Sexual harassment: how it has changed me

sexual harassmentSexual harassment: How it has changed me

From a young age I’ve had ‘large breasts’; they were there, they were big and they got noticed. My high school years were plagued with comments about them, and how I should show them off more. This kind of attention was mainly from my peers, but it also came from older men. Men in a position of authority. Men who were preying on a young girl. At the time I didn’t think much of it, but looking back on it now, it was clearly sexual harassment. It’s even more infuriating when I think about how it has changed me as a person.

Sexual harassment has changed me

I rarely wear low cut or tight fitting tops, instead I cover up with oversized clothing. And when I do wear them, I feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. Friends, family and even random men have told me that I should ‘be happy that [I] have big breasts’. Because apparently having smaller breasts would make me somehow less satisfied with my life?

A few years ago I was openly groped in a public area. A man came up to me in the middle of the street, grabbed my breasts and squeezed them. When I shouted at him, he laughed in my face and walked off. The people around me who saw the incident did nothing. They said nothing. Last year I was sexually assaulted, again in a public place, but this time it was much worse. And again, no one helped me. Not even the authority figure I went to in my time of need. I felt helpless.

Where do we go from here?

I want some good to come from what has happened. I don’t want to change how I dress or act because of what has happened to me. I want to fight for what is right, and stand beside those who need our support.

I don’t care if someone wants to wear a low cut top and a mini skirt, or chooses to cover up entirely – wear whatever makes you happy and comfortable. Women should be able to dress and act how they like without the fear of sexual harassment. I’m tired of women being objectified. I’m tired of how society deals with sexual harassment. It’s time for change!

There is so much more I could say on this topic alone, but maybe that is better left for another time and another place.
Please do feel free to share your personal stories and views on the topic in the comments though.

Where to Shop in Amsterdam – A Travel Guide

shop in amsterdamWhere to Shop in Amsterdam – A Travel Guide

We all have our own aesthetic, from the clothing we wear, to how we decorate our homes. Of course this influences where we shop too. I prefer independent boutiques with a minimalist lean, but it can be tough finding them even in London. And when I go away on holiday it’s no different. So I do my research. I look for the kind of stores I want to shop in, and the souvenirs I want to bring home. With this and my recent trip holiday in mind, I decided to do a ‘where to shop in Amsterdam’ guide. From style, to homeware, art, beauty and stationary, let me help you discover…

Where to Shop in Amsterdam

X BANK | map
X Bank is a boutique for emerging and established talent in Dutch art, fashion and design. The store itself is housed within the W Hotel in central Amsterdam, and is a work of art within itself. No seriously, it looks like a gallery. But don’t be afraid to touch or try on the clothes and accessories as the staff are friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful.

Tenue de Nîmes | map
Wanna shop where all the cool kids shop? Tenue de Nîmes it is. They may be known for their vast selection of Japanese and American denim, but there’s a lot more to TDN. Founded on the basic principles of quality, function and simplicity, the stores (plural) stock brands such as Acne, A.P.C, Edwin, Japan Blue, Le Bonnet, and Momotaro amongst others.

Anna & Nina | map
Filled to the brim with trinkets galore, Anna & Nina’s stores are a must-visit for any colourful, fun interior/style fanatic. Colour coordinated homeware lines the shelves alongside Scandinavian fashion brands such as Ganni.

Hutspot | map
If you’re a fan of minimalist interiors and Scandinavian fashion, then it’s highly likely you’ve come across Hutspot. Perhaps you’ve seen them on Instagram, or you’ve passed by one of their numerous stores in Amsterdam. Hutspot is the place to pick up an über cool souvenir.

De Bijenkorf | map
Clothes, stationary, homeware, beauty…you name it, De Bijenkorf has it. You’ll only find the best of the best here, which is why the department store is so well known for it’s designer brands. Located over 4 floors, you can easily spend a lot of time – and money – here.

Comme des Garçons Pocket | map
One of my personal favourites is this little gem. Comme des Garçon Pocket may be small, but it sure packs a punch. The store is minimal to say the least, as it only sells clothing and accessories from the limited CDG Play line. And yes, they have those Converse.

&Klevering | map
Last but definitely not least, is &Klevering. This Dutch store knows their homeware brands like the back of their hand. That’s not to say they only carry Dutch brands though; you’ll find Japanese favourites such as Kinto alongside Scandi must-haves like HAY (and much more).

I hope you enjoyed my Where to Shop in Amsterdam guide.
Whilst you’re here, why not check out my other Amsterdam travel guides too.

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The Line Drawing Trend | Style & Interior

line drawing

The end of 2017 saw line drawing become popular in a big way. It started with art prints, but quickly moved onto shirts, jewellery and more. From there the style slowly began to infiltrate the world of Instagram, as all the greats have done. Before we knew it, Instagrammers alike were sporting those Mango earrings – which I love by the way – whilst simultaneously illustrating their Stories with chic line drawings. And we all know that once something has made it big on Instagram, we’ll be damned if we can’t turn it into a mainstream trend.

Drawing the line…

Joking aside, line drawing has quickly become a trend with creative folks and the mainstream alike. It’s simplicity fits in perfectly with the minimalist crowd, whilst also appealing to something bolder. It’s no surprise that such a versatile trend has made it big in both the fashion and interior design industries.

I myself have fallen for it numerous time, as is made evident by my Christmas and birthday wishlists. In fact I love it so much that I decided to write a whole blog post on it. I even plan to spread the love further by showing you how you can bring a piece of the trend to your wardrobe, and or home.

Add a bit of line drawing to your life

I’ve chosen some of my favourite pieces by independent stores, artists and brands below, for both the home and your personal style.

Style

Home interior

See, it really is quite easy to bring a little bit of line drawing into your life. Perhaps it’s a one-off sweater, or maybe you’re more of a quirky vase kinda person. Whatever takes your fancy, you can be sure that you’ll be on-trend and looking pretty damn stylish whilst you do it.

Whilst you’re here, why not check out more of my home and style posts.
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The Christmas Hygge Gift Guide

Hygge Gift GuideI’m all about that hygge lifestyle. Whereas the trend may have died down in the UK, I’ve continued to adopt the concept. I believe in the art of slow living, and I’m always trying to bring a little bit of it into my home and life. I also know that a lot of my readers have a similar outlook. So for my second instalment in my Christmas gift guide series I decided to go with something a little different. Here is ‘The Hygge Gift Guide’, and it’s jam packed full of awesome products to bring some warmth, cosiness and comfort into your Christmas.

The Hygge Gift Guide

It wasn’t easy breaking such an intricate concept into three categories, but I don’t think I did too bad a job, right? A cosy home is the perfect place to start, shortly followed by plenty of comforting food & drink. And last but certainly not least, some lifestyle items to keep you going in and outside of the house. As always, I have placed an emphasis on quality items from a selection of independent stores and makers, as well as some well-known brand names. With this gift guide, you’re bound to impress any hygge fan.

If you enjoyed The Hygge Gift Guide, check out the rest of my Christmas Gift Guide series.

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Why you should be independent shopping this Christmas

independent shopping

Why independent shopping?

Independent shopping has become a hot topic, and with chains littering the high street it’s easy to see why. I for one am tired of poor quality mass produced items. And as more independent stores open across the country, it would seem that a lot of other people are too. My own hometown, Norwich, has seen a rise in independent stores and cafes, and they are thriving. But why? Well there are a lot of great reasons why you should be independent shopping:

  • Quality products
  • Unique gifts with a story
  • Support your local shops
  • Help someone do something they love

Where should I shop?

Well that’s entirely up to you. You may have some great local businesses and stores nearby. But if you don’t, or you just fancy checking out somewhere new, I have a few recommendations for you:

  • Trouva
    • This is the place for independent shopping. With boutiques across the UK you can shop from the comfort of your own home – or office desk etc – to find the perfect item for you and your loved ones. My current favourite is: Blabar
  • Stranger London
    • This one is for those who want a little bit of magic into their life, and homes. Run by my friend Yasumi, she focuses on unique pieces that scream adventure & personal wellbeing. The store boasts handmade pieces with nods to Japan, UK and Scandinavia. I’m a personal fan of her thread sketches.
  • Weathered Penny
    • If you’re into jewellery, this is the store for you. Their pieces come in a variety of contemporary styles, and they won’t break the bank. I love the hand earrings.
  • Triangle
    • Their choice of products is well thought out; they’re simple, functional and let’s be honest, aesthetically pleasing.
  • Aida
    • This is one of my favourite local stores for fashion, and not only because they have their own cafe on the shop floor. They carry a range of quality brands such as Rains, Veja, and Mads Nørgaard.
  • Botany
    • For the plant lovers and homeware addicts out there. I often stop by Botany’s store to browse their selection of plants. And I love that they offer workshops for those who really want to get hands-on.

 

Keep an eye out for my Christmas gift guides, coming soon!

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Images are courtesy of Trouva, however all views, suggestions and words are my own.

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Has London Made Me A Brutalist ? | Style

brutalistTop: Zara | Culottes: Warehouse* | Bag: A.P.C. | Earrings: COS | Watch: Paulin Watches

Being English often comes with the stereotype of being super polite, and not always saying what you mean. For a lot of people – including myself – this is pretty accurate. Of course this is also accompanied by the habit of saying ‘sorry’ to inanimate objects, or anyone who bumps into you. As well as an extremely great sense of humour, I’d like to add. So you know, it has it’s up and downs.

But living in London is another thing entirely. You see, us Londoners apparently have a whole other stereotype attached to us, and it ain’t a nice one. In fact I often wonder if London has made a bit of a brutalist over the last few years. 

London Life & Becoming A Brutalist

Living in Japan was pretty easy for me – a society full of etiquette and strong manners, most of which are similar to English ones. But even in my short time there I picked up a few new habits. Little things like gestures, and words that explain things you can’t express in English. So if I was able to pick these up in such a short amount of time, it seems only logical that I have picked up some new traits since moving to London 5 years ago.

Everyone tells you that you’ll change once you move to London. The general consensus outside of the big smoke is that Londoner’s are rude people who only look out for themselves. Personally I don’t think this is true. I do think you have to have a harder shell here (commuting is a bitch). And even though I can’t just start up a conversation with the stranger sat next to me on the bus, my life is full of friendly, kind, and generally awesome people. All of us Londoners.

So maybe it’s true to a certain extent, but at the end of the day I don’t think I’ve lost myself. Because truth be told my personality is still about 50% English, 50% Londoner…and 10% awkward weirdo.

Check out my previous style posts here
Photos of me are by Van Anh Le Thi

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Girl Power Doesn’t Come with a Price Tag | Style

Girl PowerTop: Zara | Culottes: Zara | Necklace: Crux | Earrings: COS | Sneakers: Adidas Superstar

I’ve been wanting to write a post about fashion and feminism for the longest time. But every time I put pen to paper – or fingers to keys in my case – I find myself with writers block. See, I’ve got all these ideas and opinions going around in my head, but I just can’t seem to write them down. Well, in an articulate way. Somehow I don’t think ‘feminism is good, innit’ really gets my point across.

Girl Power Doesn’t Come with A Price Tag

You see I have such conflicting views about the fashion industry and feminism. Let’s be realistic, the fashion industry is still pretty behind (read: archaic) when it comes to equality. But at the same time, fashion helps empower people everyday. And of course there are some really awesome designers out there fighting for equality in different ways. Shout-out to Chitose Abe, The Reformation and Sharmila Nair – and that’s only naming a few.

Then there’s the controversy behind Dior’s recent Summer 2017 collection. Should we all be wearing t-shirts that declare just how proud we are to be a feminist? Sure, why not, there’s no harm in it either way. But girl power shouldn’t come with a price tag. And if it does, it should certainly be for a higher cause. Or bluntly put, a £490 t-shirt should at least donate part (or all) of their proceeds to a charity working towards equality. Otherwise you just come across as a brand that’s capitalising on something that negatively affects people’s lives everyday. Which let’s be honest, wouldn’t be a first for the fashion industry.

So you do you and wear your girl power t-shirt, or trousers, dress…whatever! Because whatever you wear you’re still a feminist, and that’s pretty kick ass. But Dior, you can stuff your ‘feminist’ t-shirts, I don’t need them. I’ll wear my feminism on my sleeve without the price tag, thanks.

Check out my previous style posts here

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