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.

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Barely there, but perfectly so.

“Real Elegance is everywhere

especially in the things that don’t show”

Christian Dior

Any girl will understand when I say that there’s a certain empowerment that beautiful underwear gives you. It gives you that small push of confidence that’s somewhat demure yet strikingly effective.

On a side note – any girl who is elegant, educated and has some respect for her body should never heavily-depend on showing what her mamma gave her in order to complete her outfit.

Of course, guys will never understand this sentiment, haha!

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Anyway I love this trend of nude chiffon bralets with white lace and think it looks UNbelievable. Will be hunting this down in the coming months.

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Movers and Shakers

I’ve always regarded choosing coats as I do my mates: they must be loyal, have your back and provide good support when the going gets tough. Coats function as all of the above (if you choose wisely!).

When it’s 10 degrees, pouring with rain and you’re covered in goosebumps – making sure that your outfit is on point is the last thing you feel like. Investing in a good coat is therefore like investing in a good car – you’re pretty much screwed if you don’t choose well.

For some reason I chose to get out of my coat-comfort-zone and buy something a little bit more outlandish than I usually would – a two-toned half leather/half trench coat. The first night I wore it was to a good friend’s surprise birthday – I guarded it from any stains and was so proud that no one had surreptitiously scarred my beautiful warm possession. But then I was disappointed to discover that it’s all fun and games when a whole bunch of you decide to put gold face paint on (yes we’re 21 years olds, hold your judgement) until it’s permanently on one of your winter coats that you were planning on maybe keeping forever. 

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Photographed by Jason Broderick

Cap: Cotton On, Coat: Zara, Watch: Lacoste Man, Leggings: Cotton On Body, Trainers: Nike.

(Side note: I was actually a quivering imbecile when this photo was taken haha!)

But all jokes aside, when it comes to winter coats in 2015 – don’t care about all the ‘how-to-wear-rules’ – wear them with anything. If the coat fits well and you like it – style it to your own look.  You can wear a smart suit with a parka coat or even your gym outfit with an elegant coat. I alwayyyyys wear my Nike’s with my coat. Don’t take yourself too seriously, wear your coat with whatever you want 🙂

 I personally think that a good coat is worth every cent – Zara and Topshop have the best range of coats out there for Winter.

Choose wiseeeeely

Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend 🙂

HH XX

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 🙂

Subscribe to my blog by clicking “follow” at the bottom of the screen.

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

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

It’s all about the sleeveless coat

Here in Cape Town it’s that awkward time just before winter where it’s too hot to wear a jacket but too nippy to be without something warm. The solution? The sleeveless coat.

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It’s a chic alternative to the sweater and is easily dressed up or down – effectively working just as well with a cocktail dress as it does with jeans and ankle boots à la Olivia Palermo.

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