Saturday, 31 October 2015

Help: I Want A Beret!

Soooo this thought has been popping into my head for a while now. And I've been trying to ignore it, to push it out of my mind and pretend it wasn't happening. But I don't think I can deny it any more. I want a beret. There I said it.

It's probably part of my ongoing struggle to look/act/actually BE French but I am desparately pining after one of those little French buggers. I am trying to resist actually purchasing one as I know it will only end up in the graveyard of my existing hat collection. But they just look so bloody cool. That's the thing though, despite them giving the air of effortless cool, it actually takes a lot of effort for a normal person to pull off a beret. 

Despite wanting to look like Alexa Chung, my round face and unflattering bob length hair aren't exactly the ideal combination for nailing that look, and I definitely couldn't apply red lipstick with such precision. I'm also not so sure how big a fan the general male population is of the beret as an accessory. Call me crazy, but I don't think that boys head on a night out thinking 'wow I hope I find a nice girl with a great sense of humour, and similar political ideas to me wearing a beret tonight'. Maybe they do though, who knows. If they do can someone send them in my direction please.


I don't know what I'm saying though because I haven't even purchased said beret yet. There's a lot to consider before making such a big decision. What colour should I get? And what will I wear with it? And what style? (Yes apparently there are differently styles of beret, who knew?!) I am already justifying my waste of money on buying a beret by thinking of it as some sort of scientific experiment. Is it really possible to pull a boy whilst wearing a beret??? 

Results to follow. 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Confessions of a Makeup-phobe

It's official, I am afraid of makeup. Just the sight of a Debenhams beauty department is enough to bring me out in cold sweats. This phobia may be the result of a makeup related disaster aged 10 involving my cornea and a blue liquid eyeliner... But who knows really, I'm not a psychiatrist, maybe I was just born this way.

Either way, it's becoming a bigger issue in my life, it's not my refusal to wear more than mascara and enough concealer to cover the bags under my eyes that is the problem, but more the free time that my lack of involvement in makeup provides me with. Clearly to most people it would seem like more free time would only be a good thing, but alas they are wrong. This free time arrises most commonly before a night out- as well as my phobia of makeup I'm also pretty useless with hair, so once my outfit is decided it takes me approximately 15minutes to get ready. So these extra minutes to myself actually aren't all that useful, they just fill me with guilt as while they should probably used productively, I convince myself that nothing productive can be done after 7pm and instead lounge around eating chocolate whilst I wait for my friends to perfect their eyeshadow or something. Basically to summarise, my hatred for makeup is making me fat. 

Don't get me wrong I admire those who can do make up, I stare longingly at a perfected eye liner flick and am eternally jealous of my friends' collections of naked eye palettes, but I have already come to terms with the fact that I can't do make up, the harder I try, the worse I look so I have simply accepted defeat. I'm never going to have the holy letters MUA after my name and I'm just going to be ok with that. However, this also didn't stop my fascination with contouring this year. Seriously, what is contouring? From what I can gather it seems to be some sort of witchcraft allowing one to change the shape of their face. Apparently people's mastery of this skill is so high now that one man even sued his wife for 'false advertising' as she looked so different without make up. 

So maybe changing the shape of my face by some sort of optical illusion isn't the best way for me to find a boy willing to spend more than five minutes with me. Instead I like to set the standards low, let them know what they're in for from the start. Hey boys this is me, spots and all, it's not going to get better than this but it hopefully won't get a lot worse either! The other good thing with this technique is that when I do occasionally decide to put some glitter on my face or gloss on my lips or something, people think you look bloody great. It really is a win win for lazy people like me, and with all the money you save not buying make up you can afford to buy yourself a new dress, or a bottle of wine or something. See, I may suck at make up but really I'm a financial wizard.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Confessions of a Hat Hoarder

Ok, so I have a confession to make. My name is Emma Cook and I am a hat hoarder. I love hats. I stare at them through shop windows, browse them for hours online, stroke them as I walk past them in a shop. I find it hard to leave a store without trying on a hat. I'll pretend it's a joke to hide my problem, asking my friends 'don't I look ridiculous in this hat?' in an attempt hide my true urge to buy it. But some times I crack. Usually when I'm alone. And I buy the hat. But the initial post purchase happiness is replaced about thirty seconds later with undeniable regret.

See the heart of my problem is that I buy hats, but I never wear them. I gaze in admiration at those on the street brave enough to wear a hat. Because really, it's not an easy look to pull off. Unless you're a 2014 fashion blogger in a floppy black hat, or a Queen's guard it's just not really acceptable to wear a hat in public nowadays. But oh how I wish it was.

Some of the best hat wearing inspiration there ever was and the main reasons for my ongoing problem:

Images- Pinterest
My collection is getting so large now that it's hard to hide it any longer in the drawer that I once designated to my secret problem. There, the baker boy, the fedora and their siblings have layed for years, but they're getting harder to contain as the new additions slowly pry open the drawer to display my problem to the world. The other week my sister asked me 'is that a new hat?' at one that had made its way to a hook in my bedroom. 'No' I answered embarrassed. It wasn't a lie, I'd had the hat for literally years, but it had yet to make an appearance on my head.

Despite probably being a brilliant way to hide unwashed hair, a relentless spot or the grey under-eye bags of a hangover I feel as if as soon as I put a hat on, my head doubles in size, somehow I am suddenly so much more noticeable to every single person in the world. And nobody wants that. So until I can actually muster up the confidence to put a bloody hat on my head, keep going hat wearers of the world! I have endless respect for you and your headwear. And for those out there like me, the hat hoarders, I want you to know: you are not alone.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Unexpected Style Heroes: The Queen

Yep, you heard it right. Her Majesty has style.
I know it might be incredibly uncool to say this, but I actually really like the queen. Honestly, I think she's a great lass. Yeah, I know she doesn't do thaaattt much apart from shake people's hands, and cut big ribbons, and smash bottles on boats (do they actually do that any more... I'm not really sure, do boats even exist any more? People just get ubers everywhere). But so what? She couldn't help being born little old Liz of Windsor any more than we could help being born in our crappy home towns, so no negativity, let's just put our views about the royal family aside for five minutes (don't get me wrong I'm not a big fan of Charles either. Wait, is it treason if I say that??) and instead discuss the fashion triumphs of this 89 year old sass pot.
Fit Queen!

Leopard print Queen!
Colour co-ordinating Queen
Look at her cheeky face! Honestly if I look as good as her when I'm 89 I'll be a happy woman, but if that wasn't enough to convince you...
Here is a picture of a hooded Queen driving a range rover
Thank you and good night.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Mad Men, Mad Style

Don Draper you stylish, stylish man. If anybody is not familiar with the AMC series then firstly, where have you been since 2007, and secondly, do not fear my friend, it is good enough for you to binge watch all in one go and pretend you were a fan from the start.

Photograph- Rolling Stone
The series starts in the spring of 1960, and follows protagonist Draper and his family and colleagues... and many, many women into the winter of 1970. And as a result we get to see the best (and worst) of the trends that the sixties had to offer us. It's not just Draper's latest wrongdoings that got everyone tuning in (which were pretty ah-may-zing) but the equally as exciting work of the costume and props department. 

Aside from the general ace-ness of the sixties A-line skirts and the men's perfectly fitted suits, there was that time that copywriter Paul became a Hare Krishna. Yes, let's all take a minute to remember this beautiful episode. 

But the decor gives just as good as the clothes. Dan Bishop, production designer, and Claudette Didul, set decorator, are the two main forces behind the final interiors we get to see, but the show's creator Matthew Weiner's dedication to staying completely loyal to history also plays a key part. He ensures every aspect of his set is true to its time in history and the result is impeccable. Rumour has it that he once even asked for a bowl of apples to be removed from the scene as he thought they looked too big to be from the 1960s. 

Mad Men is a reminder that the sixties will always be a covetable era for style. Not just in clothing, but in art, music and interiors. So everyone go watch it. Warning: you will fall slightly in love with Don, consider redecorating your house, then cry and wish you were born in the sixties. 

Saturday, 17 October 2015

The Art of Hangover Dressing.

So among the many (I repeat many- Hi lecturers!) things I have already learnt during my time at university, I don't mean to brag, but I have also mastered the art of hangover dressing.

So for all you freshers/students/actual real life adults who actually have their life together and an actual real life job but may have accidentally gone to the pub with Julie on a Tuesday night and had one too many glasses of riocha/let's face it just my mum because she's going to be the only one reading this, here is some eternal advice for all of you.

When hungover thou must sacrifice style for comfort. Yes, you may have been reluctant to follow this advice which originally came from the mouth of your mother as she tried to persuade you that a little black dress probably wasn't the best idea for a family dog walk through the countryside, but the gal knew what she was talking about. That't the annoying things about mums; they normally do.

A go to for me is a pair of baggy patterned hareem pants (yes I said hareem pants, I'm sorry) that probably break every fashion rule that ever existed and a Parisienne would never be seen dead in, that I got for £5 in a sale a few years ago, but that are also so comfy that they can just about trick your little hungover legs into thinking that they are still in pyjamas and that maybe the walk to a lecture theatre is actually a walk to the fridge.

Official pose and outfit of a hungover single girl

When hungover thou shall wear layers. This is the thing about a hangover, they're very unpredictable. One minute you're shivering, the next you're questioning whether you're going through early menopause because this is most definitely a hot flush and good god, yes you just googled it you are probably going to die as well. So you can see why layers are important. For me, a scarf is an essential. Only when wearing a scarf whilst hungover do you really realise how versatile the scarf really is. Favourites for me are fashioning a turban like sculpture with one on top of your head to hide your unwashed hair. (You knew last week you needed to buy more dry shampoo, you even wrote it down on that little post it, but then what happened, you lost the post it then decided that actually for the price of Batiste's finest you could buy a vodka cranberry and of course that is a better idea.) Also fun is to take the scarf off completely and use it as a pillow to rest your hungover head. Anywhere is acceptable, I'm a big supporter of a nap at any time but when hungover they are actually an essential. A nearby lamppost, a comfy looking bench, a bus, anywhere is a good idea and a scarf makes this nap even more comfortable. I have even been known to remove the scarf and drape it over my shoulders in a cape-like style which if you close your eyes and imagine hard enough you can pretend is your dressing gown which is of course what you should really be wearing.

If thou wakes up with last night's make up on... Just leave it on mate. I'm not going to lie I've made a lot of regrettable decisions in my life, but one of the biggest has to have been taking off last night's make up before leaving the house. It's always bitter-sweet when I wake up with my make up still on my face, my initial disappointment at myself and worry for my pores is soon replaced my still semi-drunken brain foolishly thinking that my make up still looks as good as it did last night. Although I can assure you your make up DOES NOT look as good as it did last night, just the fact that in your delicate state you will believe that is does, is good enough, every hungover person deserves to feel good about themselves, so you keep on that smudged red lipstick, those face gems (wait how did they even get there??) and you seize the day.

Good luck out there my hungover friends, I hope my advice may help some of you. May your hangovers be short, and your naps be long.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Unexpected Style Heroes: Nigella Lawson

I've recently become OBSESSED with watching Nigella programs. It started innocently as I was looking for a good programme to nap to (that's a thing right?? Please say I'm not the only person who does this) and I decided Simply Nigella would be the perfect thing. But as I prepared to doze off into my midday slumber I was distracted by Nigella and how bloody ace she is.

Never mind her amazing culinary skills and ability to make literally anything sound sexy, the woman has style to top it all off. Of course she's gorgeous which makes it easier for her to look as ridiculously fit as she always does but her style skills are still enviable. The woman knows how to dress.

So let's take a look at some of her best moments. (We'll all just forget the burkini incident of 2011.)

Images- All Pinterest

Saturday, 10 October 2015

The Sleaford Mods Experience.

So last night I went to my first gig since coming to Nottingham and let's just say it was an experience.

I've seen the Sleaford Mods numerous times before thanks to a brief, long-forgotten romance between my aunty and the lead singer resulting, twenty years later, in free tickets and backstage passes for me. Hey, I'm not complaining. But no matter how many times I see them, I'm never quite prepared for one of their gigs or what my dad has named 'The Sleaford Mods Experience'

The first time I saw them was at the Brudenell in Leeds, before they'd reached the dizzying heights of stardom they face today. (That may be an exaggeration... None of my flatmates had ever heard of them and were less than impressed by my so called 'claim to fame'.) To me it seemed to be just a room half full of angry middle-aged men. And that's not to take away from the gig, I loved it, and the music was amazing- even Iggy Pop's a fan. But after previously seeing the duo in small, dark working mens' clubs (resulting in my fur jacket taking numerous trips to the dry cleaners to try and get the beer/piss out of it) I wasn't prepared for the scale of their homecoming gig at Rock City.

Rock City can hold 2450 people. And the gig was sold out. The crowd sang along to every song, screaming the angry lyrics back at Williamson- which took me by surprise to be honest because I'm not sure when they would learn the words to these songs. If you've not heard them before, they're not exactly easy listening, probably not music you'd listen to in the car. Maybe they'd A-Z lyricsed them??

But for me one of the best things about going to a Sleaford Mods gig is not just the band, but the crowd. The people who are there to watch the gig. Most are over the age of 40 and still clinging to the identity they adopted in their youth. A Seaford Mods gig is like a nature documentary for seemingly forgotten social tribes. Here you can see the mods in their natural habitat, co-existing and even interacting with skinheads, punks and rockers.

There's something even more special about seeing an older punk; their clothes and hair unchanged from their youth despite their skin now touched by life. For me it's an inspiring reminder of how music and clothes have no age limit- who ever said you have to start wearing beige when you hit 40?? The other amazing thing to witness at the gig is how these tribes now coexist perfectly, the rivalries of their youth now long forgotten and replaced by a maturity and a mutual respect for someone similarly as passionate about music and fashion.

Every time I go to a gig like this I'm in awe of these tribes, and often come home contemplating shaving my head or growing a mohawk. I'm jealous of all of it, my generation feels lacking in real revolutionary social tribes like those that flourished in the 20th century. But I'm not sure how much that would help my efforts to find a man... So I'll leave it for now... Or at least until I next go to a gig.

Part of a great documentary commissioned by Fred Perry on youth subcultures

Monday, 5 October 2015

Here Goes Nothing...

So, as a teenage girl of the millennium of course I’ve had endless internal debates on whether or not (or when) to start a blog. (A blog that will of course quickly develop thousands of avid followers and lead to a bounty of free gifts and eventually a life seemingly made up solely of parties with celebrity friends, countless brunches, holidays only to the most instagrammable of destinations and then, inevitably, even my own exercise regime.)
This debate has been ongoing for such a long time that once, a few years ago, it even accumulated in one very misjudged blog post that was quickly deleted by the author from its platform and then swiftly from my memory. However, if forced to recall, it was most likely a hormone fuelled rant about how 14 year old boys are just the worst and Avril Lavigne is still truly the biggest style icon of the 21st century. And hey, it’s still half true, Avril is an icon, so maybe the post wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
But it’s only after coming to university and being told that I actually have to start a blog that every single good idea I ever had for starting my online empire disappeared and the idea instead became cold sweat inducing. My make up skills are the mockery of my friends, my yoga technique still remains very questionable and I would probably rather fail my degree than be the next ‘Zoella’. (Sorry ‘Zoella’, it’s nothing personal- if it helps my little sister is your biggest fan.)
So I’m just going to have to work with what I’ve got. I am a single 19 year old fashion student living in the age of both the most unwearable catwalk trends and Tinder.
Here, amid my ramblings, I’m hopefully going to explore how the latest trends really work for the average woman in day-to-day life. A girl who isn’t 6ft tall and a size 6. A girl who would rather sleep for ten minutes longer than wash her hair. But, at the end of the day, a girl who wants to be able to wear her flares and pompom adorned shoes without being laughed out of town (or more likely, Ocean nightclub).
Enjoy reading Mum!
Here goes nothing.
Pushing the style boundaries from a young age.
(NB: no dogs or children were harmed in the making of this photo)