When in Paris, do as the Parisians do.

Paris.pngHere’s a fact: anyone with a few million pounds in their bank account can stroll into Selfridges and become Fashionable with a capital F. But here’s another fact: very few people—substantial bank account or not— can be considered people of genuine style.

When you have a quick scroll through Instagram or check out any of the multitudes of fashion blogs that exist today – you’re inundated with people clutching onto the latest trends in a dizzying attempt to keep up with the times. And that, ironically, results in hordes of beautiful, talented young men and women looking, well, exactly like everyone else. These types of people are not the genuinely stylish people with whom we should take our fashion inspiration from.

And that’s why I like Paris.

It’s home to the Eiffel Tower,The Palace of Versailles, The Champs Elysees and and has birthed some of the worlds most stylish people – including Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld. But the people of Paris (and France at large) arguably possess the best knack for fashion I’ve seen in all my travels.

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I’ve been fortunate to have visited France a few times, and I’m consistently reminded of how much I just love the way French men and women dress. I love how the French flirt with androgyny and embrace the elegance of simple sophistication. Perhaps it was ever since my first visit to Paris in grade 6 that my fashion choices have been precast today, but over the years my observations of French women’s style have definitely been a catalyst for my own very personal style.

Here are a few reasons why I like the way the French do Fashion:

– Trends –

Echoing the previous point, French people are not slaves to short-lived, high frequency fads such as trends.

In London – you’re so aware of trends because the moment something becomes ‘on trend’ – every second girl or guy is wearing it. I don’t have an issue with that – but what I like about France is that the French tend to stick to timeless, well-cut pieces that are classics.

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I also love French architecture. We passed this building on the way to The Louvre – it’s part of the Grand Palais. C’est magnifique!

In a 2014 Vogue research analysis of French Ready-to-Wear style, it was not only revealed that French women aren’t slaves to seasonal trends, but it also proved that they found style inspiration from the streets — not magazines or TV.. I love that.

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My stylish travel buddy, Indigo.We loved spotting the differences/similarities between the French and English cultures.

– Simplicity – 

It’s as simple as that.

They eat simply, they drink simply and their attitude towards fashion is – beautifully – simple. They don’t try so hard to adorn and embellish things the way us English naturally do – they stick to what they know and they stick to the essentials. This is where the true allure of “Frenchness” lies.

In today’s consumerist culture we are constantly bombarded with a kaleidoscope of aspirations; we need to keep up with the Joneses – to look this way or act that way, to have certain beliefs and portray certain strengths. And then the French culture comes in as a breath of Fresch air (oh you’re quick if you got that.. 😉 ) and they seem simply immune from the assault of Western Culture – somewhat virginised in their approach to style and free of all 21st Century pressures.

It’s as if the French take the modern day fashion world with a large pinch of salt (because, obviously their food wouldn’t be the same without salt) and instead have simplified their approach to encompass a more authentic and “chic” style that has no Westernised frills and tassels.

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Ile De La Cite – my favourite nook of Paris. Dressed in black – all day, everyday

 – Femininity – 

This is personally a point that resonates most with me. I must admit, and I know a few readers will condemn me for saying this as it’s a modern day society etc etc – but I think women are to embrace being just that – women.

I am not a feminist. At all.

Even though I believe in gender equality, I appreciate that men and women are just different. And they should dress differently, too. I like men to wear the pants! And while I love a wardrobe that has a slight flirtation with androgyny – I think women look best when they dress femininely.

Androgynous femininity is one of the core elements of a French Girl’s wardrobe and is the perfect interplay of masculine and feminine.That is why the French style is so alluring and interesting and captivating. Androgynous femininity is somewhat of a genius style that the French have mastered.

Perhaps it all began with Coco Chanel, who revolutionised the female wardrobe by incorporating the relaxed styles of menswear into her designs for women.

Having said that, I know this is a contentious topic in today’s climate but I’d love to hear your opinion. Comment below and let me know your thoughts!

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I bought this (super cheap!) off the shoulder top on sale from Boohoo a while ago.

 – Basics – 

Parisians have a penchant for good quality basics. I’m talking about crisp white collared shirts, black trousers, trench coats, the perfect tee, black leather loafers, soft cashmere sweaters and a great pair of jeans. And let’s not forget a black blazer.

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My favourite black blazer these days is a military-inspired one from Zara. It reminds me of my dads school blazer.

 – Perfectly Imperfect – 

Perfection is boring and the French are easily bored.  They don’t want to look perfect, and I love that.

Where the English are constantly searching for some objective level of perfected beauty, French women pointedly optimise their own level of attractiveness – and this lends itself to a perfectly imperfect appearance.

The biggest fashion faux pas in France is looking like you tried too hard.

Don’t take your self (or your style) too seriously in France and you will fit right in.

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These jeans are my perfectly imperfect wardrobe essential 😉

What is your favourite thing about French Fashion? Comment below and let me know, I love to read everyone’s messages and comments.

If you liked this post then follow my blog to stay in touch

HH xx

Making the most of life in your twenties

Ok so… I’m only 23…

And that means I’m a bit premature in thinking of what I should or shouldn’t know in my twenties, but I couldn’t help myself.

I recently read this article on the Thought Catalog written by Becca Martin and instantly wanted to share it.  Our generation of millennials are worth so much more than the crowd-pleasing tendencies that we are succumbing to.

My favourite excerpt from this article is “dreams can be thought of in the comfort zone, but it’s the same place they die. It’s important to push yourself to a new level that make you uncomfortable to see how much you can handle and see yourself grow from the challenge.”

One quick thing – I’ve been absolutely absent (it’s been a year since I last posted!) and I sincerely apologize. It’s been the busiest time ohhhhh my days!

I promise I’ll try to be better this year.

Anyway.! Read and Enjoy !


20 Ways You Are Ruining Your Life In Your 20s

1. By not taking chances. You are in the prime of your life. You’re finally old enough to do everything you’ve always waited for, but still young enough to not have the full commitment of being an adult (kids, mortgage, marriage, etc.) – unless you choose to. It’s the time in your life where you should take chances and risks to become the person you want to be.

2. By not doing anything to help your future. Sure, it’s fun to blow all your money. It’s fun to travel around and keep your bartending job. But do you want to bartend your whole life? If you don’t you should really consider looking into a career in the profession you want to be in. It’s hard to find a job at a place where you don’t need 3 years minimum experience. Your future self will kick you if you just start looking at 30 and have no pervious experience.

3. By surrounding yourself with the same people. Your friends from high school are great, but it’s also great to branch out, to surround yourself with people who are different from you. Don’t isolate yourself by always hanging out with the same people, you also never know where those connections could lead.

4. By never leaving your comfort zone. Just like surrounding yourself with the same people your whole life, leaving your comfort zone is vastly important to your individual growth as a person. Dreams can be thought of in the comfort zone, but it’s the same place they die. It’s important to push yourself to a new level that make you uncomfortable to see how much you can handle and see yourself grow from the challenge.

5. By deciding your worth based on social media. You. Are. So. Much. More. Than. Likes. Seriously. Likes are dumb, getting double or triple digits on your posts do not determine your worth. Neither does your number of followers. No one is checking anyway, tbh. You are worth more.

6. By feeling the need to justify your choices. If you want to quit your 9-5 because it’s making you miserable, you don’t need to justify that. If you want to stay in when all your friends are going out, you don’t need to justify that. You just need to do what makes you the happiest and other people don’t need an explanation as to why.

7. By following the crowd. Peer pressure was one of the biggest influences in my life as a teenager, but in my 20s? Nope. If I don’t want to do something I’m not going to do it. I know what makes me happy and what I feel comfortable with enough to say no. I don’t need to take a bong rip to feel ‘cool’ I can just say “no thanks” and be done with it. No is a complete sentence. Use it.

8. By trying to live up to your parents expectations instead of going after what you want. My parents dream is for me to get a job with benefits and a 401k. Duh. But does that mean those are my dreams? I don’t know. You don’t have to do what your parents want because if I was what my dad wanted I’d be a cop. Not that there’s anything wrong with that profession, but that lifestyle is not for me.

9. By comparing yourself to others. Comparing yourself to other’s is a killer. I can think I look strong and great in the mirror at the gym until someone else comes next to me who is smaller than me, more fit than me, whatever it is and I instantly feel shitty about myself again. Comparing yourself to others is awful, don’t do it. Not with body image, with relationships, with careers, none of it. Just stop – you are enough the way you are.

10. By looking for outside validation. Looking for outside validation can be damaging, just like comparing yourself to others, but it’s something we do. We can be enough to ourselves until someone comes along and makes a comment, then we are constantly seeking their validation, their approval, their opinion of us instead of just being happy with our own validation. For some reason we always feel it’s better to have approval from others than to just do something based on your own gut instinct.

11. By wasting all your money at shots at the bar. Getting wasted in your 20s is fine, it’s fun, it is what it is. But don’t waste all your money buying everyone rounds of shots on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It’s great, people will love you, but your future self and your bank account will hate you for it. Instead don’t open a tab, take out X amount of dollars and once that runs out then you’re done. Don’t spend a hundred dollars at the bar every time you go out, you could easily save that money and be in a much better financial place.

12. By refusing to admit when you’re wrong. Being wrong S U C K S. No one likes admitting they’re wrong, but get used to it. You will earn a lot more people’s respect and appreciation if you can just own up when you’re wrong. It will make you a much more enjoyable person to be around because guess what? Everyone is wrong at times because no one is perfect.

13. By staying in a relationship because you’re scared to be alone. Modern dating makes me want to rip my hair out and that’s probably a good reason I’m single. If you are not happy in your relationship – L E A V E. Seriously, leave. Don’t stay with someone who used to be good to you in the beginning and it’s been months or years now since they’ve been that way. That’s not good for you and it’s not a healthy relationship. Being alone isn’t as scary as we make it appear. Staying with someone who no longer makes you a better person is ruining your life.

14. By not questioning your life. Questioning your life and your choices is great because it means you aren’t settling and you’re not okay with just being content. Be secure enough to want to push yourself further and become better.

15. By listening to people tell you that you’re not capable because you’re young. Just because you’re young doesn’t make you incapable. You can amount to so much. You can become a CEO, a millionaire, find the cure to cancer. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t because you’re young.

16. By not reading. Read. Read lots. Educate yourself and fill your brain with outside thoughts. It will help expand your mind outside the world you’re living in and it can be essential to your personal growth because reading a book can change your entire outlook on life.

17. By not traveling. Immerse yourself in other cultures, see how they live. Struggle with language barriers, push yourself out of your comfort zone, try new food, learn a new language. Travel and see that the life you know isn’t the only life out there and experience it first hand to get the full effect.

18. By spreading yourself too thin. Don’t over commit yourself to five things when you’ve only got time for two. As much as you might want to do everything, you can’t and it will ruin you if you try. You need to put your needs first and take care of yourself. After all, you can’t pour out of an empty cup so don’t spread yourself to thin.

19. By letting other people’s fear dictate your choices. Other people love to press their fears on you. Quitting your job is scary to pursue your own business, but if that’s what you want to do then do it! Don’t listen to Sally tell you everything that could go wrong because you already know everything that could go wrong. Just follow your gut and do it. Don’t let her fears dictate your decisions to move forward.

20. By doing things out of obligation. Don’t do things out of obligation. Don’t say yes when you really want to say no. Don’t do it because everyone else is. Do what makes you happy, help when you can and be a good person, but don’t do things out of obligation. You don’t have time to waste doing things that make you miserable.

WHY YOU OUGHT TO LIVE IN LONDON AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFE

No one can quite prepare you for living in London. No matter how talented, rich or educated you are – this incredible city will forever change you. I’ve only been here since the beginning of the year and I can already feel the effects of London – and I mean that in the best possible way.

Before commencing your flight to Heathrow, however, there are many flaws to this concrete jungle that you should know about.

Rush hour is an absolutely terrifying dog-eat-dog world akin to that of a scene from the Hunger Games and it always reminds me of the sprawling spectrum of humanity through the cumulation of all our individual journeys.  God forbid you should NEVER stand on the left hand side of an escalator and lastly but most importantly – sell absolutely everything you own before  you move to London because it will suck you dry! One beer sets you back easily about R144 and you must accept the fact that you will never pay less that 7 pounds for a burger.

On the plus side, London is worth every single penny you have and there is truly nothing quite like it. It’s quite hard for me for some reason to elucidate the style that this city encompasses – it’s more of a “come and see for yourself” type scenario.

People in London certainly dress well. Very well! Men are so comfortable to wear Tweed coats and striking scarfs – and confidently walk the streets in the most stylish loafers that I’ve ever seen.  Signet rings are somewhat of a hierarchical fetish here and tend to adorn a large number of British men’s pinkies.

I have also noticed that the streets are full of people wearing the newest Nike Huaraches. When I first saw them in Dubai I remarked in disgust that they look like alien shoes – but I must admit, I have grown to quite like them.

The white Huaraches are on my lust list for sure!

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The streets are busy hum-drums of formal frantic businessmen, the pubs are little havens of overworked and fantastically interesting Brits and the shops are never-ending possibilities to file for bankruptcy.

There’s an electric energy that pulses through the heartbeat of this incredible city that simply makes it impossible for it not to change you!

Here are a few (photographic) reasons to come to London:

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Strand Street – an example of London’s correlation to a Harry Potter film set.

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Regents street – it’s quite overwhelming at first, to be honest! But it’s rather beautiful at night.

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Westminister! Founded in 980, this is by far the most beautiful gothic church I have ever seen.

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My secret weapon to the ins-and-outs of London! If you’re coming to London you need a Brit to show you the ropes. This is my fantastic British friend, Ed.

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A better view of Westminister.

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It’s always adventure time with this baby on my wrist! I absolutely love my DW.

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Pikaboo! Big Ben wants to say hello, too!

If you’d like to see more – follow me on Instagram 🙂

HH

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Things you ought to know

London is a notorious concoction of culture and class – I absolutely love it! Everything about it just takes my breath away – and the fashion is something to truly behold.

I could walk down the tube station absolutely stark naked and no one would think twice, they’d probably just nod at me and then proceed on to their next destination. So while I’ve been walking along cobbled streets and little red telephone booths – armed with my South African accent and a Laminated map torn out of my “Tour guide to London” – I’ve been aggressively ticking off things on my London to-do list. Through my pub-hopping escapades, exhaustative exploring and countless trips on the tube, I can’t help but establish a distinguished style that correlates throughout most Brits. My love of lists has therefore encouraged yet another one:

Things you ought to know before you come to London.

Disclaimer: the following list is highly opinionated and stereotypical. If you don’t agree – that’s totally up to you !

 

  1. Never judge a confident London Lass.

The ones who are willing to flaunt their legs in an H&M miniskirt when the temperature is close to snow-fall and the wind is howling directly into their face. Support them. Back them. They have more confidence than you could probably ever hope for in your wildest dreams! Let them be.

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My friend Paula and I trying to get a good shot of the London Eye – clearly we both failed haha

 

  1. Coats.

To be honest I absolutely couldn’t give a blue moon what I look like when I’m in 1’C weather– just as long as I’m warm. I started out wearing 2 layers of thermals (double top AND double bottom), a down-feather jacket, a woolen scarf and my dad’s 30 year old army jacket – and guess what? I was still shivering cold and grumpy as hell. I’m a wuss in the cold, don’t judge, but nothing can quite prepare you for the horrorful wind-breeze that sweeps through London. It’s a cold that hits you to your bones – and then eventually hits you right in the center of your soul. Therefore – do yourself a favour and get a good coat, one lined with animal fur and hot water bottles and even thermal underwear.

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Buckingham Palace Baby! To be honest I found this to be rather disappointing in real life!

 

  1. British men dress well; appreciate it.

Sitting on the tube is like fashion week in itself and I can’t help but be super impressed with the level of eloquence with which British men dress. Most of them have got the rugged-tailored-gentleman look down to a tee– it’s remarkable. As I sat in the tube last week I couldn’t help but acknowledge that British men just do it well – from the quality shoes they wear to the impeccable coats that complete their outfits, it’s a job well done indeed. Tailored clothing is for British men what cigarettes and coffee are for British women.

 

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Portobello Road, Notting Hill

  1. Guys can wear scarfs, too!

I remember when my mum bought my brother a scarf a few years ago – oh dear lord did she get shut down! My brother flat out refused to wear it. Here, it’s more a necessity than anything and it looks so incredible and work-chic.

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Westminister Station

  1. No more flip flops, thanks!

British men have a serious thing for shoes – that much is clear. The uber British lad is always adorned with his leather loafers and perhaps this is a slight improvement to the guys back in SA who wear flip flops even though they clearly shouldn’t let any ray of sunlight see their gruesome toe-nails. I’ll never forget my favourite English teacher in Grade 12 telling us all how she actually left a guy on a date because his feet were just so disgusting, haha I will ALWAYS remember her telling us the story!

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St Paul’s Cathedral

  1. British women don’t care.

There’s a carefree confidence that British women behold that distinguishes them apart from the rest of the world. Since being in London I’ve acknowledged that there is indeed a sense of judgmentalism that is ever-apparent in South African fashion. British women are stoked to wear whatever the heck they want – and I really like that. They unashamedly exhibit their personalities through their clothing, it’s absolutely refreshing to be in a city that just doesn’t hold back.

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Even the Lampposts in London are feasts for the eyes

In all honesty – I have been horrified at some of the atrocities I’ve seen people wear. But I quite like that, too.  London has taught me to shake off my judgmental attitude and learn to appreciate the eccentrics of fashion that London displays to its inhabitants day in, day out. Come here with an open mind (and a large wallet, might I add!) and London will be sure to show you a good time.

HH

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