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THE PERFECT STRIPED JUMPER


Does absence really make the heart grow fonder? Too cheesy? Maybe. And I fucking hate cheese at the best of times. I can confirm, however, that such is true in relation to my blog.

Truthfully, since my prolonged absence, I have felt somewhat dispirited about it all. I started jayneemma.co.uk (or what it was called at the time - electraviolet) five years ago and since then, so much has changed in my life. I've been studying fashion journalism at university for two years and I now live in London in my own (albeit rented) flat - two goals that I constantly and desperately daydreamed about achieving since I was fifteen. And now, in some ways, studying fashion journalism feeds the hunger to write more yet in some ways it just drains it.



Perhaps this is because studying fashion journalism fulfils the very desire that led me to creating this blog in the first place. And while I throughly enjoy my course despite all of the I-can’t-think-of-any-ideas panic, stress and sleepless nights that it brings, I write to fit a purpose and although such doesn’t make the endeavour any less enjoyable, I still miss writing completely of my own volition. 

Of late, whenever I have tried to put pen to paper for a post, I have become stuck, unable to think of anything worthy of publishing. Perhaps this blockage is due to the fact that I have become so tuned to writing to fit a certain brief that I have all but forgotten how to write for myself. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I am so used to pouring everything into my portfolios of work for university that I am left feeling that anything I could possibly publish on here would be inferior in comparison. Or perhaps it is due to the fact that 'blogging' has changed so much in the past two years in which I have become a complacent 'blogger', even though I would argue that the status never bothered me much anyway, but regardless, something does feel different and it has for awhile now. Maybe it's me or maybe it's a bit of both.



When I consider constructing a post for this blog, I focus on the words rather than the pictures. I have always been more concerned with the written content. Nowadays, fashion blogs seem to favour the former and not that there is anything wrong with such. Fashion journalism in all manners is becoming increasingly wordless as the days go by, with magazine after magazine adopting a digital only format or folding altogether - a trend which of course fills me with the utmost confidence for the future as a current fashion journalism student. Personally, I am primarily absorbed with creating a post that I am proud to publish, rather than having picture perfect images and lacking in much else. 

Although, all that aside, on inspecting these pictures after they were taken back in Autumn (can you tell I’m a serial procrastinator?!), I was very pleasantly surprised. The pictures were taken by my boyfriend on our flat’s fire escape and I am happy know that I have an easily accessible and pleasing backdrop to shoot outfit pictures without ever having to leave the comfort of my own home, despite the bemused looks from neighbours and resident builders, mind. I’m sure my boyfriend will be thrilled to know that he is to be placed on official photographing duties from now on.


At the time of shooting, the jumper of absolute dreams was freshly plucked from it's hanger and has been on heavy rotation since purchase. I had been on the hunt for a long sleeved jumper of multi-coloured stripe variety ever since I spotted the £690 Gucci version on none other than, you guessed it - Alexa Chung. Casting all dreams of owning the aforementioned style aside, I was strolling down Carnaby Street one evening when the perfect fit (note: no pastel tones, not too glittery and no odd colour combinations) was hanging high and proud in Monki. To seal that such a find was fashion fate, a few days later I spied that Megan Ellaby - aka one of my favourite fashion bloggers and a firm style inspiration - bought the same jumper in her vlog. I guess if I hadn’t found the garment that evening, I certainly would have done thanks to Megan.


I paired the striped glory with my favoured white jeans and I think the two match perfectly. White jeans really are heaven and hell in garment form. The denim looks good with just about anything but god help you keeping them mark free, especially when wearing red lipstick. Wear with caution.


Despite not being featured much on here, the patent trench coat is a firm wardrobe essential. Since purchasing the outerwear a year and a half ago, it has barely left my body. The coat of wonders has this amazing quality of pairing with just about any outfit incarnation, and elevating those that would otherwise be lacklustre. I never want to take it off. I could almost sleep with it on - cocooned like a bat in a coat that can only be best described as akin to something out of The Matrix film - save for the annoying squeaking, that is.

| Wearing: Coat - Archive by Alexa for M&S | Jumper - Monki | Jeans - Blitz Vintage | Ankle Boots - Zara | Bag - ASOS | Sunglasses - Topshop |


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WHITE DENIM


They may be impractical. They may be a magnet for stains. And, I may have to refrain from sitting on any public space while wearing them but, I think I am in love with my white jeans. Influenced by the flock of white denim-wearing women on Instagram, I was taken with the effortless appeal of the crisp, clean jean. The alluring likes of Lucy Williams, Maria Bernad and Adenorah - to mention just a few of my enablers - and their tempting parade of the white straight leg have marked an end to the seven-year dry spell where my life was devoid of the colourless jean.  

In the past, my choice of white denim was constructed of nothing of the latter at all; instead of a wear-in Levi 501, my choice of cut was skinny, with no real denim in sight - if such a jean could even be called such. Picture a low rise waist with loose fitting fabric that bunched at the ankles, worn with a white t-shirt etched with a foil guitar and recoil in horror. It was 2008 okay, and I was still fully immersed in my Hannah Montana phase, judge me.

But with that horror story of my pre-teens long behind me, the white jeans I am coveting now can be found in straight, structured and frayed form. Vintage Levi 501s have my heart, and they are worth the hunt; scout Ebay, Depop, vintage stores and even Asos Marketplace for your fix. I found my perfect pair on a whim, actually, which is something of a rarity. Usually when I am on the hunt for that sole, desperately desired item, a ruthless search is implemented until I find exactly that. In theory, this frantic process did in fact occur but it was particularly fruitless, to my dismay. The reason being is that at the time (which was a mere few months ago) I could not for the life of me locate any suitable non-skinny white jeans on the high street, or Ebay, et al. I was discouraged and abandoned any hope of finding the real life incarnation of the Instagram-prolific denim I had fixated on for months.

And so, cue an unplanned day at the end of my stint of living in halls right next to Brick Lane spent walking rather aimlessly around the area, and such aimless wandering landed my then-flatmate and I in Blitz Vintage. It was a chance visit, a blasé entrance in which I possessed no expectation nor want to find anything in-store. It was my first time at the vintage shop, which is admittedly rather shameful considering I lived a mere 2 minutes from the branch and yet, perhaps such a nonchalant approach is what worked in my favour. In all honesty, the thought of white jeans was not looming on my mind that particularly day, instead I was utilising the spontaneous trip as a method of putting off packing and cleaning my entire room as I was moving back home for summer the following day (something I had not yet even started doing and in hindsight I do not recommended this extreme procrastination, let’s just say I got no sleep) but it just so happened that an appetising rail of white vintage jeans was staring me right in the face. A quick scan of the offerings and two pairs picked and tried on later and there I was on my way to the till with a perfectly fitting straight leg white jean. If only all clothing conundrums could be solved with such ease. 

As with all my vintage Levi 501s that I have purchased, I arm myself with scissors and cut about an inch or so off (depending on length) to not only give a more flattering, ankle-grazing cut to the often lengthy jeans but to also incite a frayed effect. In my opinion, a little denim fraying is certainly an easy way to embellish an outfit, especially when wearing flats.

Now that I had the white jeans, it would have been almost foolish of me to not predictably pair the denim with a Birkin-esque basket bag. Although the woven wonder has also been a common feature on Instagram of late, mine was bought on Depop about two years ago and has only truly seen the light of day recently. It’s vintage Marks and Spencer (or rather, St Michaels) would you believe, and is in excellent condition mind. While I’m fairly confident in the fact that summer dressing is not my favourite (I much prefer long coats, layering and not sweating in my jeans), I have found myself to be fairly comfortable in my newly adapted summer uniform of white denim, basket bag and a effortless top. Perhaps this is due to the clad of L.A cool labels such as Reformation and Realisation Par and their warm weather influence. Either way, you won’t find me changing out of my white denim come Autumn, instead of a halter neck top, I shall dress with patent mac, a Ganni-esque coloured cable knit jumper and armed with my trusty black ankle boots. I may have to tread with caution though, rain puddles are to be treated as the enemy.

Wearing: Top - Topshop Concessions at Oxford Circus | Jeans - Blitz Vintage | Shoes - ASOS | Bag - Depop | Earrings - Topshop |

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CURRENT WISHLIST AND MY FAST FASHION FAST

Over the past few months, I have developed a strange relationship with clothing, especially when purchasing. Perhaps this has something to do with the pledge I made last year to cut down on fast fashion and be a more conscious shopper - only buying items when I knew I really wanted them. This process involves a lot of thinking and waiting - if I don't get the initial 'I need it!' pang when I see an item or try it on, I dwell on it and that's how I know if I can live without it. Unsurprisingly, 90% of the time I have concluded that I can indeed survive happily without that off the shoulder blouse I spied in Topshop. I do sometimes get fooled by my own intuition however and purchase on impulse, but no fear because a trip to Zara and one long wait later and all of my mistakes will have be refunded.

(All Pictured Above: Zara Oversized Roll Neck | Zara Green Satin Boots | Realisation Par The Bianca Lip | Monki Vinyl Boxy Coat | Zara Embroidered Slingback Shoes | Mango Leather Crop Trousers | Zara Astronaut T-Shirt | Relisation Par The Stevie | Topshop '90s Cat Eye Sunglasses | Topshop Red Espadrille Wedges | ASOS Faux Shearling Coat

With this practice however, comes the side effect of feeling like I have no clothes due to my lack of purchasing. While I may initially appear to want many items (and of course such always seems to occur at a time when I have absolutely no money to splurge on clothing) will I actually purchase them all? Of course not. Because I often get so caught up worrying about what I need and don't need and what I want or don't want, I end up pondering on the issue too long and thus become indecisive and switch off. I just can't seem to figure out what is worth my money these days, what won't become tired after several wears, and what I should prioritise. Plus, it is often hard being a student because there is the constant temptation of those few special items - such as a Realisation Par blouse, as pictured above, or a Reformation top - that are just that little bit out of reach, if not for price but for shipping and import duty costs and the lack of security of a fuss free and cheap return. 

Yet, although I intend to cut down on fast fashion and my habit has certainly dwindled, I still constantly trawl the new-in sections in pursuit of purchase. I have postulated that perhaps this obsessive scrolling is due to FOMO. In my head, I am thinking 'What if Zara has new items that I haven't seen, I could love them...' accompanied by alarm bells ringing in my head (okay, perhaps it is not so dramatic) and I know it's not that serious - nothing bad will happen if I don't check Zara or Topshop or Mango yet, I feel instantly better once I have examined every inch of each online store. In truth, I do not want to miss out but this fact does not mean that I am clicking purchase at every given opportunity, it is, in fact, quite the opposite. Possibly, the root of this compulsive behaviour stems from the fact that I find comfort in knowing that I have seen all that is to offer. It enables me to pour over everything and divulge it, categorise such in wishlist form and play the all important, all telling waiting game by checking back on the items I lusted over and proving whether love at first sight is a force that really does exist. In doing so, not only am I appeasing my fast fashion FOMO without doing any serious damage, I am evading any sense of overwhelm that would undoubtedly arise when tackling the pages upon pages of attire when I actually posses the intent to purchase. Plus, alternatively, it pays to know that you are in fact, not missing out on anything, too. The constant need for newness in fashion can certainly be anxiety enduing but you just need to be sure of what you want and not play into the disposable trend game. And so I shall continue to watch, wait, and repeat. 


For now, the wishlist in question is a much shortened version of items I saved onto my bookmarks (yes, I still utilise that tool, is that weird? I don't know, maybe it isn't and it's completely normal and I'm making this comment for no reason) over the space of the past month. I make a habit of this, as explained in detail above and I will reiterate that I recommend doing so yourself as it really is revealing and sends an air of clarity over my mostly hard to pin down sartorial needs. Maybe people do this already. Again, who knows. All I can do is speak for myself here, ha. 

Onto the clothes, even now I can pinpoint and prioritise what I want to purchase most out of this still abundant shortlist. At this current moment in time, I am mostly wishing to own the Zara oversized blue roll neck jumper. Why exactly this is is a question I myself do not currently have the answer for. I have never liked deep blue tones. Not navy, not cobalt, nor royal blue. No matter how many times Alexa Chung iterated that a navy sweater is all you need for your wardrobe to feel complete, I was never sold. Yet this incarnation of blue has me second guessing my past ignorance and all I can think is how good it would look thrown over my newly bought vintage white Levi 501s and colour blocked with my favourite green tassel earrings. Also a feature of this imaginary ensemble is the green satin ankle boots also from Zara (of course). I am always a fan of Zara (and yes this is the one fast fashion relationship that is the hardest to break) but its AW17 collection is proving extremely fruitful thus far. 


The Monki vinyl jacket is an equally noticeable find. Ever since I bought the Alexa Chung vinyl trench late last year my love affair for the M&S coat has not dwindled in even the slightest. However, I would quite like a shorter version too and this one seems the perfect fit. Similarly, jeans are always on my mind when searching for a wardrobe update. I have finally decided that jeans are the glue that sticks my wardrobe together and thus, I have concluded that I should probably spend more of both my time and money adding to the rather small collection of jeans that I currently own. For once, this usually exhaustive search was quite easy, with minimal effort I managed to pick four pairs of jeans I think would compliment my wardrobe perfectly. Not so long ago it was almost impossible to find good crop flare jeans on the high-street and even more so a white pair. For once, my sartorial search seems (almost) complete.


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10 THINGS I HAVE LEARNT SINCE MOVING TO LONDON FOR UNIVERSITY


1) London is massive, so much so, it makes any other city seem miniscule. Going to 'town' you say? In London there is no town - Oxford Circus, Shoreditch, Chelsea? In Liverpool, town may mean the city centre but here there is so much to do and see, for some it can seem overwhelming but with such vastness you can never be bored.

A CHANGE


It has been awhile since I opened blogger with the intent to publish a post. Perhaps four months is the longest I have been absent for, and yet it feels like less than such. While I have certainly lacked in quantity of posts since my starting at University - something which indeed does hinder my strength to post - there has been another, unrelated factor which has left me feeling negative towards my blog; its name. And so, a change was needed.