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Healthy Body, Healthy Mind :)

In one-way or another – we’re all ultimately in the pursuit of happiness. I’m only a student and my humble opinion can’t claim the solution to life’s obscurities – but I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Aside from nice clothes, what makes you happy?

We’re all different, but at the end of the day I only need three things to put a smile on my face: God, Good mates and Exercise (Somewhere along the lines wearing a killer outfit does feature in there ;) ).   We are theeee most self-obsessed and shallow generation – it’s important that we question what makes us happy.

Soooo, that’s pretty deep. On to the actual reason for this post: exercise clothes. After a busy day, nothing can compare to the rush of endorphins that pump through your body from an exhausting run. I’d hate to actually see what I look like when I run – maybe I’m a disjointed flamingo or maybe/hopefully I’m even comparable to an elegant feature on Baywatch? I’ll never know and to be honest I’d rather not know haha!

I was never a huge fan of exercise when I was at school and I’m pretty sure that my weak ankles are the result of the fact that I carried a bit too much baby-fat when I was younger. When I came to UCT – I started running casually and I’ll never forget this one run I went on to Rhodes Memorial.

I felt like I was on the verge of a heart attack because the entire route was uphill and I thought the veins in my throat were popping the higher I got (I was really really unfit at that stage). I left when it was pitch black, but when I got to the top it was just in time to see the sun rise. It was majestic! The kind of beauty that leaves you stuck in one place (at this stage sitting down was more an instruction from my sore body than a desire to see the sun rise) and wholeheartedly spellbound . I sat there – gasping for air and in awe that I was the only one seeing this – witnessing the gentle transition of the sky from a deep pink to a yummy orange and then eventually the city entirely light up and start its day. That forever changed my view of running and exercise in the larger sense.

Beyond the physical benefits of feeling strong and firm – exercise just keeps my mind sharp and leaves me feeling profoundly happy. I’m absolutely nowhere close to running any of the 21 km marathons that my friends regularly do – but I’m quite stoked to go for a casual run down my street in Newlands or along the promenade in Camps Bay. It’s like through the physical pain, life rewards you with some sort of beauty that leaves you awestruck and infinitely blessed.

It’s therefore essential that while experiencing this beauty unravel before you that you’re well dressed for such ventures. My mum used to tell me when I was younger that you must always be prepared to bump into the Queen wherever you go. Gym is definitely NOT a fashion show but you must, of course, always be well dressed.. :)

Gone are the days of frumpy boyfriend clothes to gym – research has proved that your active performance is actually improved when you’re dressed well.The Nylon/lycra blend of material enhances the stretch of the garment and can help boost your performance because of its increased elasticity and comfort. Gym clothes have become so well-engineered that I actually opt to wear them over normal clothes. It feels like you’re wearing – well – nothing.

Cotton On nailed their fitness range, “Body”. Not only is it comfortable (which is key!) and stylish, but it also functions to suit the needs of any athlete all the while being cost-efficient. Nike is my first choice because of their groundbreaking research into fitness clothing – but their clothing is, in my opinion (and student budget), quite overpriced. Cotton On’s fitness range is designed to simultaneously provide your skin with good ventilation while soaking up perspiration – and it definitely delivers on that. I honestly cannot fault them, and I’ve been using their range religiously for a good while now. Their compression pants are insane – and even though they’re SO tight-fitting, they work like magic and I even wear them to varsity (the guys haven’t noticed yet!).

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Photographed by Jason Broderick

Outfit: T-shirt: Cotton On, Compression Pants: Cotton On, Trainers: Nike – Nike Air Run.

P.S – When buying your next gym outfit, however, make sure that if you’re buying more into the garment’s brand than the garment’s purpose – it might be a matter of fitting in, not getting fit. And that’s just not worth it!

Would love to hear your thoughts :)

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HH XX

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Pencil it in

Ambition is something that distinguishes you as a cut above the rest – and proves to be significant in the success of pretty much every entrepreneur and businessman or woman. As any other ambitious university graduate, nothing can compare to the terror I have for next year.

2016 is essentially the year most of us start working – and that means no more “I’m a student” excuses. My plan for the big year include making full use of my Irish Passport on the streets of London and the realisation that I better start thinking about what the appropriate thing to wear to work would be – because I’m definitely not going to be cheeeeelling on Clifton 4th all day. Gone are the days of food court banter, last minute cocktails with friends, lazy afternoon naps and doing whatever I want whenever I want – it’s time to not only act like a grown up, but look like one too. Alas, the pencil skirt has apparently come to the rescue.

I’ve always hated pencil skirts – in my eyes they were the guy in the corner with bad breath and the classic go-to piece in every “mom closet”. However, most girls tend to change their minds every two seconds, as have I – and seeing that the working world only allows for an inch above the knee – pencil skirts have become the saviour of any working gal’s closet. They’re the sartorial uniform that’s never passé and you just can’t go wrong with.

When I look around at my friends and I – we definitely aren’t part of the “pencil skirt” stage of life – but we’re close. Our jeans and T-shirt stage is soon to be over and 2016 is the year that many are signed to different companies, departing from student life and taking our first step into proper adulthood.

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Photographer: Jason Broderick

(click the image to see it nicely)

OutfitWatch: Lacoste Man (stolen from my brother, haha!), Crop Top: Mr Price (only R40 – you’ll thank me later), Pencil Skirt: Top Shop, Flatforms: Zara.

To be honest – I think any prospective boss would find me rather inappropriate if I had to pitch up to work in a revealing crop-top with cut outs in it – but you get the jist of it. Judging by the latest Paris fashion week – it’s not what designers put in to their garments, but what they leave out which matters now. Linear cuts and geometric shapes can create a sculptural dimension out of the simplest silhouettes. Love love loooooveee!

Side note: pencil skirts look fundamentally better when worn with stilettos – but seeing that I almost broke my ankles when I wore mine last, I thought I’d steer clear of those for now.

Stay tuuuned, Cape Town fashion week is this weekend, so absolutely excited to see SA’s design talent.

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend :) Back to the grind baby!

HH XX

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Stolen cupboards of the best kind

Theft is acceptable under absolutely no circumstances — but exceptions can be made when it’s your own family. I’ve regularly taken advantage of my dad and brothers’ excess of clothing and I can’t help but appreciate some of their toss-outs. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is basically the underlying message of this post.

I’m really not a fan of hustling through used clothing shops – but I think that vintage clothing actually exemplifies the significance of fashion.

Fashion has massive connotations as being an industry fuelled by folly, vanity and indulgence – when in actual fact it’s occupied and driven by some of the worlds most creative and intelligent people. I don’t know how designers like Ellie Saab, Alexander McQueen and Vera Wang are able to create style phenomenons that leave an everlasting impact on international trends for decades. 

It is without a doubt the most narcissistic, image-obsessed industry on the planet –  but it’s always sort of “dumbed down” when in actual fact it should be elevated to a greater degree than what it is.  I think that the level of self-obsession apparent in fashion is quite frankly disgusting – but aside from that, so much talent has gone in to making garments that often proceed to define an era or a moment in history.

The fact that something worn decades ago is still somewhat valued today highlights how good clothing never really goes out of date.

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My dad had this Trench coat (above) hidden in his cupboard and he was going to throw it away when I interjected and relinquished it from the SPCA’s claws. It turns out that he actually had it in the Army – which explains its masterful ability to shield me from the absolute horror of Cape Town’s winter. The funniest thing is that when I was at the shops with one of my mates the other day, someone actually approached me and asked me if I bought my jacket from Topshop –  I couldn’t help but laugh in her face.

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 It has a million stains on it and is an XXXL but there’s nothing better than a comfy oversized sweater. I think that every girl has either a hoodie or a sweater from an ex boyfriend trophied somewhere in their cupboard! 

So I guess one man’s trash really is another gal’s treasure.

HH XX

Priceless

As a society that’s driven largely by consumption, it’s ironic that the items that provide us with the most reward are in fact priceless.

My mum received a few of my grandmother’s jewellery pieces when she passed away and I’ve only gone through them all just recently. I came across a fob watch (still actually have no idea what that is – all I know is that it’s worth almost as much as my car and yet is smaller than the palm of my hand ). As I sat on the bed surrounded by my gran’s beautiful pieces, I was struck by the realisation that these fragments of her history have so much more value to me than the most expensive piece of jewellery I could ever buy.

 I held it in my hand I wondered what it’d seen, where it’d been and whom it’d met. My grandmother was the embodiment of elegance and lived the most glamourous life, she’s always been like Princess Diana to me – and this little pendant was like a fragment of her life that was still left on earth.

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I love that about some items of clothing or jewellery – the best ones are the ones with a secret history that still have a future. I’ve never been an avid shopper for vintage clothing because quite frankly it can be really gross – but maybe I should try it out.  As cliche’d as it sounds,  in the agitation to just needlessly consume we actually lose sight of the things that hold the most value that money just can’t equate with.

Whatcha think?

HH XX

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A collateral fashion applause for someone whose name I can’t pronounce

I don’t often post about men’s fashion but there’s one guy who deserves a fashion standing ovation.  His name is Johannes Huebl and if you’re a guy and you’re reading this – take notes.

I’ve never before seen someone ace their outfits as consistently as this German entrepeneur / model. He’s married to Olivia Palermo and together they are a formidable force in the international stages of fashion. Palermo has featured a number of times on my blog for obvious reasons – she’s the best dressed person I have ever seen (and that statement shouldn’t be taken likely). 

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But getting back to Huebl – he is the personification of the way that contemporary men should dress – at least, according to me. His outfits are classy, understated and masculine.  He has no extra-tight-skinny-jeans, no floral-collared-hippy-shirts and no mohawk-haircut (which Cape Town has become a cesspit for). He is consistently crisp, tailored and groomed and this is how men should dress. He is bereft of any shouty branded shirts and displays the quality of his clothes through his ability to put together a flawless outfit.

This guy deserves some appreciation. 

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Whatcha think?

HollyHocks x

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New kicks made me think

I’ve been looking at buying a new pair of trainers for a while now- and I realised that in actual fact I don’t really wear many shoes apart from my sneakers.

Are we the new generation of girl-sneaker-wearers where we edge closer into the male section of clothing stores? Take my Nike Roshe Runs for example, when I asked an attendant if they were for Males or for Females (all running shoes look the same to me) he looked at me like I was the most deficient human being he’d ever met and replied smugly that they were in fact “unisex”. Apart from feeling like an ignorant fool – I realised that I have slowly but surely been edging closer to male clothing – and it was weird.

The frenzy around the “Androgynous style” has been prominent in almost every fashion week – from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and even Gucci. But I never really considered myself to be anything close to that – yet here I was, sitting on the seat of the Nike store with the epiphany that I was in fact androgynous whether I liked to admit it or not. But anyway – I think that’s the thing about fashion – it reflects not only your style, but your sense of character too. I love the femininity and delicacy of women’s fashion – but I also love to chill with the guys and watch a good game of rugby.

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So anyway getting back to the shoes I bought – I chose a special edition, white-on-white pair of Roshe runs and quite frankly, I couldn’t be more stoked about them!

Whatcha think?