BLACKED OUT SILVER LININGS

Photography: Belita Marfo (@biggiesnaps)

What I wore:
Jumpsuit – Stradivarius
Denim jacket – Topshop sample sale
Trainers – Fila
Bag – Nasty Gal
Earring – H&M
Sunglasses – ASOS

Today we’re discussing insecurities, comparison and what it means to be beautiful. Yup, deep stuff. So once upon a time I didn’t believe I was a peng ting. Everyone and their dad wanted to compare my sister and I, from friends to family members who always favoured her over me – she’s absolutely stunning btw, check her out on IG @antoinetteale_ + her hair platform @haircrushuk… I’d get comments from “friends” like “oh is that your sister, raah what happened to you” or “are you definitely blood sisters/related, are you sure?”. I was also always the friend who guys approached so they could get to my friend lol and on top of this tragic life story, I had quite bad acne, which again everyone used to point out to me as if I didn’t own a mirror. I used to pray hard for God to give me clear skin. Like listen, when I tellllll you these were full on tear-filled prayers; I was crying out to God like it was the end of the world, wow what a time. When I look back it seems silly but I honestly felt like utter crap and my self esteem was non-existent. I wouldn’t even dare go to the corner shop without makeup. It hurts to reflect and realise all this but it’s also amazing to acknowledge how far I’ve come. I think in a weird, subconscious way that’s how I came to develop an experimental, fun, unique dress sense and cool personality (not to toot my own horn or nothing haa) because I was probably trying to shift the focus away from my face. Funny how life works ay?!

I think it’s crazy how many people have deep insecurities and you’d never guess from looking at them or seeing them on social media. I had a conversation with a friend last week and she was sharing how she felt insecure about her body and all I could think was huh, YOU? I just never imagined that someone who came across so confident and self-aware would have insecurities but I think we all do, it’s mad.

I’m on a lifelong journey of learning to truly love myself inside and out and a lot of different things have helped over the years so I thought I’d share. Obviously being a Christian I try and run to God and His Word for everything life throws at me so that’s been really encouraging. Motivational speakers have also helped, to some extent, and also affirmations on daily/weekly/whenever-you-feel-like-a-dead-ting basis. Also, being really aware of my thoughts and nipping negative thoughts in the bud straight away— it can feel draining at first but it’ll become second nature with consistent practice. Please always remember, beauty fades and there’s much more to life than looks. A famous blogger once described her body as spirit sack and that really stuck with me because that’s exactly what it is and it’s what’s within that truly matters. Say it with me “I am a peng ting inside and out”.

Btw this was a little insight into my mind and the self-therapy sessions that go in my head so yeah welcome.

Stay blessed, c ya.

TQL x

TARTAN TWO PIECE + THRIFT TIPS

If you know me, you know I love a two piece/co-ord set. I’ve come to realise that I’m very much obsessed with them; they just make so much sense. You don’t necessarily need to “complete” the look with anything cos it’s already complete, right?! Also, there’s nothing I love more than a print two piece especially if it can be both dressed up with heels or down with trainers. I found this skirt suit in a charity shop in Shepherds Bush (when I used to live in West London) and it had been sitting in my wardrobe for ages as I had planned to customise it but never got round to it until now yayy. I always forget to take before and after pics but it used to be a longline blazer and a maxi skirt which I then cropped to create this look. Super easy and I didn’t even sew the hemline as I liked the frayed look. So you don’t need to be an expert, you just need some good ‘ol fabric scissors and a steady hand 😉 This is definitely one that I’ll style casually as well with some chunky trainers and a cute tee.

When I go shopping in charity shops I’m usually looking beyond what I can see and thinking more about the potential of a garment rather than it’s current form cos more time it doesn’t look extraordinary to begin with (or I just get excited and think of how I can jazz it up even more). This is a great tip for thrifting and if you enjoy a bit of DIY then even better. I’ve actually been thinking about putting a little “thrift bible” together cos I always get asked about charity shop shopping/thrifting and how i navigate the thrift world lol so I’m going to try my best to make it happen and release that this year. I guess sometimes you just do things not realising that you’ve actually harnessed a skill so yeah this year, we move. Errbody can be a thrifty queen/king, let’s geddit.

Side note: I feel like one segzy lecturer in this look, like I’m about to hold some kind of cool seminar. Anyway, it was fun putting this fit together and if you spot a cool two piece in a charity shop, grab it cos they are rare (or buy it for your favourite fashion blogger, aka me, as a gift)!

Photography: Belita Marfo (@biggiesnaps)

What I wore:
Turtleneck jumper – Dorothy Perkins
Two-piece suit – Charity shop
Thigh high boots – Public Desire
Necklace – Pretty Little Thing
Bag – Primark

What is your top tip for thrifting/shopping in vintage markets/charity shops etc? Comment below and let me know!

Have a blessed and productive week, see you in my next one.

TQL x

PINK PARADISE

So today, I’m bringing you some pretty pink sawce with a splash of gentrification, featuring the very popular and pretty Palm Vaults café. I was kinda perplexed when I turned up and found this cute little café situated in the middle of the gritty East London high street. It’s right next to boss man’s homeware shop and other local necessities which I found a bit strange but I guess it’s a typical example of the gentrification that’s going on across parts of London. Anyway, I took my cute pics outside and kept it moving, safe for the aesthetics x

This look is a fave of mine; it’s a tad bit tomboy but still a bit girly which I’ve come to realise is my “look”; tomboy but make it cute. I found the pink, pleated skirt in my local (now not so local) charity shop for a few quid and got the top and denim jacket from sample sales at work! The skirt is quite a loud number but I love the shiny, foil texture and shade of pink; you’ll definitely turn some heads in something like this. Also, how cool is this denim jacket?! I low key high key wish I customised it myself but unfortunately not. I got it for a fiver and whenever I wear it I get tonnes of compliments!

The bag is another sample sale item (I was addicted to those sales lol) which compliments the skirt so well and is small but very handy and spacious. Teeny bags are in right now and I’m trying to build a little collection cos who doesn’t love miniature things! Mine’s from Toyshop but I know Zara have some really cute ones at the moment…

Photography: Belita Marfo (@biggiesnaps)

What I Wore:
T-shirt – Sample Sale
Skirt – Thrifted (H&M)
Jacket – Topshop Sample Sale
Trainers – Fila

So these past few months have been crazy, like a whole lot has occurred. I’ve moved into a new flat with my sis, lost a dear uncle, quit my job without having another one lined up (long story lol) and God’s just been revealing A LOT to me recently. I’ve also had some really low moments about my career/Revival/where I’m heading in life but God is good and I’ve found loads of encouragement and comfort in His Word. Truly “letting go and letting God” is scary but also very liberating and I’ve defo been exercising my faith muscles over the past couple of months. If you’re scared about pursuing something, publishing work, taking a risk, whatever it maybe, please JUST DO IT (word to Nike & Colin Kaepernick). Life is honestly too short. Push yourself and gtfo of that comfort zone! Anyway, I’m really looking forward to starting my new job next week as well as doing my own thing with Revival and just wanted to spread some encouragement to you guys.

P.S. I was going to wear this to LFW but I literally couldn’t be bothered this year lol if you went, how was it for you?

TQL

THE GREEN MINI

In this look, I’m sporting a stolen t-shirt (from a friend lol) and a green mini skirt which has been collecting dust at the back of my wardrobe for some time now. I thought it would be a cute combo and I think the graphic print compliments it quite well plus, who doesn’t love a colour clash! As you can see I am loving the mini skirt and crep combo at the moment. It’s my go-to right now with the addition a t-shirt to complete the look.

Photography: Alex Mitchell (@alexmitchellphotography)

What I Wore:
T-shirt – Stolen from a friend
Skirt – Thrifted
Denim Jacket – Topshop
Trainers – FILA
Necklace – Topshop

Hope you guys have been enjoying the semi-decent weather (Londoners), we’re actually having a summer wow! Also, how are we nearly at the end of July? I need answers guys, seriously. This month has literally flown by and I feel like so much has happened. One major change has been me moving to a completely different part of London with my sister and it’s the first place we can actually call home *tears of joy*. It feels amazing to officially have our own flat but also very overwhelming and surreal. With God all things are truly possible and I’m just so grateful right now. There have also been some downs this month but I know everything happens for a reason and God is in full control. Life is ofcourse full of twists and turns and it’s all about embracing each experience and moment as well as living each day to the fullest because tomorrow isn’t promised. On a lighter note, congratulations to all those graduating from university over this period. Well done on completing no matter what grade you left with and welcome to the real world haa!

What’s been the highlight (or lowlight?) of this month so far? Comment below 🙂

Thanks so much for reading and catch you on the next one.

TQL

CAT EYES + CONFIDENCE

Yep, we’re still wearing coats despite the fact that it’s April now, British weather eh. I’m very tired of this deceptive sunshine and bipolar weather. Anyway, your girl is back with a new post and this one’s for the bada$$ bih’s. I thought I’d put together a lil edgy look with my fairly new leopard print coat and cat eye sunglasses because why not?! I felt especially badass with these sunglasses on; I swear they make you feel like a completely different person. Confidence levels on 1000 x

I’m not the most confident person but I’m a firm believer in stepping out of your comfort zone and also faking it till you make it. By the latter, I don’t mean stunting and acting like you’ve got it all together but rather forcing yourself to be confident in the moment and then making that your norm. For example, when I’m at a networking event I’ll force myself to walk over to at least one person and start a conversation without overthinking it! Literally, just do it (no Nike). As you continue to do that frequently, it will come so naturally to you, which is what Dr Ivan Joseph talks about in his Ted Talk; he describes confidence as a skill that can be trained and I think this is so true. I also think, however, that we are all born with a certain level of confidence, some greater than others and in different aspects, but we’re still capable of increasing our level on confidence in the areas we lack in.

Photography: Belita Marfo (@biggiesnaps_)

What I wore:
Top – Topshop sample sale
Jeans – Topshop sample sale
Coat – Dorothy Perkins
Boots – New Look
Bag – Primark
Sunglasses – eBay

What item/person/place/scent gives you a boost of confidence? Comment below! 🙂

FYI my coat is 100% faux fur coat pls before anyone comes with their slander lol I definitely don’t condone the killing of animals for the manufacture of (luxury) goods.

Thanks for reading!

TQL

PRIMARYS + PUFFAS

I don’t know if you guys can tell but I’m a tomboy at heart lol especially during winter when I just want to be COZY AF. As soon as the temperature drops, I go into comfy mode and tend to wear functional pieces rather than showy bits. Thick socks, jumpers, hoodies, the full works and usually something oversized as well. I remember being bullied in school/college for wearing “boy-ish”, baggy clothes and it used to upset me but at this point in my life I don’t give a flying donkey what anyone thinks of me and my style. Plus I can switch it up whenever wherever and that’s what I really enjoy about fashion – showcasing a different element of yourself everyday. Slightly androgynous styling has a special place in my heart and I love preeing the men’s section!

So this is my take on a colourful, cute and comfy winter look. I’m a summer baby and I love bright hues so I thought I’d break the Autumn/Winter norms and style something bright. This blue puffa is my favourite coat yet, it’s super warm and bright (ofcourse) so was a great addition to my wardrobe. I got it for £4 (YES £4!!!) from a shop called Traid (Camden Town branch) when they had one of their spontaneous sales in which everything was between £1-5! On a normal day their prices are a bit cheeky so keep your eyes peeled for the discounts. Traid is a charity focused on reducing clothing waste and encouraging clothing re-use so not only do they have some amazing, unique pieces, but they also do amazing work within the textile industry. Check them out here. Everything else was thrifted so cheap as chips as well and then a cute Zara backpack to complete the look.

Photography: Stephanie Okereafor

What I wore:
T-shirt – Thrifted
Trousers – Thrifted
Jacket – Thrifted
Trainers – Nike AF1
Backpack – Zara
Glasses – Primark
Earrings – Primark

Check out the alternatives below to get this look and let me know what you think!

TQL

CREAM ROLL NECKS + CHOCOLATE SUEDE

Photography: Stephanie Okereafor

What I wore:
Dress – Thrifted (Zara)
Jacket – Mile End Thrift Store
Trainers – Nike AF1
Bag – Primark
Glasses – eBay

Hey hey, your girl is back! It’s been an extremely long hiatus, my longest one yet, but it was definitely needed and so much has happened since my last post in March (yé). I curated my first revival shoot, graduated (finally!), started my first “real” job and went on a very spontaneous trip to Morocco with my bestfriend. So it’s been a busy few months and I’m still trying to figure this adulting thing out but I’m back *multiple ayyy’s*! Life comes at you fast when you’ve suddenly got several bills to pay lol can I go back to school pls. But yeah, I’m learning to embrace it and get into a general routine whilst also working on my fashion reconstruction brand, revival, and keeping my mental health in check. To anyone in a similar position juggling different things at once, keep pushing boo. It’ll all be worth it in the end.

So I went for a bit of an oldschool vibe with this look, sporting these brown, rectangular glasses, which look exactly like my dad’s ones circa ’04, and some vintage suede which I bought years ago when vintage stuff wasn’t overpriced. I found the Zara roll neck dress in Traid for just £3 which completed the 70’s feel and the whole look literally cost about £12 (excluding shoes). The trick of the trade is to always look at labels when thrifting in charity shops; you’ll always find some high street brands in them and sometimes even some designer (depending on the location). Also, eBay is great for vintage accessories so search on there for some cheap, unique bits. Hope you guys were inspired and can’t wait to share more lewks with you.

TQL

QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE

Photography: Belita Marfo (Biggie Snaps)

What I wore:
Shirt – Mum
Shoes – Nike AF1 – Birthday present
Bag – Mum

So summer is done, finito, garrrn, but Belita and I managed to catch some sun before the clouds and rain and wind took over London. This look basically cost me nothing because everything was either a gift or borrowed/stolen. I didn’t even realise until I started writing this post! Shout out to my mum for this yellow print shirt, I don’t think she knows but it’s actually mine now muhaha. I love the way it hangs and the print is so beautiful; it’s got zebras, tigers and elephants all over it and if you really know me, you’ll know I love love love elephants. I’m channelling hella Safari vibes in this… Also, big up Anita and Funmi for my AF1’s, I’ve wanted them for so long and they surprised me with these on my 21st. Cuties.

So I’ve been on a mission to become more and more self sufficient and I think every female out there should definitely give this a go. It is the key to that independent, “yaaas bih” lifestyle. I personally don’t like relying on people because well, people are people. We make empty promises, misinterpret each other, thread off more eyebrow hair than what was instructed etc etc and I just cba 90% of the time. Especially when it comes to grooming in terms of nails, eyebrows and hair, etc I can be so fussy! So over the past couple of years I’ve been learning different skills in order to become a strong, independent black woman, hallelurr! Obviously I can’t do everything myself but so far I’ve learned things like how to make a wig, do my own Afro kinky twists, cook food from other cultures (instead of ordering takeaway), make jewellery etc and it’s so much fun. It’s empowering to know you can do something yourself and I find it quite exciting as well (I’m such a nerd lol). Obviously synergy is a mad ting and we are an interdependent world but sometimes DIY init. A bit of independence with certain things here and there gives you some superwoman powers and you may even end up making new friends or earning money from that new skill.

Challenge yourself to learn a new skill. Do something you’ve never done before.

God has been pushing me to get out of my comfort zone recently and that is where life truly starts! Life is all about transformation, growth and challenges and that’s the journey we should all be on; one that is full of discovery and uncomfortable experiences that help us develop into who God wants us to be. Whatever you want to be able to do yourself, try it, practice and then perfect it. Whether it’s cooking, dancing, graphic design or fixing cars. Get yo life hunny.

Lastly, make sure you guys follow Belita, her photography Instagram is @biggiesnaps_! She’s actually been getting better and better behind the lense and has just got the kindest heart on this planet (even though she’s cheeky 99.9% of the time). This is definitely my favourite blog shoot ever. Hands down.

TQL

GRANNY SHIRTS & MEN’S JEANS

Photography: Belita Marfo (Biggie Snaps)

What I wore:
Crop top – Asos
Shirt – Thrifted
Jeans – Thrifted – £3
Boots – ASOS
Bag – Mum

Hello my lovelies, hope everyone is having a fab Monday morning/afternoon/evening, wherever you are in the world. Mondays can be quite poo for most people but I try and embrace it because I know I’ve made it alive into a new week so praise God, hallelurr! #MadeItMonday #MotivationMonday

So I got this print shirt from a vintage sale in Nottingham some months ago and the weather in London was actually decent enough to wear it. It’s been like hot and rainy or just cloudy or really hot and sunny so I’m always confused about what to wear! I love having a oversized shirt over a simple look, I feel like that’s my uniform these days lol. It’s so effortless and can transform a basic outfit to make you look très hip. I DIY’d (is that even a word) my jeans with a knee rip and cut off the hems just because they looked too plain when I bought them and I wanted to jazz them up a bit. And yes they are men’s jeans. Who cares about gender when it comes to looking good? Break the rules hunny, all day everyday. These are the jeans I used to make the choker in my previous post, ha! So resourceful right?! Everyone always asks me how I get the rips to look so good and nicely frayed but there’s actually no special trick to it! You just need to make sure the denim is good quality and make sure you wash the jeans after you cut/slice them. If they are good quality, the fraying will come out fleeky, truss mi daddi.

Guys, I’m in such a fantastic mood because life is so swit right now and I’m on the last week of my internship *swings hips*! I’ve had such an extremely lit summer, even with the rubbish confusing weather. I’ve met so many amazing people and achieved and learned so much! Also, make sure you check out my fashion and personal styling company www.revivalldn.com which relaunched on Saturday! Have a blessed week.

TQL

DENIM DAZE

Photography: Belita Marfo (Biggie Snaps)

What I wore:
Top – H&M – £2
Jeans – Thrifted – £1
Kimono – Primark
Trainers – Reebok
Bag – Ebay – free

Back at it again with the inconsistency… Yes guys, I’m sorry once again but life happens init, love you. Anyway, I’m so excited to share this look with you guys after being away for so long. My internship swallows up all my energy so this has been a draft for a likkle while. Can we all take a minute and deep that this cute one shoulder top was only £2 and it wasn’t even thrifted, it’s from a “normal” high street store yaaas! It’s so 90’s and “me”, I nearly bought it in all the colours! Find a H&M store and thank me later, no Drake. I made the choker from the hem of some thrifted jeans and yeah Kim K needs to move because I really made this before her *rolls eyes*. I’m obsessed with thick chokers now and I’ve been making loads from scraps of fabric so a cheeky DIY post may be on the horizon…

Recently, I’ve been reflecting on life a lot and the other day I was thinking about my younger self and I deeped how insecure I was about my body. I had so many little insecurities but it’s like I didn’t really realise how crap I felt about myself until I look back now. I used to do silly things like wear really long tops and jackets to cover my bum (it was huge back then *sigh*), never showed my arms and never stepped outside of my house without makeup on, etc the list goes on. I don’t know if you guys can relate to some of these kind of things but damn, I really didn’t love myself back then. I feel like I’ve come a long way because a few years ago that black kimono would’ve never left my body! It’s only in recent years where I’ve actually started embracing and loving myself inside and out and this shoot was so fun and carefree. I can’t stress how important it is to love yourself and I truly believe it’s only through getting closer to God that I’ve been able to make that shift. We tenk God.

I know it seems like everyone is doing Positive Patty on their blogs and social media these days lol so cringe, but it’s actually needed. Even though the majority of the things these people say are easier said than done, some of it is very encouraging. I read some blog posts and I feel like a new woman, all empowered and with some new found confidence, but that can also easily fade away. I’m not going to sit here and type up top ten tips for becoming carefree because that’s not going to work long term. I believe God is the only one who can transform those feelings into principles you can live by. I’m on a new journey and I’m transforming into a new me, who truly loves herself. It’s great to read things that fill your mind with positive thoughts but don’t let it end there; true joy and healing comes from God and His Word. My blog, my views, that’s all.

TQL