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.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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

X

 

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!

9d4b5c9c105549eb445aada6c49a5c8e

tumblr_nw4eyeTQY41rlcibco1_540

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.

HH

X

3639ac513ae40cd2d6b8ae8d9459e992tumblr_nfzw0vBBCH1u1fo27o1_1280tumblr_nqjprosbtd1rbi8lro1_500tumblr_nwkvetEXwI1snixmzo1_540

tumblr_nsz2m6hItG1sodd3to1_540

Nailed It.

They say that your interpretation of life changes when you start to write and I’ve come to accept that perhaps it’s true. Even though I don’t really consider myself to be much of an established “writer”, I acknowledge that I have one thing in common with most wordsmiths; an incomprehensible obsession with observation.

Once you start writing, you become acutely alert of everything about a person, a piece of writing, a song, a title – you can never merely react; but you develop a sense of interpretation that painfully notices everything. All this suddenly dawned on me today while I was sitting in Exclusive Books, reading Alexa Chung’s masterfully written work.

the-cover-of-alexa-chungs-book

I’ve always had a knack for honest people with strong opinions and that is why I’m absolutely appreciative of Chung’s book, “It“. Her book is so remarkably origional and stands out from the crowd of other self-obsessed autobiographers who can’t see beyond their own success.  The collage format of the book is entirely unique and absolutely random – paying tribute to her personality and establishing her writing voice in an uncommon manner.

In a world driven by superficiality and self-fabrication; it’s refreshing to find Chung to be so unapologetically real and honest about the fashion industry.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who’s interested in Fashion.

Hope all you fashion bunnies are having a goooood weekend 🙂 🙂

HH xx

10 THINGS GUYS SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GETTING DRESSED

I must admit I’ve had a surprisingly large amount of response regarding my blog posts from the last audience I was expecting: males. This has therefore led me to articulate my thoughts on the modern day man. Due to the fact that I’ve grown up with two brothers and have had to bare witness to the cesspit of bad decisions that men in South Africa have accustomed themselves to – I feel that I have the authority to voice my opinions around the subject of men’s clothing.

It’s a well-known fact that you guys generally just don’t take fashion as seriously as us girls – so I’m here to help. In all honesty I’ve always avoided telling you what to wear because we all know that you can be SUPER SENSITIVE when it comes to comments made on your appearances (I’ve encountered many disagreements regarding this subject unfortunately!). However, I’m diving straight into the deep-end and letting you guys in on what us girls have been discussing for years.

This is rather cheeky of me because evidently these are all written from my own, opinionated perspective so at the end of the day you’re welcome to take them or leave them. You will, however, thank me later I promise 😉

– 1 –

YOU DON’T NEED TO SHOUT

You’re wearing a Polo shirt, I can see that. But you don’t need to buy an excessively branded shirt to show that you have taste or perhaps even money. The way you co-ordinate your outfit can speak for the quality of your clothes in itself and this subtlety is a lot more effective than a shouty branded shirt. Unless the girl you’re dating is exceedingly shallow – it’s not all about brands..

tumblr_mv64kl9HTz1qbzysno1_1280

– 2 –

TAILORED, NOT TIGHT

Lest you’re wearing a shirt from ninth grade – your clothes shouldn’t choke you but instead should impeccably fit you. On the other end of the spectrum – baggy jeans, baggy suits, baggy anything – are eternally unflattering and deeply disappoints your body frame. I also cannot stress enough how much every guy needs a tailored suit in their cupboard! One look at Johannes Heubl and you’ll understand why …

Johannes-Huebl-among-night-most-dapper-Paola-Pivi

– 3 –

SKINNY JEANS ARE A GIRLS’ THING

You’re never going to master the rugged gentleman look if you’re wearing jeans so tight you can see your business. Skinny jeans scream that you’re a hipster and suggest that perhaps you still live with your parents. Unless you want to look like you’re wearing your girlfriend’s jeans, don’t do skinnies.  The perfect jeans are The Slim Fit.

4d548a7b263c2bb2d63a95722ba8d509

– 4 –

BACKWARDS CAPS

Ohhhkay. I must confess I have a massive weakness for guys in backwards caps, haha! Hardcore, arrogant and OH SO cool. Backward caps are the easiest accessory you can use to transform a boring everyday look into a stylish, badboy look that says you can handle any crisis that’s thrown at you.

 44091db56d980583c4cc0d29f3a6556e

– 5 –

PLAIN WHITE TEE’S

The modern somewhat rugged gentleman is an alpha male. His clothing strikes a sophisticated equilibrium between form versus function – therefore the Plain White Tee is his saviour. A Plain White Tee shows that you don’t need shouty branded shirts to look good and tends to compliment most guys’ physiques (if they have one, haha).

Top-10-Most-Stylish-Male-Athletes-of-All-Time-asortsnews

– 6 –

WATCH IT

Perhaps I’m just a watch person – but I always notice when a guy is wearing a nice watch. It need not be expensive or branded – it just doesn’t have to be one of those chunky digital ones that you go scuba diving with.

53d4344be0042_-_270412-david-gandy-g3beu1-lgn

– 7 –

NEVER DO HIGHLIGHTS

Just don’t.

tumblr_mzrkr0sBBG1rap3nyo1_1280

8

DENIM SHIRTS.

 Denim is casual and comfortable and looks like you’re not trying too hard to be stylish – which ironically makes you look even more stylish.

I’ll never forget meeting the Director of Levi’s, Oliver Pywell, who (as expected) was double-deniming it. He has to be one of the coolest people I’ve possibly ever met and his hardcore personality was complimented perfectly by his Levi’s ensemble. I guess there’s just something about denim… 🙂

If you’re not comfortable double-deniming it, couple your denim shirt with Chino’s and you’ll get the perfect casual, stylish outfit. Hellloooo Beckham!

dburl

– 9 –

COLOGNE 

Guys. Nothing is better than a well-perfumed lad! I wish more guys knew of the power of a decent perfume – it is the cherry on top for a well-groomed gentleman and shows that you possess a superior level of etiquette. Your natural pheromones are okay, but a dash or two of Bleu de Chanel (the nicest guy’s perfume I’ve ever inhaled, in my life) won’t hurt you.

Side note: take care not to drown yourself in your perfume – there’s a fine line between an overwhelming scent and a subtle yet striking one. Good perfume is worth every single scent (oh you’re so quick if you got that).

2014-03_gqtaiwan_4_97

– 10 – 

BE A GENTLEMAN ON THE INSIDE

You can look like David Beckham and yet your vibe can destroy everything. Gentlemen are a rare breed and you certainly can’t become one overnight – but just know that being a decent good oke can do so much more for you than you will ever know. As much as what I’ve said is concerned wholeheartedly with ones looks – your personality should always resonate through your outfit. A little bit of etiquette here and a little bit of manners there does a lot.

178279-500w

Lemmeno your thoughts.

Hope you’ve all had a lovely week/weekend 🙂

X

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!).

workout

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

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.

image2

image 1

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