Saturday, 15 November 2014

Being Stylish on a Student Budget: 5 Lessons I've Learnt

source: pinterest

It's no surprise that being a student has made me an obscene penny-pincher. Every penny is accounted for - from the £15 budget for a whole night out to making the decision between a scrumptious Costa brownie and an overpriced latte or a sensible boots meal deal for lunch. Being a student is no fun (hahaha I joke!) but through my frugality I've learnt many important style lessons.

1) Fast Fashion is not your friend! 
Contrary to many other students, the biggest lesson student life has impressed upon me is that fast fashion is not your friend. In my first year, Primark and H&M was my haven, I would often pop in to pick up a pair of tights or return an item and come out with a bagful of goodies. As time went on and the numbers in my bank account went down, these pieces were left along the way. Many of my cheapie impulse buys didn't even make it past the six month mark let alone the year.  Don't get me wrong, the huge Primark on Newcastle's Northumberland street is eye-wateringly tempting and the constant adverts for Boohoo and Missguided are enticing but fast fashion is exactly that fast. 

I've realised that it's much better to save your pennies to splurge on really quality, timeless items. It's worth spending a little more on quality items instead of replacing cheaper versions because in the long run you're saving money. I don't know about you but I find greater joy in wearing an item that I'd had my eye on and saved up for rather than one I hastily picked up on a random Primark Jaunt. 

2)  Practicality is pretty important

As a student, I spend 50% of my walking to and from places. Walking is the cheapest method of transport, it keeps me active and it wakes me up on the way to 9am lectures. Heels and tight midi skirts are not made for walking - well not the way I walk. I was a self-confessed heels girl before I came to Uni - I'm talking four inches plus on the daily here - but the reality of having to walk to Uni everyday quickly set in and I was yearning for comfortable flats. 

As much as I hate to admit it, practicality is very important when it comes to style choices as a student. When you're rushing out of the house to said 9 am lecture the last thing you want is to be restricted by clothes which are just wholly inappropriate. 

4) Versatility is key 
source: pinterest

I've always been a bit haphazard when it comes to buying clothes. I tend to simply pick up what I like and try and figure out how to wear it when I get home, or let it sit for a while in the hope that next time I'll remember to buy something that goes with it. As a uni student, I've learned this is a pretty effective exercise in wasting time and money - neither of which I have! 

It's important to think of versatility when making a clothing purchase. I always apply the three outfits rule - if I can't think of three ways to wear something, with existing pieces in my wardrobe then I have to put it back. I cannot tell you the amount of time I waste trying to incorporate my "showstopper" pieces because I didn't consider how versatile it was when I bought it. 

3) Accessories are superheroes! 

They can change any outfit! You can buy cheap accessories which make a bold statement and add detail to any outfit. I'm a big fan of statement jewellery especially statement necklaces. Plus accessories are a great conversation piece. 

5) Always critically try things on. 


This is more of a general lesson I've learnt in the past year. Trying things on and really assessing whether or not something suits you and fits well is pretty damn important. As a student, I'm always pressed for time so if I'm going shopping, I always make sure I have time to try things on because I know I won't have time to return it if it doesn't fit. Also when you're spending a little bit more on your clothes you want to make sure that the fit is 100% perfect.

Martha xo  

Friday, 7 November 2014

Falling out with Fashion Blogging

It's currently 8:47pm on a Friday night and I'm already tucked up in bed with my hair wrapped up and a full belly. 

Who said being 20 was boring? 

I thought I'd crack out a little update post because it's been absolutely yonks since I last wrote anything on this blog. Between law books, extra-curriculars and trying to have some semblance of a social life, blogging has taken a very cushy back seat. However, time away from the blogosphere has definitely changed my perspective. 

When I first started blogging, I loved everything about the fashion blogging world. At a time where it felt like everyone was wearing the same boring ensembles, fashion bloggers were making a huge statement; I was really inspired and I wanted to be part of that scene. Lately, however, that same energy and passion that I once had, has been dwindling. I wouldn't even say that I love fashion anymore. Let's not get hasty now, I still enjoy fashion. I like seeing new trends emerge and making a statement with what I wear but it's definitely not in the same way it was a year or two ago. 

Something is definitely missing. 

I would like to put it down to the over-saturation of the blogosphere. New fashion bloggers crop up every week, with every other girl thinking that throwing together a few Topshop pieces and taking blurred background pictures with a DSLR camera will turn them into the next Tavi Gevinson. Boring. I miss the personality element that used to be in blogging, you know the bit that makes you actually read the words instead of just clicking next on bloglovin. 

Now I love a good rant, but let's get on to the actual point of this post.

 I feel like I'm heading in a new direction so I think my blog should come with me (well hello cringey sentence). I want to take this blog in more of a lifestyle direction - a little bit less fashion, a little more Martha (more cringe) and more life. I love reading lifestyle blogs so much more than the bog-standard fashion blogs, because I'm nosy and prone to sharing. 

But anyways, I must dash. 20 is the new 60 they say and an early night is calling my name. 

Martha xo  

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Haul: Topshop, River Island and Dotty P

Can you believe it's October? I don't think I'm ready for it, I blinked and September was over! I've been so busy preparing myself for uni, working and generally trying to get a handle on life that I've basically disappeared from all social media, but I'm hoping this new month (and hopefully colder weather) will mark my comeback.

On Tuesday, Newcastle's Eldon Square offered 20% off to all students, and of course I wanted in. I'd spent the week prior, compiling inspiration, making lists and generally planning. Although the crowd was heaving, the queues were less than inviting and I'd already had a pretty long day, I braved it thinking of all the savings and all the goodies I'd acquire. I was not disappointed. I managed to find everything on my list bar one item, which I swiftly replaced with some shoes and a top.

I hit River Island first to get a cute day dress and a gorgeous pastel blue leather midi skirt. I'd initially wanted a different dress, but this one caught my eye at the last minute (as I was queuing to pay) so I picked this up. I was also lucky enough to scoop up the last size 10 in the leather midi skirt - a victory dance quickly followed.

I then proceeded to Topshop. It was hot and sweaty and full of people. I did however manage to find the structured white polo neck blouse that I wanted and some wet/leather look leggings. I also spied some pretty delicious shoes, which I actually went back to get yesterday. I don't often buy or even like flat or low heeled shoes, so when I see a pair that I do like I snap them up immediately.

Finally we strolled into a much calmer Dorothy Perkins. I don't know why people don't shop at Dorothy Perkins to be honest, I think it's such a hidden gem. I picked up this lovely scuba floral top for a complete steal at £16.

All in all, the student shop was good in that I saved some money but I could have done it all online from the comfort of my (calm and quiet) house. I don't think I'll be rushing to a student lock-in again in the near future.

Martha xo 
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