshop
    T-shirt – Boyfriend’s closet
    Shoes – Public Desire
    Necklace – Anna SacconeJoly

    Jane x