Okay, so you may or may not have noticed that over the past year I've only published seven blog posts, my Instagram has been mostly old content and my YouTube non-existent. In short, I gave up blogging.
The truth is that there have been numerous factors as to why I'm not so engaged on the Interweb anymore and why a few months ago I was just going to delete everything all together.
This blog (and subsequent social media platforms) has been (for the past 5 years) my favourite hobby, a creative outlet I much needed and (rather hilariously, considering the questionable OOTD's on here) the pathway into my career as a fashion journalist.
So, in case you wanted to know (and are still here with me, cos LOL I've lost a lot of followers due to my hiatus) here are the reasons why I took a style blogging sabbatical, as well as a little bit of a ramble:
1. I got a new job Probably the first and foremost reason why I've been so silent is that I got a new job.
For two years prior I had been freelance, living the life of 9am weekday lie-ins, plenty of time to shoot looks with photographers, create content and go to influencer events etc. My income was a mixture of being a writer, micro influencer and presenter.
However, last October I got my first full-time job. Firstly, let me answer the question of 'why?'. Basically, I went freelance purely by fluke when I left uni, I was just doing unpaid internships (as ya do to get into fashion) when I got a writing job as a blogger, then thanks to my amazing, supportive boss's (who I can never thank enough) this slowely progressed to me becoming a journalist, where I would work a shift (from home, often in my dressing gown and with my snoring pup next to me) 5 days a week.
Oh the good days!
But to be quite honest, even though I was freelance (which means you gotta have some skill in order for editors to hire you out of the hundreds) I still felt like a fraud and that I was just on a lucky streak that was going to end at any moment.
You see, I hadn't ever studied journalism, English etc. My A levels were in drama, media and art and I had a Bsc in Film and Television Production. Not to mention, dyslexia, where back in secondary school I hadn't got into a school because they thought I wasn't going to even pass my maths or english GCSE. Even when I was 17, my media teacher had a massive A3 piece of paper on her classroom wall with 'their, there and they're' on it especially for me. Thank goodness I got through the numerous levels of education due to creative mediums such as film, art etc.
I had been told my whole life that writing was not for me and that I was in fact very, very bad at it. And yet, it was my main source of income!?
What the actual F!?
It just didn't add up to me.
So, in short, although I loved life as a freelancer and rather hilariously earn't around the same amount as I do now, I wanted to go in-house somewhere to give myself more confidence in my abilities, as well as obviously have more financial security month-to-month.
A year on, and the job has been invaluable. Not only have I worked incredibly hard to constantly improve my skills (like I now know how apostrophes actually work LOL) - but I also now know that I'm actually a damn good fashion journalist, my old writing work makes me cringe beyond belief, plus, my video and creative background are actually incredibly valuable in digital journalism- which makes paying off that student debt a little sweeter.
Anyway obviously this full-time job has mean't I have no time to create content, I know that lots of bloggers work 2 jobs at once and I applaud them. Because my commute sees me get up at 5.30am and get home around 6.30-7pm - and tbh - I'm just knackered. And on the weekends the last thing I want to do is go back into town to shoot (I mostly just want to sleep), or write some more when I've written over 650 articles in the past year.
But, watch this space, because 2019 should see Sabs finally in London town!
2. Mental health
I've now become somewhat of a mental health activist in my friendship group because of what I've gone through over the past year. I think it's SO important to talk about mental health, because if someone is going/ has gone through similar then they know that they're not alone. Or, in contrast if someone still has some sort of stigma about it/ doesn't understand it because they've never gone through it, then you can educate them. And for me, I find it quite therapeutic/ healing as well to talk about what I've experienced.
I'm not going to go into it too much because, to be honest, I don't have a diagnosis because I haven't had the counselling I need yet (I'm working on it). And to that end, I'm also very careful not to sensationalize anything surrounding mental health.
All I can tell you is that a lot of change happened at once as well as something emotionally distressing and I was suddenly hit with severe anxiety that consumed me (shout out to the propranolol that did sweet FA).
Every day was an inexplicable exhausting struggle.
I suffered from constant panic, sickness, I couldn't eat. My weight plummeted to nearly 6-stone-something. I couldn't sleep. Socialising was a no-go. The light went out and for a good 8 months I was just a empty shell of my former self.
I've had no interest in expressing myself through clothes etc, I lost my personal style, I lost myself, and now I'm trying to piece it all slowly back together.
I don't know how/ what got me out of the darkness but a year on, the colour is slowly starting to come back - I can feel it - my friends can see it - and I've never felt more relieved and grateful.
So, I hope that explains it a bit.
For myself I'm going to start trying to get my blogging mojo back, even if that's just with Instagram pics and stories because it was an important way for me to showcase self-expression and something I would love to get back to.
It may be slow and sporadic (and probably just on Instagram for the time being) but Sabs is attempting a comeback.
These pics were taken early 2018, when for a fleeting moment I felt vibrant AF thanks to Good Dye Young poser paste.
When I visited Nashville over the summer I interviewed Hayley and Brian about their hair and self care venture - you can read it here. Given the topic of this blog post and their brands amazing ethos I thought the pics were a good fit.
Although my Instagram may suggest otherwise for a few weeks whilst I post all the content from my trip to LA and Nashville. To be honest, just looking at my feed makes me feel slightly chilly but hey that content is goin' up!
But for those of us lucky enough to live in this country we call Britain (leaving the whole Brexit disaster to one side) we are now entering that awkward transeasonal period where half of us are determined to go bare-legged until Halloween, whilst the others immediately grab the nearest teddy coat - am I right!?
Hey, no judgement either way. I've already pulled my fluffy aviator coat out of the cupboard for my morning commutes.
Anyway, what I thought I would do in the blog post is help y'all out (soz mind still in Nashville) a bit with how to cope with this awkward dressing phase.
It will probably come as no surprise that a midi skirt is by far the best solution when it comes to the unpredictable weather. And, if you are a keen Instagram scroller you probably know that the 'it' style to have for autumn 2018 is a little leopard print number.
The trend, which was started by Reformation has luckily (for those of us without deep pockets) now been commandeered by the high street, with lots of slinky satin numbers hitting stores - but not for long - as they sell out in a heartbeat.
For example, I searched high and low for a similar luxe looking style, and finally came across this one by River Island, which cost a bargain £36. But alas, was sold out.
A quick email to PR, re-stock date in the diary and cheeky online purchase on my lunch break later - and finally - I had the wild number in my wardrobe. And I have to say the mixture of the light weight satin material and animal print immediately made me feel pretty darn sassy.
It is also proving to be the perfect number for the transeasonal weather, as well as a killer day-to-night number.
For an office to out out look I've paired it with this bardot button-up shirt, which I think we can all agree is a lot smarter than my usual tee of choice, but recently I've really grown to love a dramatic shirt. Maybe I'm finally growing up. Or, maybe it's just a phase.
Either way as the weather plummets I will probably switch the shirt for a fitted polo neck or cosy jumper. Hell, I may even be really reckless and mix in a few other animal prints like a snakeskin or tiger print top.
As for footwear? Until I own a pair of autumn/winter 2018 western boots, or until the snow hits again and makes me live in my Dr Martens, I'm going to be embracing these Buffalo boot-inspired BAD BOIIIIIS.
I've made it no secret that I love all things 90s (especially Spice Girls platform footwear that makes my short ass self appear ever-so-slightly taller). However, I didn't really want to shell out £160 for a real pair, and after buying a similar pair from Urban Outfitters only to find them HELLA HEAVY and quite a trip hazard, which is not great for someone who has already broken her nose numerous times - apparently my hands arn't very good at quick reactions and my nose loves to faceplant the ground.
Anyway, they were a safety risk for me and my nose, and so I sold them on Depop and had given up with my Baby Spice dreams. That was until I found these more sensible looking £45 chunky platform sneakers at River Island.
They are like 70% lighter, 85% more comfortable and 100% more Sabby safety friendly.
So, these are just a few of the staples I'll be wearing until it gets too cold to give a F - hope it has helped you out a little. I've created a little shoppable bit below if you want to recreate the look:
As this heatwave continues to be the basis of every conversation in Britain (am I right?), I can't help but think about all the upcoming festivals that are going to be bloomin' UH-MAZING if the weather stays this way!
After all, what is better than spending your weekend in the sun, alcoholic beverage in hand, listening to a few of your fave bands, and, of course, buying an entirely new outfit!?
Literally my favourite thing about going to a festival is planning (and justifying) an entire new outfit, which is fit for my field dancing alter ego.
But, my outfit often depends on the festivals vibe. For example, quirky Bestival is different to urban Lovebox. Plus, I'm pretty sure if I headed to Reading Fest dressed head-to-toe in baby pink and glitter I'd have a cup of what I'd tell myself is cider thrown over me in a millisecond. Ah Reading, how my 17-year-old scene/goth/alternative self misses you.
So, I've teamed up with PrettyLittleThing to bring you two looks that are appropriate for whatever festival date is in your diary:
The low-key day look
If I'm heading to a day festival (most probably Wireless) I feel a tad more self-conscious about my outfit.
Because it's set literally a few feet off the London streets people don't go as full-on festival with the dress code. After all, you've got to get the tube all the way home after.
I usually opt for a more casual look, yet still with a festi twist.
I'm currently getting back on board with the camouflage trend that is set to soar this autumn. So, not only can I wear this skirt during festival season, but, I can have it in my wardrobe ready to re-style into trendy A/W18 looks.
Finally, although we currently want to go sit in our freezers, festival evenings are known for getting a ickle bit chilly. And, I for one am not one for the cold. So, if I don't have a jacket it's game-over - I'll get grumpy, grab some chips and be on my way.
Therefore I picked up this shaggy black jacket, which adds a bit of wow-factor to the look. And, once again, is perfect for restyling throughout autumn.
The show-stopping festival look
As I said at the start, If I'm going to a festival I usually want to go all-out and embrace every single glitzy, quirky and colourful style I can find.
So, allow me to introduce you to my in-your-face 2018 festival outfit.
For starters, I will be the first to admit that I am obsessed with cycling shorts. And, I promise it's not because of Kim K, it's because they are just oh-so-comfy, you can dance your heart out and not worry about showing your knickers, or about your denim hot-pants riding up your ass into an uncomfortable wedgie.
Next I wanted to sparkle-up the shorts so I went for this glitzy disc top, that yes, may be prone to a nip slip but I'd just whack on some nipple pasties and be on my way. After all, festivals are a place where you can just be free from all responsibilities - and bras.
For me, colour is the key to any amazing festival look, and therefore, can we all just take a moment to appreciate this ridiculous shaggy rainbow cardigan.
It's extra AF, and that's exactly the aesthetic I go for at festivals.
If that wasn't enough, I also had to finish off the extra ensemble with a *few* accessories.
(Side note: I'm sh*t at makeup so always compensate through my outfit haha!)
Obviously you can't have a summer 2018 look without a pair of teeny tiny sunglasses, I have this style in black and pink but opted for the pink because if the weather gets a bit, well British, you can convince yourself otherwise by looking through rose tinted glasses. Like, literally #lifehack.
Next up, I bought these Buffalo boot-esque shoes from Urban Outfitters and I. AM. OBSESSED. I've always wanted a pair of Spice Girls ready shoes, but at £150 a pop it was a no-go from my bank balance. These were only £50 so it was a win-win.
Finally, you've probably seen hair scarfs have been blowing up the 'gram and I thought this little rainbow number tied together the whole look rather nicely.
So, there you have it, my two festival-ready looks.
But, how do you go about buying all the has-been brands from the past?
From the moment numerous noughties brand got the green light I've become somewhat of a pro at hunting them DOWN.
Side note: You have to look extra hard to purchase them without an inflated price tag, which for me is high on the criteria, because look *enter brands name*, I know I managed to score a sick Fila jumper on my £15 pocket money back in the day and now you wanna be charging me £65! Erm, let me just think about that - nope, sorry, that jumper is going to be as single as Alex in the first week of Love Island.
So, over the past year or so I've discovered the best ways to get your hands on throwback streetwear brands for less and thought I would impart my wisdom, because sharing is caring, right?
If you're a subscriber to my YouTube channel then you will know that if there was an 'eBay anonymous' I would be signed up.
For example, right now, as I write this I'm sat here in a pair of cycling shorts that are cutting off all circulation to my waist, with the initials of some school kid in the back. They said 30" waist, I thought they were adult size, they were not. Always read the small print kids.
Anyway, cycling shorts as an exception, eBay is fab for grabbing yourself a Kappa tee for under a tenner or buying yourself a Playboy handbag in tribute of Hugh Hefner the day he died. What can I say? I'm sentimental.
2. Vintage shops
When I'm not being 100% lazy shopping on eBay I freaking love scouting out vintage shops for hidden gems.
A few of my faves include Rocket Vintage in Covent Garden and Beyond Retro in Shoreditch. They are without a doubt my all time faves.
There's something just so satisfying about uncovering a treasure in a vintage shop. Sure, winning a bid on eBay is one thing, but leaving a store with a tangible item is another.
After losing a ton of bids on a Kangol hat on eBay (yes, A-KANGOL-HAT, literally they were going for like £25 - NO THANK YOU).
I was lucky enough to stumble upon a vintage shop in my uni town York when I was visiting with my besties. I managed to find a awesome red Kangol hat for £7. I know the Up North part helped, but still it was a freaking steal.
So, if you want to get out of the house, which I strongly suggest, go vintage shopping!
3. Urban Outfitters
Nowadays because a lot of these brands have become, once again, 'mainstream' a lot of high street stores are selling them, from Topshop to ASOS.
However, I've found that by far the best shop is Urban Outfitters, AKA hipster central. I know what you're thinking, you're thinking "that's stupid, the prices are premium!"
But, a little research and you will find otherwise.
Sure, when I was at uni I used to go into UO and spend more time looking at the hot hipster guys than I did at the cash register.
But, as I've got older and savvier (yet still single) I've learnt that it is the best, mostly because it does the best deals, you just have to find them.
If i'm online shopping I will most certainly spend at least 20 mins searching for a discount code at the checkout (because you gotta save that dollar, right?) and UO always comes up trumps.
For example, a quick scroll on Groupon and you can find a full list of perks, such as free delivery, student discount (if you are lucky enough to still be a student), £15 off codes and 2-for-1 deals.
Also, as a extra sartorial win Urban Outfitters do a ton of exclusive collaborations with 90s brands such as Umbro and Champion. This jersey dress is in fact from the Umbro x Urban Outfitters collab, which puts an immediate modern twist on the brand so it's ready to go.