Should you let a friend borrow your clothes?

9 Aug

Beg, borrow or steal…

Someone's not happy about her friend borrowing her favourite new dress...

It was one of those moments when time stood still. I watched, open mouthed and disbelieving as my best friend – busy laughing and joking – haphazardly spilled an entire glass of red wine down my favourite yellow dress.

She had begged me to wear it out that night, promising to hand it back in perfect condition. But in the space of three seconds, it was gone. Speechless and fuming inside, I attempted to pretend everything was fine, that I would (gulp) surely find another dress just like it.

The guilty look on my friends face prevented me from having a major hissy fit, but the look on mine was visibly sombre. We made bleak attempts to clean up the stain with every trick in the book – vinegar, Vanish, you name it – before eventually admitting defeat. It was ruined.

So in that moment, it was the straw that broke the camel’s Topshop-clad back – the moment I finally decided lending clothes to friends was infinitely, a no go. After many years of hunting down “borrowed” items from friends and trying to shift food or tan stains from clothes, there comes a time when you must be selfish.

The traditional idea of sharing and swapping just no longer works. From Wotsits when we were 12 to party dresses at 21, my best friend and I have swapped clothes more times than Katie Price and Peter Andre have swapped public jibes. I don’t have any sisters, so luckily have never had to worry about one swiping my favourite Zara jacket, so before the horrendous wine episode, I had always been quite flattered when a friend asked to borrow an outfit.

One of the key benefits of course was being able to borrow her stuff too – yet even when done so, it somehow never feels right. You can’t help but feel like an imposter in her outfit – as though people can sense what you’re wearing is not officially yours.

Lending out clothes is often a disaster waiting to happen. Unless it’s a Primark tee or dress that no longer cuts the chase, there are some things (like favourite dresses) that you should keep greedily to yourself.

There is always a slight panic that comes with ‘loaning’ out your favourite items, and the uncertainty that you will ever get them back. I have lost count of the myriad jumpers, dresses and pairs of shoes that I am still waiting to be returned. It’s pretty doubtful that I’ll ever see them again, so I guess I’ll just have to mourn them along with the others.

Do I think anyone should lend out their clothes? No, not unless your friend exhibits the reliability of a saint. It’s just not worth it if it could potentially ruin a friendship, and believe me, it could. So the next time a friend asks to borrow your favourite dress? I say run. Run for the hills.

Either that or you could just clumsily sway a glass of potent red wine near her, smile sweetly and offer it in exchange of her favourite (and only) pair of Jimmy Choos. I guarantee she’ll never ask to borrow again.

 

Is Perfectionism Ruining Your Health?

9 Aug

Marcia from Desperate Housewives was an example of an extreme perfectionist.

WHEN conjuring up the image of a perfectionist, what often springs to mind is an immaculate, glossy-haired woman with a spick and span house and an impressive career to boot. However while many perfectionists may seem perfectly in control on the outside, on the inside they might be telling a whole different story.

I have always been a bit of a perfectionist. Whether it comes to work, keeping fit or organising work events, I get utterly frustrated if things don’t go as planned. To paint a clearer picture – when things don’t go seamlessly, I often end up a crumpled, neurotic mess. I’m not sure what drives my need to get things perfect – but I am sure there are many women out there who can relate.

In today’s society, we are continually met with women who appear to have flawless lives – the perfect body, husband, career etc. Despite knowing that perfection is simply impossible to achieve, it can be difficult not to feel inadequate when it seems everyone else is doing great.

It is not just women who suffer feeling this way. After tennis player Andy Murray’s tearful loss against Roger Federer at the Wimbledon men’s single final, Murray was criticised for being ‘dour-faced’ and miserable. However more so though than anything, I believe he is just another extreme perfectionist.

Now through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, people have the opportunity to create a life that they want people to see. Today already I have witnessed a slew of posts by people bragging about their great lives are – which is all very well mind you – but in my eyes, most of them seem highly invented.

The pressure to be perfect can be often overwhelming.  There have been many times in the past where I have felt like a complete failure if I haven’t got the job I wanted, if I’ve ate too much chocolate or if someone has criticised me. Drastic I know, yet I can’t seem to shake off the feeling that I could do better.

One of the positive things you could say about perfectionism is that it gives people the incentive to strive for what they wish. This is what I believe spurs my desire for independence and ambition. However perfectionism doesn’t always result in good, as a teenager I suffered from severe anorexia nervosa, an illness where sufferers usually possess personality traits such as anxiety, low self-esteem and of course, perfectionism.

Not all cases are the same – however studies have shown that a majority of people with eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression all suffer from acute perfectionism. Those who suffer from perfectionism are also less likely to sleep well and tend to work their bodies harder physically as well as preventing them from forming healthy relationships with others.

Having such high-expectations for yourself can also be mentally deteriorating, particularly when original plans fail. Perfectionists tend to berate and exhaust themselves to the point where they end up giving up, which can be emotionally and physically damaging in the long run.

If the above describes you to a tee, then it may be time to cut yourself some slack. After all, imperfection is what makes us human, regardless to what your Facebook status reads.

Is Makeup a Feminist Issue?

24 Jul

There are a lot of celebrity trends we don’t often understand, yet the most recent one is far more appealing, with celebs posting barefaced photographs online to help remind us of the fact that even the rich and famous look (almost) just like us without the war-paint.

When Holly Willoughby tweeted a snap of herself sans-makeup last week, dozens of fans responded by saying how ‘refreshing’ it was to catch a glimpse of her looking all-natural despite her usual glamorous persona. I’m sure most will agree that she still looked gorgeous as ever, yet it also struck a chord for many women who wouldn’t dare dream of leaving the house without makeup, let alone pose voluntarily for a photograph.

Working in the industry that I do, appearance is always important. Research studies made by makeup manufacturer Procter & Gamble have shown that a quarter of company bosses are more likely to hire a woman who wears makeup than one who doesn’t, illuminating the prejudice that is still on-going for women even today.

Since the discovery of Max Factor Pan Stick at the age of 15, I have never been one to stray from the slap. From then on, it has become my greatest ally and all-time confidence booster. Despite my occasional efforts to go ‘au naturale,’ I adore my extensive makeup collection. I love the fact that I get to transform a pale, sleepier version of myself into whoever I fancy that morning, simply with a sweep of bold lipstick or a spot of blush.

For most women, makeup is an easy way to instantly perk us up. Whether we’re hungover, flu-ridden or just feeling plain rough, we can alter this in the space of five minutes with the help of a few trusty items stashed away in our handbags.

We all know that even the most stunning celebrities only achieve flawlessness with a team of expert makeup artists on hand as well as expensive products. Makeup can produce wondrous results, so why is wearing it still often frowned upon? It has been argued for years that women who wear makeup are anti-feminist because surely, they must be doing it just to please men?

Celebrities such as Holly Willoughby, Rihanna and 90210’s AnnaLynne McCord have all been applauded for posting pictures of themselves looking fresh-faced online, with some suggesting that all women should do the same. However as much as I find it liberating to occasionally step outside without a trace of slap, most women express their independence through wearing it, which in my eyes is as feminist as it can get.

Women wear makeup because it boosts self-esteem and quite simply, because it is fun. To deem a woman anti-feminist based upon appearance, essentially defeats the purpose of feminism altogether. As much as I admire the courage of celebrities posting such personal photos online, I vehemently disagree that wearing makeup is all about pleasing other people.

Women should accept themselves with or without it, regardless to what the rest of the world wants them to do. Feminism is supposed to be about having a choice, and if that means fake tan and lashes for some, then I say embrace it. After all, not all of us look just as good in the morning.

The Summer Biker

27 Jun

Red Biker, £59.99 Zara

With my birthday just around the corner, I can’t help but plan out exactly what to treat myself to before it even arrives. Despite relentlessly saving for an Ipad, ( must. keep. eye. on. prize.) a few other delicious items have caught my eye already.

My favourite of the bunch is this elusive studded biker jacket from Zara. As you are all probably aware, I am a sucker for a biker jacket. But this one is red. And has studs. And is sickeningly cool. You get how this is going.

Therefore, I must own this! My favourite leather biker’s are just too warm to wear in this hideously humid weather, so this linen number will be perfect for throwing on over my favourite Doors tee and leather leggings. I also have a zesty lemon dress this will also clash perfectly with. It’s meant to be. If this sells out in my size, then I truly believe I will be perpetually grief stricken.

I’m not hinting or anything honest, I just really, really want it.

Zaggora Update – Week 2 Results!

19 Jun

Greetings fellow Zaggora fanatics, sorry I’ve not updated sooner regarding my new Viva leggings challenge. As you all can probably guess, things at the magazine and other projects have made my life terribly hectic, however this hasn’t stopped me hitting the gym – exercising is quite the destresser!

The past two week’s of this challenge has left me with some excitable results to report on. Whilst week one consisted on me fluctuating between cake eating (see previous) and running like a bat out of hell, I’ve been rather good throughout the second week, attending the gym every day except the weekend and wearing my trusty leggings to each and every class.

Monday, Wednesday and Thursday last week consisted of 3 x 35 minute runs with pressups, sit-ups and free weights. Tuesday I kicked ass in combat for 45 minutes followed by a 10 minute run, and Friday I attended a rather sweaty 45-minute Spin class that left me on a high afterwards.

I’m quite surprised about how much I have taken  to Spin quite recently. After having declared one year ago I’d never attend a class again, now I look forward to sweating out my tensions every week and coupled with my Zaggora leggings, feel almost instantly slimmer afterwards.

Results

Since embarking on the HotPant challenge, I have managed to lose 3lbs despite eating almost anything I wanted. My appetite has soared since increasing my workout regime and wearing the HotPants, yet I have still managed to lose the few stubborn pounds that seemed to be lying around since forever.

I have noticed a remarkable difference in my thighs since wearing the HotPants also, the look leaner, firmer and smoother, and I have managed to lose 1.2″ from each thigh also. I love how the Viva leggings make you feel instantly better after a weekend of excess food and alcohol.

Hangovers and hunger seem to go hand in hand for me, so after Sunday I was feeling extremely low and disappointed at my lack of willpower after a full week of being good. My stomach has lost 1 full inch also since embarking on the Zaggora Viva challenge. I plan to wear these over the next couple of days and fingers crossed I can lost just one more before being able to fit into my fellow 19-year-old Topshop jeans! (I’m 22 right now, just so you know).

What I am also excited about, is that Zaggora have also launched the new flares, which target more areas of the leg and look like regular leggings, just what I need for the gym. I prefer classic styles for the gym so I think these will have to be my next purchase. I hope you enjoyed the review and please feel free to comment below!

Styletto Magazine countdown coming soon!


Zaggora Viva HotPants Week 1

7 Jun

Since my last Zaggora post, I have fluctuated between a fondness for chocolate cake, Spin cycling, 5K runs and late night sandwiches. Quite the contradiction I know.

Yet despite the extreme changes in my attitude towards being healthy, the scales told me today that I have in fact dropped another 1lb from my frame. I love you HotPants.

My increase in exercise has either boosted my metabolism or it’s the HotPants beginning to work, either way I swear my stomach looks flatter already after just a few days and my legs look leaner than usual.

I’m certainly not complaining. The fact I can still have my cake now and again and still see results is exactly what I am talking about. Dieting isn’t my game, so with the help of HotPants to see better results from my routine workouts is a fabulous concept.

It’s off to the gym for me again today as I missed a much needed workout yesterday. Today I’ll be hitting the treadmill and carring out a mini 15 minute circuit (burpees, mountain climbers, suicide press-ups) before the measuring tape weigh in tomorrow! Stay tuned.

www.stylettomag.com

Zaggora Back With Viva Leggings!

31 May

http://zaggora.com/ Prices start at £49.99

Holly Willoughby and her sidekick Fern Cotton are said to use them to maintain their enviable figures. The Saturdays also reportedly each own a pair each and thousands of brides to be have already snapped them up to lose weight for their wedding day.

It almost seems to good to be true, but Zaggora are officially back with an exciting new version of their infamous weight loss hotpants – the Viva leggings.

The critically acclaimed hotpants have been given a face lift with longer, bolder versions of the original workout pants. Having tried and tested the originals and lost considerable inches in just two weeks, I was more than happy to give the new ones a chance!

I recently spent a week away on holiday abroad indulging in whatever cocktails and ice creams I wanted, so the Zaggora leggings arrived just in time in my attempt to get rid of that horrible holiday bloat I appear to have come back with.

Surprisingly, I never gained any weight while I was away and actually came back to find I’d lost two pounds! However I still feel a touch bloated and the two pounds loss has kickstarted my Zaggora challenge number 2 and motivates me to lose just a couple more pounds.

The new Viva leggings come in a variety of flamboyant shades this time around, which is perfect because as my recent posts suggested, neon brights and bold hues are back in town this summer!

The leggings I received for reviewing came in a bold lime shade with clashing blue lining, which actually look rather stylish when paired with a colbat blue vest.

Pink may have been my first choice of colour but the lime shade is growing on me considerably. They are extremely funky and definitely got me noticed at the gym!

If you were originally fearful of getting your pins out, then the new leggings are perfect for those on the lookout for flattering gym trousers which don’t show too much skin.

The HotPants I received came in the small size and fit perfectly, albeit a little snugly. I’m guessing they are supposed to be tight in order to make you sweat more whilst wearing them.

They work the same way as the original hotpants and claim to help you lose weight four times faster than if you were exercising alone. This means you can burn off FOUR times the amount of calories working out, so even if you go for a 20 minute run you will have burned a whopping 800 calories compared to 200 without wearing the hotpants! That’s one too many hobnobs for me to even count! (Must. Stop. Thinking. Of Hobnobs.)

They work simply by increasing your body temperature, in turn making you sweat more. Perspiration = calorie burn and calorie burn = weight loss. See?

The HotPants even increase energy expenditure in the hour after exercise by approximately 26%, meaning you’ll still be burning off those lunchtime sarnies when you’re sitting back at your desk.

As sceptical as I was first time round, having reviewed the original weight loss HotPants I can confirm they do, almost miraculously, seem to work. The first time I wore them I noticed a remote difference in how my stomach looked. As a victim of the dreaded IBS syndrome, (that’s irritable bowel syndrome, fyi) I suffer bloating at almost the slighted thing I eat, and these seem to reduce that dramatically – which I definitely AM NOT complaining about.

My main goals in wearing these for the two week challenge is not necessarily to lose weight, but I’d love to reduce the hint of cellulite I have developed from my caffeine addiction, reduce bloating and appear a little leaner and smaller around the hips and butt area.

Here’s how my first day went so far:

ZAGGORA VIVA LEGGINGS DAY 1: Don’t Be Colour Shy

Statistics

Height: 5ft 3inches

Waist: 25 inches

Hips 33 inches

Weight: 8 stones. (112lbs)

Working the neon trend to the gym was no easy feat, nonetheless I had a few people come up to me and actually say how cool they thought my leggings were. I actually think they are pretty awesome myself, but my main fear was that the public was not going to be quite ready for them yet, with my black-leggings clad gym companions frowning upon them, smirking at my bold efforts to try out a new look.

My smug new leggings took me through the whole 45 minutes of Body Attack and me, oh my I was sweating. Trying not to sound too crude, you MUST, I repeat, MUST, bring fresh underwear with you to change into after wearing these. Your bottom half will be extremely sweaty and I’d strongly advise a quick shower afterwards. No one likes a Sweaty Betty at work.

Although they make you a little bit warmer throughout your workout, they aren’t overtly hot and are comfortable enough for a lengthy exercise session.

I literally peeled these off after my exercise class and I don’t know if it was just in my head, but I honestly felt like my stomach looked flatter and tighter already. Nonetheless I was left feeling a lot more confident after my first workout and can’t wait to show them off again tomorrow! Stay tuned how I get on over the next few days with my exciting challenge! 

www.stylettomag.com

DO WE REALLY HATE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN?

28 May

NO one knew who Samantha Brick was until just recently. The brazen blonde grabbed headlines after her Daily Mail article: ‘Why do women hate me for being beautiful’ went viral, with thousands of women hitting back that they were all not – by any means – threatened by her “lovely looks.”

Just a few minutes after her article appeared online, the words ‘Samantha Brick’ were trending on Twitter. Her arrogance invoked fury from the public, particularly her claims that a vast number of married men fancied her more than their wives.

High profile comedians and celebrities also mooned in on the controversy, posting cynical jibes directed at her on Twitter, including a tweet from entrepreneur and fellow Bankie Duncan Ballantyne, who abruptly asked her if the article was ‘a joke.’

However, the vitriol the writer received was once again taken too far by internet trolls, with one user writing: ‘Samantha Brick should be bricked to death.’

For a country that takes pride in its modesty, Brick committed a cardinal sin by declaring her beauty in such a conceited manner.

Samantha heightened the storm further by publishing a follow-up article the next day, which stated that the backlash she received ‘proved’ her thesis that women do not like other attractive women.

There is no doubt that she provoked a strong reaction on a rather touchy subject, but the question is – do women really hate all beautiful women? Or is Samantha Brick just utterly delusional?

Psychology student Lyndsey MacDermid from Caledonian University says: “Insecurity is one of the main causes of jealousy.

“Body image problems and low self-esteem from a young age can invoke jealous feelings, particularly in young women.

“They might see a beautiful woman and think that they are full of themselves and will look down upon them, in turn making them feel instantly defensive and threatened.

“Jealousy is a normal feeling, however I think the problem has worsened as women are constantly bombarded with airbrushed images of celebrities which make them feel more insecure.

“I doubt Samantha Brick is as secure as she claims to be. I believe the public may have reacted so strongly because to be fair, a lot of them were probably not jealous of her.”

Model Natalie Souter, 23, from Dalmuir also spoke to the Post about how an ex-employer savagely picked on her at work because of her looks.

She said: “I used to work in a restaurant whilst juggling modelling jobs from time to time as modelling doesn’t always ensure a steady income.

“I was proud of my photographs and excitedly told a few people in the work about my new venture.

“However, shortly after I mentioned modelling part-time, my manager began to make rude comments about my appearance – including picking on my hair, clothing and body.

“I overheard a few girls talking about me in work, laughing at my photographs and generally being nasty.

“After that they stopped inviting me to nights out – proclaiming that I must be too busy ‘modelling.’ It began to really affect my self esteem.

“I stopped wearing makeup, started to dress dowdier and rarely spoke for fear they would make fun of me.

“From my own experience, women are often jealous of other women who are perceived as beautiful. This shows their own insecurities but looks are only skin deep so it’s a shame when women act this way.”

Although it is normal to feel a pang of jealousy when Little Miss Perfect saunters through the door, declaring your hatred for someone just for being pretty, is just as shallow as refusing to be friends with someone less attractive.

So whether Samantha Brick’s unabashed anecdotes were truly legitimate – or just a smart move to get propelled into the public eye – she still managed to shine light on a subject that most women wouldn’t dare speak of.

It is doubtful that all women despise their genetically-blessed counterparts. We are able to admire beauty just as much as men do, otherwise we would never purchase glossy fashion magazines or find entertainment from our favourite glamorous celebs.

Regardless to whether we think Brick is just another self-important, ego-maniac suffering delusions of grandeur, while there are some women out there jealous of others, it is perhaps just a fact that we get on better with those who exude a slightly more humble attitude.

NEON: A FASHION DO OR DON’T?

28 May

NEON is often associated with nineties rave parties and hazard warning signs. Despite its obsolete reputation, the hue still seems to make a comeback each year, with electric shades consistently re-emerging on the runway.

Flashes of luminous neon cropped up all over the catwalks again for spring / summer 2012, with the colour-blocking trend getting a face-lift with hues more intense than ever before.

Flamboyant shades of indigo blue and neon orange were combined at the Rag & Bone runway show, creating a fearless, androgynous look. Meanwhile, hot designer Peter Som opted for a more girlish silhouette, pairing neon feather skirts with kaleidoscopic stripes for the ultimate style statement.

I vowed not to become a slave to the trend this time around, but my unmitigated attempt to avoid it has already failed me. There’s just no stopping the highlighter-pen palette that inexplicably, manages to sneak its way into my wardrobe every season.

Just the other day I was faced with a dilemma: in search of the perfect summer biker, I cursed my favourite high street stores as typically – when on the rare occasion I had money – I couldn’t find a single thing in the shops.

Then suddenly, I spotted it. The neon yellow, effortlessly cool, multi-tasking biker jacket that made my pulse race, yet made me ashamed at the same time. I trailed my hands over its zesty fabric and sports luxe detail.

Soon enough I was racing out the store, Topshop bag gripped tightly in hand, anticipating the next event where I would proudly showcase my nu-rave item.

Purchasing it would only culminate in a newfound obsession, which also meant my mother was almost blinded when I walked back through the door.

But I am no longer ashamed. Thanks to some approval from my most stylish girl friends; it seems neon has finally shaken off its no-go reputation.

Colour has never been so cool, but be careful when approaching this high-voltage trend: stick to one or two colour combinations per outfit at the most, or you’ll risk looking like an acid-evangelist gone wrong.

The easiest way to embrace neon is by adding a flash of colour with some statement shoes or a fluorescent blazer. The aesthetic is bold, gutsy and fun, so wear with complete confidence and you’ll nail the look.

Biker jacket, £58 Topshop, Peplum dress £48 ASOS, Jeans, £30 Soul Cal at Republic, Platforms, £60 at Office Shoes, Spike and Skull necklace, £35 at ASOS, Neon shopper, £28 Topshop.

Holiday Style Diary

27 May

  Holiday Style Diary

 

My much anticipated holiday has came and gone in a flash and since arriving back home, I couldn’t wait to get back into all my writing projects and of course, inform all you wonderful readers of what I have planned for the future.

As well as gathering content and helping to build a team for the Styletto print edition magazine, I have also recently joined local newspaper Clydebank Post as their new Women’s fashion and lifestyle columnist where every week I publish news on the latest fashion trends and women’s topical issues. I am honoured to have become part of the newspaper and if you live locally, you can check out my weekly column every Wednesday in the newspaper.

To top off all the excitement, my book is still in the process of being completed despite having suffered had a touch of writers block recently. My main focus for the moment is keeping my Clydebank Post and firstly, my Fashion Hungry and Styletto readers happy and continually excited for the upcoming glossy version of Styletto!

So far, it looks amazing and is packed with all your favourite fashion trend updates, women’s lifestyle features, relationships, health and fitness, music and tons of beauty pages to keep you all satisfied.

I have yet to have an exact launch date for the magazine although I am hoping for the 1st issue to be launched by the end of this summer. If you wish to get involved either by writing, designing, advertising or just giving some suggestions on what you want to read, be sure to email me at editor.styletto@gmail.com and I will be sure to reply swiftly!

Anyway, back to holiday. The fashion addict within me was mostly excited about packing and gathering together my favourite holiday outfits for my week away in Tenerife. The weather was positively stunning and the location breathtaking. I was also surprised to come back to this amazing heatwave that Scotland is having right now, this came as a huge delight considering the weather before I left.

Above is a picture of me at the hotel wearing a rather bold pyjama trouser and vest ensemble. I am in love with these trousers right now as they are so comfortable and evoke the current floral trend that is so hot this season. My trousers are from New Look, the vest from H&M and the beads also New Look.

I also couldn’t help but purchase the wedges as seen in my Tribal Temptations post below, which go almost absurdly with everything in my wardrobe. They are also surprisingly comfortable and can be worn daytime or night.

I also picked up some amazing beauty products duty free at Glasgow airport. I was a kid in a candy shop as I raced round trying to find some amazing holiday beauty products to keep me going through the summer.

The items I purchased were a Mac contouring brush, Diorshow Blackout Waterproof mascara, Nars Laguna liquid bronzer, Dior Forever Foundation, Bareminerals powder, Eliabeth Arden 8 hour cream and So Sweet, So Easy cream blush by Mac.

I am obsessed with thee products already and will be uploading a review on them on Styletto’s beauty page over the next few days. In the meantime, check out my latest beauty review on bareMinerals READY collection, an exciting new summer range in endless shades.

Hope that’s enough info for now! Keep checking Styletto for the print magazine countdown coming soon!