Monday, 16 October 2017

We Were On A Break!

It's Monday, October 16th and whilst Hurricane Ophelia is giving it shhtacks, I'm lucky enough to be tucked up inside, with the day off and the opportunity to pen the renaissance of 'A Little Amy'. It's been some time since I wrote my last blog post and I'm beginning to miss creating content for this space. I wanted to begin with a bit of preamble - 'the dog ate my homework' if you will, about my extended absence, including a mini rant about the vapid nature of 90% of fashion posts, before being a total hypocrite and probably doing just that! Let's hope this transpires to be somewhat mentally stimulating and/or vaguely amusing. We'll give it a lash, so grab yourself a hot beverage, put on some melancholy tunes (I'm currently listening to my favourite sad boy, Keaton Henson) and admire the lovely weather ;)

Beginning with why I stopped uploading posts to this platform mainly centers on the time commitment my masters programme required. In September 2017, I began an English MA in UCC entitled 'Irish Writers and Film' and whilst I gained a lot from the year, it was at times grueling, particularly with the requirement to write a 15-17 thousand word thesis. Additionally, we were also asked to set up an academic blog which would document the research journey. To my surprise, this was a greatly enjoyable endeavour and I put a lot of effort into my new bambino, 'Fiosrach' (meaning curious/inquisitive in Irish). On that platform, I wrote about research seminars I attended and enjoyed, readings I went to and even some original poetry I tentatively dipped my toe into. The wonderfully inspiring, Dr Donna Alexander, a lecturer on the course, frequently spoke about the value of blogging, particularly advantageous for people wishing to pursue a career in publishing. These words of wisdom have been in my mind of late, coupled with the desire to reignite my passion for blogging about all things lifestyle related and huzzah, here we are! The plan of action is to write about those kinds of things, fashion, food, travel, etc here and direct more traditionally academic posts to 'Fiosrach' when the inspiration strikes. 

Compounding time restraints with the reasons I stopped uploading posts to 'A Little Amy' is the ambivalence I began to feel particularly towards fashion content. Firstly, there was the reputation surrounding fashion posts/ bloggers that I strongly wanted to dissociate myself with. Whenever someone would (very kindly!) compliment me on my blog, I would internally cringe, thinking that what they were internally saying was God, she must love herself! or Christ, she's so pretentious!, which couldn't be further from the truth (except maybe when I've got my moleskin out making a to-do list and sipping on a delicious coffee...then maybe I feel a bit pretentious!), but 90% of the time a feeling of crippling insecurity is my default mode! Outside of the fashion content I would upload, I began to get fatigued by the contrived 'outfit of the days' that all seemed to blend into one when I would scroll through my instagram feed. It's certainly a conundrum, because it would be disingenuous of me to label all 'aspirational' content as trite; I'll be the first to admit I sometimes swoon over a chic picture of a coffee and a cactus, or a seemingly effortless outfit on a super slim, naturally beautiful girl, but the problem with this kind of imagery is the value we ascribe to it. I for one instantly think the person who uploads a picture if their fancy morning coffee is highly organised, has an amazing career whilst the pretty girl is always happy, has the perfect relationship and generally breezes through life.....all from one picture! Surely this is how we have been conditioned, coupled with that brilliantly detrimental human instinct of comparison, truly the thief of joy. Whilst I do think there is a place for this kind of aspirational content, I think like all things, it should probably be consumed in moderation. Whenever I uploaded a fashion post in the past, I would always feel the pressure to live up to this perfectionism and would always feel disheartened when I inevitably fell short. Over the past few months, I've tried to consider what is at the essence of what I love about other people's style, both in my personal life and other people's blogs or YouTube channels, namely people like Tar Marz, SunbeamsJess and Zoe Sugg - they all look unique, which brought me full circle to underscoring what I love most about fashion - it's potential for self-expression and generally to boost confidence. I think moving forward for me, it's time to forget about the contrived imagery when it comes to fashion posts and embrace a more natural approach. That's what I've tried to do below when talking about a few autumn clothing essentials. They are all pieces that are practical on a day-to-day basis and will keep you warm and comfy. The pictures were taken a few weeks ago on a lovely break to Courtmacsherry with a friend whilst we were out for a walk on a breezy day! I hope you enjoy.

First up, and very apt for the current weather, is an ASOS puffer jacket which I've gotten a lot of wear out of. It's super padded to keep you really toasty and cuffed at the sleeves to keep the breeze out. The only thing I will say about this is the size runs quite big so I'd recommend sizing down if you're in between. I got mine in my regular size and look like a hybrid between a dementor and the Michelin Man when I wear it! Nonetheless it's socially more acceptable to wear than my duvet so comfort trumps style on this one!

 (Actual Dementor)

Underneath my jacket on our crisp autumnal walk, I wore an oversized (oversized being the operative word here!) Ellesse long sleeve tee. This is again an ASOS purchase and when it arrived I seriously considered returning it, because the fit is massive, especially the sleeves....I seemed to have overlooked the 'extreme sleeves' part in the description! Hoodwinked by the outrageously soft cotton material however and aspirations to pull off the 'I don't care/ 90's sportswear vibes', we kept the relationship goin'. Results of our toxic love below: 

Next up, are a super comfortable pair of shoes that have been thoroughly road tested over the past few months. They are my faithful Timberland Kiri Ups. Somewhat similar to the Balenciaga trainers that so many people have been raving about, the Kiri Ups are more affordable and more wearable in my opinion. They are part of Timberland's new collection and certainly a different direction for the brand. The Kiri Ups have a younger, cooler vibe and have been seen on people like SunBeamsJess, who styles them beautifully. They come in a variety of colours and feature some recyclable materials, such as in the laces, which is a plus if you're considering more sustainable fashion choices. 

Thanks ever so much for stopping by. I hope you'll join me again when I feel like posting.

Much love,

Amy. x

Friday, 1 July 2016

Summer Is Coming
Game of Thrones pun aside, with the change of season, I have added a few new pieces to my wardrobe of late (cheap and cheerful as per!) and I just wanted to share and maybe give you some inspiration to spruce up your threads for the sunnier months. It's amazing sometimes how a few new additions can make all the difference and help to create a host of different combinations with existing items in your wardrobe. On my summer wish list were 1) A light knit, 2) A Bardot top, 3) A pair of brogues and 4) A summer dress, all of which came in handy during my glamorous staycation in Courtmac last week!
I picked up this crotchet style cream knit in the Topshop sale lately and find it perfect for layering. It's lightweight enough for Summer, yet still substantial enough to keep you warm in the chilly evenings. A baggy fit and a slouchy neckline makes it all the more comfy too. I styled it with a pair of ripped jeans from Only (softest things ever, by the way!) and my faithful Stan Smiths.


Next up is a really pretty Bardot top I picked up in Zara recently. This has been a great little transitional piece for me as it looks great with flats and a simple pair of jeans, or dressed up with a pair of heels and a chocker. The pale blue shade looks really crisp and summery and even better with a bit of a faux glow ;) My exact one seems to be out of stock on the Zara website, but I have linked similar here. Plenty of stores doing lovely versions of a classic piece.

Finally is a dress I picked up from Penneys. It's a really pretty dusty pink shade with lace cut outs and a frill overlay at the bust (very Downton Abbey-esque!) The dress comes with a slip and flows really nicely, well worth the €17 I paid! I paired it with a gorgeous pair of brogues I picked up in Clarkes recently. The Mahon shop had only one pair of 4.5's left, so really it was fate! They make me feel like I should either be the most stylish granny on the block or like I should be in Made in Chelsea....let's hope for the latter!


That's all folks! Hope everyone is having a lovely summer and, as always, thanks for the read.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Bums N' Roses
Following on from my last post all about denim, I've raised the bar a little this week with a slight twist on a classic pair of blue denims. There is nothing better sometimes than simplicity and a white tee paired with some skinny jeans is a winner on everyone. If you're thinking that this age old combo needs a bit of a style overall however, look no further than embroidered jeans. I recently spotted a pair on Zara's website and fell in love. From the front, they just look like your standard pair of light wash denims, but the back is where the magic happens! Not only do they have an embroidered rose patch on the back pocket (which I am completely diggin'), but on the ankles they have the embroidered slogan 'love always', a really playful little detail. What I love most about these jeans is that whilst they are really unique, they are not too much of a  statement as to make them unwearable. The Devil is in the detail with these bad boys ;)

 White V-Neck Tee- H&M / Jeans - Zara / Ring - The Great Frog 
To dress it up a little, I think the denims look lovely with a pair of heels and this Missguided faux suede jacket. I've had this little biker jacket for a few months now and I've gotten so much wear out of it as it is so versatile and the colour ties in beautifully with the stitching on denims. It is available in a multitude of shades as well as in tall or petite, if you're a shorty like moi ;)
So from me and my swan friend, bye for now :) Bottom line, you won't have a bum deal with these jeans! (Sorry, had to be done...)
Thanks for the cheese ;)
                                    Amy. x

Friday, 19 February 2016

Three Ways to Wear Denim
For most people denim forms a core part of our wardrobes. When a sartorial crisis strikes, it serves as the perfect solution- namely, "Jeans and a nice top"! Whilst I love the laid back simplicity of the classic pair of well fitting jeans and a white t-shirt, denim has the capacity to greatly exceed this primitive form. It can be dressed up in a way that might not be expected whilst retaining the comfort factor we all know and love it for.
Starting off with the basics, here is a classic way to wear denim. Although the struggle can be REAL in finding the perfect pair of jeans to suit your body, it's a glorious moment when you find a good match. For me, I really like Gap or Fat Face as the quality and fit of the denim is superb. Above, I'm wearing a pair of Gap light-washed distressed jeans from a good few years back with a hybrid Topshop jumper.  I purchased the jumper before Christmas and have gotten so much wear out of it since (see link above). It's super soft and looks well with both jeans and skirts.
In keeping with the laid back vibe of this outfit, I teamed it with my Stan (THE MAN!) Smiths. These shoes have been one of the best purchases I have ever made, hence the shouty capitals ;) Running around college, or at the weekend these shoes are perfect in terms of just how comfy they are. I bought them in Office before Christmas and have been hard pressed to part from them since.  

Another classic way to wear denim is in the form of dungarees. When it comes to this trend I must admit I am somewhat of a hypocrite. Having berated my mother for years and years about how overalls should be worn by mechanics and left in the garage, I have come over to the dark side of late and grown to adore them. It's a cliché but it was never so true, mothers are always right! The pair I'm wearing above (in my awkward "quick get the photo so we can go for cake!" poses) are a cheap and cheerful Penneys number. I teamed it with a Timberland wool scarf and a grey denim jacket with jersey sleeves, that may or may not be from the men's section of New Look, which I may or may not have purchased the same one as a male friend..........................

Just as easily as dungarees can look laid back and casual, they can equally be styled to look a bit more sophisticated. By simply changing my shoes and accessories, I went from 9-5 mechanic to oh you think you fancy?! in 3.5 ;)
The sunnies I'm wearing are just €4 from Penneys and such a good dupe for those glorious Dior ones! I also think pairing a white or cream blouse underneath would give a very Alexa Chung effect and let's be honest, who wouldn't want that? ;)
My vaguely Ron Burgundy-esque boots with red marbled heel are from Topshop (bought with a voucher which made them even more sweet!) I like that they come up a little higher than traditional ankle boots and the unusual design of the heel caught my magpie attention. Be warned though, these babies are not an all day shoe, best for a few hours tops or risk becoming cranky because your feet hurt!
Finally, pinafores have become a wardrobe staple for me in recent times. They're just so easy to throw on and look super cute; toddler chic one might say ;)
The one I have on here is an old Littlewoods one, but New Look have a very similar one here. With just a simple jumper underneath, it's cosy but looks a bit dressed up too. (Also, shout out to my Zara Kids coats which I've had since I was twelve and seems to be growing with me!)
My Timberland boots give a well needed height boost, but most importantly they are extremely comfortable to wear all day, either in college or for a full shift at work.

Accessories wise I kept it quite minimalistic with this look, simply wearing a dainty necklace, my silver watch and a Newbridge Silverware beaded bracelet- a recent 21st birthday present which I adore :)
That's all for now, I hope you have enjoyed this post and thank you so much for reading. A massive thank you to my little stars Emily and Dearbhail for taking the pictures!
Love always,
 Amy. x