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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GHOSTWRITER

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 Airports are fascinating conundrums of activity. As a compulsive people-watcher, it’s interesting to observe the buzzing concoctions of human thoughts and emotions and they always have a habit of making me sentimental for some reason!

I’m sitting here in Dubai Airport with my backpack firmly on my shoulders and my heart somewhat on my sleeve.

There’s something incorrigibly emotional about closing one chapter and beginning another! Leaving Cape Town has left me feeling like an unrelenting, tantrum-throwing two year old. However as I’ve sat here with a Quentin Tarantino lookalike sitting crrrreepily next to me, I’ve acknowledged that it’s unquestionably time to have a new city as the backdrop to the best days of my life. I guess I left Cape Town on the most perfect note and I’m now ready to move on and discover a radical way of living; a London way of living.

I don’t know exactly what this year will bring – but all I know is that I will say yes to anything that will force me to step out of my comfort zone. Because, ultimately, comfort zones are for suckers. Comfort zones are the root of all discomfort. There is value in routine, but rewards are hidden in the triumph over obstacles and obstacles are never hidden between the ordinary concessions of too much comfort. So, the underlying message of this – is that perhaps it’s time for the discomfort of the unknown, and ultimately the rewards of the triumph over such discomfort.

I laude you if that made ANY sense to you haha… 🙂

Anyway, keep up with my blog – this is going to be an exciting year and I have lots planned! I’ve always wanted to live in London – to appreciate the London way of not only living, but dressing too. I’ve admired the eloquence with which British men & women carry themselves and I can’t wait to learn a thing or two. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and I can’t wait to discover a few revelations about the international stages of fashion.

Now it’s time to meet the Queen, swap my bikinis for Beanie’s and kiss my Irish Passport on its toosh.

London, show me what you got baybeeeee!

P.S the title of this post has nothing to do with anything discussed above, I was just listening to that song when writing this and I thought it’d be appropriate because I couldn’t think of a title, haha!

Have a sweeeeet day 🙂 🙂
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!

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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.

HH

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How to avoid looking like a Daisies cliché

Festival fashion tends to be a monotonous cycle of floral headbands and extra extra short shorts.  We all know that dressing for a festival like Rocking the Daisies is somewhat challenging; you need to be equipped for the possibility of encountering four seasons in one day – all the while carrying around minimal baggage and hopefully looking marginally stylish in the process.  So while you read this – put down your halo of daisy’s and listen uuuup.

How can you dress appropriately for Daisies without looking like a sartorial punch-line?  Below I’ve picked out my top festi-fashion faux-pas in a bid to save the rest of you from the ignominy of the Daisies cliché….

PUT DOWN YOUR DAISY CROWN

Is there anything more exhausted than the flower crown at Daisies? No. It needs a nap desperately. Unless you’re under the age of 9 or are a flower girl at a wedding – the flower crown is not for you. I personally do like a flower crown – but to Daisies? How original.

If you absolutely must wear something on your head – opt for a head wrap, head chain or a hat.  Braided hair also looks phenomenal. You see? Actually not that hard.. 🙂

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Hat: Cotton On

NO MORE BACKPACKS

If I could have counted how many of the same regurgitated Mr Price Backpacks there were at last year’s Rocking the Daisies I would sooner die – the waist bag is therefore a much better alternative. We all know that the fanny pack has been rebranded and it’s crazy how fashion has the ability to create a stylish version out of something defined from an era so long ago. Also,You can dance and not have to painfully hold on to your things. Love love LOVE!

Moonchild have developed a sick collection of waist bags – you should definitely check them out.

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Waist Bag: Moonchild

FRINGE – BUT NOT TOO MUCH FRINGE

I’ll be honest – this is the first fringed item of clothing that I’ve ever owned! Frills and tassels just personally aren’t my style – but they suit so many people and this ongoing boho trend fits in so well for festivals and the sort. This dress was only R89,99 from Mr Price (click here to check it out online) and the reason why it’s perfect for Daisies is because it’s nailing two trends at the same time: Fringe detailing and high slits.

Maxi dresses are perfect for festivals! They’re long, so you can easily sit on the floor. They’re light, so you can brave the heat. And most importantly they’re super comfortable. 

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Dress: Mr Price, Bag: Moonchild, Shoes: Mr Price.

I won’t lie these slits are pretty high, haha. I know that fringe detailing is a festival favourite and has been a massive trend throughout the Spring/Summer 2014 collections – but that doesn’t mean that everything you wear must feature fringe of some sort. Be careful not to look like an extra from Disney’s Pocahontas. 

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REFLECTORS

I’ve always disliked reflectors because I can NEVER recognise anyone when they’re wearing them. But I really like the range and styles of reflectors that are on the market at the moment. Maybe think twice when you’re buying your Ray Bans… 🙂

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Channeling your inner free spirit does not require you to be running  through the grass without shoes on, wearing a floral headband and waving a South African flag over your head. When it comes to festival fashion, there is no need to be so literal.

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While there are certain looks that have been so overdone that they’ve become complete and utter clichés – feel free to take my advice with a grain of salt. At the end of the day I think you should wear whatever the hell you want when you’re singing along to Milky Chance (he’s my absolute favourite singer, consider yourself very fortunate to be listening to him).

I will not be at Daisies this year but if you’re going I hope that you have the best best time.

Don’t do drugs. And make good choices. Be safe kids!

Holly eeeeooouuut

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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..

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– 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 …

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– 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.

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– 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.

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– 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).

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– 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.

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– 7 –

NEVER DO HIGHLIGHTS

Just don’t.

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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!

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– 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).

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– 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.

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Lemmeno your thoughts.

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

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Independent thinkers, independent dressers

The world consists of two types of people: independent thinkers and conformists. Independent thinkers are consequentially independent dressers as they have a careless disregard for what’s ‘trending’. Instead, they wear clothes that resonate with their personal style aesthetics and don’t take pop-culture fad’s to heart (like my friend who wears scrunchies haha).

Considering that this is a fashion blog means that’s pretty hypocritical but leeeet’s be real – it’s true.

There’s this guy that I always see at gym who is a hipster in the best of times and while he dresses in head-to-toe tight black Nike (a bit too tight though, if you know what I mean) – he has the most insane beard. It’s perfectly groomed and is as ginger as my neighbour’s cat, but the fact that he just owns it is impressive. Even though I’m absolutely not a fan of facial hair in any regard and am incapable of such testosterone-induced feats myself – I think that we need more people that are comfortable enough with themselves to grow an orange beard and be proud of it.

Since living in Cape Town I’ve learnt that there’s a beauty in other people’s individuality. Of course the conservative part of me is constantly shocked by some people’s eccentric choices of clothing – but I now have an appreciation for people who will outspokenly dress like a bohemian dancer or maybe even a gypsy – because their non-conformist approach to fashion is rare.


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Pineapples.

All of a sudden the world exploded with pineapple-obsessed people. WHY?

But I must admit that perhaps I’m somewhat of an unconventional hipster myself because I hated pineapples when they were trending, and now that they’re fading in popularity I’m actually starting to like them haha. FYI – It’s really hard balancing a pineapple on your head.

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Photo cred to the phenomenal Kelly Mac. I think onlookers were also wondering “why pineapples?”.


Sometimes it seems that the fashion industry is filled with conformists who are just jumping on any trend’s bandwagon – and yet other times I’m in awe at the industry’s ability to reinvent the ordinary and take a step back from what’s trending to invent something new and fresh. The slit dress is an example of the latter.

Considering the fact that women are less afraid to show off what their mama gave them, as well as the fact that we all got introduced to Angeline Jolie’s awkward leg at the 2012 Oscars – the slit dress is back baby! It took some time to get used to, but I quite like it.

Spring is my favourite season and it’s roughly 3 weeks away – which means that we can slowly trade in our jeans for dresses. Long dresses/skirts can be a little boring and so therefore I suppose this is its sexiest approach.

High slit skirts have become a part of fashion that every woman can use to show off her feminine side that she contrasts with her professional self. It’s chic – but it’s also serious. High slits can be paired with everything from a leather jacket to a silk blouse which is an extra bonus (I personally think a casual leather Jacket is perfect).


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Photographed by Kelly Mac

Dress: Woolworths (on sale, only R225!), Watch: Guess Man, Shoes: Cotton On.


P.S While slits offer lots of sex appeal and look phenomenal – they should come with a warning –  as a wardrobe malfunction is VERY likely. Be careful 😉

Check out more photos by Kelly Mac here: http://www.viewbug.com/member/kellyautumn

HH

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