5 Summer Must-Haves for Your Next Beach Holiday

Summer is here, and holiday season has left me wanting to up my wardrobe game whether that means on the beach or at the airport. After doing some travelling myself, I’ve been inspired to create my own list of the summer must-haves to make your luggage a little more luxury.

Forget the sarongs and over-sized dresses. Hawaiian shirts are the new cover ups as they add a relaxed but feminine vibe to an otherwise standard bikini. Go for a size up or even try going for a men’s Hawaiian shirt so you can easily tie the ends or wear them loose.

Where to buy them: ASOS, TopshopUK and Forever 21

Not the most practical carry on bag, but it’s a cute purse to throw your phone, camera and sunscreen in. The rope-like material gives a tropical feel while still maintaining its leather luxury. This virtually looks good with any outfit whether its a maxi dress or a loose tee with denim shorts.

Where to buy them: TopshopUK, Mango, and Matalan

Hear me out. The days of biker shorts being limited to athletic wear only are a thing of the past. Biker shorts are perfect for the trip to the airport, as you can throw on a loose sweater over a t-shirt while still looking put together. You can continue rocking them with a bum bag during your holiday when you’re going sight-seeing or visiting a museum.

Where to buy them: Urban Outfitters, TopshopUK, and Pretty Little Thing

These bright-coloured headbands are popping up everywhere. They add a fun twist to any outfit, and let’s face it. Our hair can be all kinds of temperamental during the holiday whether that means dealing with constant frizz inducing-weather or 24/7 wet hair. When you run out of your travel-sized bottle of dry shampoo, this headband will come in clutch. You can wear it when you throw your hair in a bun or when your hair is still damp from beaching all day.

Where to buy them: Miss Selfridge, ASOS, and TopshopUK

Pleated skirts were all the rage this spring as they popped up on fashion runways in Paris, London and New York. This summer, they can be versatile and perfect for the day to night outfit. During the day, pair the shirt with a simple graphic tee and converse, and you can transition it to night by exchanging your tee for a black lace crop top and heels.

Where to buy them: ASOS, SHEIN, and Boohoo

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The Rise and Fall of Bum Bags

How did the once dorky trend go from rags to riches?

Credit: Jennifer Padilla

Bum bags are arguably the most polarising bag in the accessory community. They’ve come a long way from being thrown in the bargain bins at Urban Outfitters.The hands-free bag has been a symbol for dorkiness among tourists and dads for the past several years, but they’re back as brands like Fendi, Zara and Balenciaga showcase the once unfashionable trend on their shelves.

Bum bags date back to the Copper Age when a 5300-year-old frozen human body’s wardrobe was shown to be wearing “belt bags” made of leather and fur. Time magazine’s October 26, 1992 cover story reported the discovery of the human, Otzi the Iceman, wearing “a leather pouch resembling a small version of the ‘fanny packs’ worn by tourists today.” That’s right. People were already sporting the trend, granted it was for a more practical use in hunting and gathering. 

The United Kingdom first coined “bum bag” in the 1950s, but the bag is now more popularly known as a fanny pack. However, it wasn’t until the ‘80s when the trend gained some footing. Bum bags started popping up in its true form: nylon, neon-coloured and purely worn around the waist. They were being sported based on functionality rather than a fashion statement. Around the same time, tourism had significantly risen in popular cities, such as New York and Japan, and bum bags were simply being used for practical travel purposes.

By the ‘90s, the trend had shifted into athleisure wear, with women wearing their Kelly Kapowski biker shorts and fitted crop tops. Not to mention the iconic Dwayne the Rock Johnson outfit back in 1996 of the wrestler sporting a black turtleneck, light wash denim and an ever so tiny black patent bum bag.

Somewhere along the way, bum bags became “dorkier” and “dad like” rather than fashionable.

Fashion writer for the LA based website Good + Well Erin Bunch wrote an article titled: “How to wear a fanny pack without looking like your dad”. She says for a while, the trend was embarrassing to sport. She remembers seeing her mum and dad wearing the bags around their waist on family vacations during the ‘90s.

While the trend still got its bad rap in the media, Karl Lagerfeld created quilted black lambskin fanny packs for Chanel in 1994, while Louis Vuitton also started gracing fanny packs in runway shows. While designers started to join in on the bum bag fad, there was an irony that came with the look.

In her article, Bunch says it was the nylon material and utilitarian use that made the look so dated in the ‘80s, which is why the fad had faded. Bunch changed her opinion though during the early 2000’s, when she saw Carrie Bradshaw wearing a Gucci bum bag with a black crop top and striped skirt on an episode of Sex and the City.

“That was the first time I saw one and thought it was styled pretty cool,” Bunch says.“They came back in 2017 when I wrote that article because ‘it girls’ like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid were starting to wear them.”

Stylist and fashion blogger Jennifer Padilla frequently wears her studded leather Zara bum bag with her street and chic style on her Instagram feed. She remembers when she first saw fashion influencer and Youtuber Brittany Xavier sporting a red blazer and a Fendi bum bag cinched in at the waist. It inspired Padilla to purchase a bum bag of her own. She says as an ‘80s baby, she remembers when bum bags were simply made of nylon, cheesy neon colours and a zipper across the top.

 “I remember even as a kid seeing fanny packs when I was growing up and thinking ‘Oh that’s ugly,’” the stylist said. “I think it’s about how they were styled back then. People would wear them with baggy pants or even overalls with the one strap hanging, but I mean look at all these couture high fashion brands rocking these pieces.”

For Padilla, the trend went from ugly to couture because the materials were evolving as brands such as Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga started showing them in a chicer design in 2015 fashion runways. The other reason she feels the trend has evolved is because more women and men started wearing them across the chest.

Bunch agrees that it all comes down to the way they’re being worn, along with the people who sport fanny packs today.

“I feel like today, trends don’t come in and out of fashion like they used to so intensely. Personal style is dictated through different ways now,” Bunch says. “It used to be strictly the runways that said what was in fashion, and nowadays it’s influencers and social media as well, so there’s so many more voices and style has become a lot more eclectic as a result.”

To see them go from a practical bag to carry sunscreen in to the accessory piece of 2018 is quite a statement. Now fashion buyers seem them in every iteration of brand from Topshop’s neon green bum bag to Nasty Gal’s silver studded black version of the bag. When you see Rihanna sporting a coral-coloured power suit with a matching cinched in fanny pack, it’s hard not to want to rock one too. So here’s to the fanny pack comeback!

How to Rock Your Fanny Pack

Over the Shoulders: People have been sporting their bum bags over the shoulders, and it virtually works with any look. The over the shoulder look is for street wear everyday looks. If you’re keeping it casual with sweatpants, you can keep your look minimalistic with a matching sweatshirt and a bright coloured bum bag. You can also wear it with a simple denim jean and t-shirt for a more low key look. For someone with a more athletic built or pear shape, this is the way to wear it to accentuate the top half of your body.

Keep it Classic: If you’re apple shaped, this will be the most flattering way to wear the bum bag, and it works the best for BBQ’s, amusement parks, or just a fun summer day out. The classic nylon bag is nothing to be ashamed of as you can rock it with distressed jeans and an open bomber jacket for some more edge. You can also wear it more formally if it’s slung over a long floral skirt and an oversized fuzzy jumper.

Cinch it in: If you have an hourglass figure and want to call attention to your waist rather than your hips, try purchasing a bum bag that belts at the waist. This is the sleekest way to rock a bum bag especially if it’s a boxier shape. You can rock it like Rihanna by wearing a satin blazer and smart pair of trousers, or you can keep it more casual with a simple A-line dress.

Special thanks to Jennifer Padilla and Erin Bunch for the interviews and photos for my article! You can follow Jennifer here and Erin here.

I Try a Capsule Wardrobe for a Week and Here’s What Happens

The average woman owns 95 items of clothing and only wears 59 percent of them regularly, according to a study in the Great British Journal. I know for a fact I have way more than 95 items stuffed in my cluttered closet and just the other day, I had a heap of old worn out jeans come crashing down on me. I needed to confess it: I was a shopaholic. I needed a wake up call. 

A capsule wardrobe was first coined in the 70s by a London boutique owner Susie Faux when she created a collection of key essential items of clothing that were both timeless and seasonal. A capsule wardrobe typically contains 37 pieces for each season. 

Thirty-seven? I’ll admit, I probably own more than 37 jumpers alone.  After doing some more research and joining some minimalists Facebook groups, I challenge myself to wear only 10 items for the entire week. This is coming from the girl who sometimes changes her outfit midday out of pure boredom. 

To prepare for my week, I speak with capsule wardrobe queen and blogger of A Small Wardrobe Patricia. She says: “A small wardrobe relies on versatile items that can be worn in a number of different ways. You can build your wardrobe around colours and patterns – the key is to limit the palette to a few colours, and work on building that versatility – in other words – make sure you can match lots of different things together.”

I decide that I would mostly incorporate black and white and add a splash of red and yellow, two colours I wear often. Patricia says she probably has about 33 items in her closet overall, which leaves me craving more wisdom. How could she not get bored with her closet? 

“Many women love to experiment with fashion, and with so many new trends appearing weekly, it’s hard not to! Unfortunately, this is how people end up with huge wardrobes. My tip is to figure out what looks best on you, what feels most comfortable, and what is most authentically ‘you’.”

To help me, I invited my friend Caroline Allison over to choose the items for me. Allison declutters her closet every year and is a part of a minimalist group on Facebook herself, so I thought she would be perfect for the job, unlike me. I carry an emotional attachment to my cheetah printed jumpsuit and my distressed mom jeans. She picks out staple pieces that clearly show versatility, such as a black fit and flare jumpsuit and a white chiffon button up top. They both embody the minimalistic feel that Patricia evokes in her wardrobe. 

Sunday Hangover

On my first day, I play it safe and comfortable with my red knit sweater and straight legged jeans as I mostly spend the day lounging around at a coffee shop and taking a stroll down to Waitrose. Day one doesn’t seem anything out of the ordinary.

Martini Monday

Cue the creativity. Today is bold as I sport my leather leggings with the white blouse and plaid blazer. This, believe it or not, is so outside my comfort zone. I would normally swap out leather leggings for a tame pair of black skinny jeans and a white blouse in favour of a plain black tee. I’m wearing four out of the 10 pieces, so I’m not sure if I put too much in one look. But somehow, I find myself putting my hair in a little updo, and I feel like Blake Lively from A Simple Favour who rocks three piece suits and shiny oxford heeled shoes. All I’m missing is my martini glass.

Tuesday with a Twist

Today feels like a revelation. I took Patricia’s advice and decide to experiment regardless of any preconceived notions. Although both my yellow cropped sweater and formal jumpsuit are both baggy, I throw the rules out the window like she told me to. They’re an unlikely pairing, but they work harmoniously. I go to get brunch with a friend and she mentions how much she loves the “athleisure” look. 

Weary Wednesday

I’m not going to lie. I’m so cold this morning and the only viable option is the red knit sweater for a top, which I lazily pair with black leggings and my printed boots. Don’t get me wrong, my outfit still looks put together. I realise that I maybe should’ve chosen a more cohesive colour palette because I can’t possibly pair yellow and red together without looking like a hot dog. Fashion blogger Joi Smith did a spring pastel-coloured capsule wardrobe in 2017, and I’m envious of the endless pairings she came up with as she rocked ethereal mint green skirts and blush-coloured coats.

Thursday Rut

I’m feeling the rut. I wear my white blouse with the blue jeans and my boots. While I appreciate the silhouette that I normally wouldn’t rock, I don’t feel inspired at all by the look in all honesty. The white blouse is really starting to annoy me too. I’m not sure how a clothing piece could possibly annoy me, but it is. Patricia told me she’s human too and splurges from time to time and she advises me to write a list of clothes I want to purchase at the moment and walk away from it. Chances that I would still want the pieces in a few weeks are slim. I write down a fur vest, a turtleneck dress and another pair of boyfriend jeans. 

 A Fresh Friday

I decide to stop moping around and try a new look as I pair my yellow jumper with leather leggings. I really like the sleek outfit as I pulled back my hair and rocked a sporty look.  It feels very ‘me’ but with an edgy twist. I suppose what I’m learning through this process is that the phrase “I have nothing to wear” is clearly wrong. Anyone can purchase the latest jeweled jumper from Topshop, but there’s something to be said about taking pieces you already own and making them feel new again. 

Saturday Celebration

 I wear my jumpsuit with my blazer, which both happen to be my dressiest pieces. But hey, it was Saturday. Why not look regal? It is quite a preppy look for me, but I decide to wear it with a casual braid and sneakers for a more relaxed look. I try wearing the jumpsuit with my white blouse underneath, but I’m starting to feel triggered from that blouse. All in all, I’m excited to reunite with my wardrobe but feel proud for accomplishing the task. 

I’m not going to lie. I’m not sure if a capsule wardrobe is for me. 

But I’ll tell you one thing. I won’t be shopping for a while. I return back to my wish list from Thursday that Patricia told me to write down and realise I didn’t need any of the listed items. The 10 items I wore allowed me to think a bit more creatively than I thought. While I was a bit frustrated by the end of the experiment, I did rock some pretty innovative looks. All the energy I usually put into finding the latest trends was manifested into trying to make do with what I was given, and it worked. Now, to tackle decluttering my closet….To learn more about building capsule wardrobes, visit Patricia at https://asmallwardrobe.com/

Red Knit Sweater: H&M

Yellow Polo Zippered Jumper: H&M

Black Wool Coat: Misguided

Floral Printed Boots: Charlotte Russe

Black Leather Leggings: H&M

Distressed Boyfriend Jeans: H&M

Black Jumpsuit: Marshalls

White Blouse: H&M

Plaid Blazer: Forever 21

H&M Jumpsuit: Wedding Outfit & Talking Insecurities

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My brother recently edited these photos from over the summer, and this jumpsuit was only $16.99 from H&M with the original retail price at $34.99 I believe. There’s a funny story about this jumpsuit. I was going through a stage where I wasn’t really happy with my body. I woke up feeling bloated and just wasn’t feeling a fitted jumpsuit like this one, especially for a wedding.

At the time, I thought a black wrap dress would be safer, but looking at these photos, I really love how I looked that day. When you’re not really happy with how you look, it’s easy to magnify all your imperfections. Now, I’m so thankful I went outside my comfort zone, because at the time, the only thing I was looking at was my arm fat or my stomach peaking out.

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Just a friendly reminder to take it easy on yourself. January is all about starting new, so naturally people are in fitness mode after the holidays. Remember to be kind to yourself because at the end of the day, you can be your biggest critic.

Misguided Little Black Dress

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This black dress was such a steal, and it was only £11.00 on sale from Misguided. I love wrap dresses because it really flatters my figure and the slit was a nice little surprise to the dress as well. The dress fit like a glove, and I was nervous because sleeves can be too skinny sometimes, especially lace. Does anyone else have that struggle with long sleeved dresses?

I will say most people who like wrap dresses probably want a super slimming material to cling, but it is a lot of material because there’s a thick overlay of lace. But other than that, this dress was super comfy and can be worn for a number of occasions. Misguided has some other items on sale right now, so check out their latest deals.

Summer Profile: Zhenya Hutson

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Meet Zhenya Hutson! She earned her degree in Retail Merchandising and now works in Product Development for one of the largest retailers in America. She has had her style and beauty blog for 10 years and you can check out her website here: http://beingzhenya.com/

I got to do a little interview with her, and her blog alone was so aesthetically pleasing, so I was stoked to find out more about her.

1) How would you describe your style? 

My style is rather eclectic, I like to mix and match vintage and thrifted pieces with high end accessories and shoes. My style also changes season to season and can be rather unpredictable. I’m very easily entertained and I find inspiration everywhere. One day I can be channeling 70s boho chic and another day I’ll look like I’m headed to an afternoon tea.

2) You did a couple capsule wardrobe posts on your blog. What’s your biggest advice for someone trying to limit their wardrobe to a capsule?’

I did write about capsule wardrobe, but I’m only 60% there. I started seriously cleaning out my closet about 6 months ago, realizing how much I had, but I always reached out for the same pieces. When I moved to Chicago, I hung all my clothes and turned the hangers backwards. If I wear the item, I then rotate the hanger the normal way. At the end of every month I assess what I haven’t worn and either donate it or take to a resale shop. It does take a lot of discipline, but my husband helps keep me in line. I also would rather spend money on home decor and set up my new place, so I haven’t bought new clothes in a while.

3) Who is your fashion icon and why? 

I don’t have a fashion icon, never have really. I’m inspired by art, movies, songs, cities. I just came back from a 2 week vacation in Europe and it has inspired me to be even more unique and different when it comes to style.

4)What is the coolest place you’ve traveled to? 

The coolest place was definitely London, second coolest was Split, Croatia! The city I want to spend more time in is Paris! I’m already planning my Italian vacation next year, and I can’t wait.

5) Why did you start your blog and what have you gotten out of it since you started? 

I started my blog 10 years ago. I met some of my best friends through the blog and that is hands down the coolest experience ever! I also landed my most recent position thanks to my blog, so that’s neat too!

Summer Profile: Chasity Shyenne

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Meet Chasity Shyenne. She is a fashion model, entrepreneur and influencer. On top of all this, she has created her own Youtube channel. where she films beauty and lifestyle videos. I got the chance to do a little Q&A with her, and I recommend everyone to check out her channel!

1) What inspired you to start a YouTube channel?

What inspired me to start my own YouTube was watching my favorite YouTuber Bethany Mota. She really got me inspired of making home videos and seeing that YouTube helped her with her own first clothing line by partnering with Aeropostale made me want to really start my own channel!

2) If someone could only watch one of your videos, which one would it be and why? 

I would pick the mixed girl tag video just because I am mix with black and white and a lot of people just don’t understand what us mix kids go through we can’t decide on just which side to stand up for because both of our parents are different race and for example, filling out a job application, they don’t have mixed as an option. They have black or white, so which one do you pick? If I picked white, they are going to expect to see a fully white women or if I picked black, they are going to expect to see a fully darker skin complexion not a mix girl with hazel eyes and curly hair. The struggle is real.

Check out her video here:


3) Describe your style in three words.

Comfy, fashionable, outgoing

4) I loved your wishlist video. What’s on your summer/fall wishlist right now? 

My summer and fall wishlist is to enjoy the outdoors more because nature is really pretty! Also changing up my style for each of the season.

5) What is your life motto? 

My life motto is a little quote from a Chris Brown song that I always use. “ I work too hard to be balling on a budget.” I know I’m not rich, but I love nice things so I shouldn’t have to dream about wanting those things when I put a lot of my energy into my job and not rewarding myself afterwards.