Thursday, 17 May 2018

Styled by Helen: Blog Birthday

Helen celebrates five years of Wardrobe Conversations with a fun colourful outfit
Showing some love for this fun Monki tshirtHelen of Wardrobe Conversations shares what she's learned from 5 years of blogging
Scottish blogger Helen from Wardrobe Conversations wears earrins by Mica Peet and Spex Pistol glasses

It's us, so of course our blog birthday celebrations are going to last at least a week! I hope you like our new look? After five years, it was definitely time for a refresh. Even though our old peach and mint still holds a special place in my heart, I love our new bright and bold colourway. I've made all the changes myself (and I'm no web expert) so please pop us an email if you notice anything weird happening!

Five years of blogging together has got us in a reflective mood. Kimberley's already shared what she's learned over that time, so now it's my turn. Let's go...

I've found a style that fits
I don't think my style has changed that much over the past five years but I do feel like it's become more honed. Having the blog has pushed me to be more adventurous with what I wear (I want to make it interesting after all), and that's helped me to become more comfortable wearing brighter colours and bolder patterns. These are the looks I love seeing on other people and the ones I would always be pinning to my style inspiration boards, and I can definitely say that the blog has helped me to add more of the over-the-top style that I love to my own wardrobe.

I'm more confident than I think I am
I only really noticed this recently when I started going to dance classes. In the class I'd be quite happy to stand at the front and would even volunteer to go first in demonstrations. Younger me would never have done that and, while age definitely has something to do with it, the blog has certainly helped me along the way. Being in front of the camera, going to events and organising collaborations have all helped to push me outside of my comfort zone and to realise that I CAN do these things.

There's always room for improvement
I laugh when I look back over old photos and outfits that, at the time, I was very happy with. Now the images look grainy, the clothes sloppy and the composition messy. But, that's all part of the process of growing, getting better and improving. No-one's perfect straight off the bat (even if it sometimes looks like everyone else is!). It's important to start somewhere, not worry about everything being absolutely perfect and to always look out for ways to improve along the way. That could be investing in a new camera (a total game changer for me), spending more time scouting fun locations (it's good to have a bank of ideas in mind) or listening to useful podcasts (the Blogtacular one is always filled with great advice).

Helen from fashion blog Wardrobe Conversations shares what she's learned from 5 years of blogging

I still need to work on the words
Writing posts is still one of the trickier parts of blogging for me. Coming up with content ideas, looking for locations, putting together outfits, taking photos, editing photos - these are all things I really enjoy, but then it comes to putting some words together and get stumped. I worry about not having anything interesting to say, I worry about spelling things wrong, I worry about not making any sense and I worry about my terrible grammar. But I do it, and the more I do it the less worried I become. So I'll just keep plugging away at it and hope you don't mind all my mistakes along the way.

No is not a bad word
We get quite a lot of opportunities for collaborations and invitations to events pop up in our emails. It's always great to be approached but many of them aren't very us or end up being too far away. In order for us to be happy with what we put out (and not kill ourselves by trying to rush across the country and fit in a million things while also working full time and having lives), 'no' is something we've had to get used to saying - in the most polite way possible, of course. It's still something I need to get better at but I'm learning to trust my gut more and make sure I check my diary before agreeing to anything!

Practice makes things a whole lot easier
As I mentioned earlier, the more I write the easier it becomes and that's been the same with a lot of aspects of blogging. At the start, taking outfit photos was something I'd only do in the privacy of Kim's back garden. Now I'm quite happy to pose in front of a busy road or in a shopping centre full of people. I may still feel apprehensive at first but once I get started there's no stopping me and my stupid poses.

Celebrating 5 years of bloging with a new look and a coulourful outfit

Starting a project with my bff was an excellent idea
I'm terrible at keeping in touch with people when I don't have a specific reason to. It's something I need to work on and I'm sure all my friends would agree! But having the blog as a project to share with Kim made sure we kept in touch regularly when we were living in different cities and now that we live a couple of streets away from each other it gives us a great excuse to get together regularly. I'm super grateful for that. It's also been great to have someone to share it with and keep pushing me to push myself.

FOMO can be a good thing
Kim talked about how there will always be another opportunity and that sometimes events can look better on social media than they actually are in real life. I completely agree with both those points but I do find that the 'fear of missing out' can sometimes push me to do more, be more social and get out and about. Even with a blogging partner, when it comes to putting together posts a lot of my time is spent alone in front of a computer. It's good to spend an evening at an event every now and again and it's a great way of meeting new people or keeping in touch with familiar faces.

I prefer this t-shirt tucked in
While we were shooting these pics I took some time to check over what we'd shot so far and decided that I wanted to try some photos with this tshirt tucked in. I'm so glad I did! Reviewing and adapting as I go along, as well as trying different things, are great ways to make sure I end up with an outcome I'm happy with. Having a blogging partner / photographer who notices details like this (and tells you when you have lipstick on your teeth) is also a great asset!

To tuck or not to tuck, how to wear a Monki thirt

See what I mean, tucked in is so much better! 

Final point - I need a new blog face
Seriously, in seven of these photos I'm pulling pretty much the same face! I look like I'm having a good time but I really need to mix it up. That's something I'll try to work on over the coming years!

Tshirt | Monki
Jeans | H&M
Boots | Topshop
Earrings | c/o Mica Peet
Glasses | Spex Pistols

Wardrobe Conversations celebrate 5 years of being a blogging duo

So that's five years down, will we make it to ten? Will we make it to six?! I certainly hope so! As long as we're having fun pulling stupid faces and wearing colourful clothes, we'll keep posting about it online!

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Styled by Kimberley: Blog Birthday


I'm sort of in shock that we've somehow made it to FIVE years as a blogging duo... It really wasn't the plan!
When we started, we thought it would be a fun little project to keep us in contact (more on our About page). There was no end goal (no goals at all actually, except to create content) and a sort of understanding that it would naturally peter out. And yet, here were are, still enjoying our colourful corner with a raft of great projects under our belts. Today I am wearing my favourite new outfit for our fresh new look and I want to divulge (and indulge in) what I've learned in 5 years of blogging:

I have the best blogging partner
I would never ever keep this going on my own and can't imagine sticking with someone else for 5 years. We've never even  had a disagreement (jinx). I bet you can't name a girl group or boy band that has lasted longer - Helen is indeed my other half by now! I've already written about how to have a successful blog partnership (or any kind of working relationship!) and it still stands.

Balancing a full time job with a blog is a 'mare
Blogging is definitely not a part-time hobby. It can completely consume you, between the photo editing, writing, events and promotion. Social media alone can easily take up hours of your day and it's easy to get carried away. We work to a schedule but, as we found in the last years, it's sometimes impossible to keep it up around other life events. Since it is just a hobby for us, we've agreed not to beat ourselves up about it. No one is sitting around lamenting that a blogger's latest post hasn't gone out on time so let's all stop apologising for skipping some weeks. If you're having fun reading, and we're having fun creating, we'll carry on!

Blogging events are work
On social media, events look like parties and it's a blogger's job to sell it as a fun experience. Don't get me wrong - I've been to lots of fun evenings, normally because I've bumped into lovely blogger friends or there's some crafting or cake on the go. But the reality is that you are there to photograph and report, and think about how you are going to frame the information to be interesting to your audience. Elbowing a bunch of cameras away so you can get your decent pic in an often ill-lit room can be horrible and there is some pressure. Also... not a lot actually happens at these things once you've had a look round. Sorry to destroy the illusion.

There will always be another opportunity
A lot of bloggers talk about getting FOMO if they can't attend an event, or are passed over for a collaboration. The simple fact is that not every brand has heard of you and there are too many events (always booked on the same bloody days!) to get around. Swallow your pride and envy and get over it! We have a unique experience in that we've lived in different cities so have had to regularly go to events separately and debrief after.. and I can say that there's never been one that's been so exciting I've been upset about missing it (see above). We have to turn down a lot due to work commitments or just the distance (hello NY fashion week invitations) but there will always be another invitation, and another time to attend. Don't worry about it!


I'm still rubbish at asking for opportunities
Bloggers have a reputation for hustle and reaching out to brands is absolutely the norm. Yet I never do this. There's a delicate etiquette to it and I've heard from both blogger and brand sides about when this has been done badly. It is remembered and discussed, and to be honest, I don't want to be annoying or disliked. We've been extremely lucky in that opportunities have either come to us or have arisen naturally in conversations with brands. I like this because it feels organic, but also there are brands I adore that I never seem to get round to telling that I'd love to work with. I must try harder!

I still don't know what makes someone chic
I feel like one person can wear something very ordinary and really own it, while another can be wearing all the 'right' things and just not pull it off. What is this magic?! Investing in good quality clothes? Understanding styling? Simply being conventionally attractive or thin? I can't say I've learned what it is that gives some people that je ne sais quoui but I think you can help it along with confidence, being comfortable in an outfit and wearing the right fit. If you have a better answer please let me know!

There is always space for personal growth
As Honey Boo Boo says, "I'm already a cool person but I wanna get cooler". Although I enjoyed fashion anyway, putting thought into creative content and spending time with really inspiring creative types has made me really focus on my styling and push my outfits. I've also had to learn so many other skills I hadn't expected, like photography (yeah I'm still rubbish but I've better!), and writing for different platforms.

Not everything needs to be publicised
I have been through ups and downs in my life during the time we've been blogging and it's strange to see it all documented. While I maybe don't discuss details of my private life on the blog, mapping times of personal growth against photos makes me see how many ways I have changed. An outfit or event reminds me of the non-blog related parts of my life too. On the blog my weight has yo-yo'd up and down and I've also addressed my health problems when I've felt I wanted to. Not everything is for sharing though... it's a fashion blog, after all!
Equally, I care about things that I don't necessarily write about. I'm well-read in plus size issues, I understand retail models and my interest in sustainability and ethics in fashion long precedes Wardrobe Conversations. As a reader, I have learned that you don't need to weigh in on every subject circulating - I'd much rather read in-depth articles on issues than someone's partially informed clickbait tuppence. So I don't bother to add my own.

Being photographed every day can be difficult
I'm not really a selfie fan so my personal instagram is lacking and sometimes I really don't feel like being photographed for the blog. Like everyone, my self esteem can vary and there have been images I've shared that I've really not loved. I've written about how to pose when you're not feeling confident. However, I'm a big believer that the more you review them and ruminate on them, the unhealthier your body image will be. So I upload the photos and move on with my life. There must be a thousand images of me online now - who cares about a crappy few?

And let me tell you - I am never upset by photos where I look happy.

Very important (slightly off topic) point 
I really do not age. Am I a vampire? Maybe. Will I ever share a skin care secrets blog post? Probably not because I think it's genes, sleep and the fact I've been moisturising since I was 14. You're welcome.

Top | Sugarhill Boutique
Trousers | Zara
Shoes | Topshop (old)
Earrings | Zara
Glasses | c/o IOLLA

What have you learned about blogging? Or would you like to know about it?
Also - what do you think of the new look on the blog?! Let us know.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Blog Birthday: Five Years of Wardrobe Conversations!



A very merry blog birthday to us!! That's right - we have been blogging for an incredible five years together and to celebrate we thought we'd give the blog a well-deserved refresh. New colours, new themes and of course some fabulous new profile pics of us!

We've changed up our colour scheme to a much more 'us' combo of pink and red and Helen came up with a retro movie poster typeface with a subtle 3D edge. It feels fresh, a bit edgier and very Wardrobe Conversations. Our photos have been upgraded to match, with our annual blog birthday photo shoot, this time taken in front of  Joanna Craig's awesome street art created for Open Close Dundee.

We're not turning our back on all traditions though, as we've brought out our fave matching tropical Joy shirts for the occasion. It's a little known fact that we wore these in our very first blog profile photo shoot together, taken in Kim's back garden way back in 2013.




Each year, we take a new set of photos together (something that occurs much more rarely than we realise). In the past we have had a fun party shoot, a special Mint & Chillies portrait set, the creepy identity swap, a movie BFFs homage, and our infamous Roller Shakes photographs. We're sad to see that last lot go from our profile pics but we're in love with these bold new images. It's really motivating us to up the ante with MORE COLOUR on the blog!



Who knows what the next year has in store?

Monday, 7 May 2018

Styled by Helen: Vintage Gems

The ups and downs of vinatge shoppingFinding the perfect vintage dress
Styling up a vintage dress on Broughty Ferry beach
Accessorising a vintage dress with Mica Peet earrings
Vintage style green and navy Aldo bag
Green and navy vintage dress


Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy vintage shopping. These are usually times when I haven't been for ages or I have been but not found anything I like. You see, there's a lot of things that can wrong with vintage shopping. There isn't the usual selection of sizes in each design, or colour options like you get on the high street. Think you've found something in the right size? Think again, sizing was a different ball game back in the 60s. Finally found something you like that fits? Hahaha, there's a huge stain down the middle. Find something you like, in your size and in mint condition? That will be a million pounds please! Ok, I'm exaggerating but you get the gist.

So, why do I do it to myself? Sometimes, just sometimes, I do find a perfect vintage gem on the rack - like this seaside dress. I loved the design, I liked the colours, it fit AND it was only £15. Winner! Ok, I really need to sew the front of the dress closed, because these cute shell buttons ain't so good at keeping the dress closed, so not quite perfect but with a little bit of effort it will be. Even without that effort it's rather good. I managed most of the day without it popping open too much and it received a number of compliments. Naturally I felt it deserved to be shot by the see for full on mermaid feels. Unfortunately the sun waited until we were almost done to make an appearance...

Styling up a vintage dress with Iolla suglasses, Mica Peet earings and an Aldo bag

Dress | Vintage
Boots | Primark
Bag | Aldo
Earrings | c/o Mica Peet
Belt | H&M
Glasses | c/o Spex Pistols
Sunglasses | c/o Iolla

I really do love adding vintage pieces to my wardrobe. I love that the items have history. I love that I'm giving something a new home. I love that I'm much less likely to turn up to an event wearing the same dress as someone else. And, when in the right mood, I love hunting through the rails, the thrill of finding something I like and the joy of taking it home.

Vintage Beach Style on Broughty Ferry beach

The downside to vintage shopping in Dundee is that the city doesn't have any vintage shops. It's a pretty big hurdle really! There was a time when there were at least four separate stores but sadly those days are no more. Sad face! Luckily the city does a pretty good line in vintage fairs and there are a number of great local vintage sellers around if you know where to look. Here's my round up of dates for your diary that are coming up in May:

And here's my go to list for local suppliers to feed my vintage needs in between events:

What vintage gems have you found recently?



Thanks to the lovely Kirsty Stevens for being my photographer on a rather windy beach!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Links We Love 02

Get yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit and let us take you on a tour of our internet highlights from April.



  • Punk. Icon. Activist - last week we took ourselves out for dinner and a movie and very much enjoyed fashion documentary Westwood: Punk. Icon. Activist. If you can get to the cinema to see it we'd recommend it (Viv's designs look great on the big screen) or you can pre-order it to watch at home in your most stylish pjs.
  • Get knitting - spring is the perfect time to get started on a knitting project to make sure you get it finished in time for the chiller months and V&A have some excellent vintage patterns available to download.
  • Pecha Kucha Dundee - 20 slides, 20 seconds each: that's the set up for a Pecha Kucha talk. There are events all over the globe but we like to attend Creative Dundee's ones since they're close to home. From Edinburgh buses to ladders, the subjects are all incredibly varied but always interesting. What's more, they record them all so you can watch (or re-watch) from the comfort of your own home.
  • Think pink - our lovely friend Amanda, aka Honey Pop Kisses, has started a new You Tube channel. Head on over an hit subscribe for fashion, cruelty-free beauty and more.
  • Our mate Stella - The Guardian interviewed Stella McCartey and even though there don't seem to be that many of her words in the article, it brings up some interesting questions and really makes us want to go to the Fashioned from Nature exhibition at V&A London. 
Image: Zabby Allen
  • For the Love of Lists - this charming post on Zabby Allen's blog looks at lists from childhood to adulthood., alongside some tips for pimping yours. We especially like the scrawled code. How cute!
  • Money Diaries - our latest guilty pleasure is reading Refinery29s Money Diaries, an anonymous peek into different women on a different salary each week. Some of them are outrageous! It makes us feel a little better about those treats we probably shouldn't be buying.
  • Worrying about privacy online - The Atlantic's pithy 'If You're Not Paranoid, You're Crazy' article about how the government is listening in to us, Big Brother-style, has become a reality and is making us want to set up our tinfoil hats.
  • Degree shows - we love hitting up all the art degree shows, and we've already got our tickets for the ECA Performance Costume Show, along with plans to pop round some others.
  • Dundee Fashion Week - Next Monday sees the start of Dundee's first Fashion Week and we're excited to be guest stylists at the Style Studio event. Come say hi!