The True Cost – A Review

Well it’s been a while! When life happens I guess other things get pushed aside as much as you don’t want them to, I do wonder about packing it all in selling everything and travelling and writing,  but that’s probably another story.

I managed to find time to watch a film that I was highly anticipating the release of, a documentary called The True Cost. Directed by Andrew Morgan, it is a film about the impact the new culture of fast fashion is having on our planet and the people behind the clothes. It’s a brilliant insight into the industry itself as well as first hand interviews with workers, including those involved in the tragic Rana Plaza disaster, factory owners and some of the people and companies who are trying to stop fast fashion, like Eco-Age.

I’ll be honest I buy into fast fashion, ashamed to say it. What I think when buying a new item of clothing which helps me feel that bit more confident, that bit better about myself is that it’s worth it, however would I be willing to pay a bit more for this, yes. In some instances a pay rise for some factory workers would mean the equivalent of a few cents added onto the price of a T-Shirt. But it’s not just about the money it’s also about the unbelievable impact on our planet. It takes the UK 10 minutes to throw away 7 tonnes of clothing; clothing which can’t be recycled, it will sit in a landfill polluting the land, not to mention the damage caused to the earth to just make the clothes in the first place. 

The film is well shot, narrated and beautifully edited and it will make you consider that £9 Cami. I’ll never stop buying clothes, however my tactics will change now, I will continue to turn to vintage clothing, reusing old clothes whether it be from my parents cupboards or the local charity shop or Beyond Retro. I also want to make a conscious effort to turn to responsible clothing instead of what’s convenient. As a nation we are wasteful, food gets thrown away without a second thought and now we are doing the same for the clothes. It’s up to the consumer to say to companies, we will buy carrots that aren’t the prettiest (side note, I also recommend a show called Hugh’s War on Waste, it illustrates just how much edible food is unused especially by chain supermarkets) and we will spend a few pounds more on clothing if it means an actual livable wage for someone and a safe working environment. This won’t happen overnight but to quote one of these guilty supermarkets ‘Every little helps!’ 

True Cost

Photo Credit @truecostmovie Instagram

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Long Live Longline

Can you even believe it the heat wave is finally here and of course the inappropriate hot pants, lack of T-shirt in the middle of a city centre and ‘health warnings’ are rife. What to wear today when you don’t necessarily want to go with the norm, or better yet what to wear to the all dayer in the pub garden this weekend? Well I have a new found obsession, the Longline.

It comes in various formats, T-Shirts, Dusters, Blazers, Camis, Shirts…. But it is the perfect item to turn any outfit around. Diverse in that it can be worn throughout the seasons, it comes in so many different ways that you can wear the style without getting tired and it is perfect for those I cannot be bothered days.

One of my favourite things about it is it covers my troublesome areas without being obvious, by this I mean my thigh and buttocks region. I always prefer to wear a longer top, unless I’m feeling daring (or I have already had a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc prior to finalising my evening attire) and decide to go for a black jeans crop top combo, however this is strictly saved for an evening out and wouldn’t be my outfit of choice for the day. I currently have 2 longline sleeveless coats and 3 longline camis but I’ve got my eye on a few more, namely pink and lilac ones, be rude not to now the sun is out.

Top tip, the sales are quite simply killing it at the moment, I just bought some sandals from Topshop for £7, (less than a double Gin and Tonic), so have a look out for any key pieces even if they are a size or two too big an oversized sleeveless longline blazer will simply have more of an androgynous look if it’s less fitted.

Happy Summer!

Longline final

Double Denim-mania

Denim, once a symbol of poverty, hard labour or in a more modern sense with rips/safety pins/political statement patches a symbol of rebellion and angst….. now a symbol of complete normality.

We all own it in one way or another and no doubt we all have our favourites, for me it is of course high waisted black jeans, perfectly suited for my body type and always a fall back for any outfit crisis. Then, going back a few years I have my ultimate ripped Abercrombie and Fitch light denim baggy and slightly flared jeans I wore so much in my teenage years the rips weren’t so much rips as gaping holes and my Abercrombie and Fitch (can you tell I went through a preppy stage?) light denim ripped mini skirt, I still hold onto them both waiting for them to make a big come back. Now the trend off of the 80’s is back, the double denim, once shunned by all those with style and taste and now back gracing the style magazines and flooded over Instagram and blogs alike. I never thought I’d say it but I am a fan, I confess!

There are a few ways to play it, keep it simple with a denim shirt and jeans, I personally team my Mom’s light denim shirt with a pair of dark Hollister (also from my preppy days but not so ruined) ripped boyfriend jeans, must add here that these are low-rise, not a trend I think I would like back too soon, so they are always worn with a baggy(ish) and long top. Or you could push the boat out that little bit further, try a triple threat, denim top, jeans and jacket if you’re feeling really up for it or one outfit I plan on testing this weekend (weather permitting) it’s a denim midi skirt and baggy denim cropped T-shirt, teamed with a pair of sandals. Keep it light with the accessories and make up otherwise you could find yourself more 80’s LA wannabe cowgirl than flaunting fashionista. Something simple like gentle make up and a matte red lip with loosely styled hair I think fits the bill perfectly.

Denim 4

Sunshine Basics

BIKINI BODY READY?

ARE YOU READY FOR SUMMER?

GET YOUR BIKINI BODY IN TEN DAYS!

It may be a skyline filled with rain and grey cloud as far as the eye can see, however it is very nearly Summer and the bikini’s are rearing their ugly head from the draw under the bed, like the boogie man taunting you from the darkness. I’ve already taken the plunge, I had the most fantastic short break in Malta just a few weeks ago and that involved summer dresses and two-pieces. Safe to say, it’s a daunting prospect for most of us, myself included, with trips to the nearest common in mind, pool days and of course the next holiday (to Croatia) I have to remind myself that what may seem like a mountain of cellulite and whale blubber to me is nothing to everyone else. As women we now have an extreme stigma of beauty to up hold, this pressure is worse than ever with girls as young as 9 suffering depression and anxiety due to issues with body image. Really.

I’m not usually one to dress for my size per say, I own cullotes, shift dresses, men’s shirts all which shouldn’t be worn by those of a certain breast size, height, body shape. I plan on focusing on the positive, wearing what makes me feel comfortable and overcoming all those nagging insecurities, see ya, bye bye now.

So here is a mini hit list of some of my go to items of the Summer, the basics you might say…..

Choices, Choices

There is one thing in life which is unavoidable, making decisions. You wake up in the morning and it’s what do I wear today, in my case at the moment however this usually involves mastering the layered look (or trying to) as my office has sub zero temperatures; you decide what to have for breakfast and so on. It is these individual choices which are superficial you might say but there are other small choices which can often depict the person you are. You can choose to have an opinion, make your point heard, have an impact or you can keep your thoughts to yourself. Whichever you choose I think it is important for people, especially women to not be afraid of having their opinion heard and if you’re labelled opinionated, so be it. It’s hard to imagine waking up in the morning and having to choose your clothes for the day with strict guidelines in mind. I recently came across a video of an Iranian woman dancing on a train on the Tehran subway without her veil covering her face or head, breaking two laws. The video was posted on the website My Stealthy Freedom, a sharing page for women in protest against the strict regimes. An outlet for those who would like to be able to make a choice in life. I believe that feminism can often be misconstrued and unfortunately the sheer word ‘feminist’ is tainted, however it isn’t about women being better than men it is about gender equality, which works both ways. As a fashion enthusiast and a feminist I’m always thinking of the two things combined, a book next on my reading list does exactly this Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism, it covers exactly this explaining how wearing a 5 inch heel and a red lip doesn’t diminish your morals and doesn’t give anyone else a reason not to take you seriously. This post is in no way intended to preach, it’s simply stating that your choices make a difference and when you’re putting on your favourite jeans in the morning remember for a moment, that there were people in the past that fought to allow you to be able to wear trousers, go in to further education, earn your own money, the list goes on and on.

Life is about choices, just make them your own and no one else’s.

24ab3061de2198225fc58a103b318b08 (1)

Armed with Style

Khaki, camouflage and anything army style were usually things that I either associated with my younger tomboy self and my favourite camouflage khaki trousers, worn with a baby pink hoodie of course or with a student fancy dress night, always a firm favourite during my university days, however it is now fast becoming one of my style staples. Ever since the Khaki army jackets made a comeback the colour and style has gone from strength to strength and can now be applied to anything from shoes to nail art designs. I was looking for something to wear for a friends engagement party this past weekend and wanted something quite classy for the occasion but at the same time not overdressed and I decided on Khaki tapered trousers (as seen below) and a boxy white leather cropped T shirt; there is something about khaki that can make an outfit that little bit more interesting. There is also an element of fun with this genre of style, camo can always be played with and moved away from different shades of green and instead pulled together with pop colours, have a look at my multi-coloured camo nails below, so easy to do, it’s just all about Y shapes and joining your top 2 colours in my case pink and blue! If you’re looking for true army style then I always recommend a vintage renewal, Check out Urban Outfitters, ASOS Marketplace or an army surplus store, you’ll get the best deals and undoubtedly the best quality.

Happy shopping cadets!

Khaki

Straight to the Matte

Autumn is here and yes indeed the heating is on. I am still clinging on however and dare to brave the cold whenever I go to the gym by not taking a hoodie for the short walk to and from the car. Ouch. I plan on celebrating Bonfire Night for first time since I can remember in the splendor of Battersea Park this Saturday including my first mulled wine of the season which needless to say, I am clucking for and as the cold rolls in, it’s time to shift the nails. I’ve gone straight into the Winter style of matte nails today, with a dark grey colour and have completed the look with simple black glossy tips as a contrast.

Matte nails can sometimes feel unnatural, especially when I am an ambassador of the clear top coat, it’s always worth it and makes such a difference. The matte look can look effortless and in some ways more professional than a shiny hot pink. My picks for the season are dark blue, grey and burgundy, classic colours. Feel free to mix them up also with a statement nail on each hand.

Follow me on Instagram @sarahjaynepen for more nail designs done by myself with a free hand and a bit of patience.

Nail Colour Credits –

Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish – Black Cab

Topshop Matte Nails – Light Brizzlephoto (6)

Are You Taking A Coat?

The age old question asked by girls every where when embarking on a night out… ‘Are you taking a coat?’ echo’s around the house, whilst you’re stuffing your lipstick, bronzer, and various necessities, of any night out into your handbag. Now if I look back to 5/6 years ago, when I was a student this wouldn’t even be a question as paying that extra £1 for the cloakroom was simply not an option. Time’s have changed however at as we enter the second half of our twenties, we now consider a coat as a necessity not only for those bitterly cold walks to the tube or long waits for a cab but as part of our outfit.

I never used to be a lover of a coat, I would always avoid buying one as I thought they didn’t suit me, until I realised I just needed to find the right shape and cut for me. Once found, I can’t get enough of them. There are so many styles out there you can always find the one for you, oversized, bomber, trench, longline, cocoon and so on and so on. I always felt being short and not a size 6 I would need a coat which nips me in at the waist, complete opposite I have found, my personal favourite style is the cocoon and oversized. So when looking for a coat what I recommend, try them all, an oversized coat may seem as if it is for someone of the model variety, but you may find it is what suits you and your style the best. Also don’t be afraid of a coloured or patterned coat, I bought a cobalt blue one last year and still love it again this season!

coats

Oscar De La Renta 1932 – 2014

He was quite simply a master in his craft and I find it quite hard to believe he is gone.

Oscar de la Renta blessed us with some of the most beautiful designs ever to grace fashion and dressed some of the most poignant women of our time, including the most iconic first ladies, Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton and Jackie Kennedy.

Having truly launched in the 1960’s he went from strength to strength and only just recently made an appearance at his Spring Summer 2015 runway show at New York fashion week, which I only wrote about recently.

A winner of the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award, among many other awards, tributes have been flooding in for the designer since the news of his passing on Tuesday night, including celebrities, fellow designers and well any one who came into contact with him.

His passing is deeply saddening however his presence, outstanding contribution to fashion and honest love for women, will always live on.

oscare