From Clapham to the Cotswolds, how my style has changed
Not many people know this, but I’m secretly a countryside girl at heart. I was born and grew up in Herefordshire; or rather a tiny village 20 minutes outside Herefordshire; with nothing but a small pub named The Moody Cow and endless fields within close proximity. I moved to London for university, studying at London College of Fashion for 3 years, and then working in the city for a couple of fashion brands and then a retail software company, before turning full time ‘blogger’. London was always meant to be a ‘short term’ home. I always said I’d live there for 10 years, and then move back to the countryside, and that’s exactly what I did.
So, I guess the moral of this quick catch up is that I’ve always known and loved the countryside, so moving back isn’t exactly a culture shock, and I feel so very much at home here instantly. One thing I do remember from my previous countryside days was feeling like I was always overdressed. In fact, my first blog was titled ‘All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go’ – and that’s how I always felt. While my peers wore jeans, boots and a practical fleece, I wanted to wear pink tulle dresses. What I lacked back then, was firstly the confidence to wear what I wanted, without worrying what others thought, and also the knowledge of how to make my favourite pieces more ‘appropriate’ for where I lived.
Now let’s skip forward to 2020, moving to the most beautiful (I’m biased of course) part of the country; The Cotswolds. Officially known as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ – and it really, truly is. I can literally step out of my door, and even the fields are beautiful. Since we shot these photos, the field has now turned to a stunning golden shade as the barley dries out, so expect to see some more field shots in the not too distant future!
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How I Adapted My Style
Firstly, I didn’t really. I still wear the pieces I adore, but perhaps I wear them differently, or a style my accessories in different ways. This dress made of organic cotton is incredibly versatile; I am the biggest advocate of a classic white dress, and this can by styled just as beautifully with a pair of heels and a fabulous handbag for a day in the city, as it can with flats and a basket bag for a walk in the countryside.
So speaking of accessories; this would be my top tip. It’s incredible how much of an impact your accessory choice has on an outfit. A wise accessory choice can make your outfit seamlessly transition from a smart event, to a casual affair. Depending on your style ( I personally can’t pull it off ) dresses that fall anywhere above the ankles can be styled with trainers or chunky sandals, or a more elegant pair of sandals, and dresses above the knee can be styled with practical boots too.
I’ve found my most worn shoes (aside from walking boots) have been my Castañer wedge sandals (I shared an incredible £11.99 dupe on my instagram stories this weekend) – comfortable and stylish, and countryside appropriate. I’ve basically switched out any thin heels for wedges or chunky block heels and flats, and thankfully there are some seriously beautiful options available at the moment; my favourites being these straw Valentino flats as well as these gorgeous Chloe Sandals.
A straw hat is my favourite accessory right now – partly to hide my shocking roots (I’m finally booked in for a colour appointment next week!) but also practically to keep the warm summer sun off the top of my head! The ultimate piece to instantly add impact in photos too, hats are here to stay.
While the silhouette of my favourite clothing pieces remains the same, one key difference from city to countryside is fabrics. More practical, natural fabrics are more appropriate than anything too detailed. Even on my occasion wear dresses I’ve opted for broderie over beading, while with day dresses I’m choosing cotton over silks – practical and yet absolutely beautiful, and these small switches enable me to stick to my personal style.