Zara

If It Wasn’t For My Blog I’d Go Crazy

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“There are some days when I feel good, I’m really inspired and ideas just happen and then there are other days, when I’m not so good and blogging is a struggle”

I think we all get like this sometimes, stress piles up and we feel a little wobbly but it’s during those times that writing helps to keep me sane.

I’m in a slump at the moment but I always feel crappy around my birthday. It’s weird, it makes me feel like time is moving really quickly but I’m just a little bit too slow to catch up. I’m sure once the shock of being another year older is gone I’ll get back into the swing of being creative though.

It may sound dramatic but I honestly don’t know what I would have done with my life if I hadn’t have started a fashion blog. I’m just so grateful for wherever that idea came from. On my worst days it only takes reading a few comments or coming up with new ideas to make me feel better and on my good days I could not be more proud of how far this page has come.

I’ve always been one of those people who welcomes a distraction and to be honest I would probably still be panic attacking the shit out of life if it wasn’t for StyleRarebit. As much as I’m not where I dreamed I would be at 26 I’ve certainly come a long way since publishing my first post. For a start I now know the difference between your and you’re (took a while) and I’m definitely a little more self assured and a lot more grown up than I was back then. It’s funny how something as small as starting a blog can do that. The opportunities, positivity and friendships that have come my way since the beginning are unbelievable and just thinking about those makes me the happiest gal alive.

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Posing outside Berlin Cathedral

style-rarebit-fashion-blog-berlinCity breaks are my absolute fave and it feels so good to get away and explore somewhere new. I always feel more inspired coming back and seem to have way more ideas too, which is the best excuse for a holiday!

Last week me and Rory went to Berlin for a few days to check out the sites. On our first we had a few hours to kill before check-in, so we went for a little wonder to find some lunch. We were staying in Alexanderplatz, which is pretty much in the centre and so we were actually really close to the Berlin Cathedral without realising. It wasn’t on our list of places to visit but it turned out to be one of my favourites, have to love serendipity! You can see from these pics just how beautiful it is and climbing to the top gave us the best views of the city. I feel like I would go back again just to visit this…

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A Fashion Bloggers Guide to Buying Second Hand Designer on Ebay

A-Fashion-Bloggers-Guide-to-Buying-Second-Hand-Designer-on-EbayFinding a bargain piece on eBay makes me feel like I’ve won the fashion lottery, every time it happens. It’s almost as good as picking up a Furla bag in a charity shop for £3.50 because none of the grannies who work there know what it is. These purchases don’t happen everyday but when they do, it feels bloody amazing. As I’ve had my fair share of lucky finds and an eBay account for nearly 10years (I started early), I thought it would be cool to write up a fashion bloggers guide to buying second hand designer on eBay, to help my readers out too.

Do your research: It’s good to know what you’re looking for and to have some background knowledge on the particular item or designer first. Often fakes are really easy to spot but you don’t what to get ripped off paying more than retail either, so your best bet is to get clued up way before you hit eBay.

Focus on one brand/item at a time: Just looking at shoes or bags as a whole will take you months to sift through so you need to get specific about what you want. For example, if you love the Phillip Lim bags searching ‘Phillip Lim bag’ would be good but it’s better to know the exact item e.g. ‘Phillip Lim Pashli bag’ as this will bring you the best results.

Look for real pictures: This may sound like a weird thing to say but if the listing has stock images from a website and it’s not a retailer, then chances are it’s not the item you’re ACTUALLY buying. Especially if the description says it’s second hand, you know it’s not going to be in mint condition. Ask the seller for snaps of the exact item and if they don’t want to send them to you, then it’s likely it’s dodgy.

A-Fashion-Bloggers-Guide-to-Buying-Second-Hand-Designer-on-EbaySave it: Ebay has a function where you can save your favourite searches and sellers for later, so that you can keep checking for new listings. Say you’re searching for a ‘Furla Metropolis Bag’ save your search including location (if you don’t want to pay for shipping for example you can set it to UK only), the maximum price, colour etc. and then check on it once a week for anything new or any discounts. You can also follow your favourite sellers which is good if you find someone who loves the same designer as you and likes to clear out their wardrobe often!

Be prepared to wait: I once watched a Kenzo bag for months. At the beginning the price was £300 and I kept on watching until she reduced it to £60. Often if people really want to get rid of something you can offer them a bit less too and by waiting you’ll figure out if it’s something you still really want.

Don’t be shy about contacting the seller: Designer items are always going to be a little bit more expensive and therefore more risky to buy. If you need some extra info or reassurance the option is there for you to contact the seller and you should use this function as much as you need to. Whether thats for more pictures, to see a proof of purchase or just for piece of mind, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Avoiding Fakes: Obviously this will depend on what you’re buying but there are a few tell tale signs that something isn’t quite what it seems. One of the most popular scams is listing fakes with just a picture of the bag (so you recognise it) but the seller won’t put the brand name in the title to avoid getting caught my eBay. This is because if a fake bag were to be listed under the name of a real one, e.g. “Gucci Dionysus” and eBay saw that it was a fake not only would they take it town but the seller would lose their account. As long as you search your specific item, you’ll likely avoid this but it’s good to be aware. This doesn’t mean that all items listed are real though, so you still need to be really careful. If you’ve done your research and still aren’t sure then you might want to try out using a authenticator service online. You can send them the link to the item and they’ll give you their professional opinion on whether or not it’s legit. This isn’t free but if you’re making a bigger purchase, it’s 100% worth it. Designers like Chanel or Hermes are sold for crazy prices on the second hand market but are also copied on a mass scale so it may be hard for you to tell the difference.

Chanel bags cost more than £5: If the price is too good to be true then it’s probably fake, as much as a bargain purchase can happen it’s very rare and if something looks shady, it probably is. Don’t be lured in and always do your research. I recently picked up a Karl Lagerfeld bag for £40 which is a bargain but not crazy unbelievable, if I found a Chanel for this price though I would know it was dodgy.

Open a case: If you purchase something and it arrives not as described, in bad condition or you think it’s fake then you can open a case with eBay and they’ll help you to resolve the problem. This is obviously worse case scenario but it’s worth knowing that you’re covered just in case.

If it’s the real deal but you don’t like it, you’re not getting a refund: Something else worth mentioning is that eBay doesn’t work like ASOS. There’s no free returns and you can’t just send it back if you don’t like it. Provided everything is legit and it’s as described the seller probably won’t take a return, so just make sure you really want it or would be prepared to sell it on before you buy.

I hope you liked these tips and that you found them useful! Let me know if you have any tricks of your own or if you try these out and pick something up. I’ve also written a post on other places to buy second hand designer online here if you’re interested.

My New Year’s Resolutions 2018

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I know that for a lot of people New Year’s resolutions are a pretty cringe and pointless thing to do. I so disagree though. In fact I think you should make resolutions on the regular. Having goals and thinking about what you what and where you want to go are so important and there’s no shame in making positive changes. So in order to practice what I preach, here are my New Year’s resolutions for 2018!

To be more impulsive – I’ve stressed out over everything this year but the thing about stressing is that it’s totally pointless. I’m behind everyone my age in probably every way. I don’t have a house, car, baby or career path and I’m not ‘settled down’ (that phrase makes me want to be sick) or particularly going anywhere. I know that sounds a bit negative but I actually think it’s pretty liberating. This is the year I want to let go of worrying about what other people think and just concentrate on being happy, enjoying things and listening to my gut feeling. There’s been so many times where I’ve missed out on things I’ve wanted to do and I think now is the time to stop holding myself back.

To travel more – Growing up I used to travel all the time and that’s something in the last few years that I’ve really started miss. Yes I went to Poland, Amsterdam and 5 cities in the UK last year but I think I’m yearning for a little more adventure now. Not having any money has definitely had a lot to do with it but maybe it’s time I start setting some holiday money aside. It’s the best thing for clearing your mind and giving you some fresh inspiration.

To watch more movies – While at university I really got into films, especially ones from the 50s and 60s and in particular everything by Alfred Hitchcock. I used to spend ages trolling through films and discovering new ones and this is something I want to pick up again in 2018. There is so much creative inspiration to be found in a good movie!

To blog more – I’m still struggling to juggle my blog and my 9-5 job and this is something that’s been a problem since day one. I really want to get more of a routine down and start treating it like a job with some time set aside each week. My blog is really important to me and has really helped to distract me when I feel like I’m getting bogged down with anxiety. This little project has brought me so many good things and I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for Style Rarebit.

I would love to know your resolutions too, pop them in the comments below for me to read! I hope you all have an amazing year and that you aren’t feeling too worse for wear after last night too…

 

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How to style a Beret

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“Championing small, creative businesses has always been really important to me”

In fact I’ve got a whole series of blog posts interviewing designers from my favourite fashion start-ups including Swag and Tassel and Xandra Jane. I think anyone who is creative and following their passion knows how important support is in keeping their art alive. As much as we would love to endlessly create, the reality is that we also need to pay our bills and put some food on the table. Before I get too deep though today’s post features a gorgeous beret from a new fashion start up right here in Wales. Andrea’s Closet only launched 3 months ago but they already have a RTW and bridal collection which they successfully showcased at Cardiff Fashion Week last month. Their gorgeous fascinators are the perfect wedding accessory but my favourite pieces are the knitted head bands and winter friendly berets. I think often hats are something you only think about when you have a special occasion or when it’s super cold but they’re such a good thing to invest in. This beret is timeless, it’s interesting but also really wearable and it’s something I’ll bring out year after year.

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fashion-blogger-cardiff-beretHere are some quick styling ideas to get you inspired to pick up a Beret…

1. Wear it back on your head and tilted to one side for a super casual look.

2. Wear it perfectly straight and back on your head if you want to channel classic Parisian chic.

3. Pair it with some sunglasses like the one in this post to instantly bring a beret up to date.

4. Pick one up in a contrasting or bright colour to add some interest to a boring outfit.

5. If you’re super edgy pop it straight on your head and puff out the shape for a very extra, runway inspired look.

6. Make sure you get one in the right size! If it’s too big you might still be able to work with it but too small and your head will be bulging out the sides. Not cool!

Once the new Andrea’s Closet website is live I will pop it here but until then please check out their social media pages to see their newest collection.

twitter // facebook // instagram

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Sock Boots at Sunset

sock-boots-style-rarebitSo after not buying clothes for a full three months, I thought it was about time I treated myself to a little wardrobe update. I was on the look out for a trend piece that would refresh my outfits for the winter season and sock boots just felt like a perfect choice. They are 100% the blogger item du jour right now and they also happen to be pretty flattering too. I saw that they make it look like you have never ending legs if you wear them with black trousers and that pretty much made my decision for me.

Sometimes a pick me up is all you need to revive old pieces and feel excited about your wardrobe again. Everything else I’m wearing with these I’ve had for ages but the boots instantly make my outfit look relevant and on trend. It’s funny but as I’m getting older I’m starting to be more picky about the things I invest in. I really want to start saving for some special pieces and cut back on the amount I spend getting quick fixes. This is mainly where my three month ban from shopping came from! It’s been a great way for me to really get to know my wardrobe and think about the clothes I most love to wear.

I honestly believe that style has nothing to do with how much money you have to spend on clothes though or being able to get the latest thing. It’s all about creativity and individuality and no amount of money can buy that!

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The £25.99 Zara Mom Jeans

zara-mom-jeansRecently I’ve really been into the idea of moving on from skinny jeans into some styles that are a bit more fashion forward and a lot more flattering. With this in mind two weeks ago I asked on my Instagram stories for some advice on finding a good pair of mom jeans.  There was a pretty unanimous responce about a pair from Zara so I felt like I at least had to go and try them on.

zara-mom-jeansAt first I wasn’t sure if they were high waisted enough for me but I think it was just getting used to jeans that are cut very differently and without any stretch. I have 100% come around to them though, I love how they give me a nice shape and look a little more grungy than skinnies. I’m not going to lie they are nowhere near as comfy as my 80% stretch skinnies but it’s just something to bear in mind.

They’re the best pair I’ve found on the high street though, especially at this price point and in so many different washes. If you’re looking to try out a pair I would definitely recommend and they have honestly become a staple of mine already. This cut is perfect if you have a bigger bum and legs like me as it kind of skims over everything and creates that hourglass look for you. If you want some more inspo keep an eye on my Instagram because I’m probably going to have these on a lot in the next few months. Especially with some big fluffy jumpers!

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mom jeans // zara

photography // sarah barnes        

 

Bath, an Instagrammers wet dream.

I took handsome to Bath this weekend and I thought it might be nice to share some snaps on here. It’s one of my favourite places to go and funnily enough when I first started StyleRarebit I was there weekly for events. It’s just so beautiful, the architecture is so quirky and it has an old fashioned charm that you can’t quite trump anywhere else. To me it’s very quintessentially English in the nicest way, which coming from a Welsh person is a big deal. Also, the Lace in Fashion exhibition is on at the Museum which was the main reason for this trip. It was very much worth it, they have some incredible pieces, including a look from Raf Simmons’ first collection for Dior.

 Brissi Homeware Store

stylerarebit.comAt the Chapel Arts Cafestylerarebit.com Lace Exhibition at the Fashion Museum

stylerarebit.com At the Chapel Arts Cafe

stylerarebit.comSouthgate Shopping Centre Installation

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jeans and a nice top

stylerarebit.comI’ve had to admit something to myself recently that I never, EVER, thought I would have to. However it’s very sad and so true that I’m a little bit of a ‘jeans and a nice top’ girl. I feel like this is the fashionably comfortable equivalent of wearing your pyjamas to Tesco. It’s just so good, the jeans are stretchy, it’s a well put together outfit but it’s so low maintenance. As if I had to iron a single thing, that’s the problem with pretty dresses. You don’t have to shave, tan, hold in the wind jeans and a nice top, it’s good as it is. I may be the worst Cardiff fashion blogger but at least I’m honest about it.

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sunglasses : mango

vest : primark

mesh top : wakiki vintage

jeans & shoes : marks and spencer

belt and bag : vintage

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The Netflix Apartment

stylerarebit.comIt’s taken me the longest time to write this post, which is bizarre considering how amazing it is that I was actually invited. Getting an invite to a Netflix party is up there as one of the best invites I’ve had since starting Style Rarebit. I guess I wanted to wait a while though so that I could catch up on some of the new shows and let you know what I’ve been enjoying too.

This event was at the St.Davids Hotel which is gorgeous and the few times I’ve had dinner there it’s been amazing too. They fed us the nicest canopaes, macaroons and  champagne to keep us chatting and me and Zoe did our best job to taste test every single one. The night was all about sharing our favourite Netflix shows and discussing the things that we can’t wait to see more episodes of. We also got a sneak preview of some of the new ones that were coming out including 13 Reasons Why (which hadn’t been released yet) and my favourite Mind Hunter which is out later this year. You can watch the trailer here and if you like crime dramas you will love this.

stylerarebit.com So lets talk about the things I’ve been watching.  I’ve managed to narrow it down to four shows which are all good for different reasons. The first being American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson. This real life crime was one of the most awful, bizarre and gripping cases in history and has been an amazing show to watch.  This show really told the story and had the most incredible performances from Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. which will keep you watching for hours. The second is the Marvel series DareDevilI’ll be honest I didn’t think I would get into it but I’m currently on season 2 and loving it. I watched all of Jessica Jones (because Krysten Ritter is my absolute favourite) and this is equally dark and more gory taking out the cringe factor of it being a comic book hero show.

The third is Girlboss the adaption of the book by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso. To be honest I watched half of the first episode and had to turn it off and it was only because all my friends loved it so much that I persevered. Trust me though it does actually pick up by episode 2/3 and you’ll start to fall in love with the self destructing, narsisitic and annoyingly cool Sophia before you know it. Lastly and this might not be for everyone but Schitt’s Creek is a new comedy offering from Eugene Levy. It’s about a rich family who loose everything and have to live in Shitt’s Creek, the only thing that wasn’t worth taking by the debt collectors. It’s silly, easy watching and it’s been entertaining me in the mornings for a week now. If you’ve watched any of these or have any good shows for me to start let me know, I’m always up for a good binge.

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