PERSONAL STYLE | PART 2

Recently, I’ve felt more and more inspired to write about what’s in my head, rather than the clothes I’m photographed in. I think this comes from two places in particular – one feeling guilty sometimes that I’m lucky enough to have a platform, one that I often feel I don’t share enough of myself or my experiences, and the other being that the last 12 months have inflicted a tirade of negative world events that often have me dwelling on more than just my nice shoes…

Fashion is important to me – I’ve discussed why throughout every little piece of content I put on here in one way or another, but feeling connected to people and feeling authentic to myself means way more. One thing I’ve noticed more and more on social media is female empowerment – I’m proud that there are so many strong female voices out there that aren’t afraid to have an opinion, that aren’t afraid of their flaws, and pave the way for a new generation of women. I thought I’d talk a little bit about the hang ups I had whilst growing up – how they have affected me, but more importantly, how they have shaped me as the person I am today.

Growing up I always felt quite isolated – even amongst crowds of friends, I somehow felt like I didn’t fit in, that I wasn’t quite on the same page. I was never that interested in boys – I’d shy away at the mere thought of having to talk to one, and instead preferred to live out scenarios in my head. It was safer that way – way less embarrassing and way less emotionally scaring when you’re a chubby teenager with braces. I struggled with weight issues from about the age 12 onward – I had an unhealthy relationship with food in the sense that it was my comfort blanket. I’d either eat way too much, or as I discovered in college, way too less. This is something I’ve learnt to control as I’ve got older – by nourishing my body, learning about food, and educating my brain to recognise that no one single body type is perfection.

I always disliked the tops of my thighs, my arms, sometimes my skin, the list would just seem to get longer and more intense. I’d relentlessly buy beauty products, ration my food, and get frustrated that I still didn’t look the way I wanted. But worse than disliking anything physical – I’d often feel mentally exhausted, anxious, and be ridden with this horrible feeling that this was just my personality – I’d constantly have to worry and struggle and that would be my reality forever and always. It was a lonely place to be, especially when nobody around me was clued up on anxiety or seemed to know how to approach the topic…

I was the last of my friends to kiss a boy, date a boy, and have a proper relationship with one. I used to feel like such an idiot but as I’ve got older I’m actually thankful that these little milestones took their time – it gave my more time to concentrate on myself and my own dreams. To figure out a path of my very own and to learn from all the mistakes I made along the way. And trust me, there have been lots, ones that seemed soul destroying at the time but looking back – were just part of growing up. It’s important to remember that bad choices don’t make you a bad person, neither do bad feelings.

I guess in a lot of ways, I feel strange that people might look to me as I might look to others, that someone might ask me for advice or leave a positive comment. Social media has this habit of making things look perfectly polished from the outside and I’m sure none of you need to me remind you that that’s not always the case. I just feel as though I have a duty to talk about things that matter on here as well as sharing the clothes I love, the new places that’s inspire me, and everything else along the way. I want to connect with as many of you as possible – because in a silly way, I feel like each and every one of you have slowly given me my confidence back. The confidence to start a blog, to open up, to finally start being myself. In the hope that I can inspire others to do the same. Sometimes it’s difficult to talk talk about our struggles without feeling self indulgent or just plain ‘woe is me’. There’s this often very traditionally placed mindset that we should just suffer in silence and continue – I did that for a long time before realising that so many people (way more than I ever thought), have suffered with anxiety, depression or some kind of painful struggle beyond what the eyes can see.

Fashion and blogging is the thing that gets me excited each morning – that gives me purpose, and makes me feel like I’ve actually found something I might be okay at. My boyfriend who I’ve now known for over six years is the the best friend I could wish for – I feel less anxious each day and I’m meeting more and more amazing people as the months go by. Hard work does pay off, and don’t let anyone ever tell you that chasing your dreams is cheesy – no matter how unobtainable they might appear at the time. I do really believe that self growth manifests on the the side of fear – usually the things you’re most afraid of doing will help you internally in some way. Even if it’s just a little realisation that you are stronger than you were the day before.

I chose these images because I remember wearing an outfit once and someone saying in jest ‘you can never just let something be pretty you?’ – it always stuck with me because I never really understood what it meant. Why should a pretty dress just be pretty? Who made that rule up? And why can’t it be my interpretation of what makes me feel pretty? This ultimately sums up how I feel about fashion and how I found my personal style – I decided that I didn’t need to try and please anyone but myself. That I was okay with wearing a pretty dress, but I was also really okay with throwing an ‘ugly’ khaki jacket over the top of it. In short, I started to acknowledge the parts of me that I deemed pretty/ugly too, and accepted them for what they were. After all, my favourite type of outfit is a collaboration between the two…

Alice x


Photography by Adriana

Read more on my personal style here

Dress – Zara (similar here & here) | Jacket – Urban Outfitters (similar here & here) | Shoes c/o – River Island | Necklace – Byalona

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17 Comments

  1. I absolutely loved reading this post Alice, I feel like so many of the thoughts I have relate to everything you’ve been through! I’m always the last one out of my friends to do things but knowing I’m not the only one makes me feel so much better. Also completely obsessed with your style, I love the fact that you threw a jacket over the top of a dress, it gives it your own personal edge!

    All the best,

    Sarah x

  2. I agree with Zena! You seem like one of the most genuine fashion bloggers whose posts I have had the pleasure of reading. I think you have fantastic personal style and I can totally relate to some of the comments in your post! Thank you and please keep it up☺

    All the best, Natasha

  3. This was so inspiring. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Many ppl feel as they don’t belong, that the way they do things is wrong,that we should follow the flow.. But we are all unique, and we should always remember that. We should always aim to find inspiration in others, and not compare ourselves. X

  4. When I first discovered your blog, I was instantly hooked. I absolutely adore your style, but I also really admire your personality – you seem like such a genuinely lovely, kind and intelligent person.

    I loved reading through this post and feel like I can relate a lot – I too never felt like I fitted in with my friends or others my age. I have always been an introvert and I used to constantly beat myself up for feeling so anxious or isolating myself all the time. Around the age of 13 I developed an eating disorder, which spiralled out of control and continued up until I was 21, just over a year ago, along with crippling anxiety and depression.

    I have now made it to the other side, and I have never felt more excited for the future as I do now. This time two years ago I had dropped out of uni due to my mental health, after already dropping out of college for the same reasons. I was in a job that made me despair, crying at my desk for an hour every morning and wanting for nothing but to just not exist anymore. My mental health hit rock bottom, I was binging and purging nine times a day, self harming and was suicidal. I had never felt so desperate or alone. Fast-forward two years and I have now somehow managed to land the job of my dreams as a trainee coastal engineer, I am studying two degrees at once whilst working full-time, maintaining above 80% on both, my company have offered to sponsor me to study an MSc/PhD once I have graduated, I am engaged to my best friend and soulmate, and we are one week away from moving into our first real home together.

    I still struggle sometimes, we all do, but I’ve come to accept that perfection is just an illusion. I now feel comfortable wearing the clothes that make ME happy and finding my own personal style, regardless of what others think. I’ve realised that being able to count my true friends on my fingers, but knowing that I can count on every single one, is far more important than having everybody ‘like’ me (or at least, the different versions of myself that I thought they wanted to see). I feel empowered to talk about the issues that I feel passionate about; the environment, feminism and mental health, without fearing that others will judge me for it.

    I realise I have rambled a lot, but I guess what I am trying to say is thank you. Thank you for being one of the empowered women that have helped to empower other women and girls, like me. Thank you for being someone of both style and substance and for inspiring others to be.

    Amy xx

    1. Wow, thank you so much! I feel like your comment deserves a blog post of it’s very own ha – totally agree with everything you said, I struggled a lot uni too and beat myself up about not achieving as highly as I could have. It all seems like the end of the world at the time, but then things slowly start to slot into place and make more sense. I’m still learning to feel comfortable with uncertainty but I think we all are… <3 xx

  5. I totally relate to this post and I find your words so helpful and inspiring. I needed to read something like this today. Thank you xx

  6. It’s funny how people can see a completely different reflection of themselves in the mirror vs. the one other people see when they look at the same reflection…
    I totally agree that all of those past experiences shape your present self and it’s great to embrace all that makes us “us”, and I also firmly believe we can change whatever we don’t like about us. That’s the magic of life. Always keep on evolving…

    Lots of love, beautiful Alice

    Saida | She talks Glam

    1. Totally agree! I’ve always thought It’s quite healthy not to be complacent – there’s always room for improvement 🙂 xx

  7. Loved this blog post. It’s lovely to see you grow more confident and comfortable with each day. You inspire me with every post so thank you for that!

  8. I relate to this post so much. I was always the last of friends to know or do things and I always found comfort in food. I was the ‘chubby’ friend and there was always an emptiness and I just felt like I had no purpose. Then when I started blogging, it’s just like I had finally had something that was ‘mine’ and something to get me up and excited in the morning.

    I’ve learnt that there are different stages in our lives and that we’re always growing, changing and evolving and I think it’s good. It’s good to change, it helps us grow and become who we want to be!

    Loved the post! Xxx

  9. Hello Alice! I’m Julia, nice to meet you!

    I found your blog today and I was happy to finally have someone with the style I want to develop.

    I was scrolling trough your posts and this one caught my attention. We have a lot in common and a ton of differences too.

    I am 17 years old, freshman in college, brazilian and too unconfident.
    I am still struggling with appearence insecurities and it’s exausting.

    I’m telling all this because your words inspired me. I’m still so young!

    Thank you, Alice, for being yourself and showing us this side of you. I’m not sure if you’ll read this (or understand my poor english), but I need to show you my gratitude.

    I know that, as a teenager and south american, it will take some time for me to conquer the lifestyle I want, to achieve my goals. But,meanwhile, I want to work on my confidence, as you did.

    Well, that’s it. Thanks for sharing your time.

    With admiration, joy and gratitude, it was a please to meet you.

    Xo.

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