Friday, 25 May 2018

Five Ways to Deal With Stress Positively

What a whirlwind life has been! In my previous post, I shared exciting news about my day job and shared that I will be travelling to the US a fair bit over the next couple of months. My first trip, a two-week stint in San Francisco, is over and I have two more trips to gear myself up for. But in the meantime, I have three days to prepare for a huge work event where I will be hosting a panel discussion. What's that saying, no rest for the wicked?! 

I'm not complaining, I actually relish a busy, stressful life. Being a Londoner, it seems to be the norm to be rushed off your feet rather than having a quiet life. But busy shouldn't be worn as a badge of honour. I love having a full plate and travelling but that doesn't negate the toll it's going to take on my body an mind. I'm really feeling the effects of jetlag and honestly, everything is feeling like a struggle. Waking up in the morning is a struggle, being able to fall asleep is a battle, there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything, where did all that laundry come from and do my friends even remember who I am?! 

Sometimes it feels like life is stacked against you and you're fighting against the world. At times like this, it's easy to react negatively. I can hold my hands up to reacting to stress by becoming irritable, short-tempered and snappy; I'm sure everyone reading this can attest to indulging in that behaviour. It's a natural reaction but I've realised it's so counter-productive and only serves to produce a cloud of negativity. Instead, I'm trying to be conscious about how I react to stress. I realised that we can't necessarily control the amount of stress in our lives but we can control our reactions to it and I've been retraining my brain to unlearn those negative knee-jerk reactions and reacting more positively. 

You know what, it has made a huge difference in my stress levels, my mindset and my overall happiness. I can honestly say that despite being hella tired, stressed and a little grouchy, I'm the happiest I have been for a long time. I attribute a lot of this down to shifting my mindset. I'm always one to spread good vibes so I wanted to share my top five ways to shift your mindset and deal with stress in a more positive way:

1. Switch off
When life is stressful, it is totally fine to withdraw slightly and take time for yourself. Cancel plans, take a raincheck on the gym, do what you need to do but put yourself first. Sometimes downsizing your obligations can be incredibly liberating and necessary. As an introvert, I actually *need* time alone to process and it's taken me a while to realise this is okay. 

2. Focus on solutions
It can be really easy to indulge and wallow in stress. I've definitely worn stress as a badge of honour and focused on how stressed I am instead of trying to fix it. But why waste that energy focusing on the problem rather than the solution? Instead of stressing about being wide awake till 3 am and waking up knackered after just 4 hours of sleep, I've focused on finding a solution - baths, sleep sprays, reading, sleep tea. I'm still jetlagged but I'm feeling better with each passing day because I realised I have the power to change my situation. I feel positive as I've taken ownership of my problem and taken steps to fix the situation. 

3. Reframe
I learnt to reframe from a wonderful therapist I saw a few years ago. Instead of dwelling on a problem or situation, we worked on reframing my mindset to think positively. This is helpful because some situations simply can't be resolved and I found that acknowledging that the issue is bigger than you can be freeing. It allows you to focus on the positive things and express gratitude. Expressing gratitude actually improves your psychological health by reducing toxic emotions. This tiny shift in my mindset has been extremely useful in dealing with the big stuff, like my mum's cancer or being made redundant. 

4. Random acts of kindness
Sometimes when you're most in need, the best thing to do is give. When you're feeling down or stressed, sometimes you need to be an agent of change and be the good you wish to see in the world. I try to practice kindness every day, especially when I'm down as it cheers me up and it's empowering to see that you can positively impact someone else's life. Whether it's offering someone your seat on the tube or giving your Deliveroo driver a hefty tip, try doing something nice for someone. 

5. Meditate
I'm a huge advocate of the benefits of meditation. It can help quiet your mind, give focus or clarity and help with healing. Recently, I've been far too exhausted to meditate "properly" so I've been turning to meditation music to help me find my centre. I found tons on YouTube which are set at various frequencies to help your body heal. I found this one useful to cleanse any anxiety, this one for healing and promoting positive energy and I pop this on when I'm sleeping as it's 6 hours long. I always wake up feeling much more refreshed. 

I hope my tips have helped!

Bodysuit - T by Alexander Wang| Camo pants - Missguided | Heels - Brian Atwood | Belt - Off White Jewellery - Topshop

Photography by Adorngirl

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Life Lately

It's been a while since I shared a life update but I feel like it's a little overdue. I tend not to get too personal on the blog but I do enjoy sharing aspects of my life; I fell in love with blogging because it offers a unique perspective from a personal point of view so it's only fair that I share my own. The personal posts always tend to resonate more with my lovely readers too, I always say that a blogger's perspective is their best USP and it's always nice to get to know the person behind the images and words. 

Fashion Daydreams has been chugging along nicely over the last couple of months, giving out sartorial and life advice in equal portions, and my personal life has been steadily progressing too. Earlier this year, I decided to quit my day job. I hadn't really planned my next move but I knew my current situation wasn't fulfilling me or making me happy. I touched on this in my previous blogpost which discusses the art of letting go and why walking away from a situation which no longer serves you is one of the best forms of self-care.

Sometimes it's better to walk away from something to create space in your life for something better, and that is exactly what happened. I've worked in the fashion industry for 8 years and while I will always love fashion, appreciate how hard working the industry is and be thankful for the incredible opportunities I have had along the way, I realised I was suffering from 'fashion fatigue'. I have experienced so many different facets of the industry over the years, from high street to luxury and in-house to agency, and I realised I wanted to step away from the industry. 

I landed an incredible role at a tech company (!) leading influencer marketing, which is a huge opportunity to work on an exciting role for a company I genuinely love and am passionate about. How lucky am I? I have worked here for a couple of months and honestly could not be happier. I'm really looking forward to making a difference and effecting positive change in the world of influencers. 

Being in the tech world, part of my job will require travelling to sunny San Francisco. I will be doing this a lot over the next couple of months so I felt it only fair to give you advance warning! Rather than going completely MIA, I'm going to cut down blogging to once a fortnight but you can keep up to date with my shenanigans on Instagram


Shirt by &otherstories (similar) | Jeans by Miss Selfridge | Shoes by Miss Selfridge (similar)
Photography by Adorngirl.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

What to Wear to Paris Fashion Week?

Does this outfit look familiar? It should...I first back in March during Paris Fashion Week, which feels like a lifetime ago. I really wanted to shoot this while I was there, the bright and unapologetic yellow would contrast against the cool grey buildings of Paris beautifully. But alas, it wasn't meant to be. I was busy running from show to show, as captured in this image shot by Getty. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining in the slightest. I feel so incredibly fortunate and blessed that I'm able to travel to Paris for fashion week. I can't really say it's a dream come true as I didn't dare to dream that big! As a teen, I bought copies of Vogue with my pocket money and poured over each issue. Back then, I loved reading about the shows and designers but I never thought I'd ever go to any fashion week, let alone Paris. It's funny how life works out, sometimes you end up achieving more than you ever dreamed. 

While I'm not a huge fan of living in the past, I think it's important to look back to see how far you've come. I will never forget my first ever show at London Fashion Week. Truth be told, it wasn't even *my* ticket! The brilliant Laetitia of Mademoiselle Robot wasn't able to attend Ashish's AW09 show and asked me to attend and write it up for her. Naturally, I jumped at the chance. A London Fashion Week...are you kidding?! 

I had no idea what to wear and obsessed over it for weeks. I'm embarrassed to admit I even Googled "what do you wear to a fashion show". It was 2009, street style was just starting to take off and bloggers weren't really going to fashion week just yet. I had zero reference points. I eventually settled on a beautiful royal blue and black velvet dress from a vintage store. I was hideously overdressed but I didn't care. The show took place at Hippodrome and was a visual feast for the eyes, Ashish was on top form and his collection was a sequin extravaganza. 

Nearly a decade later, my attitude to dressing for the shows is somewhat more laissez-faire. I know a lot of bloggers call in pieces and pull together outfits to get shot in, which is great but it's not my MO. I started going to the shows to write about them and I see that as my job first and foremost. While I may care a little more about my outfit than an average day in the office, I dress for comfort and practicality in anticipation of a full day running around from venue to venue.

I'm slightly perplexed as to why street style photographers shot this outfit. If you disregard the colour for a second, I'm just wearing a jumper with tailored trousers and some heels that I've worn to death. But being fashion week, I went for tonal shades which are a huge trend, in yellow which is an emerging trend, and grounded the outfit with my beloved Max Mara coat. Acceptable for the shows but practical enough to be working with the odd patisserie visit between shows. 

What do you think of my PFW outfit? 

Jumper - Bershka
Trousers - ASOS (similar
Shoes - Miss Selfridge (similar

Shot by Adorngirl.


Thursday, 19 April 2018

Why You Don't Need To Wear Designer Pieces To Be A Fashion Blogger

It's no secret that I've always loved fashion. I've shared so many stories about how I discovered fashion as a kid and how thankful I am that my passion has blossomed into my career. A precocious child, I remember helping to plan my class' assembly once. As part of our segment, we were planning a little fashion show and of course, I piped up saying "we all need to wear lime green and orange, citrus shades are in". I must have been about 10 and I ended up raiding New Look, pulling together an affordable take on the trend with my pocket money. 

Over the years, as my disposable income has grown my tastes have also broadened and matured. As a university student, I remember counting down to Student Loan Day and spending a hefty proportion of my new riches on Oxford Street or Covent Garden in exchange for a new wardrobe for the semester. It always felt like a sound investment. A few years after I graduated I started my blog and this was during the golden era of vintage shopping. Blogs were littered with pre-loved treasures and customised pieces, I would spend hours rummaging around the best vintage stores in Paris to find the most incredible pieces for just €5. 

Fast forward to today; the vintage era is well and truly in the past (ba dum tish) and we are now in the designer era. A quick skim over your favourite blogs or Instagram feeds will showcase countless pieces which cost a pretty penny. A Gucci bag here, Balenciaga sneakers there and maybe a little flash of a Fendi print too. This is often discussed by the blogging community, many bloggers feel like they need to own designer pieces to be a blogger or be successful - I do not subscribe to this mindset at all and touched on it in my previous post about what it takes to be a blogger in 2018. Style is way more important than the brand you're wearing. Always. 

I absolutely adore the high street, my university dissertation explored how high street stores use branding as a form of competitive advantage! Nowadays, I wear high street pieces with a sprinkle of high-end brands. This is more out of an appreciation of certain brands or designers rather than slavishly following trends. I invest in pieces which I'll cherish forever rather than buying the season's must-have item. I've always been a savvy shopper and will pick up something I've adored for a while either on sale or at a sample sale. There's an unwritten rule: no one who works in fashion pays full price. 

While I see shoes and handbags as a worthy investment, I'd much rather shop on the high street for clothing. High street retailers like Zara are so, so quick to translate runway trends into more affordable pieces. This is part of the fashion ecosystem; trends are meant to trickle down to the likes of Topshop et al, it's just happening a lot quicker now than it used to partly due to social media and the instantaneous nature of reporting for the shows. 

For AW17, the likes of Burberry, Acne and Gucci sent aviator jackets down the runway so it was a surefire sign that it would be one of the jacket shapes of the season. While these brands had all but finalised their collections by the time they were showing them to press and buyers in February, high street brands were watching and waiting to see which trends would hit. Just six short months later, aviators were seen everywhere from &OtherStories to Monki and H&M. The Zara iteration became ubiquitous in its own right so instead, I opted for a moody grey version from Missguided, for the princely sum of £28! 

I usually itemise each piece I've worn at the end of every post but I also wanted to share the cost of this entire outfit to show that you don't necessarily need to purchase designer pieces to look great OR be a blogger. Full disclosure: I am wearing a Miu Miu bag with the outfit, which I bought on sale and with a discount on top for £200. The rest of my outfit is from the high street and comes to a total of £279 including the bag. 

Jacket - Missguided
Dress - Tobi
Boots - LOTD
Bag - Miu Miu

Shot by Adorngirl


Thursday, 12 April 2018

Trend: Polka Dots

Despite its reputation for reinventing itself every 6 months, fashion can be very cyclical and predictable. While some things might be harder to predict, like the meteoric rise of Vetements, others are much easier to predict, like certain trends. In the immortal words of Miranda Priestly; "florals for spring, groundbreaking". I like seeing florals filter through to the high street, much like lighter mornings they're a surefire sign that winter is behind us. But it does seem like a formulaic signal of the seasonal transition. But this season, they're firmly benched and we're wearing polka dots instead.

I haven't given polka dots much thought for years. They always seemed far too cutesy for me. I don't have a signature style, sometimes I don a killer heel and other times I'll channel my inner tomboy but I will never go for something cute or sweet - which is what polka dots are to me. I guess I always equated them to Minnie Mouse or dresses I wore to parties as a kid. But I started paying attention last season when the likes of Jacquemus and Balenciaga channelling the print. Just one season later, we saw sheer polka dot skirts and blouses at Dior, supersized dots abound at Junya Watanabe and bold hues at Valentino. The message was clear, ditch the florals for the dots.

I have to admit, the polka dot pieces I've seen recently are much cooler than I remember. I've been drawn to sharply tailored co-ords, sexy low cut blouses and of course, pretty dresses. I'm a huge fan of Jacquemus so I've been on the lookout for a fun, contemporary take on the ubiquitous polka dots. I think I found the perfect high street piece. This blouse is deceptively extra, from the blown up prints to the exaggerated sleeves and contrasting monochrome. I threw it on with a pair of pearl jeans from last season...or perhaps the season before. The pearl detailing echo the polka dots, which I totally love.

Will you be wearing polka dots this season?

Top - Lost Ink
Jeans - Zara 
Heels - Miss Selfridge (similar)
Bag - Miu Miu

Shot by Adorngirl

© Fashion Daydreams: UK Fashion and Lifestyle Blog by Reena Rai. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig