My outfits over the last 6 years
The archives from 2008 were lost in a transfer of platforms. Also, some of the first posts weren't entirely positive, infact they could have caused alot of drama in the wrong hands. So things start a bit later, but only just. The below photograph was one of the first I shared on lookbook in 2008.
Sometimes I scroll through the archives like reading old diaries. I cringe alot, but take away lessons learnt and memories made.
Wow it's difficult to remember what was going on back then. After a year of AWS I was in a few great relationships with affiliate companies. Back then adsense and monetisation was young territory, I accepted a few products that weren't entirely in alignment with my values, but then again I was still learning what my values were.
I don't enjoy typical education, but what I've always loved is business and working. In 2009 I had had part time jobs inbetween studies for five years, then I started seeing this creative outlet draw in an income of it's own through advertising.
This greatly influenced my style and confidence.
At the start of 2009 I went in and bought a superdry Angelina jacket - full price, cash. I still wear that jacket as a staple, it's a reminder of my enterprising spirit.
I saw alot of change in 2010. I was working at a consultancy in exchange for experience while UK wide every business was on a recruitment freeze bouncing back from the recession.
Heels were my staple, but a part of me felt that in order to get the job, get the corporate promotions, you had to be far more bland and conservative. Later in 2010 I finally got the job I was hungry for, I sidelined the blog, posting less frequently and more sporadically. While I had a typical job, I lost the excitement of meeting new brands and companies. I spent alot of time travelling, commuting, which impacted my weight and health. My wardrobe changed to lots of big chunky coats to disguise fluctuating weight.
I found a beautiful Scottish Widows type coat with a huge hood in Zara. It was woollen and an absolute gem.
I spent so much time travelling and exploring through 2011. There were some pretty awesome changes in my life and I found enthusiasm again for the pages of AWS.
Things kept on developing and going from strength to strength. My style still remained more focused on office wear and practicality.
My vintage faux fur jacket, it was £5 and the best £5 ever spent. I once wore it into the office on a col snowy morning, the ridiculous looks I got for wearing it cemented my metaphorical flipped finger at institutions and drove my passion for outfit posts.
This year things went from great to awesome. I was having a great time living in the South East, early in the year Andrew and I got our first place together in Henley on Thames. Moving to the riverside regatta town was great for us, we needed to calm out a bit and take our pace of life down a few notches otherwise we were facing a complete burnout.
I decided that I was bored of heart disease, thinking very seriously about my future and whether I wanted a strong family, drove me to turn to a chemical free life and loose hours in the gym every day.
Later in the year, so strong and so lean, we travelled, and lapped in life. I found a correlation between feeling happy and excellent health. My clothes became alot more active rather than prissy.
A black pair of skinny Ralph Lauren jeans - in size 6! They were a huge marker of strength and success.
The start of 2013 saw mountains climbed, distances hiked and walls ascended. Climbing became my driving passion. I pretty much sidelined all other elements of life for the wall. To call it an obsession would be completely wrong. I wore clothes to work which could be changed quickly for active wear in climbing centres. My evenings were spent with Andrew on the wall, I worked so hard to improve grades, climb stronger, better.
Later in the year I had my long brown hair bleached for long blonde, I moved offices, and spent every weekend away finding new walls. Then later in the year, I wanted another change, I was bored of the girly blonde, and had my hair chopped off into a boyish cut.
I loved the new hair and the sense of androgyny which came with it. Back in the gym through winter I was lifting weights I never thought possible, I was training with a PT who worked me so hard. A combination of fitness and the hair most certainly drove my style to that of boyish cuts.
The haircut! For sure. I spent nearly 2 hours in the hairdressers as we negotiated styles and I got my head around the idea of being shaved.
At the start of 2014 alot of things came crashing down. While on the wall, Andrew had a fall and his knee required surgery. We spent weeks in and out of hospitals and supporting recovery. Spending 2 hours a night in the gym wasn't really okay with me if he wasn't there training too. Once a little stronger we travelled endlessly, exploring and opening our minds. My uniform became very noir, very simple but with a huge focus on minimal luxury items.
Towards the end of 2014 the carpal tunnel syndrome which I struggled with came to a head and I had invasive surgery on my right hand, then we moved house. I spent the rest of the 2014 pretty much indoors recovering from surgery, attempting to regain strength in my hand. Around the Jewellery Quarter I stuck to staples and old favourites like my black fur lined vintage jacket.
On a whim I picked up a pair of black H&M conscious collection jeans, I loved these and as they wore and distressed they looked even better!
This year has seen so many great changes, I committed to working for myself full time and building my own business. While it feels great being vulnerable and working for myself, I am now more aware than ever that I am on my own. I have certainly been alot more conservative in my buying.
I feel so lucky to have a much clearer head with which to dedicate more energy to my blog, which in turn has meant more careful consideration of outfits, what I perceive to be better outfit posts, and so much more enthusiasm for the confidence that a great outfit brings! Relationships with brands and affiliates are growing and I am entirely dedicated to more environmentally responsible brands and products.
This is a tough one, I've got a Barbour jacket that I love, and the most beautiful pair of Rupert Sanderson boots, hmm - call it a draw?