Wednesday, 19 April 2017

You are not a diamond, you are not a shining star

"You are not a diamond, you are not a shining star

It doesn't mean that you're not perfect exactly as you are"

The first time I heard 'You are Not' by Young Guns, the lyrics really struck a chord with me. As someone who was bullied throughout most of high school, I've never had a huge amount of belief or confidence in myself, especially in my blog believe it or not. 

When I won the North East Blogger Award for 'Best Student Blog' in 2014, I was quick to tell my high school business teacher who had always supported me in my studies and been there for me when no one else really was. She was so lovely about it and nominated me for my school's enterprise award because of it, which I won during the leaver's assembly. I was genuinely happy to have won, especially since I knew my teacher had nominated me, but my happiness was soon turned to embarrassment as I went to collect my award. Having been bullied a lot during school, people in my year found it really funny that I wrote a blog and laughed and jeered as I went up to collect the trophy. I didn't even want to look up from the ground. 

Fast forward two and a half years and a girl who wouldn't even touch a piece of paper which belonged to me now follows my Instagram, people who spread rumours about me online and at school now want to meet up and tell me that they like my blog.

I'll have been blogging for three years come August, and I know that there are bloggers out there who've been blogging less time and have more 'success' in terms of followers and brand deals, which I let get me down for ages. In time, I've come to grow proud of my little corner of the internet, my social media following (which is definitely picking up this year) and, of course, the sponsored posts and collaborations which I have been lucky enough to do.

It's really only a year since I started focusing on fashion as my primary blog content, and only August since I did my first fashion collaboration with a brand but, since then, I've been so lucky to work with some incredible brands including Dahlia, which is a brand that I have loved for years and never thought I'd get to collaborate with.

My content may not always be perfect, and there are always posts which I know could be slightly better, my following may not be as huge as other blogger's but that doesn't mean I put any less effort or am any less happy with what I am doing. I may not be Zoella but, for the first time in a while, I feel like I'm doing pretty damn good at this whole blogging lark. 

This outfit was originally planned around this amazing polka dot dress, which was one of my freebies when I worked at the vintage kilo sale in Durham a few weeks ago. The shape of it is a 60s babydoll fit; it has a fitted bodice section with a more floaty skirt, which is oh so flattering. The polka dot print on it helps to add to the 60s vibe, I can imagine Audrey Hepburn wearing something similar. There is also a huge oversized bow on the chest, which is really cute and will be able to shine better once the weather warms up and I don't have to wear a jacket anymore. To keep myself slightly warmer in the colder weather, I threw on a white t-shirt under the dress. This is something I have seen a lot on Pinterest and Instagram and is a good way of styling similar dresses or cami tops.

Speaking of jackets, this denim jacket was another freebie from working at the vintage fair, and I have jumped on the customised denim bandwagon (slightly late, I know) and added a few sew on patches and pin badges to make it more unique. Patches can be picked up for about £1 on eBay so customising a jacket in this way is a really accessible way to be on trend, in fact, most of my patches were 10p in the sale at Accessorize! It was also cold and rainy when we shot these photos, so I had to throw on a hoodie underneath my denim jacket (I also had my leopard print coat on over the top when we weren't shooting), good old British weather, eh?

Obviously I wore fishnet tights, which are my favourites, although I am thinking about hitting up Primark's hosiery section to pick up some other styles of tights to allow me to change up my looks if I want to. The shoes are my beloved Office western-inspired boots, and I love how they look as well as the smaller block heel which they have, they are so flattering on the foot and comfortable to walk in all day.

The bag is my second addition to my basket bag collection and was from Beyond Retro. I love the shape of it as well as the fastening, it is so unusual and I love knowing that no one else will have the same bag as I do. It isn't as Mary Poppins-esque in size as my other one, but I can still fit all of the essentials in, including a tote bag, which is really useful for when I am out shopping.

Holly Olivia x

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