Everybody hates me. Why are they looking at me like that? I must look really ugly. Do my thighs look fat? They're lying to me. They're going behind my back. They're hiding something from me. What is it? I bet they're all talking about me. I'm so annoying and irritating, why wouldn't they be talking about me? Nobody wants me here. I bet they all have so much more fun without me. Would they all be happier if I were dead? Is that what they want?

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to my brain. Welcome to my mean, nasty, cruel, paranoid brain.

I spend 99% of my time thinking things like this. You wouldn't be able to tell, but I do. My head is constantly filled with questions and my eyes are constantly looking for 'signs'. My face will be saying 'me? I'm fine and dandy' and my mind will be screaming some kind of paranoid slur at me.




PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOE GALVIN

I guess my self esteem has a lot to do with it. I've always had very low self esteem and put myself at the bottom of every thing. I have no self worth and therefore, I now believe that no one else values me either. It's a very weird thing to deal with; my friend could be calling me beautiful and I'd instantly think they were lying and trying to hide the fact that I'm actually really ugly, or I could be laughing so hard with someone that it looked like I was about to wee myself, and my brain would actually be thinking 'wait, what if they're all laughing AT me and not WITH me?'

I'm scared that everyone around me has it out for me; I worry what people are thinking when they are talking to me; I feel like everybody hates me, yet when I sit and think rationally, like I am now, I know that they don't... do they?... Urgh, you see? it's just all one big vicious circle of questions. I tell myself that I'm thinking irrationally, yet there I go, trying to find evidence that my irrational thoughts are in fact true.




JUMPER - ZARA // SKIRT - ASOS 

Did they just give me a dirty look? They did. See, they hate you.

I worry that people don't want me around. I worry about this to a degree where I've began to wonder if people were rather I was dead. I know that this is not the case though, but I have thought it... I tend to think that people are talking behind my back or breaking my trust. I will often say 'Promise me? Seriously? Honestly? Swear on my life?' - I need to know that you're telling the truth. I guess I just need to feel safe. I need to know that I'm with people who really do care and not people who have ulterior motives.

Holly, you're irritating them, just shut up.

I often find that I get paranoid that people are irritated with me. I've always felt like an irritating presence in people's lives. For example, on nights out in the past, I used to be that girl who got very very drunk and cried... a lot. I knew it was annoying, I knew it had began to irritate my friends, but it couldn't be helped because I was drinking and I was in a dark place - it would always end up happening. Nowadays, it doesn't happen (very very rarely anyway, who doesn't sometimes cry about life or boys on a night out? lol), but I'll still get paranoid that me being 'drunk' is the thing that people hate and not the 'crying hysterically about my mental illnesses' part.

They're lying to you, don't believe them.

People's judgement - that's another thing I just can't seem to trust. I'll ask my Mum the same question over and over and over, and even after the last time I've asked her, I still won't believe her answer. It will have constantly been the same answer, but despite basically having her swear on the bible in front of a judge and jury, I'll still have this thought: 'She's lying'. Once again, this goes back to me thinking that people have ulterior motives. My brain cannot seem to fathom the fact that someone might actually be being honest with me.

Oh my god, I'm going to die. 

I worry that people want to hurt me and that they don't have good intentions. I'll be walking through the street and I'll think that people are around me are carrying guns or weapons, or I'll just be constantly anticipating some kind of traumatic event happening. Cars will pull up near me and my brain will say 'this is it, this is the end, you're about to be kidnapped' or someone will brush past me on the street and I will genuinely think that they're trying to stab me. This probably makes me sound like an absolute lunatic, but hey, I want to be honest about this kind of thing and, well... I often do have to deal with thoughts like this.

But, why does my brain have to make me think this way? Why can't I be carefree and without worry?




SHOES - PUBLIC DESIRE

Paranoia tends to stem from bad experiences in the past and I guess I could say that I've had a few of them. I was bullied in school, I've tortured myself for years over my appearance and I've lost and grown distant from a lot of people in my life that I never would have thought I would. The bullying involved a lot of 'talking about me behind my back' or 'whispering about me as I walked by'. The bullying meant that I was told the worst things about myself, constantly, so why wouldn't I start to believe them? I've grown up hating the person I am and therefore have always found it difficult to believe that anyone could actually like me. When people in my life have left, or sadly passed away, it then makes those thoughts harder to ignore. 'Why did they leave? It's because of me.' There are so many other things too, but I won't turn this into more of a 'pity me' post than it needs to be.

I think a major step in dealing with it is actually recognizing that it's happening in the first place. I've come a long long way since I first started having thoughts like this. I am now in a place where I've learnt how to work against them and to live as worry-free as possible. But, like I said, you have to recognize that it's happening first.

So yes, I am paranoid (sometimes I think I'm paranoid about being paranoid), I know that I am. Now I just need to start learning to deal with it.



VALUE YOURSELF 

Paranoia often comes from some deep-routed lack of respect for ourselves. Like I said, that could've been caused by bad experiences in the past, or it could simply be that we well and truly hate who we are as a person. Now, that sounds so harsh, but I totally relate that. I have well and truly hated who I was as a person, for the majority of my life, and so, it makes total sense that I would think everyone else hated me too.

It's crazy that the paranoid thoughts are all about a lack of self worth, yet all we seem to do is fixate on ourselves. It's ironically narcissistic. I'll be thinking 'I'm worthless and ugly' or 'I bet they hate me', yet all my thoughts are consumed by 'I' and 'Me' and the idea that other people are always thinking about 'Me'. If both mine and other people's thoughts are 'presumably' preoccupied with 'Me' all of the time, then surely I'm worth something, right?

To sort of contradict that though, most of the time when we are worrying about what other people are thinking of us, we haven't even entered their minds. We'll be passing someone in the street, overthinking about the fact that they're judging your outfit or evil-eyeing your hair, and all that they'll actually be thinking about is what they fancy for their tea or the fact that they've got a wedgie. Everyone is always preoccupied with themselves.

"You'd worry less what others thought of you when you realise how seldom they do"

REALIZE IT'S IRRATIONAL

I talk about irrational thoughts a lot, so I won't delve too deep into this topic, but at the end of the day, yes, these thoughts are most likely false. Paranoia warps our beliefs, making us constantly think the worst. Is there evidence for what you're thinking? Do others agree with you or feel the same way? You could think of it like Paranoia is a third person who's constantly following you around and trying to spoil your fun. You've got to tell the third person to shut up. You've got the override what that person is saying and trust yourself.

Alternatively, you could step outside your mind for a moment and just try and look at the situation from somebody else's shoes. Are they going to be thinking the kind of thoughts your thinking? or are they having fun and being carefree? If so, you should be being as carefree as possible too. You deserve to be.



BAG - MATALAN

GET OUT AND BREATHE

A muddled mind and a racing heart beat aren't going to make the thoughts any better, so do yourself a huge favor, and do something to calm yourself down. Take yourself away from the situation, pop in your earphones, call your Mum - do something to help yourself, don't suffer.

I always find that a walk in the fresh air is one of the best cures for any kind of overthinking. It's also great practice for dealing with certain situations, like if you get paranoid around strangers on the street or simply just anywhere other than the comfort of your home.

Get confident in being out and about. It took me a long time to get myself out the house and face other people. Every time someone looked at me, I thought the worst, but the thing is, the more that you get out and about, and get more comfortable walking around (especially on your own), the more you realise that there's nothing to be afraid of. People will look at you, yes... but that's it... they're just looking at you because you're a part of their scenery, not for any other reason.

LEARN TO TRUST

Trusting people is one of the hardest things to do when you're dealing with paranoid thoughts. Yet, we need to think back to the fact that these thoughts and ideas are false. If there's evidence against the suspicious thoughts you're having, or no one else is having the same thoughts as you, then you need to be able to see that you're being irrational. Ask people, talk to people, tell people how you're feeling. Watch their responses, hear what they say to you, trust that they're being honest. We've got to learn to accept other people's behavior and see that the people around us are around because they want to be.

Also, we need to learn to trust ourselves too. Listen to those other thoughts that aren't at the forefront of our minds. Listen to those thoughts that are trying to break through and say 'Everything is fine, carry on. Everything will be okay.' Trusting yourself and others is key to making that paranoid voice quieter.




DON'T GIVE UP

Last but not least, I simply want to say: don't give up. It can be such a terrifying thing to be dealing with. The idea that everyone is out to get you, or hurt you, or the feeling that you're worthless and don't deserve to be here, is something that I would never wish on anyone.

In the present, it might feel like everything is horrible and that the world is against you, but try and be as positive as you can be. Look for the positives in everything, laugh hard and loud, and run towards the things that make you happy and the things you want to achieve. It takes work and time, but eventually we all finally get a break from the paranoid voices.

"Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace"

Ps, I just want to give a shout out to Joe Galvin for these amazing photos. I love them and it was absoloutley fantastic to work with him! Check out his work >>> here

Shop the look:





Paranoia



Everybody hates me. Why are they looking at me like that? I must look really ugly. Do my thighs look fat? They're lying to me. They're going behind my back. They're hiding something from me. What is it? I bet they're all talking about me. I'm so annoying and irritating, why wouldn't they be talking about me? Nobody wants me here. I bet they all have so much more fun without me. Would they all be happier if I were dead? Is that what they want?

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to my brain. Welcome to my mean, nasty, cruel, paranoid brain.

I spend 99% of my time thinking things like this. You wouldn't be able to tell, but I do. My head is constantly filled with questions and my eyes are constantly looking for 'signs'. My face will be saying 'me? I'm fine and dandy' and my mind will be screaming some kind of paranoid slur at me.




PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOE GALVIN

I guess my self esteem has a lot to do with it. I've always had very low self esteem and put myself at the bottom of every thing. I have no self worth and therefore, I now believe that no one else values me either. It's a very weird thing to deal with; my friend could be calling me beautiful and I'd instantly think they were lying and trying to hide the fact that I'm actually really ugly, or I could be laughing so hard with someone that it looked like I was about to wee myself, and my brain would actually be thinking 'wait, what if they're all laughing AT me and not WITH me?'

I'm scared that everyone around me has it out for me; I worry what people are thinking when they are talking to me; I feel like everybody hates me, yet when I sit and think rationally, like I am now, I know that they don't... do they?... Urgh, you see? it's just all one big vicious circle of questions. I tell myself that I'm thinking irrationally, yet there I go, trying to find evidence that my irrational thoughts are in fact true.




JUMPER - ZARA // SKIRT - ASOS 

Did they just give me a dirty look? They did. See, they hate you.

I worry that people don't want me around. I worry about this to a degree where I've began to wonder if people were rather I was dead. I know that this is not the case though, but I have thought it... I tend to think that people are talking behind my back or breaking my trust. I will often say 'Promise me? Seriously? Honestly? Swear on my life?' - I need to know that you're telling the truth. I guess I just need to feel safe. I need to know that I'm with people who really do care and not people who have ulterior motives.

Holly, you're irritating them, just shut up.

I often find that I get paranoid that people are irritated with me. I've always felt like an irritating presence in people's lives. For example, on nights out in the past, I used to be that girl who got very very drunk and cried... a lot. I knew it was annoying, I knew it had began to irritate my friends, but it couldn't be helped because I was drinking and I was in a dark place - it would always end up happening. Nowadays, it doesn't happen (very very rarely anyway, who doesn't sometimes cry about life or boys on a night out? lol), but I'll still get paranoid that me being 'drunk' is the thing that people hate and not the 'crying hysterically about my mental illnesses' part.

They're lying to you, don't believe them.

People's judgement - that's another thing I just can't seem to trust. I'll ask my Mum the same question over and over and over, and even after the last time I've asked her, I still won't believe her answer. It will have constantly been the same answer, but despite basically having her swear on the bible in front of a judge and jury, I'll still have this thought: 'She's lying'. Once again, this goes back to me thinking that people have ulterior motives. My brain cannot seem to fathom the fact that someone might actually be being honest with me.

Oh my god, I'm going to die. 

I worry that people want to hurt me and that they don't have good intentions. I'll be walking through the street and I'll think that people are around me are carrying guns or weapons, or I'll just be constantly anticipating some kind of traumatic event happening. Cars will pull up near me and my brain will say 'this is it, this is the end, you're about to be kidnapped' or someone will brush past me on the street and I will genuinely think that they're trying to stab me. This probably makes me sound like an absolute lunatic, but hey, I want to be honest about this kind of thing and, well... I often do have to deal with thoughts like this.

But, why does my brain have to make me think this way? Why can't I be carefree and without worry?




SHOES - PUBLIC DESIRE

Paranoia tends to stem from bad experiences in the past and I guess I could say that I've had a few of them. I was bullied in school, I've tortured myself for years over my appearance and I've lost and grown distant from a lot of people in my life that I never would have thought I would. The bullying involved a lot of 'talking about me behind my back' or 'whispering about me as I walked by'. The bullying meant that I was told the worst things about myself, constantly, so why wouldn't I start to believe them? I've grown up hating the person I am and therefore have always found it difficult to believe that anyone could actually like me. When people in my life have left, or sadly passed away, it then makes those thoughts harder to ignore. 'Why did they leave? It's because of me.' There are so many other things too, but I won't turn this into more of a 'pity me' post than it needs to be.

I think a major step in dealing with it is actually recognizing that it's happening in the first place. I've come a long long way since I first started having thoughts like this. I am now in a place where I've learnt how to work against them and to live as worry-free as possible. But, like I said, you have to recognize that it's happening first.

So yes, I am paranoid (sometimes I think I'm paranoid about being paranoid), I know that I am. Now I just need to start learning to deal with it.



VALUE YOURSELF 

Paranoia often comes from some deep-routed lack of respect for ourselves. Like I said, that could've been caused by bad experiences in the past, or it could simply be that we well and truly hate who we are as a person. Now, that sounds so harsh, but I totally relate that. I have well and truly hated who I was as a person, for the majority of my life, and so, it makes total sense that I would think everyone else hated me too.

It's crazy that the paranoid thoughts are all about a lack of self worth, yet all we seem to do is fixate on ourselves. It's ironically narcissistic. I'll be thinking 'I'm worthless and ugly' or 'I bet they hate me', yet all my thoughts are consumed by 'I' and 'Me' and the idea that other people are always thinking about 'Me'. If both mine and other people's thoughts are 'presumably' preoccupied with 'Me' all of the time, then surely I'm worth something, right?

To sort of contradict that though, most of the time when we are worrying about what other people are thinking of us, we haven't even entered their minds. We'll be passing someone in the street, overthinking about the fact that they're judging your outfit or evil-eyeing your hair, and all that they'll actually be thinking about is what they fancy for their tea or the fact that they've got a wedgie. Everyone is always preoccupied with themselves.

"You'd worry less what others thought of you when you realise how seldom they do"

REALIZE IT'S IRRATIONAL

I talk about irrational thoughts a lot, so I won't delve too deep into this topic, but at the end of the day, yes, these thoughts are most likely false. Paranoia warps our beliefs, making us constantly think the worst. Is there evidence for what you're thinking? Do others agree with you or feel the same way? You could think of it like Paranoia is a third person who's constantly following you around and trying to spoil your fun. You've got to tell the third person to shut up. You've got the override what that person is saying and trust yourself.

Alternatively, you could step outside your mind for a moment and just try and look at the situation from somebody else's shoes. Are they going to be thinking the kind of thoughts your thinking? or are they having fun and being carefree? If so, you should be being as carefree as possible too. You deserve to be.



BAG - MATALAN

GET OUT AND BREATHE

A muddled mind and a racing heart beat aren't going to make the thoughts any better, so do yourself a huge favor, and do something to calm yourself down. Take yourself away from the situation, pop in your earphones, call your Mum - do something to help yourself, don't suffer.

I always find that a walk in the fresh air is one of the best cures for any kind of overthinking. It's also great practice for dealing with certain situations, like if you get paranoid around strangers on the street or simply just anywhere other than the comfort of your home.

Get confident in being out and about. It took me a long time to get myself out the house and face other people. Every time someone looked at me, I thought the worst, but the thing is, the more that you get out and about, and get more comfortable walking around (especially on your own), the more you realise that there's nothing to be afraid of. People will look at you, yes... but that's it... they're just looking at you because you're a part of their scenery, not for any other reason.

LEARN TO TRUST

Trusting people is one of the hardest things to do when you're dealing with paranoid thoughts. Yet, we need to think back to the fact that these thoughts and ideas are false. If there's evidence against the suspicious thoughts you're having, or no one else is having the same thoughts as you, then you need to be able to see that you're being irrational. Ask people, talk to people, tell people how you're feeling. Watch their responses, hear what they say to you, trust that they're being honest. We've got to learn to accept other people's behavior and see that the people around us are around because they want to be.

Also, we need to learn to trust ourselves too. Listen to those other thoughts that aren't at the forefront of our minds. Listen to those thoughts that are trying to break through and say 'Everything is fine, carry on. Everything will be okay.' Trusting yourself and others is key to making that paranoid voice quieter.




DON'T GIVE UP

Last but not least, I simply want to say: don't give up. It can be such a terrifying thing to be dealing with. The idea that everyone is out to get you, or hurt you, or the feeling that you're worthless and don't deserve to be here, is something that I would never wish on anyone.

In the present, it might feel like everything is horrible and that the world is against you, but try and be as positive as you can be. Look for the positives in everything, laugh hard and loud, and run towards the things that make you happy and the things you want to achieve. It takes work and time, but eventually we all finally get a break from the paranoid voices.

"Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace"

Ps, I just want to give a shout out to Joe Galvin for these amazing photos. I love them and it was absoloutley fantastic to work with him! Check out his work >>> here

Shop the look:







If you read my post 'I Feel Free: How I Dealt With OCD', then you'll know that I've struggled with obsessive behaviors surrounding time and timings for a while now. I basically created a routine in my head and had compulsions to do certain things at certain times. Since writing that post I've really tried to 'let go' a little bit. I've been trying to be more free and easy going and go with the flow. I've been trying to not let the clock control my decisions: I often say no to things because I can't deal with not being 'in control', or not doing something specific at a time that that thing might conflict with. It's been hard, but it's slowly working and I'm changing.

I was recently contacted by Daniel Wellington, asking if I'd like to receive some pieces from them. I said yes, and once they arrived, something really struck a chord with me: I've never really worn a watch. I've never grown up wearing a watch, having a miniature clock strapped to my wrist - it was only over the past few years that I began looking at the clock and using 'time' as some weird form of 'allowance'. 



It just made me think about how free I used to be from time and timings. When I was younger, I would never look at a clock and be like, 'no sorry, I can't, I have to brush the floor at that time' (yeah, I have a specific time in my head for that... don't judge me haha), I would just be like 'yeah! let's go!'. I need to start being more like that now. But, you see, I don't want that to stop me from being able to wear beautiful pieces like these from Daniel Wellington. So, today, I want to take the 'time' element away from watches and look at them more as a piece of fashion. 

A watch can be such a fab accessory, not just be used to tell the time. I always love the contrast between the clock face and the strap, and the great thing about Daniel Wellington watches is that all the straps are interchangeable, meaning that you're able to mix and match. 

Personally, I really love dark straps on watches - I just think it makes the face stand out so much more. The watches I chose were the Cornwall Classic Black and the Reading Classic Black. I love the way that the rose gold and the silver look against the black straps and yet, the straps are still so interesting due to the different textures! I think each strap would work wonderfully with each face and would add just that little something extra to a look. 



Daniel Wellington also sent me their Classic Cuff in silver - something else that is simple, yet just adds something to an outfit. It's gorgeously engraved with the brand name and came in a gorgeous little box. It would be perfect paired with the silver watch.

If you're looking for your own 'timeless' piece then you can shop these below:


You're Timeless To Me ft. Daniel Wellington



If you read my post 'I Feel Free: How I Dealt With OCD', then you'll know that I've struggled with obsessive behaviors surrounding time and timings for a while now. I basically created a routine in my head and had compulsions to do certain things at certain times. Since writing that post I've really tried to 'let go' a little bit. I've been trying to be more free and easy going and go with the flow. I've been trying to not let the clock control my decisions: I often say no to things because I can't deal with not being 'in control', or not doing something specific at a time that that thing might conflict with. It's been hard, but it's slowly working and I'm changing.

I was recently contacted by Daniel Wellington, asking if I'd like to receive some pieces from them. I said yes, and once they arrived, something really struck a chord with me: I've never really worn a watch. I've never grown up wearing a watch, having a miniature clock strapped to my wrist - it was only over the past few years that I began looking at the clock and using 'time' as some weird form of 'allowance'. 



It just made me think about how free I used to be from time and timings. When I was younger, I would never look at a clock and be like, 'no sorry, I can't, I have to brush the floor at that time' (yeah, I have a specific time in my head for that... don't judge me haha), I would just be like 'yeah! let's go!'. I need to start being more like that now. But, you see, I don't want that to stop me from being able to wear beautiful pieces like these from Daniel Wellington. So, today, I want to take the 'time' element away from watches and look at them more as a piece of fashion. 

A watch can be such a fab accessory, not just be used to tell the time. I always love the contrast between the clock face and the strap, and the great thing about Daniel Wellington watches is that all the straps are interchangeable, meaning that you're able to mix and match. 

Personally, I really love dark straps on watches - I just think it makes the face stand out so much more. The watches I chose were the Cornwall Classic Black and the Reading Classic Black. I love the way that the rose gold and the silver look against the black straps and yet, the straps are still so interesting due to the different textures! I think each strap would work wonderfully with each face and would add just that little something extra to a look. 



Daniel Wellington also sent me their Classic Cuff in silver - something else that is simple, yet just adds something to an outfit. It's gorgeously engraved with the brand name and came in a gorgeous little box. It would be perfect paired with the silver watch.

If you're looking for your own 'timeless' piece then you can shop these below:



Who likes to stick to the 'norms' of fashion? Not me! I love playing around with styling and textures, and sometimes I even dabble in a bit of colour. I love how fashion gives me creative freedom and the ability to express myself. I think it's fun to try and mix things up and break away from 'traditional' style. 

I like to break away from the 'norms' of everything really. I don't like being sectioned off into one little description that I'm not allowed to break away from. We're changing creatures, we need to be allowed to experiment and have fun - whether that be in everyday life or with our style! 

Something that is normally considered a more 'casual' piece, is anything that comes under the 'denim' genre. Denim is always seen as something you'd throw on to create a day-time look or something a bit more 'street-fashion'. The thing is though, why does it have to be? Just because most people wouldn't think to grab for a denim jacket or a pair of jeans for a more formal occasion, doesn't mean that you can't. All style is personal, and if you feel amazing and confident in denim, then you bloody well wear it!



We have the tendency to want to 'fit in' and we fear rejection. The world tries to shape us to be a specific type of person or to look or dress in a certain way. Conforming to the norms just stops your creative side from being free - it stops you from expressing who you are and even just finding out who you want to be. I don't think people realise just how much fashion can be a brilliant way of expressing feelings and showing who we are as human beings. We need to stop worrying about what everyone else is thinking - you do you. Don't follow the 'rules' just because that's what the world wants you to do, it's so much more fun to break free and be your own person. And so, if that means you love a good bit of denim in your outfit, then so be it!

Anyway, denim is such a fun piece to style with, so why not style it for every occasion? I think it's got such a lovely sense of 'character' about it - especially distressed denim or anything with a little added extra, like embroidery. I feel like the denim you choose to wear can really show who you are or what mood you're in. 



New Look have asked me to work with them on their Denim vs Formal campaign. For this look I really wanted to challenge the 'norms' and style some distressed denim for a more formal/evening occasion. Sometimes, although slipping on a pretty dress or a frilly skirt can make you feel amazing, it's nice to create a look that's a little more edgy and fun for a formal occasion too.  

I decided to style this amazing pair of Black Washed Ripped Knee Mom Jeans along with this fabulous Silver V-Neck Metallic Sleeveless Bodysuit and this White Satin Trim Blazer. I thought that the silver bodysuit added a touch of 'glam' (something you'd normally get with a glitzy dress or skirt) and the white blazer contrasted perfectly with the ripped jeans. The mom jean has such a casual style, yet paired with a blazer and sassy top, like I've done here, they work perfectly for a more 'formal' look. The look is a total oxymoron and I love it! It just goes to show, there's nothing wrong with breaking out from the 'norms' and doing a little experimenting.


"Be free"

So today, my challenge for you is: break out from the norm. Try something new with your sense of style (or anything else for that matter), do something you wouldn't normally do and let yourself be as creative as possible. Fashion should be fun and we shouldn't be tied down to one particularly genre of style or be told what we can and cannot wear for specific occasions.

You could even try creating your own denim/formal look if you fancy. Or if you'd simply like to recreate this one, then make sure you head to the New Look website!

Denim & Formal, Not Normal? ft. New Look #ad


Who likes to stick to the 'norms' of fashion? Not me! I love playing around with styling and textures, and sometimes I even dabble in a bit of colour. I love how fashion gives me creative freedom and the ability to express myself. I think it's fun to try and mix things up and break away from 'traditional' style. 

I like to break away from the 'norms' of everything really. I don't like being sectioned off into one little description that I'm not allowed to break away from. We're changing creatures, we need to be allowed to experiment and have fun - whether that be in everyday life or with our style! 

Something that is normally considered a more 'casual' piece, is anything that comes under the 'denim' genre. Denim is always seen as something you'd throw on to create a day-time look or something a bit more 'street-fashion'. The thing is though, why does it have to be? Just because most people wouldn't think to grab for a denim jacket or a pair of jeans for a more formal occasion, doesn't mean that you can't. All style is personal, and if you feel amazing and confident in denim, then you bloody well wear it!



We have the tendency to want to 'fit in' and we fear rejection. The world tries to shape us to be a specific type of person or to look or dress in a certain way. Conforming to the norms just stops your creative side from being free - it stops you from expressing who you are and even just finding out who you want to be. I don't think people realise just how much fashion can be a brilliant way of expressing feelings and showing who we are as human beings. We need to stop worrying about what everyone else is thinking - you do you. Don't follow the 'rules' just because that's what the world wants you to do, it's so much more fun to break free and be your own person. And so, if that means you love a good bit of denim in your outfit, then so be it!

Anyway, denim is such a fun piece to style with, so why not style it for every occasion? I think it's got such a lovely sense of 'character' about it - especially distressed denim or anything with a little added extra, like embroidery. I feel like the denim you choose to wear can really show who you are or what mood you're in. 



New Look have asked me to work with them on their Denim vs Formal campaign. For this look I really wanted to challenge the 'norms' and style some distressed denim for a more formal/evening occasion. Sometimes, although slipping on a pretty dress or a frilly skirt can make you feel amazing, it's nice to create a look that's a little more edgy and fun for a formal occasion too.  

I decided to style this amazing pair of Black Washed Ripped Knee Mom Jeans along with this fabulous Silver V-Neck Metallic Sleeveless Bodysuit and this White Satin Trim Blazer. I thought that the silver bodysuit added a touch of 'glam' (something you'd normally get with a glitzy dress or skirt) and the white blazer contrasted perfectly with the ripped jeans. The mom jean has such a casual style, yet paired with a blazer and sassy top, like I've done here, they work perfectly for a more 'formal' look. The look is a total oxymoron and I love it! It just goes to show, there's nothing wrong with breaking out from the 'norms' and doing a little experimenting.


"Be free"

So today, my challenge for you is: break out from the norm. Try something new with your sense of style (or anything else for that matter), do something you wouldn't normally do and let yourself be as creative as possible. Fashion should be fun and we shouldn't be tied down to one particularly genre of style or be told what we can and cannot wear for specific occasions.

You could even try creating your own denim/formal look if you fancy. Or if you'd simply like to recreate this one, then make sure you head to the New Look website!

That's right guys, I went on a date... In fact, I've been on more than one.

Going on a date always seemed like it would be such a pinnacle moment in my life. I set these super high expectations (like I do with everything) and welll.... dates just aren't like they are in the movies, are they?... Although I could sit here and write blog post after blog post, about all the different dates I've been on, I thought I'd go for a more 'reflective' vibe, because I tell you what, going on dates actually taught me a lot about myself.



1. DATES DON'T SCARE ME

Now, considering I'm a sufferer of anxiety and various other mental illnesses, you'd think I'd be an absolute nervous wreck when it comes to going on a date, but actually, I'm quite the opposite.

The whole idea of a 'date' is totally terrifying, isn't it? I mean, you're basically sitting across and talking to someone who's never met you before and is sat there completely judging you. They're looking at your outfit, your hair, listening to what you say... daunting, right? Well, for some strange reason, nothing about that scares me.

I think it's maybe because I kind of just think 'don't like me, don't care'. I've reached a point in my life where I honestly don't care if you don't like me, because at the end of the day, there are people out there that do, so I can just talk to them instead. If someone isn't the person for you, or you're not 'clicking', then I've just learnt to forget about it - not everyone is going to like you, and that's okay.  Anyway, I also think one of the main reasons that I don't get that scared about them, is probably also the fact that I'm so used to having to go and meet random people all of time anyway (lol that sounds so weird). With modelling, you have to go to castings and impress, sometimes a room full of people, and you only get one chance to do so. I'll have to go and meet photographers for shoots and I'll have never met them before in my life! The same goes for blogging too. I'll go to events and meet people who I've only ever spoken to online or I'll, again, go to shoot some outfits with a photographer. I guess I'm just kind of used to dealing with 'stranger danger' (lol) and having to make a good first impression.



2. I CAN TALK... A LOT

One thing that is incredibly worrying, on a first date especially, is the idea of not having anything to talk about. The idea of any sort of awkward silence or uncomfortable difference in interest, is literally a dating worst nightmare. However, I've never really experienced that yet. I think it's genuinely because I just talk... about anything.. all. the. time. I find it easy to talk about anything and everything and usually, I just talk about myself or something incredibly generic (like the weather for example). If worst comes to worst, my advice is: just say anything. I've found that, even if the date is a complete 'no' from the moment it starts, I can keep the conversation up for the next few hours (until I finally escape and can breathe a sigh of relief that I no longer have to chat about the fact that 'the weather's awful today')

I've been on first dates where we've spoken about politics and world events and then on other dates where I've spoken about nights out and being too drunk - it just depends on the feel for the conversation I suppose. But either way, I don't think I've had to deal with too many awkward silences just yet.


3. I OPEN UP TO PEOPLE VERY EASILY

This one might not necessarily be a positive thing, but let's just talk about it a little bit.

I am someone who is very open about what they've been through - especially nowadays. I have no shame in sharing what I've been through or what I'm going through, because at the end of the day, that's me... it's a big part of me.

Like I said earlier, I have the mentality of 'don't like me, don't care', so I tend to find that I avoid people who don't really take much interest in things like my blog or whatever. However, I've been in situations, with people I thought were 'right' and felt comfortable with, where I've brought up my mental health or things that have happened to me, and I've not really received a response that has made me feel that great. I've told people things that are quite personal and then been left a little bit, well... upset. I didn't feel comforted, or like it didn't matter and that they liked 'me for me', I felt embarrassed (something which I never usually feel) and like I wanted to run away and hide. I instantly regretted opening up.

On the other hand, I've been on dates where I've opened up about things, things that I've never even talked about on here before, or even to anyone else, and it's been lovely. I've told them some deep dark secrets and they've made me feel so good about it - not like I should just shut up and never mention it again.

So I guess, I've learnt to judge better when it comes to opening up to people. I need to know that the person I'm telling stuff too, is worth telling.



4. I DEFINITELY DO HAVE A TYPE

I'm someone who never thought they had a type. I was all like 'Oh, I don't really care... anyone with a pulse to be honest'... but oh, my. god. (you have to read that in Janice's voice from Friends) I am such a picky little bitch. I never even realised it before, but I literally have my ideal man, illustrated perfectly in my mind.

I won't describe him to you on here, because if my future boyf (if there ever is one) or husband (if there ever is one) ever reads this, and he doesn't fit the description, I'm going to feel really bad. But the thing is, I never even noticed how much more attracted I am to a specific type of person than I am to another. I know what I want and unfortunately, when people haven't met that description, I feel like everything has just fallen a bit 'flat'. Hopefully, one day, someone might fit the description. (where for art thou Prince Charming?)

Physical attraction is incredibly important. The physical attraction needs to be there, just as much as an emotional connection needs to be there. Without any sort of thought like 'omg, he's so hot', there's never going to be that 'spark' that I want.



5. WHEN I MEET SOMEONE, I'LL KNOW

I've spent a lot of time thinking that there was something wrong with me. No matter who I went on a date with or what we talked about, there always seemed to be something missing. I began thinking I was incapable of any emotion - I just didn't feel anything. As much as I thought someone was a great guy or was really attractive, I just wasn't getting that 'spark' or 'connection' that people talk about. I didn't even feel butterflies.

(I'd love to talk about the above ^^ more in depth in another blog post, so let me know if you'd like to see that)

I dwelled on this for soooo long, but now I realise it's because the people weren't right. The people I spoke to and dated, weren't right and you really can't force something like that. When the person is right, that's when I'll get the 'spark' and the 'butterflies' and I'll know. (lol cringe Hol haha)

"There's nothing more intimate in life than simply being understood and understanding someone else"

So, yep, there you go. That's what I've learnt from my very short and small amount of dating. Let me know down in the comments what dating is like for you and whether we have anything in common!

Shop the look here:


What I've Learnt About Myself From Going On Dates


That's right guys, I went on a date... In fact, I've been on more than one.

Going on a date always seemed like it would be such a pinnacle moment in my life. I set these super high expectations (like I do with everything) and welll.... dates just aren't like they are in the movies, are they?... Although I could sit here and write blog post after blog post, about all the different dates I've been on, I thought I'd go for a more 'reflective' vibe, because I tell you what, going on dates actually taught me a lot about myself.



1. DATES DON'T SCARE ME

Now, considering I'm a sufferer of anxiety and various other mental illnesses, you'd think I'd be an absolute nervous wreck when it comes to going on a date, but actually, I'm quite the opposite.

The whole idea of a 'date' is totally terrifying, isn't it? I mean, you're basically sitting across and talking to someone who's never met you before and is sat there completely judging you. They're looking at your outfit, your hair, listening to what you say... daunting, right? Well, for some strange reason, nothing about that scares me.

I think it's maybe because I kind of just think 'don't like me, don't care'. I've reached a point in my life where I honestly don't care if you don't like me, because at the end of the day, there are people out there that do, so I can just talk to them instead. If someone isn't the person for you, or you're not 'clicking', then I've just learnt to forget about it - not everyone is going to like you, and that's okay.  Anyway, I also think one of the main reasons that I don't get that scared about them, is probably also the fact that I'm so used to having to go and meet random people all of time anyway (lol that sounds so weird). With modelling, you have to go to castings and impress, sometimes a room full of people, and you only get one chance to do so. I'll have to go and meet photographers for shoots and I'll have never met them before in my life! The same goes for blogging too. I'll go to events and meet people who I've only ever spoken to online or I'll, again, go to shoot some outfits with a photographer. I guess I'm just kind of used to dealing with 'stranger danger' (lol) and having to make a good first impression.



2. I CAN TALK... A LOT

One thing that is incredibly worrying, on a first date especially, is the idea of not having anything to talk about. The idea of any sort of awkward silence or uncomfortable difference in interest, is literally a dating worst nightmare. However, I've never really experienced that yet. I think it's genuinely because I just talk... about anything.. all. the. time. I find it easy to talk about anything and everything and usually, I just talk about myself or something incredibly generic (like the weather for example). If worst comes to worst, my advice is: just say anything. I've found that, even if the date is a complete 'no' from the moment it starts, I can keep the conversation up for the next few hours (until I finally escape and can breathe a sigh of relief that I no longer have to chat about the fact that 'the weather's awful today')

I've been on first dates where we've spoken about politics and world events and then on other dates where I've spoken about nights out and being too drunk - it just depends on the feel for the conversation I suppose. But either way, I don't think I've had to deal with too many awkward silences just yet.


3. I OPEN UP TO PEOPLE VERY EASILY

This one might not necessarily be a positive thing, but let's just talk about it a little bit.

I am someone who is very open about what they've been through - especially nowadays. I have no shame in sharing what I've been through or what I'm going through, because at the end of the day, that's me... it's a big part of me.

Like I said earlier, I have the mentality of 'don't like me, don't care', so I tend to find that I avoid people who don't really take much interest in things like my blog or whatever. However, I've been in situations, with people I thought were 'right' and felt comfortable with, where I've brought up my mental health or things that have happened to me, and I've not really received a response that has made me feel that great. I've told people things that are quite personal and then been left a little bit, well... upset. I didn't feel comforted, or like it didn't matter and that they liked 'me for me', I felt embarrassed (something which I never usually feel) and like I wanted to run away and hide. I instantly regretted opening up.

On the other hand, I've been on dates where I've opened up about things, things that I've never even talked about on here before, or even to anyone else, and it's been lovely. I've told them some deep dark secrets and they've made me feel so good about it - not like I should just shut up and never mention it again.

So I guess, I've learnt to judge better when it comes to opening up to people. I need to know that the person I'm telling stuff too, is worth telling.



4. I DEFINITELY DO HAVE A TYPE

I'm someone who never thought they had a type. I was all like 'Oh, I don't really care... anyone with a pulse to be honest'... but oh, my. god. (you have to read that in Janice's voice from Friends) I am such a picky little bitch. I never even realised it before, but I literally have my ideal man, illustrated perfectly in my mind.

I won't describe him to you on here, because if my future boyf (if there ever is one) or husband (if there ever is one) ever reads this, and he doesn't fit the description, I'm going to feel really bad. But the thing is, I never even noticed how much more attracted I am to a specific type of person than I am to another. I know what I want and unfortunately, when people haven't met that description, I feel like everything has just fallen a bit 'flat'. Hopefully, one day, someone might fit the description. (where for art thou Prince Charming?)

Physical attraction is incredibly important. The physical attraction needs to be there, just as much as an emotional connection needs to be there. Without any sort of thought like 'omg, he's so hot', there's never going to be that 'spark' that I want.



5. WHEN I MEET SOMEONE, I'LL KNOW

I've spent a lot of time thinking that there was something wrong with me. No matter who I went on a date with or what we talked about, there always seemed to be something missing. I began thinking I was incapable of any emotion - I just didn't feel anything. As much as I thought someone was a great guy or was really attractive, I just wasn't getting that 'spark' or 'connection' that people talk about. I didn't even feel butterflies.

(I'd love to talk about the above ^^ more in depth in another blog post, so let me know if you'd like to see that)

I dwelled on this for soooo long, but now I realise it's because the people weren't right. The people I spoke to and dated, weren't right and you really can't force something like that. When the person is right, that's when I'll get the 'spark' and the 'butterflies' and I'll know. (lol cringe Hol haha)

"There's nothing more intimate in life than simply being understood and understanding someone else"

So, yep, there you go. That's what I've learnt from my very short and small amount of dating. Let me know down in the comments what dating is like for you and whether we have anything in common!

Shop the look here:



It's okay to change.

Change is natural (I'm not about to give you 'the talk' don't worry); without change we wouldn't be able to grow, learn and become who we are. Without change we wouldn't meet new people, make new friends, take new opportunities. Without change, we cannot move on from the past.



For a while, I was terrified of change. I didn't want to grow, I wanted things to stay the same, I wanted to be forever 16 and I wanted my friends to stay in our tiny village and for us to walk to school together everyday. I wanted to be carefree and not work and I wanted to repeat the same routine and stay in my comfort zone. But, here's the thing... you can't grow when you're comfortable. To grow you need to be scared, you need to be terrified, you need to do things you've never done before, and yes, unfortunately, sometimes that ain't gonna be fun.

Comfort zones are called 'comfort' zones for a reason, but change is a part of life and we all have to break out of our 'zones of comfortableness' (just another way of me saying the words 'comfort zone' without repeating myself again lol) eventually. Eventually, something will come along and stir things up a bit, which, initially might make us panic, it might makes us sweat, it might make us cry... but at the end of the day, things happen for a reason and you've got to just go with it.




I think being scared is totally the wrong way of looking at things to be honest, even though that is always our instinctive reaction. Change should be good, it should be embraced - once you start to embrace change, that's when the fear vanishes and you can begin to see all the positives that it brings. It forces us to adapt and become more flexible (and no, I'm not talking in gymnastic terms unfortunately). Changing things gets you out of a rut and can often set you free from a situation that has been no good for you. For example, with me, change allowed me to begin to break free from my OCD and become more rational about things. It made me begin to see a bit of 'sense' and made me feel like I'd had a weight lifted from my shoulders. 'The change' was good. (I can't help but feel like me saying 'The change' sounded like I was talking about the menopause.... I'm not)

Leaving your comfort zone just shows how strong a person you are. It's very easy to just sit and stay in the same place, but it's not easy to shake things up and start all over again. It brings new opportunities and excitement, and although it can all be initially terrifying, most of the time things work out okay and for the best.



"You can't grow when you're comfortable"

So, have a think - are you sitting in your comfort zone or are you feeling petrified of what's to come, like me? If you're not scared, then maybe have a think about getting scared. Do something that breaks barriers, changes the routine, brings new opportunities. Don't let being 'comfortable' stop you from living and having fun.

You can shop the outfit in this post here (maybe you want to shake up your wardrobe for a bit of a 'change' or something? Who knows?):


Dealing with Change


It's okay to change.

Change is natural (I'm not about to give you 'the talk' don't worry); without change we wouldn't be able to grow, learn and become who we are. Without change we wouldn't meet new people, make new friends, take new opportunities. Without change, we cannot move on from the past.



For a while, I was terrified of change. I didn't want to grow, I wanted things to stay the same, I wanted to be forever 16 and I wanted my friends to stay in our tiny village and for us to walk to school together everyday. I wanted to be carefree and not work and I wanted to repeat the same routine and stay in my comfort zone. But, here's the thing... you can't grow when you're comfortable. To grow you need to be scared, you need to be terrified, you need to do things you've never done before, and yes, unfortunately, sometimes that ain't gonna be fun.

Comfort zones are called 'comfort' zones for a reason, but change is a part of life and we all have to break out of our 'zones of comfortableness' (just another way of me saying the words 'comfort zone' without repeating myself again lol) eventually. Eventually, something will come along and stir things up a bit, which, initially might make us panic, it might makes us sweat, it might make us cry... but at the end of the day, things happen for a reason and you've got to just go with it.




I think being scared is totally the wrong way of looking at things to be honest, even though that is always our instinctive reaction. Change should be good, it should be embraced - once you start to embrace change, that's when the fear vanishes and you can begin to see all the positives that it brings. It forces us to adapt and become more flexible (and no, I'm not talking in gymnastic terms unfortunately). Changing things gets you out of a rut and can often set you free from a situation that has been no good for you. For example, with me, change allowed me to begin to break free from my OCD and become more rational about things. It made me begin to see a bit of 'sense' and made me feel like I'd had a weight lifted from my shoulders. 'The change' was good. (I can't help but feel like me saying 'The change' sounded like I was talking about the menopause.... I'm not)

Leaving your comfort zone just shows how strong a person you are. It's very easy to just sit and stay in the same place, but it's not easy to shake things up and start all over again. It brings new opportunities and excitement, and although it can all be initially terrifying, most of the time things work out okay and for the best.



"You can't grow when you're comfortable"

So, have a think - are you sitting in your comfort zone or are you feeling petrified of what's to come, like me? If you're not scared, then maybe have a think about getting scared. Do something that breaks barriers, changes the routine, brings new opportunities. Don't let being 'comfortable' stop you from living and having fun.

You can shop the outfit in this post here (maybe you want to shake up your wardrobe for a bit of a 'change' or something? Who knows?):


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