Wednesday, 30 May 2018

What Helen Wore: ECA Perfomance Costume

This was my first time going outside the house without a jacket in 2018! Travelling from Dundee to Edinburgh for the day, I was a little worried I would regret that decision but it turns out it was the right call. It was a beautiful sunny day and the weather's been pretty great ever since (sorry if I just jinxed it!), looks like summer is here! And it turns out that my summer wardrobe is pretty similar to my winter one, at least when it comes to colour. I shared a very red look from my February trip to Amsterdam and now here's another one! Guess it's still my favourite colour then.

This tshirt is one I picked up when in Amsterdam from a fun little shop called Universe on a Tshirt. I like the stripes and the little eyelash design, though as a short lady with a big chest I've always been warned away from horizontal stripes: by magazines, TV shows and stylists. But who cares what you "should" be wearing - not me! I think this tee is cute and I'm going to continue to wear it, and the several other stripy tops that I own. I often buy things that aren't "suitable" for my shape: baggy dresses, cropped tshirts, stripes, colours that don't go with my hair. For me, getting dressed isn't always about showing off my figure, it's about wearing things I like and items I enjoy. I find it a lot more fun that way rather than sticking to any stupid rules. I did add a waist belt to this outfit though, I'm sure Trinny and Sussanah would be happy with that!

Tshirt | Universe on a Tshirt
Skirt | H&M
Trainers | New Look
Earrings | c/o Baked by Lou
Belt | Betsey Johnson (thanks Meg!)
Purse | Jude Gove
Sunglasses | c/o Iolla
Glasses | c/o Spex Pistols

I wore this outfit to go to the Edinburgh College of Art Performance Costume Show. Kim and I have been for the past few years, we even picked out our Top 5 last year. It's always a great show and this year was no exception, well apart from how hot it was in the venue - I felt so sorry for the performers in layers of knitwear! There were lots of great costumes (including the knitted ones) on show and some brilliant performances but I especially enjoyed the music. There was some old school Destiny's Child in there, a Taylor Swift remix and a bit of Daddy Cool. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get any good pics this time around but I'm hoping to get a closer look at the outfits at ECA Degree Show.

What colours will you be rocking this summer?

Thursday, 24 May 2018

May Wishlist

1.) Stem Earrings | Julia de Klerk
I've loved Julia De Klerk's designs for quite some time now. She had a red, black and white aesthetic that I very much appreciated and a lot of her designs involved hands, another motif I'm rather fond of. I noticed she'd been a bit quiet lately and then POW! - she's back with a brand new collection and a much wider colour range and it looks SO GOOD! These earrings are one of my faves but the new collection is bursting with wishlist worthy stuff.

2.) Ice Cream Appreciation Society Bag | Alphabet Bags
The sun has been shining a lot more recently so ice-cream is now at the forefront of my mind. When Kim and I were in Edinburgh we made a bee-line for Mary's Milk Bar and we're already planning  trip to Stonehaven so we can visit Aunty Betty's. All that ice-cream planning surely means I deserve a spot in the Ice Cream Appreciation Society, right?!

3.)  Yayoi Toesama Socks | Chatty Feet via Lucy and Yak
The lovely Emma Reid from craft blog Emuse tagged me in a photo of these socks on Instagram, pointing out that they made her think of me. They actually depict the awesome artist Yayoi Kusama, but the hairstyle and red lip are not dissimilar to my own. I'm also a big fan of polka dots so I'd just need to sew on some specs to complete the look-a-like-ness!

4.) Red & White Spotted Dress | Luna & Curious
Speaking of polka dots... I love this shirt dress! The red looks so bright and it looks like it would be super comfy to wear, plus it has pockets! It also comes in a navy & orange polka dot combo or a blue and white check design but of course the red is the one for me.

5.)  Poolside Rug | Aelfie
Not only is this rug super cute and totally practical, it's also made from recycled plastic bottles! What a genius use for waste! I love the colour combo and the abstract pattern and would be totally willing to re-design my interior so I could fit this in. Oh, and it's reversible too! It's the rug that just keeps on giving!

1.) Point Horror The Babysitter t shirt | Truffle Shuffle
This t shirt is totally against my style aesthetics but I'd be willing to make an exception to relive my pre-teen love of Point Horrors. Helen and I were essentially a PH fan club, swapping books until much later than we'd admit. The Babysitter is an absolute classic but I must admit I was more of an L.J.Smith fan.

2.) Froth Studs | Holly Mcafee
Alongside all my Pat Butcher door knockers, I've also been on the lookout for chic, minimal earrings to give my poor ear lobes a break. These beautiful frothy sea-inspired earrings fit the bill perfectly. They are so elegant. I wouldn't complain if someone bought me the stunning matching wave ring either. Swoon!

3.) Orange Chair Print | Hello Marine
After swooning over colourful Memphis-inspired art at last week's DJCAD degree show, I've found myself checking out bold, simplistic illustration. This is an excellent example from Hello Marine; the colour combo, the angles, the scale. I love it!

4.) Kimberley Scarf | Mimi Hammill
I just had to include the scarf that is literally named after me! I met Mimi a couple of years ago now and I've really enjoyed watching her scarf brand grow. She's got a real flair for pattern and colour combos. I was flattered when she advised me via social media that her previous collection was inspired by colourful bloggers, including me. So imagine my surprise when she then named this one after me!

5.) Single Claw Ring | Tessa Metcalfe
I have seen Tessa Metcalfe's pigeon jewellery around for some time but thought the large rings were a bit too out there for my style. I keep finding myself back on the website checking out this surprisingly dainty piece though. And how cute are the new signet rings too?

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Top 5: DJCAD Degree Show 2018

Top: Ruth Martin | Bottom: Chloe Cameron

It's degree show time again! Yay! One of our favourite times of year - we always enjoy checking out the work on show. First up this year for us was Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD). We popped along to the opening night to enjoy the atmosphere and then headed back on Sunday to have a proper look around without the crowds... and then went back on Monday to catch the sections we missed. It's a big show with A LOT to look around. There's so much good stuff and, as always, it was tough to pick out just 5 favourites but here we go:

1.) Ruth Martin | Illustration

Being big fans of ceramics, Ruth Martin's work instantly appealed to us. We loved the mix of styles between her different projects, the first taking inspiration from Greek mythology and the second focusing on kitchen and homeware. From textiles to prints and vases to plates, she transferred her illustration style across a number of different objects in a cohesive and very visually pleasing way. We would pretty much love to have all of these wonderfully tactile objects in our homes!

2.) Liam Clarke | Jewellery and Metal Design

Liam Clarke's statement pieces show the creation of his drag persona Saturn, from beginning to end. Displayed alongside photographs of his transformation, these abstract pieces investigate the application of make-up and the fact that we all dress up and wear a costume to different levels. These large jewellery pieces resemble make-up compacts themselves and don't appear wearable at first, but looking at them in the photographs you can see how they work within Saturn's look. Plus we're totally into the use of glitter.

3.) Ishy Miller | Textile Design

There was a whole host of great textile work on show, from designs that reused old fabrics to designs coloured with natural dyes but we especially loved the DIY nature of Ishy Miller's work. She's all about encouraging people to embrace dressmaking and showing how easy it can be, using screen printing to create textiles that are ready to cut and sew into a wearable piece. While the garment shapes may be simple the patterns and colour combinations add fun and interest to the finished pieces, making them something we'd be more than happy wearing.

4.) Chloe Cameron | Fine Art

From rainbows to giant bags of sugar, Chloe Cameron looks at ordinary objects, playing with size and scale to create art that pops. We loved her colourful and bright space (see our second photo). It's fun to look at and walk around but, as we looked closer, we spotted the text within the work saying things like 'sunken dreams' and 'bad thins are happening'. Her paintings look at the mundanity of work and the cult of being busy while also trying to distract from these things with the bright colours and naive aesthetic. We really enjoyed that juxtaposition. Don't we all wish we could leave the stresses of adult life and recapture some childish wonder?!

5.) Johanna Tonner | Fine Art

Sculpture, photography and printmaking combine in Johanna Tonner's space to create a place where you want to spend some time. Large and small cushions invite you to get comfortable, while the joyous and chaotic patterns lift your spirits. The tree-like sculptures give the idea of a dreamlike landscape and it's definitely one we'd like to escape to.

There you have it - five awesome artists and creatives that we'll be keeping our eyes on (in a non-creepy way). What do you think of our picks? Looking at them all together, there seems to be a running theme of colourful, tactile pieces and we're totally ok with that. This is only the tiniest selection of the show though and we would thoroughly recommend having a look around if you can make it along. The show is on until Sun 27 May so you still have time. We'll pop some more of our highlights onto our Facebook page and in our Instagram stories. We would add them in here but that would make for one super long post.

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?