Friday, 8 February 2013

You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile...

'Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known' - Chuck Palahniuk

It's not like me to start a post with a quote, but then again this post does have a different style in whole to my usual content.

The photos I feature on this post (to prevent it from looking like an essay!) are some of my favourite black dresses...I tried to style them as little as possible, just to show - it's you who makes the outfit!

I've become aware over the last few weeks of waves in the tide-pool of blogging, and have read numerous posts on various blogs about the cons of blogging, the effort, the invasion, the narcissism of it all.
So I thought I would throw my two pence into the fountain!

To begin with, I feel I should tell you that this little blog of mine is something I am equally proud of and embarrassed by. In some social situations, I have wanted to crack open the floorboards under my feet and crawl away, rather than answer polite questions about my blog!

My favourite Little Black Dress - a vintage number from Beyond Retro that fits like a glove!

It's hard to explain why I stand in front of doorways or shabby walls for outfit photos to some people. I often find myself biting my tongue, holding back from asking a friend to snap me in my tea dress - I mean, would they 'get it'?

That being said, I am proud of the effort and work that goes into this blog. I am so pleased with its minute success, and so happy to continually share parts of my life with so many wonderful, like-minded readers and fellow bloggers. It's a pleasure - honestly!

A sparkly little number from my Uni days. I bought this whilst I worked at Topshop, and would wear it with these Doc Marten brogue boots (which I rarely wear now, but love too much to lose!)

What I don't like, as I have always stated (quoting from my lookbook account now!) is when personal style comes with a 'better-than-thou' attitude.

I'd be the first to tell you I'm not doing anything ground-breaking here. But if my posts cheer up someones afternoon, makes them want to try wearing mustard (lets face it - I've been wearing this colour A LOT lately!) or if you decided to emulate a particular outfit of mine...Then I would be incredibly touched and flattered.

One of the toughest elements of blogging is knowing when to draw the line on the 'personal'. When Josh's niece Ava-Lily was born, I didn't know if it was appropriate for me to share that. However in truth I chose to (and to continue to) as she and her brother bring me so much joy! Something that surely has to be celebrated.

A sweet and feminine polka dot beauty from H&M. This was a bargain, and I love it's versatility from night to day.

I have some friends who don't wish to feature, and a boyfriend who so graciously not only regularly contributes with his photography skills, but doesn't bat an eye when I post pictures of him too.
It's about finding a balance I suppose. 

As one of the articles I read recently stated, you can end up living behind a camera. Constantly taking photos of your experiences and perhaps not experiencing them properly. This was another reason (as well as moving home!) for my short break last year.

A vintage 1970's dress I found on eBay - it's quite dramatic! 

I have only ever wanted this blog to be honest. But truthfully... I don't dress like this all the time. 80% of my week is spent in a work uniform or pyjamas (collapsed in bed with my laptop/crocheting/book!) I chose to dress a bit more flamboyantly my days off, and really appreciate the opportunity to be creative.

I want to end on another quote, one that a friend said this week that really resonated with me.
Upon complimenting him on his choice of (dark blue and bottle green tartan) trousers, he smiled, said 

'Thanks...They make me feel good'

And in five short words and a smile...He described exactly how I feel about style.

I hope you feel good too.

Love Yours Truly, x


  1. I'm in love with all of your dresses - thank you for this thoughtful post. :)

  2. So inspiring, this post! I also don't quite know where to draw the line sometimes, but if in doubt I'm not sharing it actually...
    You look stunning in your black dresses!


  3. Wow! You look absolutely gorgeous! :)

  4. This is a great post! I return to your blog because you inspire me, you are totally adorable and the blog never feels pretentious, shallow or "better than thou", no worries! I really like reading blogs that features outfits, and I would love to incorporate that in my own but I always feel really self-conscious and then I get "performance anxiety" when I try, so that you dare doing it is great, hats of for that. Keep up the good work! :)

  5. Great post, very wise words. Some clothes make us feel good and there is absolutely nothing embarassing about it!
    You look like Judy Garland in the last picture, simply stunning! :)

  6. these are all so beautiful! i adore the scalloped dress in the first photo and then the chiffon-y one in the middle
    kw, Ladies in Navy

  7. What a wonderful post!! I feel exactly the same! I love blogging but I am also get a bit embarrassed by it too! I want to be a little more confident in asking friends to just snap a picture or two of me for my blog but I always feel a little silly as they might find it slightly vain or like you said don't "get it!"

    I am grateful for my boyfriend who is so gracious and supportive of my blog and pretty snappy with the camera! This was a really great post! I also agree, style makes me feel good and boosts what confidence I actually have!

    You look absolutely stunning in your dresses, especially the first!

    Aimée x

  8. I love this post! So thoughtful and you have basically summed it up. Following our own conversation last week I chatted to Craig a bit more about it and after listing all the reasons why I continue with my blog he very rightly and simply added 'and you love it and it makes you happy!' I also spend the majority of my time in my Pj's too, there's nowt wrong with that, it just makes the days you do dress up all the more fun and creative. :-D xxx

  9. Same here - I get so embarrassed asking friends/family to take my pic, but as you say I'm not looking to tell people what or how to wear things, but just saying I've worn it like this, what do you think?

    I think all of those dresses are lovely, but my favourite is the Beyond Retro one - it's stunning!

  10. Great post, and that 1970s dress is stunning! Until very recently, I didn't even tell an awful lot of people about my blog, much less ask them to take photos for me. I'm over the first now but working on the second. I've found in the past when I have been lucky enough to have people take photos for me that it makes it a more fun experience for both photographer and subject.

  11. I completely agree with all your thoughts on blogging and style! I love looking at style blogs and sharing my own because I like getting ideas/inspiration from other real girls (rather than models/celebrities) and I love little peeks into other people's lives. Clothes are FUN and blogging and sharing is FUN! I know it looks weird and narcissistic to people who don't "get it", but I like contributing a body type and personality type like mine, which is different from the mainstream options we're presented with daily. I think there's value in that.

    Anyway, I think you always come across as so cheerful and lovely and I LOVE your style! I'll happily read your blog for years to come! :)

    xo Michelle

  12. Wow- what an incredible post, I really can relate to your words, blogging is so unique to the individual and I think sometimes we can forget that. That vintage number oozes glamour, very Hollywood starlet xxx

  13. My husband always asks me "why is that you have the need to show yourself to the world?", and I don't feel like I'm showing to the world, well, I don't feel it that way, I don't do it for people to tell me how good/bad I look/dress/etc., I do it, mostly because all my friends and family are far away from me, and it's a way to connect, to make them participants in my life, and second is just what you said, if I can make someone happy or inspire them, I'm happy too!
    And of course I respect his decision of not appearing on it ^^

    I love your blog, I always read it although I don't always comment, but I enjoy it very much!!

  14. Great post.

    That first dress is truly divine!


  15. All the dresses are lovely but oh my goodness, that first one is STUNNING on you!

  16. The first one is striking, elegant, classy! I love the 50's feel... but you look tremendously sultry in the 2nd one, such cool combo, a discosound-inspired sequined glittery dress paired with Docs... gotta love that! The 3d is also very appealing, I love that dress.

  17. I love your take on this. It definitely is an odd thing to explain. My husband didn't get it at all when I first told him I was going to start a blog, or when I started reading fashion blogs. He asked "so you look at pictures people take of themselves and post on the Internet, and then you post pictures of yourself on the Internet for people to look at?" Um...yes? He was obviously supportive of anything I wanted to do, but just didn't "get" it. But when he read my blog, he started to understand a bit more. I think it's, to some extent, something you either get or you don't. But in a way, that's what's so nice about the blogging community -- for the most part, the same people who read fashion blogs are the ones who get it. Some might call that an isolated and insular community, but *I* call it a happy complete circle of positivity!

    Oh and by the way, I love all of these black dresses, but that first one, especially, is utterly amazing.


  18. The first and the second dresses are my favourite. They are SO nice. And, on blogging, I totally agree. It's so much fun, but it sometimes feels weird talking to people about it in real life! xx

  19. This is a really fantastic post. I feel exactly the same- I just wear what I like and if other people like it too, great!

    By the way, that first dress is absolutely stunning!


  20. absolutely stunning outfits!
    You have a great style.

    XO Arezu

  21. I absolutely love this post, and it's exactly how I feel about my blog- which seems crazy as yours is one of my favourites (I may have sighed A LOT after seeing that top dress is vintage- I should have guessed)! I am always completely inspired by your outfits (and have become far more interested in watching Wes Anderson films since) and am tempted to dip my toes into the mustard-waters! Here's to lots more Yours Truly loveliness! xxx

  22. This is such a lovely post! I've been reading your blog for a while and even though I don't know you, you always came across as the sweetest person and with this post you only proven my thoughts right!
    I've deleted my first/old blog (fairy fay) for numerous reasons but one being that I'm too shy to ask people to take a photo of me, to be too personal and also to feel like someone will always consider that when I get inspired by someone or something I'm actually copying them.
    More of what you said is basically the reason I decided to try again! Instead of worrying about having a nice blog or what would people think all I actually care is to share what makes me happy and if I want to write a massive outflow essay just because I need it I will.
    Your blog always made me smile but now it also gave me comfort and hope! (: xxx

  23. Your blog is so inspiring. Not only are the photos lovely, but the writing is touching. I just started blogging this month and I also have a feeling of embarrassment about doing so. As someone over 50, I decided I wanted to document styles I wore. I think your blog will be a cherished part of your life's story. Thanks for sharing your beauty and talent.

  24. What a lovely post! I love all your outfits here, especially the first! It is amazing! xx

  25. My thoughts exactly!! Your constant and very lovely smile through every post just goes to show just how good style really does make you feel :) Thank you for being so honest.
    P.S. That first number is such a gem, great find!

  26. Bellaaaaa! Sei molto bella!
    You look great with these clothes!!!
    I do not know which one to choose...they are wonderful!

    Un bacio Babysan ^_^

  27. Really interesting post. I think blogging is just a fun creative outlet that it's probably best not to over-analyse, but it's quite interesting/surreal to look at some of the sites that give people advice on creating a really professional site that attracts loads of brand interest and gets them free stuff. This seems to be cropping up more and more and it does seem like the blogging bubble might burst in terms of how much brands are willing to budget to work with bloggers. All interesting stuff!
    Great dresses by the way, especially the slightly Edwardian looking one. You have great style.

  28. I love the neckline on that first dress especially, what a find!

  29. Great post. This is all so very true! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

  30. I think blogging is going through some serious growing pains at the moment. I like how thoughtful you are about your contribution to the blogosphere. If it makes you happy, keep at it! You're lucky to have a supportive partner as well. I couldn't possibly manage my posts and photos and whatnot without some help from my husband! I've had a few people be super-rude about what I do, but oh well. They're not why I do it!

    Love your black dress collection. You've got some good ones!

  31. Thank you for being so honest. It was so very interesting to read your thoughts. And I feel almost the same. I'm proud of my blog and have a lot of fun with it and it makes me happy to share my creativity and my finds. But at the same time I'm a little embarrassed and only three persons that I really know and trust know about my blog. I don't want my friends to think that I'm full of myself or find myself so beautiful that I want the world to look at me. That's really not my intention. But it's a lot of fun to be in contact with other bloggers that have the same interests and I'm happy to talk to people from all over the world, let them be from New Zealand, the USA or the UK. And last not least I get a lot of inspiration from the other bloggers. So thank you again for your thoughts and have a nice time!

  32. Thank you for this post :)
    My blog is very small, and perhaps it will stay that way. I've always feared that I'd be less inclined to share the more personal things if my blog were to gain any sort of notoriety. Which I suppose is silly. That's what attracts me to blogs, the fact that yes, while some have themes like fashion, or cooking, there's an individual with a life behind it, willing to share part of themselves with you. I think the important thing, for me at least, is to blog for yourself. To remember why you started, and as you grow to continue with that in mind.

    Also, those dresses are MARVELOUS!

  33. I love this post and totally agree with you. as a budding blogger, i don't share my blog with most people I know IRL just because, as you said, i'm not entirely sure they will "get it." i even get self conscious when I talk to the few people I HAVE shared it with, just because it seems so silly. but I love my blog and, as you said, part of the reason I started it was because I got tired of living behind my camera and wanted to have some of my memories documented somewhere. it's not about the audience or feeling smug about myself, it's more about having a place to keep a catalogue of my youth, my thoughts, my ideas...and that other people choose to participate in that is just an added bonus.

    I love that 70's floor-length number, it manages to look very modern while still having that quintessential 70's shape. Love.
    (BTW: that Chuck Pahluniak quite is one of my favs)


  34. So beautiful and elegant dresses :)

  35. Beautiful dresses and a beautiful post. :)

  36. What a great post. I really understand your motives and doubts about the whole 'living behind the camera' problem and sharing a lot of things with mostly anonymous crowd all the time. But I'm so glad you keep doing this because my faith in humanity and the fact that there are genuinely beautiful people out there doing these things not to make money out of it but because they enjoy it is renewed constantly.

    And I adore your outfits, they give me courage to try new things with my look! Have a great Sunday <3 xxx

  37. I totally agree with you and do feel the same way. The opening quote is the perfect sum-up of myself as well.
    I absolutely love all the dresses, especially the maxidress - it's so gorgeous and elegant! And you inspire me a LOT, I love your vintage outfits and your red hair x
    PS, you're incredibly lucky to be living in Brighton, it is my favourite place in the UK, I love the seaside and the town more than words can describe!

    Reeli @

  38. I love your black dresses, especially the first on! It reminds me of an Audrey Hepburn dress. And I think your blog is lovely and that you should definitely continue to be yourself and share what you'd like to share. That's what makes it unique and fun.

  39. Funnily enough I scheduled a little rant about blogging for tomorrow on my blog. Take a look if you have the time and let me know your thoughts, some of my 'complaints' are similar, funnily enough.
    I never really understood the holier than thou attitude you mention - no one likes a b*tch isn't it? I try and stay away from that type of thing. I also think that those attitudes come from insecure and immature people and frankly tend to see it more on younger bloggers. One can only hope they will grow up one day!
    Your dress collection is lovely and I have that same polkadot one but I styled it in a totally different way:

  40. You have serious style, the first and last dresses are stunning, gorgeous girl

    A little bit Unique


    Oh and I'm running a giveaway, if you want to pop over and have a nosey! Giveaway here

  41. What an absolutely fantastic post. So well put. Bravo!

    1. I just followed Laneway_Esme's tweet here and totally agree. A post that perfectly illustrates the fine balance between creative project and knowing that we're not awarding ourselves Nobel prizes. I have fun on instagram but was slightly mortified when earlier tonight, upon meeting my boyfriend's colleague he exclaimed, "I feel like I already know you because I follow you on instagram and saw that you were wearing a belted blazer in the elevator today and I didn't know what a "blazer" was". Lovely chap but whoa for embarrassing!

  42. Love that first dress and I totally agree with you. Talking about having a style blog can be embarrassing. I am proud of my blog too even though it isn't that successful, it has brought me a lot of great friends. I love your blog and hope you keep inspiring me and others!

  43. Thanks for the heartfelt and beautiful post. I'm a blog reader myself; I don't comment, but I really enjoy the browsing. Lately, I've really been wondering why I enjoy looking at fashion and personal blogs. Sometimes it feels awkward and voyeuristic, but it's inspirational as well. The posts of your adventures (and outfits) are inspiring and make me think about what I could do to get out of my comfort zone, if only a wee bit. So thanks for sharing! I hope you do it as long as it makes you happy!

  44. what a beautiful and true post. xx

  45. What a beautiful blog Kerry. I absolutely love reading all about your style and adventures. As you know im a busy mum who has very little time for myself and seeing your lovely pictures really makes my day. I even treated myself to a black polka dot dress the other day inspired by one of your previous pictures. Thank you for all that you do and I look forward to the next installment. x

  46. I tend to be a lurker here on your blog, not commenting, but I wanted to weigh in this time: I am constantly inspired by both your blog and your presence on Instagram. Not by your style alone--which is lovely--but also by the personal courage you display by wearing what you love. Thank you for sharing your beautiful courage with all of us!
    (Also, you make this Yank yearn to visit England soon...!)

  47. I think your style is amazing

  48. that first dress is possibly THE most beautiful thing i have ever seen! holy WOW! you look absolutely stunning in it as well, i am so so jealous! x

  49. The whole time I was reading this it was like, "Is she reading my mind?" As a personal style blogger too, I feel you've hit everything on the head perfectly. Thanks for writing this.

    Also, all the dresses, but most especially the first one, are great.

  50. that first dress looks so gorgeous! you look absolutely stunning! :D just discovered your blog and I love it, gained a new follow from me :D xx

  51. This is such a great post! I know that I always feel a bit awkward around people who might not "get" fashion blogging, who think that it's just self-centered or narcissistic or useless, especially because a lot of times it feels like I don't have a really good reason for it other than... it makes me happy.
    But then if I think about it, I realize that fashion blogging is much more than showing off, or being narcissistic-- my blog is my diary. It's to share with friends, to make new friends, to inspire others, to discover inspiration, and to diary my life because I know some day I'll want to look back and maybe my kids will too, to see what life was like when I was young. (What I wouldn't give to see the fashion diaries and lives of my grandmothers when they were my age!)
    And of course I get pleasure from compliments, but I blog for so many reasons other than to show off! (I mean... I don't blog to show off at all.)

    Anyway. I LOVE all of your black dresses, especially that first one! You are so gorgeous and sweet!

  52. The first vintage dress is just STUNNING x

  53. I adore the first dress!! REally adore it. I like your texts on post, you are so creative :).

    I m so happy cus I discovered your blog.