I’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
- Food & Drink:
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.
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:
- 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.
- Their choice of products is well thought out; they’re simple, functional and let’s be honest, aesthetically pleasing.
- 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.
- 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!
Images are courtesy of Trouva, however all views, suggestions and words are my own.
Top: 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
Top: 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
Biker Jacket: Zara| Dress: Zara | Bag: Knomo London* | Boots: ASOS
We all want to shine. Whether it’s within our friendship groups, our career, or when walking down the street (bad examples are bad). But how can we stand out when everyone else is trying to do the same? I thought this recently whilst lost in the bright lights of Soho, during London Fashion Week. At this time of year London is awash with people wanting to be snapped in their latest garments. Everyone is hoping to shine a little brighter than usual, but it’s so easy to get lost in the crowd. At least that’s how it can feel for a lot of people.
The Bright Lights of Soho
London can be a confusing place. At the worst of times it feels like you’re just one small cog in a big machine. But at the best of times it can feel like the city was made for you, and only you. As though you are your own Holly Golightly, and if you just walk around that next corner you’ll find the beginning to your story.
Sure we can’t all be Audrey Hepburn (if only), but we don’t need to be. I happen to think that we all shine in our own way. Whether that’s because you feel damn confident in your new Zara dress, and you won’t have anyone tell you otherwise. Or maybe it’s because you returned someone’s wallet, and brought a little hope back to their day. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean we should all walk around like special snowflakes. No one likes a special snowflake. But it does mean that we should delight in what makes us different, channel it, and work it.
Check out my previous style posts here.
Photos of me are by Van Anh Le Thi
It’s the end of 2016, and I think we’ve all had pretty much enough this year. Still, some great things have come out of it too. And I prefer to look back on the good stuff, rather than the bad. So it’s time for my annual style evolution post. Or as I’m so aptly naming it – the year of living stylishly.
2016 Style Evolution
I’ve always wished for a time where I could feel stylish from day-to-day. Not for anyone else, but for myself. I love to play with fashion, and when I look good, I feel good. This year I’ve made a real effort to only purchase quality items. This means saving up for items I’ve coveted or simply found (luckily). On my recent trip to Copenhagen I bought a few staple pieces, and I’ve worn them at least once a week since I got back.
It’s safe to say, my wardrobe is now full of items I can easily turn into a smart-casual look. After all, you never know when you’re going to meet a friend for ‘a drink’ and end up at an after party with Richard Ayoade (this actually happened).
The Year of Living Stylishly
In last year’s style evolution post, I said my goal was to be happier in my style. I think I’ve done pretty well, and I really do feel it. My style has become slightly more refined – if I do say so myself. Black and stripes have been prevalent, oh and I lost my favourite Blake Ldn beanie. Obviously it’s been a year of fashion ups and downs.
To be serious for a minute though, it has actually been a tough year for me. Even so, I’m not letting it get me down. Fashion is a great escape for me, and I hope I can continue to enjoy it all the way through 2017.
Check out this year’s style posts here.
Biker Jacket: Zara| Shirt: Mads Nørgaard | Vest: Topshop | Trousers: Warehouse* | Trainers: Adidas
We all utter it at least once a year. Whether it’s New Years Eve, New Years Day, or maybe just after you’ve devoured all of the leftover turkey and trimmings. “New Year new me”. It can mean many things, and I truly believe that people have good intentions when they mutter it. I’ve definitely said it before. And thought it a million times. But have I ever done it? …have you?
After all, we all kinda know we’re lying when we say it. Aren’t we?
New Year New Me!
Well I think to a certain extent, we do all change and grow. Just not generally all at the same time. Can you imagine the carnage if we all suddenly discovered how to better ourselves at 00:01 on January 1st? As comical as the idea is, I like to think that we all learn from our mistakes. Even if it does mean making them a few times before we realise it. I definitely have a few things I need to teach myself in 2017.
New year new me may seem silly, or redundant, but it really is a heartfelt expression. However you phrase it, we’re (read: most of us) all doing our best to become better people. For some that may be cutting down on their guilty pleasures, for others it may mean taking more risks. I’ve certainly sat down with myself and had the talk. For now it’s personal, but I hope that I can share it with you all soon. And whatever your thoughts on ‘new year, new me’ are, I hope that 2017 will be a good one for you.
Check out my previous style posts here.
Photos of me are taken by Van Anh Le Thi