Monday, 30 January 2012

Ups and Downs

girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit girl next door fashion outfit


The last few days have been super crazy. As you all know, I left my job on Saturday and went home for the weekend. It was definitely a good idea to go home. I did nothing on Saturday afternoon and then in the evening went out with my parents. I spent all day yesterday filling in grad schemes applications and then came back and went to the cinema with my best friend. It was good to go home, but it's just a bit hard now to get back into things. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll also know that I had my first rejection email from one of the grad schemes I applied for today, which really got me down, but then I got through to the next stage with another, so fingers' crossed!


girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit

I've also almost finished choosing my placements for my summer in the States too! I've chosen 7 potential places but I'm just going to wait a few more days in case anything else comes up before submitting them. At the moment it could be a clothing store in New Hampshire, three gift stores in San Francisco, two front-desk jobs at hostels in different areas of Los Angeles or a barista in a Starbucks in Indianapolis! I'm excited.

girl next door fashion outfit

dress-asos
cardigan- H&M
fur stole- H&M
boots- xavi
hat- new look

girl next door fashion outfit


This outfit is loosely based on one of Annebeth's again!


 I definitely have a a grey cardigan somewhere but I have no idea where it is! Her dress is a little more winter appropriate and mine is quite summery- I wore this dress a lot over the summer! I added the fur stole for a bit of extra interest and the grey hat to keep it wintery. My photography is a bit off today- it was cold so I just wanted to get it out of the way!


girl next door fashion outfit


Okay well I'm gonna get back on the job hunt! Have a great evening!

Charlotte x

Saturday, 28 January 2012

On making a hard decision


I don't know what started it, but I've been having a really tough time over the last few weeks. Last night things really came to a head. It was 8pm. I'd left the house at 8.45am for my 9am class, and spent my entire day in the library until my dance class at 7. When I got home, a lot of stuff happened and I found myself on the phone to my mum crying for 2 hours. I just wanted to go home.
This morning I woke up, feeling a little better, but ended up stressed and crying again, desperate to come home. The only thing stopping me was the fact I had a shift at my bar job at 11pm. I knew it was too late to get my shift covered but I knew I had to come home.
I've been working at Joe's bar since my first year of university and I absolutely loved it in my first and second years. Since coming back from my year abroad, however, it's never felt the same. I don't know anybody and it's wrecks my weekend working til 4am on a Saturday and with dancing almost every night of the week, it's been too much. So this afternoon, I decided to hand in my notice.
It was a really hard decision to make. I've made so many friends there and it's been such a wonderful job, but at the moment I barely work anyway and I feel guilty about only being able to commit to working once every couple of weeks. It means I can't come home when I need to, or get up early on a Sunday for a good long day in the library. But I knew that it was making me miserable. I just couldn't balance it with my university work and my other commitments.
I'm scared of regretting my decision in a few weeks, but I know it was the right thing to do. I've been having a really hard time at university lately and everything has just felt too much. I hate to quit and felt like a failure in a lot of ways, but I know by quitting one thing I can concentrate on more important things in my life: my degree, my writing, my blog, my dancing and my friends.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can't do everything and be everyone you want to be.
I hope I've made the right decision.
I've now come back home, just until tomorrow, to spend my weekend with my parents and sorting out job applications and having a bit of a rest. I know it's what I need to do.
School is really kicking my ass right now and taking it all out of me, but I know I just need to stay strong and focused for a few more weeks and do the absolute best I can with my studying.
Thank you for all of you who sent me lovely messages of support on Twitter.
Change is scary, but sometimes it's what you need.

Weekend Remix: Red Zara Blazer

outfits clockwise from top left one/two/three/four

I actually have about a million other things I want to blog about today, but I've missed doing my weekend remix posts because they're really fun and I love seeing how one item can look so different in different outfits.This red blazer is one of my absolute favourite things in my wardrobe. My parents bought it for me when we were in New York and it was my first ever piece from Zara, starting my Zara addiction! 
As I mentioned a few days ago, I have started to wear red a lot more over the past few months and this is the perfect item to add to a simple outfit. I often wear it for a casual night out with a striped tshirt, black trousers and red heels.
I think my favourite outfit is the bottom left right, I wear that lace dress a lot and I love the combination of the girly dress and tailored blazer.
Which is your favourite outfit?

Friday, 27 January 2012

Shopping Ban: Week One


So, I announced my shopping ban last week so I thought I'd do a little update on a Friday (like Sian has done today!). The ban is going pretty well, regarding clothes shopping at least!
I went into town last Sunday and was looking for a new bag for uni (the one thing I am allowed to buy, according to my rules!) and was averting my eyes when I walked through to the accessories! I call that a success! All I bought was a new nail varnish from Boots which was £2 with a £5 off voucher and a new Seche Vite with my Boots points. As I stated though, non-clothes items are allowed!
The window shopping has failed a little bit though! I went on the Topshop website yesterday after asking Carrie where her adorable suit was from, and did find myself browsing ShopStyle the other day looking for Birthday presents for myself! I don't think avoiding "window shopping"- especially online!- is going to happen!
So all in all, I haven't been tempted and I haven't caved. Let's hope I'm still as strong next week!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

At It Again



girl next door fashion outfit

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girl next door fashion outfit

This morning, I was feeling really uninspired with my wardrobe. I felt like I'd made a bit of a rod for my own back with this post. I felt as though I'd backed my style into a corner a bit and tried so hard to define my "new" style that I felt as though I had lost touch with three-quarters of my wardrobe. I looked at my outfit list and nothing was jumping out at me. So I was drying my hair and reading my RSS reader on my phone when I stumbled across this outfit on Veronika's blog. Yep, I'm outfit stealing again.



It was absolutely perfect and I had to recreate it. It got me out of my slump and really inspired me. I just feel a bit guilty about completely stealing her outfit! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattering right? I am so crazy in love with this tartan shirt, and these jeans are amazing. They are the sister jeans of these ones. Someone asked last time if they are low waisted, well they aren't! I hate low-waisted jeans so these are perfect.



girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit


So today I had a meeting with my tutor about my ACS dissertation (I actually have two dissertations- one for English, one for American Studies (ACS)) and I'm having a bit of a freak out about it. I've been a little more relaxed with my work since Christmas and I know now that I really need to get on it, which means being in the library most days by 9am and staying til my dance classes at 7.


girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit

jeans- Topshop
jumper- Forever 21
leather jacket- Miss Selfridge
shirt- Motel (via ebay)
boots- New Look

girl next door fashion outfit

Anyway, because of this, I'm going to struggle to take photos as regularly for my blog over the next few months until both my dissertations are handed in at the end of April. I'm going to try to take photos on a Monday and Wednesday, and keep on with my remix posts on a Saturday and Week in Photos on a Sunday, but the fact is, I love outfit posts. They are my reason for blogging. But I want to be able to blog on the days that I can't take photos, so my question is, what do you want to see? I've been thinking about what I like, and what I don't like, to see on other peoples' blogs aside from outfit photos. I'm not a fan of "wishlist" posts, or "sneak peeks" of new collections. But I do like inspiration posts and tips posts, and occasionally links posts and "how to wear posts" (for example, one piece, three ways). I'm just not sure what I should do. I love writing "tips" posts, but I don't feel as though I know enough about anything to do tips, and furthermore I do a lot of posts like this for my articles on other websites. I sometimes like just 
writing and you guys have usually given me a good response to my posts where I feel that I'm just going on with myself! So, what would you guys want to read?

girl next door fashion outfit


So, I'd better get to bed. Our internet is being crazy-slow tonight and it's taken me almost two hours to upload these pictures! Don't forget to let me know what you want to see on my blog in the comments!

Have a lovely evening, guys!

Charlotte x

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Sponsor my blog for February!


Just a quickie to let you know that I am accepting sponsors for February! My blog has been growing so much over the last few months but my rates are still cheaper than a new lippie! If you want to promote your business, shop or even your blog, drop me an email at girlnextdoorfashion@gmail.com for my rates and stats!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Lock Up Yo Outfits


girl next door fashion outfit

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girl next door fashion outfit

I completely and utterly robbed this outfit from Annebeth. Seriously, lock up yo outfits. I will steal them:




I saw this outfit a few weeks ago and just thought, that is awesome. However, I just don't think I pull it off like Annebeth does. I just wasn't loving this outfit on me as much as on her. I think my tights are a bit obnoxiously bright! I also hated almost all of these photos which was so annoying when I came to edit them! Ah well. I love my tartan scarf anyway!

girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit

Sorry I've been MIA the last few days. I meant to do my Week in Photos yesterday but I ended up being crazy busy. I worked Saturday so I went to the library Sunday afternoon and then went to town. Don't worry, I am still on my shopping ban- I was just looking for a new bag for uni (I actually averted my eyes when I went through the clothes!), which I didn't find, but I did get a new nail polish and a new Seche Vite. Then I met my friend Steph and we went to Yo! Sushi. Mmmm. Such a good afternoon. Today I was back to work, of course! I can't believe school is nearly over though. I'm so done with it but I'm not ready to grow up yet!

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black dress- dorothy perkins
scarf- ASOS
leather jacket- Miss Selfridge
boots- New Look


girl next door fashion outfit

Have a lovely day guys!

Charlotte x

Friday, 20 January 2012

This is Not an Identity Crisis

I've spent the whole day today researching Bret Easton Ellis for my dissertation on American Psycho. I've read about a dozen interviews today so I thought my title should pay homage to that: the last words of American Psycho- This is Not an Exit. This post has nothing to do with American Psycho, just FYI. It's been something I've wanted to write about for a while but I hadn't figured out how to say it yet. This is kinda thinking out loud.

This morning I had a 9am class. I got up, dry shampoo-ed my hair and picked something to wear without much thought. I knew I'd be on campus all day and have no time to take pictures, and to be honest, my non-photo-day pictures are usually a bit boring (does this make me inauthentic as a blogger? Hmm). I grabbed a dress from my wardrobe, paired it with a jumper- which looked all wrong- and then just put on a cardigan and some coloured tights.
It was about 10am in my break from class that I looked in the mirror and realised "this is such a last-year-me" outfit.

I've talked before about my style evolution over the past few months, but it's always kind of felt like something a little intangible, something that I've found difficult to grapple with, in a sense that I've just found it very hard to define. I know my style is different, but I don't know how it is different. Today was the first time that I could really see how this outfit was much more last-year-me than it was current me. It's not that I don't like the outfit. It just seems to be an outfit that reflects much more of an earlier time in my life. And in a clearer and more constructed way, it involves my Modcloth dress which I very much associate with my year abroad- purely because I wore it on some pretty special occasions- my 21st Birthday and the trip I took with my now-ex boyfriend to Minneapolis, both of which were, and still are, memories I hold very dear.

But I know it's more than that. I know this is the kind of outfit that I would now see as a bit boring, but I can't put my finger on why. As I've said before, my "day-off" outfits are often a little boring. And by boring, I simply mean that when I'm not photographing an outfit, I tend to stem my creativity a bit (I hate coming up with a great outfit that I don't have time to photograph and then having to wear it again on a day when I haev time- it feels like I've "wasted" an outfit). My non-blogging days usually involve outfits based on jeans, simple dresses and cardigans. In many ways, blogging has ruined me a little bit in the fact that I don't dress up everyday, but more on my blogging days. Maybe this is something I can reflect on another time-I digress. I think what I mean is, the outfits I wear on non-blogging days now are outfits I would probably have worn on my blog last year, but now wouldn't consider them interesting enough to post on. I like to feel like I have put together something creative when I blog and I don't feel like my day off outfits are creative. But perhaps it is because while these combinations felt creative once, as far as my style is now, I feel as though they've been done. Belting a buttoned cardigan over a dress felt revolutionary this time last year, but I've done it so much since that it just seems the norm. Maybe it's like now, wearing a long-sleeved shirt under a dress or a blouse with a collar under a jumper feels fun and fresh, but maybe soon that will feel old too?

I guess I'm interesting in seeing how my style has changed, and whether that is a reflection of being hopelessly manipulated by magazines, or whether my style is simply maturing. It definitely feels more mature, but as I've said, I don't know how to express that. I feel I've moved away from floral dresses and knee socks (to an extent- I will not be swearing off floral dresses or knee socks!) and embraced tailored blazers instead of cardigans and button-ups with shorts instead of girly dresses. I wear jeans more now. I enjoy monochrome much more than I used to- in fact I have a new deep-seated love of neutrals. I feel in many ways my style has become more androgynous, but at the same time that doesn't feel like the right word. I feel last year I had a really clear idea about what my style was, and now I'm not sure. I don't have that set of adjectives any more, those defining pieces. My style is really in flux right now, but I'm really really okay with it. Not having these adjectives has really given me freedom to try what I want, whether it's "me" or not, because I don't know what "me" is. But despite that, I feel so myself in my style, whatever that is.

I feel like September was a real turning point. From going over my Outfit Favourites from last year, this seems to be where everything changes. Maybe it was a new year at school- my final year too- or the movement into the fall season, but my style defintiely had a lightbulb moment here.

I don't know what it is, but this outfit was a real game-changer for me-it was so unlike anything I'd worn before: sophisticated Zara trench (I never used to shop in Zara), old-faithful dress but with a beige jumper and such a neutral palette. Simularly, this one, which remains one of my all-time-favourite outfits. Such an unexpected pairing, but also so sophisticated and grown-up for me.

I've tried to go through my blog and find outfits that I absolutely would not wear now, but there aren't many outfits that I absolutely hate, or even many that I wouldn't wear now, but they aren't really outfits that I would pick out so much these days. Maybe it's coming to the end of my university degree, but I think my wardrobe is getting much more work-appropriate and "business casual".

Here are four of my biggest evolutions of the past few months:
girl next door fashion outfit

I have been so, so into button-ups lately. They're just so classy and pretty. I think this is definitely where my style has gotten quite mature. I think blouses can easily be made quite dressed-up for a work environment, and I love them layered under dresses. I have also been much more into separates lately- I'm much more likely to buy a pretty blouse now over a dress, and I tend to reach for a blouse and shorts as a go-to outfit.

girl next door fashion outfit

I have really expanded my blazer collection lately- mainly from Zara. I absolutely love them. They are an instant style updated for me, and a big change from my usual cardigans. I think this is one big change for me- from cardigans to blazers. Blazers seem like a much more mature option, and Zara's blazers are such a lovely fit and work appropriate.
girl next door fashion outfit

I talked about this a few days ago here, but I have really gotten into wearing jeans and pants. I can't believe how many pairs I own now! While these examples are mainly quite casual, I really enjoy the challenge of making jeans look more dressed up. I will definitely be wearing more jeans on my blog!

girl next door fashion outfit


It's funny how many people have commented on the amount of red I wear, because until last year, I never touched red. I doubt many of you have been reading my blog long enough to remember my pink hair, but I had pink in my hair for 4 years until last Christmas! I used to avoid red because it clashed with my hair, but now with my hair being black and blonde, I find red goes really well with it. I find myself going for red so much now when I pick my clothes.

It's really exciting to see how my style has evolved over the last few months! I can't wait to see what I'm wearing in another year's time!

Charlotte x

PS. I'm guest posting over at Kirstin's blog today about following your dreams! Check it out!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

On Not Getting What You Want


In life, you often don't get exactly what you want. Sometimes what you want changes. Sometimes you get something better. Often, you get something completely different in a million ways.
When faced with not getting what you want, or getting something that you didn't want at all, we have to hope that we got instead what we need. It's amazing how often we look back on an experience when we didn't get exactly what we wanted, and are glad that we no longer want that thing. But instead, we had an experience which we would never have had otherwise.
Today would have been mine and Erick's one year anniversary.
It's hard not to feel sad about what could have been. It's hard not to think about the night he asked me to be his girlfriend. It's hard not to think about our whole relationship together. And the break up.
But I have to step away from that and think about what I got instead. I didn't get the boy that I loved. I didn't get the happily ever after. I didn't have my whole future in front of me with the man I thought I was going to marry.
But I also didn't have to carry on with a long distance relationship. I don't have the constant worry of wondering when I was going to see my boyfriend next. I don't have to feel lonely on our anniversary- my first anniversary with anyone- knowing that instead of dinner and presents, all we have would be a skype voice chat. I don't have to spend Valentines day knowing my boyfriend is 5000 miles away. I don't have to worry about how I am going to find a job and a visa in America, or whether he would move here for me.
It's not easy to think like this, but sometimes you have to. Erick and I broke up for a reason, and that was because we were from different countries, living 5000 miles away, and that we both wanted to do lots of different things with our lives and didn't want to be tied down. And I know it was the right thing to do, even if it wasn't what I wanted at the time.
Even now, I wonder about things being different. But I know I got what I needed, if it it wasn't what I wanted. I got the freedom to apply for jobs all over the country, the freedom to take a 3-month-long position working in the States this summer which could be anywhere in America, I got the focus to really work at my degree without being distracted by the stress of a long distance relationship.
I didn't want to crash my car last year, but maybe it saved me from a much bigger and more destructive accident. I didn't want my Grandad to die, but he didn't want to be in pain any more and we didn't want him to suffer. I didn't want to have to be looking for a job during the recession, but maybe it will help me to prove that I'll do whatever it takes to achieve my dreams, or maybe I'll find myself doing something completely different from what I had ever imagine.
Sometimes we just have to learn from these experiences, and take what we get, and not wonder what we could have had. I'm sure I'll be inundated with rejections when I start applying for jobs, but hopefully I'll get what I need.

edit: I wrote this post a few days ago, and I got up today and thought, today is going to suck. And then I decided no, I have a choice in this. Today is only going to suck if I let it suck. I'm going to push the date and the day out of my head and try to do the best I can with it. Because maybe that's the difference between life being good and life sucking. Accepting what we did get, letting go of what we didn't and moving on with our life. Because what other choice do we have? I could spend today calling my parents and being sad about everything that I felt I lost, but would it not be more productive for me to spend my day trying to live in the present and doing what I can with what I got instead? No-one gets exactly what they want, but maybe the happiest people are those that accept that.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Leather, Tweed and a Shopping Ban


girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit

So, I don't watch Made In Chelsea, or anything like that, but I was reading my housemate's Company magazine yesterday and saw this outfit that Millie was wearing and instantly wanted to recreate it:
   
girl next door fashion outfit

I would never have thought to pair leather shorts with my tweed blazer, so I loved the unexpected inspiration. However, I had a bit of shoe drama this morning. I really wanted to wear my knee-high leather boots with this outfit, but I wasn't sure if it was too much leather. I kinda wish I'd been brave and tried it now- I think the smartness of the upper part of the outfit would have balanced out the potential looking-like-a-hookerness of the boots and shorts combo.

girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit

girl next door fashion outfit girl next door fashion outfit

So I was reading Sian's blog yesterday, and she's decided to do a shopping ban and I'm going to join in. I've been thinking about it for a while, and I'm excited to have some support! I have to get saving as, I can officially announce that I am going to be spending my summer working in America! I know I kinda unsubtlely let on last week that I'd been accepted, but I had my acceptance letter yesterday I can properly announce it! Anywhere! My rules are gonna be a little different from Sian's. Here are the rules of my shopping ban.

1. The shopping ban will include all clothes, shoes and accessories
Except potentially a new bag for uni, as mine broke last semester and I really need a new one! I am however, allowed to shop for beauty and hair products as I feel no shopping at all might kill me!
2. The ban will last until 1st March
My birthday is in March so it's a good time to end the ban. Also, I have so much winter stuff I still want to wear, and I think by March I will want to start building my S/S 12 wardrobe.
3. No window shopping
This is one of Sian's rules that I'm adopting- no going to shops and looking at clothes and definitely no going onto websites and looking at what they have!
4. Exceptions!
The ban from shopping does not involve gifts, which includes gifts bought for me by family/friends or any products gifted to me by companies which I work with on my blog. It also doesn't include anything bought with a gift card/voucher.

I'm dreading the next month without shopping but I know I need to save up for America- and I definitely don't need any more clothes! Wish me luck!
 
girl next door fashion outfit

white shirt- Dorothy Perkins
tweed blazer- Primark
leather shorts- c/o Very.co.uk
boots- New Look

girl next door fashion outfit

The last few days were a bit rubbish after all the stress of handing in my essays I just felt a bit lost, but I had a dissertation meeting today and I well and truly have the fear back again now!
I won't have any outfit posts over the next few days but I have a few other posts coming up. I've got a few days of early meetings and classes so I'm not going to have a chance to take photos. I promise you won't be missing out- my day-off outfits are super-boring!

Have a lovely evening, guys!

Charlotte x