• 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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  • 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

  • WORK WEAR – THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

     

    What to you do when your hair is greasy but you need to look professional for work? Channel your inner Blair Wardolf and put on a sparkly hair band of course! Okay but seriously, my hair needs to be washed (as per usual) so don’t judge me. I never normally wear hairbands, this is the only one I own, but for some reason I love it so much. I pull it out every so often and tell myself I should try wear it more often and then proceed to not wear it again for 8 months. But today, I just needed a little extra sparkle.

    I’ve been working in an office for a little over a year now and I have to admit I’ve really struggled with ‘work-wear’. My office is pretty casual but you still have to look professional. Thankfully I can get away with nice jeans, especially since I haven’t found suit trousers that look good on me! I usually wear them with a shirt or blouse and my chelsea boots. I mix it up with a couple of dresses I found that I like, but that’s pretty much my uniform. I feel like I’m still trying to figure it out and I’ve been doing it for 13 months. I just don’t like a lot of traditional workwear and I haven’t found my groove with it yet.

    I think working in another country makes it even more challenging. The style is different so they have different ideas of what classifies as casual, dressy, normal etc. Not that I care what people think, but I do have to meet what they classify as acceptable for work *rolls eyes*. I never realised how short my dresses were until I thought about wearing them to work.  It’s incredibly stupid but I would feel so uncomfortable wearing them to the office, and I’m sure I would be told I couldn’t wear them by my boss. It’s a fairly male-dominated conservative workforce. Fun times. I don’t even think I dress that provocatively normally (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but like I said, how clothing is classified isn’t the same everywhere.

    Some day in the future, when I have my own company, people will be able to wear whatever the hell they want on a daily basis! But working in a computer software company in middle America, things don’t work like that. Ya know, I might distract the men from their important work or tempt them into sin! We project such ridiculous ideas onto women that always revolve around shame. It is not my fault if you can’t control yourself around me. That is on you, not me. But I would also still like to keep my job. So for now, the struggle is real.

    I’ll be moving back to Ireland in 3 weeks though, where I’m going to work from home again so my uniform will consist of leggings, pjs and as much skin as I want to show! (it is Ireland though so chances are I’ll actually end up wearing about 5 layers but you get my point…)

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    Shirt – Zara
    Jeans – Topshop (Jamie)
    Chelsea boots – Topshop
    Hairband – ASOS

    Jane x

  • TEAL DREAMS

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    I’m loving jumpers (American translation: sweaters) at the moment! I like this one from ASOS because of the colour and the texture. It’s not the warmest because of all the little holes but I get over heated really easily so I actually like that. I feel like people are always talking about how cold they are, and how they need to keep warm. Well my body seems to have issues regulating heat and I’m pretty much always too warm. So this jumper is perfect for me. I got mine in an XL so it’s a bit baggy; it’s probably not the most flattering but it’s just so comfy to wear. I don’t have anything near this colour in my wardrobe, I normally live in black clothing, so it’s fun to try something new.

    I really am trying to make an effort to buy pieces that are a bit different for me. I have an idea of how I want to dress but I don’t always feel like I can achieve that look. It’s weird because I only buy pieces of clothing I love but I still don’t always feel like I have the style I want. So I’m trying to think more about what I buy; yes I like it but is it how I want to dress? It’s the same with the clothing I already owe. Sometimes I keep things because I like them, but I never actually wear them because that’s not how I want to look. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone besides me, but my goal is to have a wardrobe I love AND that reflects the style I want to have. Hopefully that’s something I can achieve!
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    Jane x

  • THE STATEMENT JACKET

     

    As I’ve mentioned before on my blog, I’ve been trying to experiment more with my style and have more fun. Statement jackets are having a moment right now and I love them. I’ve been really drawn to green recently, so that’s probably what first got me about this jacket. Plus it was on sale and I always take that as a sign! I’ve never hated leopard print but I’ve also never really worn it, so I thought why not give it try? I’ve seen quite a few people wearing faux leopard print coats and I think they look great, but I’m not quite sure it’s for me. So I felt like this might be a good few to feel it out, tip my toe in the water kinda thing.

    It’s not on the Revolve website anymore, but there’s a similar one from the same brand here. There’s also a couple of faux fur bomber options on ASOS (here and here).

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    Jane x

    P.S. I asked my boyfriend to hold my jacket and he decided to put it and keep it on for awhile lol I think it actually looks pretty good on him!

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  • FOCUS ON THE LIGHT

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    I’ve been struggling with anxiety the past few weeks. It ebbs and flows but it’s seems to be always there these days, lurking in the background or banging against my rib cage. I’ve had anxiety issues for years, that’s nothing new. But it seems like every time it gets a bit better, my brain magically forgets what it’s like when it’s bad. And then it gets bad again and I feel just as helpless as I did when it first started. I have to learn all over again how to manage it. There isn’t one cause to my anxiety, but I guess that’s normal. I just feel over-whelmed with everything and it all just keeps coming. But I’m going to try to focus on the positive, focus on the light. Because really what else is there to do. With anxiety, it’s often sink or swim, and even though it feels like swimming against the current nearly of the time, that’s the only choice.

    In an effort to shake myself out of this feeling, I’ve been trying to experiment with my style. I love clothes, I love style, so it’s a good thing to use to distract myself. Focus on things you like, focus on the light. I was really attached to my skinny jeans for a long time but last year, I found the Kimmi boyfriend jeans on ASOS and they changed everything. They’re comfy and super flattering. I do find that the different denims they come in changes the fit and style a bit; the black ones are a little stiffer (I sent them back) and the 2 pairs of blue ones I owe have a slightly different fit. However, they are so much more comfortable than skinny jeans and I really like the way they fit.

    This top is also from ASOS, the ASOS WHITE collection to be exact. I wear it a lot with black skinny jeans to work but thought I would try give it a different feel. My Doc Martens are new but I’ve been loving them (they’re the vegan ones). I like the juxtaposition between the top and the bottom of the outfit. It’s a bit unexpected. It’s hard for me to wear a baggy top and baggy jeans, I love the oversized look on other people but on myself I find it difficult to make it work. I also just end up feeling a million times bigger than I normally do. But it’s fun to experiment and figure out what could work for me.

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    Jane x

  • BLACK FRIDAY HAUL

    I went a little crazy on Black Friday. I know a lot of people don’t like the idea, and I have to admit that I think it sucks that it has started to creep into the day of Thanksgiving. However, as I’m not American, it really wasn’t that big of a deal for me and I was happy to take advantage of the savings. So I went a little crazy.  But I am the queen of returning things so most of the stuff went back.  I’m pretty sure that my co-workers think I’m involved in some sort of illegal activity because of the number of packages that I have coming and going… Anyway, this post is my curated Black Friday picks, the stuff that I’m keeping, the best of the bunch etc etc.

    ASOS

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    I wasn’t sure about this Tularosa black lace top but I figured I’d give it a try and I ended up loving it. It’s a tiny bit longer than I would like and I prefer to tie the end of the sleeves tight so they kind of puff out a little bit, but it’s a great top.  I can wear it anyway, it’s comfy but it’s great for work too (with a black cami underneath).

    This grey Boohoo jumper falls under a similar umbrella.  It’s not as dressy, but it’s still nice enough for work and it’s super comfy.

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    I wanted to get some basic tops to wear with leggings so I bought the ASOS Long Sleeve Top in pink and black. I wish they were a bit softer but they’re comfy and are a good basic to have in the wardrobe.

    I can’t describe how soft this grey New Look cardigan is; I love it! I ordered a size up and I like how it looks and feels. Definitely another great basic.

    ANTROPOLOGIE

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    I hadn’t planned on going into Anthropologie. I’ve always loved their home stuff but anything I buy here I’ll have to bring back to Ireland in 5 months so I’ve always restrained myself. However, when I ended up in there the day after black Friday and they still had 30% off everything, I couldn’t resist.  I needed a better way for displaying my jewellery so I went with this London plate, a Taurus plate and this mirror box. I love them all!

     

    I picked up a few other bits and bobs from a couple of other stops but these were definitely my favourites. Now I have to go make about 50 million returns…