18.1.18

A Year Of Fashion Blogging: What It's Taught Me

This week marks a whole year of me posing, pouting and documenting my favourite outfits on the internet. To say I was hesitant to start this journey was an understatement, having experienced a spectrum of online hate about my appearance over the years, but as I stepped into my seventh year of blogging it was time to try something different. With a little help from my friends (namely Kirsty and Kaye taking my photos) I've brought you 30 different looks that have documented my love of a designer bag, a great pair of shoes and a flush of colour. Rather surprisingly, my fashion posts have been some of my favourite to pull together over the last year - not only because it's given me a new challenge, but because of the reception they've received from you guys. I'm not a skinny, blonde, aspirational 20-something who can make anything look good (believe me, I have to try!) but you've been so supportive, encouraging and complimentary that it's filled me with excitement to keep on showing you can embrace fashion whatever your age or size. As I step into the second year of me having the ultimate excuse to go shopping, I wanted to reflect back on what the last twelve months of sharing my wardrobe with you have taught me. 


TRYING NEW THINGS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA 
We all have a signature style, whether that's a certain shape or simply 'jeans and a tee', but the way to turn an okay outfit into a cracking look is by trying new things. For such a long time I'd bought the same kind of pieces (basically because I was a bit lazy and couldn't be bothered with having to pick myself up after the realisation that XYZ looked horrendous on me,) but having to pick out a new outfit to document has encouraged me to change it up a bit. It's also encouraged me to think about outfits as a whole, rather than just picking up pieces because they stood out - so I now mentally pull a look together while in the shop, rather than wondering what they hell I'm going to do with that embellished top when I get home. My wardrobe is now an exciting and refreshing place to be, rather being full of three outfits replicated twenty times over.

COLOUR BOOSTS EVERYTHING 
The best outfits in my opinion always contain a pop of colour, or a spectrum of complementary tones that work to create an overall feeling of 'oooh that's pretty.' Documenting my looks has definitely encouraged me step out of usual muted colour palette and towards shades that I know will look a lot better on camera. (Yellow is one of those shades I've fallen in love with this year.) I've started to add in a touch of colour or a sprinkling of pattern where I would've previously felt overdone, as well as experimenting with textures and clashing tones too. (Hello leather, velvet and satin!) Sometimes leopard print or a bold floral pattern is the only thing will do.

THE ACCESSORIES MAKE OR BREAK AN OUTFIT 
I'm well known within my friendship circle for having a mild shopping problem when it comes to shoes and bags, but in my opinion they can absolutely make or break an outfit. What's the point in curating a fabulous look, only to ruin it with a pair of boring boots? Since documenting my fashion choices online, I've noticed that the accessories are just as important (and sometimes can be even more so) as the basics; if you invest wisely or treat yourself to some statement tassel earrings, then the rest just kind of all falls into place. Although I've never been one to be matchy-matchy, it's been refreshing to reaffirm my knowledge that clashing accesories are just as cool as complementary ones.

LAYERS CAN BE INCREDIBLY EFFECTIVE 
Six months ago if you'd asked me about layers, the response would have been something along the lines of 'warm, fluffy and with the sole purpose of keeping me cosy'. Skip forward a little and I've realised that layers can be an incredibly effective way of showcasing a look and the contrast between material (leather and cotton, gingham and and a trench) can really give your outfit something special. Historically I used to use layers purely for keeping me toasty and most were meant to be invisible, but I've started using them for more than that - whether it's a jumper underneath a dress or a big fur stole over a leather jacket, it not only gives me something to take photos of but makes the whole thing a touch more on-trend too.

EVEN IF YOU FEEL OVERDRESSED, YOU LOOK FAB 
I have to admit that 'dressing up' for the camera took a little getting used to, and I did feel a little awkward in some instances, but in reality those are your best looks. When most people are lounging around in jeans and a tee, or have put more thought into their breakfast than their outfit, then you can feel a little uncomfortable and overdressed. Over the last few months I've learned to stop caring and be confident in my fashion choices, because you guys tell me you love the outcome. What's more liberating and confidence boosting than that?

POSING BUILDS CONFIDENCE
If there's one thing that forces you to address your insecurities, then it's looking at hundreds of pictures of them on a regular basis. For years I'd barely taken anything more than a carefully cropped selfie, but jumping into posing in the middle of the street has helped me come to love my changing body shape and accept the fact I no longer have the skin (or arms - bingo wings are not my friend!) of my 20-something self. Yes I still don't like every photo, and yes I certainly have my good and bad angles, but honestly I don't think I've ever been more confident as I am now. I don't *need* to love or look my best in every single picture, but instead focus on the fact I'm sharing information and my body is just the vessel that allows that to happen. (Deep.) I'm more than the way I look - and so are you.

I hope you've enjoyed the past 30 different outfits and will continue to enjoy the ones I'm planning to share over the next twelve months. Here's to many more snaps of me with cheap as chips shoes and overpriced handbags!


Biba Floral Dress | £99.00 (Now £59.00) | SIMILAR HERE
River Island Grey Biker Jacket | £60.00 | LINK
Mango Studded Black Clutch Bag | £35.99 | SIMILAR HERE
Topshop Green Tassel Earrings | £7.00 | LINK
Mint Velvet Ankle Strap Flats  | £89.00 (Now £29.00) | SIMILAR HERE

SHOP THE LOOK 


Photos Taken By Kaye Ford: www.fordtography.co.uk


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19 comments

  1. I have been blogging for a little more than a year. And the most important thing I have learned is definitely also that trying new things isn't as scary as I thought before.
    - www.majaharder.com| https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/maja-harder-18257183

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    1. Totally agree - challenging yourself and stepping outside of your comfort zone is half the fun!

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  2. I for one applaud seeing more of your style around these parts. The variety of posts has pushed your blog right up into my favourites, and the fact that you've managed to do it without undermining the beauty expertise that you're known for is bloody brilliant.

    And long live yellow. But not tassel earrings. Well, maybe on you.

    Keep on keeping on, Hayley! And this is another gorgeous dress!

    Lis / last year's girl x

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    1. Thank you SO much Lis; your words mean a lot and that's exactly what I wanted to achieve. Introducing new content without undermining my beauty knowledge or thirst. Thanks for all your support - and get on with those tassel earrings ;)

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  3. Lovely photos! I moved from beauty to fashion around a year ago and have loved the switch. It's definitely more in keeping with my interests and has pushed me out of my style comfort zone too!

    Abigail Alice x

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    1. Always good to challenge and shake things up!

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  4. Shooting outfits is something I would absolutely love to do, but I'm just so nervous about it!
    It's so nice to see that you came out of your shell and just did it anyway, and now you feel more confident for it. :-)

    Gives me a little push to maybe give it a go!

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    1. Do it! Honestly the more you do it the more confident you'll get - and you'll be surprised at what you achieve, promise.

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  5. I love this post!!1 I am sooo nervous to really do fashion blogging, but you have given me the urge to just jump right in!! Love the pictures!!
    Charlotte-Nichole
    x

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    1. Thanks Charlotte! And do take the plunge... What have you got to lose?!

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  6. Keep up the outfit posts!!

    Vivian | LIVE IN LOVE
    IG | @viviyunn_

    ~

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  7. Such a great post and you look beautiful yet again!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  8. You look incredible in these photos. I love the contrast of the green with your red hair. I hope one day to be brave enough to take fashion photos.
    www.kaieshastewart.com

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    1. Do it! Once you're in front of the camera and have awesome shots to share, you'll be glad you did. Good luck xx

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  9. You look beautiful! Such a stunning outfit. I too am not your typical skinny blonde hair blogger. I found it scary doing a fashion post worrying that people would comment on my weight!! You absolutely rock it and ooze confidence.

    Beckie // The Pale TailsšŸŒµ

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    1. Thanks so much Beckie! It's awesome to see so many amazing women, in all shapes and sizes, share their looks - and even if some nasty person does comment, it says more about them than you. I hope you find the confidence to do it! x

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  10. I LOVED this post, Hayley! I remember encouraging you to start fashion blogging back in New York in 2016 because I loved your style so much and thought it was a shame not to share that. It’s been an utter joy watching you evolve and branch out, and I always love your outfits and seeing such cute pieces on someone I can relate to. Can’t wait to see what you do in 2018!

    Briony xox

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    1. Thanks so much Briony! And thank you for all your encouragement - lots of love x

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