5 things to help you stay positive during Lockdown 2.0

Good day to you my lockdown warriors,

As is much of the world right now, the UK is in our second lockdown of the year. When I saw the news of this announcement from our prime minister, I like many people felt a familiar sense of doom and found myself saying “oh no, not again!” This negative outlook did not last long however as I decided in that moment that I am going to do this lock down differently. Hopefully with these top 5 tips, it may help you see the light at the end of the tunnel also. This months post is all things POSITIVE 😊

1) Be at one with nature.

During the first few months of this year, we actually moved home from the bustling hub of London to the rural countryside of the Dales. I have always been a outdoorsy person, preferring long walks or bike rides in the forest to busy, loud bars at the weekend and I literally feel in my element having so much green space on my doorstep. Even if you live in a busy city, really try to make the concerted effort to take an hour at lunch to go for a walk in a local park or if you are fortunate to have a back garden, go out and tend to your veggie patch or walk a friends dog around the block. I cannot stress enough how being in the fresh air does absolute wonders for your well-being.

2) Make an effort with your appearance.

If like me, your working from home attire has been comfy loungewear and a messy up do for the last six months, you will be amazed at how much better you will feel blow drying your hair or putting on a little mascara. I make a concerted effort on the weekend to put on a nice outfit or make myself feel good by having a pamper session at home because self love is incredibly important, even more so in these difficult times.

3) Stay in contact with your family and friends

Just because we are unable to see our loved ones at the moment, still let them know they are in your thoughts by having a once a week video call or just sending each other silly memes throughout the day. Many people are alone at the moment and even though they have family members close by, it can still be incredibly lonely so sometimes just a 5 minute catch up can really make someone’s day. Anyway, who doesn’t love a good belly laugh when they can!

4) Take regular breaks from your home office.

I am incredibly fortunate at the moment to be able to do my day job from home 100% of the time which I am more than grateful for. One thing that I’ve really noticed though is are you also getting so many more emails and teams calls now? Can you relate?

I went through a bit of a hard time about 6 months into lockdown where I felt like I didn’t have much of a work/ life balance because even though we are at home it can be easy to forget that we still need to take a lunch break or to make a cup of tea. Things which are usually part of your working day can sometimes take the back seat which is why it’s imperative to still get up from your desk at least once every hour to stretch your legs or have a glass of water. It is not sustainable to be “on” all the time, be kind to yourself!

5) Time to look within

Although 2020 has not panned out the way many of us would have ever imagined so far this year, one of the real positives I have found during this time is we have never had more of an opportunity to be at home with our families more than now. Usually we are caught up in the daily rat race of commuting to work, perhaps school runs or extra curricular activities or taking part in sports or working out in the gym, when that has been taken away though, what are we left with? Ourselves and a whole lot of reflection time. Are you using this time wisely if you are being honest with yourself? Are you unhappy in your current role or career path? Unhappy with your level of health or fitness? Or perhaps just stuck in a rut? I can tell you for me personally, I have really struggled to write this blog during this time because it can feel inauthentic to be talking about fashion, lifestyle or holiday destinations when there is so much devastation worldwide right now. But I have come to realise upon reflection that I feel creatively at ease as soon as pen hits the paper every time I sit down to write an entry. THIS is my happy place. Have you found yours?

(Image courtesy of Google images)

Until next time?

Take care

Keya x

Bold at the BAFTA’s.

Good morning to you my Film and Television fashionistas,

This past weekend, the 73rd British Academy Film Awards 2020 were held in the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London. This time of year always means awards season and with it comes my favourite bit – the FASHION! This year did not disappoint and I have picked my top looks from this years red carpet.

The EE British Academy Film Awards [BAFTAs] at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday 18 February 2018

(all images courtesy of google images)

Firstly lets start with the ladies and wow what with fringing/ asymmetrical/  bold colour blocking and sparkle, it was a smorgasbord of  cutting edge looks on the red carpet.

Renee Zelleweger who picked up the Best Actress award for playing the beloved Judy Garland donned a pastel pink Prada number that reminded me of candy floss and our favourite chocolate treats at Christmas time. The pale hue complimented her fair hair and pearly skin perfectly.

Renee - Prada

As you know from earlier posts, I am a HUGE fan of the LBD and it seems that was the dress of choice for a number of starlets this year. I particularly love the cut out back detail of Margot Robbie’s Chanel Haute Couture lace gown which is reported to have taken a whopping 690 hours to make. Emilia Clarke let her embellished dress do the talking with her paired back accessories and slicked back hair – something I have a penchant for also in my own style. Olivia Coleman’s floral Alexander McQueen’s masterpiece reminded me of a summer garden in full bloom – so exquisite.

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Contrasting textures from fringing to beaded embroidery, feathers and pleats to all out trophy shimmer were the name of the game for some of the celebrities. I particularly love the clever illusion of dimension with the contrasting fabrics and the thick belt which accents the tiny waist of Vanessa Kirby’s Valentino gown. I also really like the sleek silhouette of Zoe Kravitz’s Saint Laurent dress. The gold tone really brings out her complexion and the way her lipstick matches her nail polish is an great detail.

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Dasiy Ridley - Oscar De la RentaVanessa Kirby - ValentinoZoe Saint Laurent

And now onto the leading men of the silver screen. I am a huge fan of cobalt blue and the subtle satin piping detail of this Dior Tuxedo jacket on Joe Alwyn really makes this look young and edgy. Velvet is another of my absolute faves, especially in a blazer (I have a navy velvet jacket which I try to dig out every Spring) and this burgundy Armani look on Taron Egerton really adds some warmth to the starkness of the rest of his monochrome palette. Baroque detailing featured on John Boyega and Alex Wolff in Joshua Kane and wow what a colour explosion. The white shirt and tasseled velvet loafers paired with the post box red suit is an absolute winner in my eyes.

Joe Alwyn - DiorTaron Egerton - Armani

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Although in our day to day lives, we may not be attending award shows or black tie events, we all can take away some great fashion tips from the red carpet.

Ladies, do not feel shy to be bold in your statement dresses whether it be lace, ruffles or pleats – just remember that if you are wearing a showstopping dress, tone down your accessories and hair/ makeup to really let it speak for itself.

For men, it is ALWAYS a good idea to experiment with colour, even if it is a small pop of a colourful pair of Happy Socks or a bright scarf – it will brighten up any dreary winter morning. Ankle length tailored trousers pair best with slip on loafers and no socks – this look is not limited to balmy summer days. No matter what though, fashion should be your way of showing your individually, sometimes making mistakes but also when you get it right – we all can feel like a movie star even for one day.

I am just going to leave you with a quote I saw this week which really stuck with me –

“Dress like you are going somewhere better later”

Take care,

Keya x

New Year, not New You.

Good day to you my raring to go readers,

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas break with your families and a very Happy New Year. As always, I would love to thank you for taking the time to subscribe and read these posts each month and welcome to the new  joiners, your support is greatly appreciated and I am so grateful to have this platform to explore my creative writing with each blog.

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With the emergence of the new decade upon us, I have been thinking a lot about the notion of setting New Years resolutions. I am not sure about you but I find that each year a small sense of doom overcomes me as the last few days of December pass by, at the thought of making a resolution that I can actually stick to and not sabotage by the end of January (the usual things like giving up chocolate – I mean really, I had no chance) or not being such a sucker when it comes to a fashion bargain.  Its just not a nice feeling that you have failed at something already in the first month of the New Year.

I am sure you have seen on social media and on advertising campaigns, the slogan ‘New Year, New Me’ with companies promising their new wonder products can help you reach that dress size you have always dreamed of or have that glossy, shiny hair that we see on models in magazines but all that crosses my mind is, should there be a new me – what is so fundamentally wrong with the version that was left behind in 2019?

I wholeheartedly agree that if you have your heart set on perhaps quitting smoking or to get out in the great outdoors and lead a healthier lifestyle then that is a great goal to set yourself and sometimes we need a milestone like the 1st of January to break old habits but it pains me to think that people will be feeling really rubbish about themselves if they have a little slip up. Life is genuinely challenging enough, try not to put that added pressure on yourself also!

So personally this year, I have set myself a new goal NOT a resolution for 2020 and that is to just BE PRESENT. By this I mean, as adults we are always subconsciously worrying about or making plans for what is to come in the future or regrets from the past, we tend to lose sight of what is in front of us right now, being in the moment. We forget to take a second to revel in the sights, sounds, colours and variety in the world around us and that is a very sad thing to think of in my opinion.

Whatever New Years aspirations you have set in your own lives for 2020, just remember that we only get one life, so make memories, spend time with loved ones and friends, travel to those bucket list destinations or invest in that statement winter coat – just LIVE it to the fullest.

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Until next time, take care

Keya x

 

 

 

 

Summer City Dressing – The Men Edition

Good day to you my sun loving summer followers,

I begin writing this month’s post, still smiling from a glorious bank holiday with the sun shining, the BBQ’s grilling and socialising a plenty for most of the Capital. Alas, we are back to work again and with temperatures set to reach 31 degrees again today, it felt so nice to throw on a dress and some pumps and hope to beat the heat on my daily commute. This had got me thinking however; how do men do it? Still maintaining a degree of smart office attire but staying cool, so I quizzed my loved ones and colleagues to bring to you – Summer City Dressing – the Men Edition.

Hi All, firstly thank you so much for taking the time to take part in this interview. Lets get straight into it.

1) Firstly do you prefer the winter or summer months for office attire?

Dan: Winter. Considering I am originally from the north of England, I have always put more emphasis on winter attire seeing as though it can get very cold for most of the year.

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Kenz: To be honest that’s a tough question as being in London is difficult in both. You have the problem of trying to stay warm to the station but then not over heat on the underground.Then again the same problem in the summer months.  If I had to choose, it would be summer time even in the office, light shirts and chino’s matched with sun glasses is the best feeling when it’s home time or off for drink in the late evening sun.

Josh: Winter Months office attire.

Alpesh: Summer.

Darren: Winter months

Paul: Winter! There’s a lot more room for maneuver when it’s cooler. I commute on the train, tube and in the car so for the vast majority of the time, the temperature is moderate so there’s more choice for work attire! I am a big suit fan and it’s nice to be able to wear a tie and jacket without getting hot. Looking professional is much easier when you’re comfortable.

Jack: I prefer summer overall but for office attire I prefer the winter months. In winter, I can add more layers and vary what I wear day to day, and I have more clothes for winter. You can’t beat a nice fitted overcoat or trench coat to finish an outfit with different textures and materials underneath. Jumpers, cardigans, thicker materials from head to toe, e.g. corduroy (if you don’t look to much of an old man) For winter a must is a Scarf, to finish an outfit, add a bit of colour or a bold pattern. https://www.drakes.com/accessories/scarves 

Ed: Winter as there is more scope for different clothes.

2) I definitely am a summer fan, but for us women it can be so much easier to dress for work and stay cool in the city heat. What are your go to pieces for the warmer weather?

Dan: A loose fitting shirt and comfortable chinos makes working in the heat more bearable, but sometimes it is difficult to feel completely comfortable in this kind of outfit, especially when it is a hot summers day. Where I can, I try to wear loose fitting long sleeve t shirts, but try to be as smart as possible.

Kenz: I think the best go to for me are my Uniqlo shirts as they are made from the best materials that allow your skin to vent in this heat. To be honest it doesn’t matter where you buy your shirts or even your trousers, breathable. One feature I would pin-point with the Uniqlo shirts is the fit and the button down collars, so your style is on form even after a hot day in the office.

Josh: Short Sleeve Shirt, Chinos instead of trousers.

Alpesh: Light shirts (blue or white to reflect the rays), and some lose fitting comfortable trousers.

Darren: Lighter cotton shirts in pale colours, lightweight trousers, shorts & tee-shirts.

Paul: Light and airy! I’m not a fan of short sleeve work shirts, so longer sleeves but always lighter cotton shirts, usually more loose fitting than their winter counterparts. I prefer lighter colours too…whites, pinks, light blues (easy on the pattern) – and light grey trousers. There’s a psychological element and lighter just *feels* cooler!

Jack: For summer, I have less of a range through necessity but I do have go to pieces or items of clothing. I tend to mix my selection with higher value items that will last longer and are predominately better quality with cheaper one-season items. Linen is a must in summer. Trousers and shirts, Trousers for work but they have to be structured otherwise the fit is all wrong. If very hot I will wear a Linen shirt to work but usually a comfortable button down shirt opposed to a dress shirt with cuffs, sleeves can then be easily rolled up and in a way that is more comfortable to me personally. Smart chinos, thin socks but not stocking thin! Or no socks at all to keep the ankles free and breezy and to finish off, a pair of tan penny loafers or tassels is a good summer uniform. Generally, lighter colours such as tan and khaki are nice for trousers and chinos then earthy natural colours or browns go well. You obviously can’t beat a pristine white Oxford to pair with camel coloured chinos and mid-range brown loafers.

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Fridays at work I will relax a little so I’ll wear more linen shirts with a lightweight overshirt and a more casual shoe, a suede tassel loafer or wholecut loafer. I like to buy a jacket each summer that is unstructured and usually linen, something that I can throw on and will usually go with all of my trousers but still look smart.

Linen Jacket/Blazer – Suit Supply, Massimo dutti, Linen Trousers – Suit Supply, M&S, Chinos – Uniqlo, Charles Tyrwhit, Linen Shirts – Uniqlo, Massimo Dutti, Ralph Lauren, Shoes – Loake Eton, Justin Fitzpatrick, Baudoin and Lange, loake Lisbon, Belgian Loafers, Socks – Tabio, London Sock company

Myself, dad and younger brother at a summer wedding, suitable for work in the summer with a tie.

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Ed: Sadly not many options for blokes so its button down oxford shirts (cotton) and chinos for me!

3) Commuting during rush hour can be a challenge at the best of times, but when it’s 25 degrees outside, the underground can feel double the temperature. What are your best tips for staying cool, calm and collected whilst travelling to and from work?

Dan: Again, try to wear something that is loose fitted. There is no avoiding the heat of the tube, but you can place yourself strategically next to the window at the front of the carriage, stick in the headphones with some relaxing music or an entertaining podcast…..and calmly breathe your way into work.

Kenz: Best tip for commuting in the heat don’t rush and stay hydrated. No matter what you wear you’ll over heat in our under prepared tube network, take water with you. Even the finest cotton clothes won’t stop the 40 degree heat from getting to you.

Josh: Sitting next to the window, carrying water, Choosing train times wisely, Go to the pub after work and wait for rush hour clear.

Alpesh: Always carry a bottle of water with you to stay hydrated and cool. When it’s really hot I sometimes wear shorts into work then change into my work clothes when I arrive. Leaving earlier in the morning is also a good tip to miss the rush-hour – train carriage temperature only increases when packed-in like sardines!

Darren: I try to start my day earlier to avoid the crowds and get the cooler air in the mornings. After work, it is sometimes easier to walk a few tube stops at a slower pace in the shade as opposed to crowding onto the tube. If I do have to travel, my tip is to take a handkerchief to pat down any sweat, travel light but try not to carry a bag.

Paul: From experience – don’t carry anything you don’t need to in your bag! I think losing the tie, and one shirt button undone make a huge difference, without detracting from looking reasonably smart.

Jack: First of all I try to travel early most days to avoid the peak heat so on the way to work it’s usually manageable, I’ll undo my button cuffs maybe not roll them up just yet, and not rush to get to work or break out into a sweat, I’d rather be comfortable travelling into work than travelling home. Again, on the way home I’ll try and leave at a good time so the tube is not as busy and it doesn’t hurt to wait for the tube 2 minutes behind! I will have by cuffs up so wrists are free and I may even undo a cheeky shirt button but generally, I don’t feel comfortable without a jacket, obviously lightweight in the summer and I will usually take it off for the train and tube for the way home. It’s all about comfort for me, Keep calm listen to music and when it’s too hot just grin, bear it, and look forward to a cold beer when I get home.

Ed: Don’t take a jacket and don’t rush!

4) The Brits are known for layering clothes to deal with the unpredictable UK weather (sometimes ranging from 38 degrees and sweltering to thunderstorms all in one day.) Do you have one item of clothing which is your go to, no matter what the weather?

Dan: I am a big fan of wearing an over sized shirt with a t shirt underneath, you can always whip off the shirt if it gets too hot but at the same time it is airy, therefore it is bearable in hotter weather.

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(image courtesy of google images)

Kenz: I think the best item clothing for the unpredictable weather is a good trench coat, they are light to carry but keep you dry in the the sudden showers. My personal favourite is the Camden Car Coat from Burberry, classic design that you can wear with work clothes or even jeans and trainers.

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Josh: Light weight wind breaker jacket.

Alpesh: I have a light black water proof jacket that usually sees me through various weather conditions – it pairs with work or casual attire well, so an all-rounder.

Darren: Yes, a good pair of leather shoes. I currently wear Ecco shoes which suit rain or shine.

Paul: The check shirt – cool enough for summer, warm enough for winter. It’s good taste with a collar.

Jack: If I had to pick one item or type of clothing I would have to say a jacket. Depending on weather and occasion, for me other than shoes this will make or break an outfit, whether I’m comfortable, happy and satisfied. A jacket for me will finish everything off whether it be overshirt, chore jacket, Harrington, Linen jacket, Shacket, field jacket, suede jacket, blazer or shirt I don’t feel my look is complete without one. Anyone can wear standard jeans, shirt and shoes but adding the correct jacket can transform an outfit completely, drawing comments and compliments or making you feel a little more confident (even if it’s just in your head). Also I can’t stand when men put things in their front trouser pockets! Phones, wallets or change! So I have to have somewhere to put my bits.

Ed: My blue suede brogues.

5) I have to ask this one because I’ve seen it so much lately. Socks and sandals, the age old tradition of dads on their summer vacations – has it made a firm comeback for the younger generation?

Dan: Not for me personally. This is a big no no. But then again, As a 32 year old, I often look at the younger generation and feel slightly perplexed and not just because of fashion.

Kenz: It’s a no from me.

Josh: Yes it has made a come back but I would say socks and sliders is more in fashion that socks and sandals.

Alpesh: For me it’s a no no. When I see guy’s wearing socks with sandals I can only think that they are wearing it to hide hairy yucky toes or worse… crusty ones ! Sock’n’ sandals – not a good look (even if your name is David Beckham !)

Darren: I see the youngsters wearing “sliders”, the slip on with socks, but it seems to be confined to a casual indoor scene. I’ve certainly not seen any around London or in the office!

Paul: I’d sooner wear shoes made of wood! I’m certainly not a fashionable person, but when I do see guys doing that sort of thing, I always think “you’re doing that because you think it’s fashionable, not because it looks good – because clearly, it doesn’t!”

Jack: I’m quite glad I’ve not noticed this yet and I hope it’s not making a comeback! I’m not a fan but each to their own whatever people are comfortable in, saying that, there is a limit!! At home a white sock with the slider style sandals then fair enough but down to the pub or supermarket then no. There seems to be a lot of people that like to venture out in onesies or what look like pj’s these days. (palm of the hand over the face emoji).

Ed: I hope not 😦

6) As I’m sure you can tell from earlier posts, I am a huge fan of accessories. The perfect bag, shoes or jacket can finish off an outfit perfectly and also mixing and matching can rejuvenate those old pair of trousers in an instant. What is your favourite accessory and why? 

Dan: I am not a huge fan of accessories, a man of simple pleasures. A simple leather strapped watch is all I need to go with an outfit, whatever the weather.

https://www.olivercoen.com/ 

Kenz: Simple for me, Sunglasses. A good pair is an essential menswear accessory to finish any look – work or casual. I love my Cubitts Herbrands. Mine are the clear framed with black lenses. The reason I rate these is because they fit every occasion and they’re a UK based brand that make quality glasses at a good price point. They’ll also customise your order for the same price. Supporting the UK industries is a key goal of mine.

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Josh: Men’s Clutch Bag – Helps me keep/look after my personal items without having to stuff my pockets.

Alpesh: Mine has to be a black Sandquvist bag. It’s practicable, great design and has that urban city look about it, perfect for the commute into work.

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Darren: My favorite and perfect item is my watch, whether in short sleeve casual tees or full length double cuffed shirts, my watch never fails to attract attention and compliment my outfit.

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Paul: Cufflinks – a tasteful set of cufflinks can set off a shirt nicely.

Jack: Shoes are my favourite and I would say are almost an unhealthy obsession, but to name just one accessory it would have to be my Omega Seamaster. It’s obviously a luxury item but because of this I appreciate it when I wear it and it adds the finishing touches to an outfit. Not garish or overstating, doesn’t draw attention to itself and simple as a dress watch should be. For me personally less is more with most things and it can tell a lot about someone’s personality. My watch will easily accompany a smart suit or casual jeans, t-shirt and trainers. It’s comfortable, old but pristine and will last longer than me probably so I can pass it down to the next generation to look after. Plus it was a wedding present from my wife.

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Accessories separate people from uniforms and outfits and draw attention to the individuality of that person so you can tell a lot about who that person is or how they want to be seen. I have a simple bracelet I like to wear for smart and casual that accompanies my watch. It’s simple and inexpensive.

https://www.codismaya.com/shop/brass-bracelet-paddle-end/

Ed: Sunglasses, never leave home without in the summer 🙂

7) There has been a resurgence in recent times of comic book characters and retro games from the 80/90s are appearing in pop up bars and shops all over the capital. Did you have a favourite character or toy as a child and would you wear its image on a t-shirt at the weekend now?

Dan: I don’t recall having any standout toys or characters that stuck in my mind as a child. In the latter years, music became my passion. If I chose to wear something with a logo etc, it would have to be related to music. A favourite vest of mine, which I have had for years has a ‘Pink Floyd’ theme from their ‘Dark side of the Moon’ tour.

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Kenz: For me you can’t beat Batman. As a kid I was a massive fan of the comics and films, however I don’t really follow that trend. I like simply designed clothes, so I wouldn’t be following. 

Josh: Spider-Man – I wouldn’t wear a T-shirt with him printed on it though.

Alpesh: I loved everything about the 80’s/90’s. When films like Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes or Star Wars kicked off in the 70’s, it really paved the way how sci-fi film’s were seen and perceived by its audience in the 80s and 90’s. You had the best directors like Spielberg telling heart felt stories or the likes of Ridley Scott portraying such intense suspense and captivating the audience in space. Nowadays sci-fi/ superhero films have become somewhat of a cash-cow for film producers. Not sure if the passion and thoughtfulness for a good superhero film is there anymore. In short, if there was – it would be Superman 🙂

Darren: Yes, I enjoyed shows such as The A-Team, Airwolf & Knight Rider, all of which look great on a retro print t-shirt.

Paul: I was a bit of a Sonic the Hedgehog fan when I was a kid…but as a man mid-30s, I wouldn’t wear a T-Shirt with it on now! At the weekend, if I wouldn’t go on a date wearing it, I don’t wear it!

Jack: I was never really a fan of comics and never really a big gamer but I remember my first favourite character or toy was Spot the Dog so yes I’d quite happily wear that on a t-shirt today under a bomber jacket or under an open shirt. The 90’s programs stick in my memory the most such as the animals of farthing wood, Bodger and Badger or Chucklevision!! I’d quite happily wear a t-shirt with these emblazoned on the front and have done in the past. I suppose it’s quite cool and retro to wear stuff like that now as their older, I think if I rocked up somewhere with a Peppa pig t-shirt I may look a bit creepy.

Ed: I never wear slogan or novelty t-shirts, ever!

8) In many offices today, companies allow a more relaxed approach to corporate attire on Fridays. Is it as hard for men as women to decide what to wear on a Friday (questions like did I wear this last week or is this too casual seem to run through my mind) compared to your standard Monday to Thursday attire?

Dan: Personally, I very rarely worry about my attire. I am very much someone who likes to do what feels right for me and is especially comfortable. If that means wearing the same thing twice in a week, I am all for it! As long as it has been washed.

Kenz: Well for me causal Friday’s is easy for me as you might of already realised from my answers above I’m a simple man. So all black works for me most Friday’s, I’m not ashamed to say it. Luckily for me my work place is very chilled, so a pair of jeans and a an oversized T-shirt is the go to. Coupled with a nice pair of sneakers/trainers. I may be a  28 year old professional, but still a child at heart.

Josh: Easier for men – Women are spoilt for choice in clothing & take more pride in how they present themselves.

Alpesh: Not really – I would just wear chino’s and a shirt. Sometimes I would just wear what I would typically wear on a weekday because sometimes it’s just easier – stress free Fridays! 🙂

Darren: Yes, in our office the “casual Friday” is not properly designated with some people coming in like they do Monday to Thursday, some with jeans, some with shorts. I think that companies could communicate more by sending out standard guidelines including if clients are expected in as well etc. In regards to choosing an outfit, it can be difficult as the thought of being too casual creeps in, which means that I generally dress like I do all week, except swapping a polo shirt for a work shirt, so not very casual!

Paul: I fully support the dress-down-Friday – I think it contributes to the good office atmosphere prior to the weekend. The main (rather tedious) issue in deciding what to wear I find is “will this violate company rules?” Companies vary of course, but where I work the guidelines are rather restricting, and sticking to them does rather limit what you can wear. I tend to gravitate towards smart-casual as my “standard” attire anyway so it’s not too difficult – but it is easy to slip into the trap of wearing the same “safe” items over and over – particularly with trousers.

Jack: Personally, I don’t find it hard but I do take a while to decide what to wear. This process can be week long, not necessarily a conscious decision taking a week to decide but ongoing in my head, but I plan ahead so I’m prepared and comfortable. I’ll then iron a couple of options and decide in the morning. I’ll not wear the same shirt a week apart, not because anyone would notice and comment but I know as an almost natural reaction I will unconsciously scan what someone is wearing, then I’ll notice if they have a new shirt from the normal collection or a new Friday casual knitted Polo like someone in the next bay to me : ). I would assume this is not the norm for most men but everyone is different I suppose. I probably take more time deciding what to wear on a Friday, as it can show more of your personality and more of what you wear casually rather than the office uniform. I probably have more casual weekend clothes than work clothes so I still like to make an effort. I will wear different shoes, maybe Suede tassel loafers (again!) or a boat shoe, something not as formal In the summer I will sometimes not wear socks or take them off when leaving work, you can buy good hidden shoe socks from a lot of places that obviously help your feet breathe and make them more comfortable. Comfortable jeans and shirt or t-shirt, again finishing it off with a jacket from the casual jacket collection of the wardrobe ; ) Basically I like to change everything for a Friday even down to Aftershave/cologne.

Ed: Yes I sometimes go for a polo shirt on Fridays but I worry it is too casual and doesn’t feel and look as good as a nice oxford shirt.

9) Another trend I have noticed in recent years and fully applaud, is the colourful sock. Happy Socks to Penguin, bold primary colours or even matching sock and tie combinations – are you a firm believer and partaker of this? Is there such a thing as too outlandish or bright?

Dan: I am a big fan of happy socks. It started when I was bought a pair as a gift once, I wore them to work one day and someone pointed out that they looked ridiculous. Me being me, I ventured out and bought a lot more to add to the sock draw and it became a regular thing.

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Kenz: It’s a big fat yes for me. Generally work attire is quite boring, let’s face it. Shirt and Chino’s can only do so much. Match it all with a loud, bright pair of socks – its the best way to stand out and express yourself. My go to sock company would have be Paul Smith. He does the classic socks with the well know Paul Smith stripes, however that’s not what draws me to him to buy socks. They do some excellent flowered patterned socks, that work for me.

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Josh: Firm believer – Don’t personally take part in it – Brighter the socks the better.

Alpesh: Not at all, depending on what I am wearing I would wear a brighter sock on Friday’s and weekends. Why not…it’s fun and cheerful!

Darren: I personally wear a trainer sock at all times with standard colours. I believe that wearing a colourful sock or tie is great if it fits your personality and the situation. Some scenarios may not be suitable for a Homer Simpson Donut tie!

Paul: Colorful socks are good – but I think you have to be able to pull it off. For me, I prefer dark socks with coloured logos – these tend to go better with what I wear anyway; but I have seen quite a few cheeky colourful examples on my commute and, where well-chosen, they do look good – often a good contrast to quintessentially smarter colours.

Jack: I applaud the colourful sock in most cases. I have colourful socks, stripy socks, and polka dock socks but I wear them in specific situations and with specific outfits. With a full suit I will usually wear a plain sock or subtly patterned and pair this with my trouser colour, overall predominant colour or with my shoes depending on the rest of the outfit. I’ll wear colourful socks when I’m more casual with a pair of jeans and trainers so I feel it doesn’t look out of place. I believe there is too outlandish and bright especially if you don’t think about the full look and just wear yellow socks with any ensemble it looks tacky. It sounds strange but you have to pick the right colours to make it look like you haven’t thought about it but somehow it goes and looks good, not a lot of people can pull this off.

A good brand for smart colourful and patterned socks is the London Sock company. You can subscribe monthly and they send you a pair or selection of pairs each month that you choose beforehand.

https://www.londonsockcompany.com/luxury-socks-for-men-the-perfect-socks-for-all-occasions-of-colours-tastes-and-designs/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkvmE1Zf14wIVw7HtCh0iPAmkEAAYASAAEgIgavD_BwE

 

Ed: Yes and no!

10) And finally, for your fellow mankind who are seriously struggling with the warmer weather we have had in recent months, what tips would you give for looking smart but staying cool in the office in 2019 and beyond?

Dan: My tip is to not worry about what people think, wear what you want to wear, think about your comfort over looks.

Kenz: Fit is key when trying to stay cool and looking cool in the heat. So understand your body and dress to it. It will be timeless. Honestly it’s the best advice I could give.

Josh: Before you leave the house make sure you’ve showered, brushed your teeth and invested in some deodorant. Basic hygiene is something that will help with these issues and don’t wear colors that attract heat and cause you to sweat.

Alpesh: Wear thinner shirts, and chinos. Change at work so wearing more looser casual clothes on the commute to work in will keep you a step away from becoming flustered. If your work place has showers then use it.

Darren: Lighter trouser material, a decent pair of leather shoes and light cotton work shirts with a sleeve design that allows them to be rolled up properly to make a short sleeve. Opt for a cravat instead of tie, or add a smart light suit jacket to an open necked shirt to replace the tie.

Paul: Keep it light, keep it loose-fitting and leave the tie at home or in the desk drawer.

Jack: Adapt and think about it, make the effort. Update your wardrobe with a few key pieces that are purely for Summer. For work a pair of linen trousers or breathable chinos is a perfect addition, change the shirts you wear from dress cuff, to button down oxford or light cotton, with more room around the neck. Thinner socks, and breathable shoes. Change oxfords to penny loafers, change hard leather to suede, change black to tan. Little changes go a long way to keep cooler in the summer months, changes in colours and materials will make you feel more comfortable and make you feel good with how you look, confident. If you want to wear layers still as I do, make sure they’re the correct material or style, a linen field jacket or an overshirt with pockets for the weekday commute. Put Phones and wallets in bags not in trouser pockets! Buy shirts that actually fit around the chest and arms not the first one you see in the shop or online, take an extra 5 minutes to look at an item and try it on, feel the material, this will benefit you in the long run. For me fit is almost the most important thing but is generally not a priority for people, you don’t have to spend an extortionate amount of money to find your fit, just take a little extra time and get some advice if needed.

Here is a link to a blog that I read weekly, It’s great for people that have a passion for style and quality. I read it to get ideas, as the majority of clothes featured are the highest of quality and mostly bespoke so way out of my price range. Very interesting though.

https://www.permanentstyle.com/2017/08/how-to-dress-for-very-hot-weather.html

Ed: No suits, ties or man made fabrics, button down cotton open neck shirts are a must, plus chinos and suede shoes.

Thank you all so much for taking part in this interview, I am sure the readers and myself included feel so much more enlightened to the plights men face in the warmer climes also.

Until next time,

take care,

Keya x

Friend or foe?

Good afternoon to you my loyal lovelies,

Since transitioning into my 30’s, along with seeing changes in my physical appearance, energy levels and career development – one other area I have really noticed a shift in is my friendship circle. For this months post, I really wanted to delve into the complicated world of maintaining those special relationships in the modern world.

(All images courtesy of google images)

At school I wasn’t one of the “popular”, the musical or the high tech computer sets of friends but I had a core group of around eight girls and we did everything together. I still think fondly back to the first time we got into a night club (we were so excited and felt so grown up) and also heading into London in style in our own limousine after prom night. Back then you felt as if you would be friends forever although when we all started going off to different colleges or getting work placements, the group whittled down to barely a handful by the time university or full time employment came around. I am lucky enough to still have one of my very oldest friends in my life from the first week of secondary school, it’s been 21 years and she is like a sister to me still.

I am so grateful that in my 20s I was able to travel to some amazing places around the world – real bucket list destinations like Bali, the Amalfi Coast and Brazil. Also working in Africa, Houston and Norway on secondment which was incredible for life experience (and passport stamps) but not so great for maintaining those important friendships in your life.

Don’t get me wrong, with the introduction of social media and technology like Skype and WhatsApp calls it does make the world seem a little smaller when you get that all important beep on your phone from your best friends, but as I have said before on earlier posts, sometimes social media can be as much a hindrance as a help. I still find it so strange how a quick text or comment on Instagram has replaced spending hours chatting in each other’s bedrooms, or how catching up over a glass of wine can be few and far between as life just passes by so quickly.

It’s amazing how you continually meet people as an adult also who just instantly feel as though they have been there forever – forging new friendships which mesh seamlessly with the old, reminiscent of the edges of a well worn patchwork quilt. Whether that be in the work place, doing one of your favourite hobbies or at a party through a mutual friend, I really feel as women we have an invisible bond which should be uplifting not belittling each other.

It’s universally ok and an unwritten rule too whether you have children or not, that because our lives are so full and busy – we cannot possibly expect to get a response to our message or voice mail immediately like we did when our phones were constantly glued to our hands as teenagers (quite frankly a few hours to respond is commendable, but a few days more likely)

In summary I guess I am trying to say that like any relationship, friendships also take work and effort. I put my hands up completely and admit that I tend to retreat into myself when I’m sad or hurting but if you are going through a particularly tough or difficult time and you lose friends because of it, then in my view they were not very good ones to begin with. Sometimes even when we feel as though we have 10 plates spinning in the air simultaneously, a simple voice note to your best friend is enough to let them know you are thinking of them and you are there to be a supportive hand when they are ready to open up.

What with all the controversy, wars, famine, poverty and huge social issues like the sheer number of people suffering with depression, mental health issues or loneliness – even if you have one special person in your life who you know you can always turn to for advice – CHERISH them as to me, having people around you who genuinely love and respect you is worth more than any materialistic item in the world.

Until next time, take care

Keya x

Coming into focus.

Good morning to you my visual media vixens,

For this months blog post, I am ecstatic to have been able to interview my friend Garry McManus, who is an Ibiza based videographer. His talent for capturing those intimate and special moments on a couple’s wedding day is a rare gift, which I am sure you will see from some of the pictures I have included in this post. Without further ado, I introduce to you Garry.

(Images courtesy of Maria Simon photography)

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Hi Garry, thank you for agreeing to this interview. For those of my followers who don’t know you, can you just explain where you live and what you do for a living?

Hi Keya, first of all I´d like to say a big thank you for asking me to feature on your blog.
I live in Ibiza and have been here full-time for the last 4 years since my son Noah was born here on Dec 8th 2013.  I´ve been coming to Ibiza since 2004 and fell in love with the island many years ago. The energy here is like nowhere else in the world and it just feels like home so it just always felt right being here and where I feel like myself more than anywhere else in the world. It´s funny looking back to 2004 as I had never been to Ibiza apart from when I was too young to remember and I just booked a one way ticket thinking I´ll see what happens…
That summer I stayed for 4 months and things worked out so well it was crazy but little did I know that this beautiful island had so much more in store for me. It´s hard to explain but it´s been the making of me in that I have my beautiful son Noah here and the career I dreamt of. I sometimes joke and say I´ll wake up one day back in my old life but for now the dream is real and I keep that in mind everyday to stay focussed.
I have my own business here called Infin8 Images which I started back in 2014 working as a videographer which is my absolute dream. It started as a hobby just back in 2011 when I was travelling through Asia & India and I´m just drawn to it all the time and work from home when I´m not filming so I often find myself at the computer editing. It´s my meditation and I love it so I´m happy to put in the hours. As Steve Jobs once said… The only way to do great work is to love what you do. I´m fortunate that I’ve found that and to do it in a place like Ibiza but the journey to this point was far from easy. You just have to take a leap of faith and give it everything if you really want to do the thing you love.
I actually met you at one of the amazing Swankys events a number of years ago. Do you have fond memories of those years?
Yes we met many years ago during a different stage in my life. I have some great memories from those days and the guy´s from that era of my life are all still my best friends to this day with Parris also living here in Ibiza and the godfather to my son so we´re still close. He´s a DJ so we´re both in the creative industry and now we often have a chess night with a glass of red wine to wind down and chill as we both have hectic work schedules. Swanky´s was really the first of it´s kind with what we did and so many people had a lot of fun so I always look back with fond memories but I´m happy to have moved on to the next chapter in my life now.

3) Do you ever miss the modelling world?

No I don´t miss it at all. I never really enjoyed it to be honest and only really liked doing jobs with the guys so I was happy to leave that all behind. Many of my friends have had great careers in modelling but I feel much more at home behind the camera filming.
What made you get into videography and how did you start out?
I always loved photography but my background is in sport. When I first left school I was a professional footballer doing that for 3 years at Southampton until the age of 19 when I was released and my whole world fell apart as I had no clue what to do from there. I was fortunate enough to get into the modelling and promo world whilst at uni meeting some amazing people along the way all through my 20s doing some really fun jobs so I was having fun working but I always knew that it wasn´t a long-term career path and often thought what my next step would be but never really knew until I had the urge to buy my first DSLR camera back in 2009. I was heading over to New York for a few days and thought it would be cool to get a camera and take some nice pictures. I had a blast and people loved the pictures which gave me the confidence to pursue it. Being around the modelling world at the time helped as I was able to do some test shoots with friends and it kind of picked up from there. I then went travelling through Asia in India over a 2 year period where I really got into it and fell in love with taking pictures. It took me to some incredible places especially through India but I never had it in my mind about being a career as it was so hard to break into the world of photography and make money so I always just thought it would be a hobby. Maybe the best thing I did was starting to film whilst in Cambodia during 2011 and teaching myself how to edit as I went. I´m sure those first videos would make me cringe but it´s a progression and everything has to start somewhere so I have to thank my 2011 for starting as it ultimately created the opportunity to have the life I have now.
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What is your favourite kind of shoot to do?

My main line of work is filming weddings. It´s been an incredible journey from 2014 to now which I sometimes look at and say how did this happen, it´s crazy but I appreciate every minute of it. The thought of filming weddings back in the early days around 2012-2013 when I was still living in the UK didn´t interest me and I thought I´d never do it but as soon as I did my first wedding here in Ibiza I was hooked. It´s a whole different ball game and the weddings here are amazing. That´s not to say the weddings in England aren´t good but I just feel like I´m in a bubble here and everything reflects that. I will often have client meetings sat around swimming pools with Noah playing in the pool splashing us which wouldn´t happen in the UK and that makes it feel extra special having him involved on some level.

It´s a very personal experience filming a wedding so I like to meet the couple before the big day and really get to know them so we´re more like friends and they feel comfortable with me having the camera on them. During the day I try to be in the background as much as possible but during the getting ready shots i´m often in hotel rooms with a lot of people so they have to feel at ease with me being there so I get the natural shots.

Also, knowing that they´ll have the film in the family for the rest of there lives and beyond makes it a very special experience and creates a really nice connection between myself and the couple. The feedback over the years has been incredible which I don´t get from shooting anything else like fashion as an example which makes it all worthwhile and makes me want to create something special for every couple.

Couple´s often have film screening parties at home and send me little video clips of everyone watching which makes it feel very real and that´s when I feel the pressure as up until then i´m on my own making the edit so seeing people watch it and their reaction makes me see and feel the importance of doing a great job by giving the couple a film there proud to share.

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Besides work, what hobbies do you have or what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Well I have to be honest that over the last 2 years it´s been non stop work as things have really taken off now so I´ve neglected my hobbies for the time being but when I had the time and when I go back to them my hobbies include… Kite surfing, Bike rides, gym and i´ll be doing a yearly snowboarding holiday with Noah. For me, kite surfing is the one which I learnt 2 years ago and plan to do some amazing adventures around the world kite surfing in all the best places with Noah making a movie of our life together as we go. I´ve been filming him since he was born with this in mind so now that he´s getting a little older we can start doing some adventure sports and make things a lot more interesting. It´s going to be amazing, I can´t wait to share those experiences with him seeing his face.
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Have you mastered the work/ life balance?Definitely not! I´m a workaholic but if I´m honest I was always drawn to taking pictures, filming and editing when I wasn´t working back before this was my career so now I just get to do what I enjoy the most and can make a nice life from so I never feel like I´m working. I do have to get the balance back in my life more than I have now but starting a business from scratch doing something I haven´t made money from previously in another country isn´t easy but I´m happy that it´s paid off so I´m happy to work as much as I need to make things the best they can be.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Right now I call these the building years… It´s like playing chess. I have my goals and surround myself everyday with my vision board which is now a whole wall full of things I want to attract into my life but it´s not about the material possessions it´s about the freedom and the choice to do what I want whenever I want with the people I love. I want to create a life full of adventure that I can share with my family and friends and film the moments along the way so we never forget. I didn´t have much growing up but I owe my determination to that upbringing and wouldn´t change it for the world but I want my mum to have a nice life so I have that in mind. I´d love to be the best wedding videographer in the world so right now my focus with work is on that and then I´d like to branch out into other areas of filming but I also love boats and plan to buy a boat so I can go between filming and being out on the boat fusing the 2 together as I´d be filming people have fun on the boat so for sure in 10 years that´s the life I imagine living here in Ibiza. And then travelling with my family having adventures and seeing the world together during the winter months.
Thank you so much for your time Garry. For those of my readers who are looking for a Videographer, what is the best way to get in touch with you?
If you´d like to see any of my films you can view them via my Vimeo site – https://vimeo.com/user7009494
My website www.infin8images.com is currently being updated with lots of great new content at the moment. If you´d like to contact me for any work related inquiries you can email me at infin8images2016@gmail.com.

Now for a bit of fun, here is my infamous quick-fire round. Just answer with the first one which comes into your head. 

Sea or snow?Sea

Book or podcast?Book

Formal wear or casual? Casual but I do love a good suit.

Couture or street style?Street style

Beach or pool side?Hmmm… Beach

Clubbing or bar hopping?Bar hopping but prefer a good restaurant with nice food and a glass of red wine.

Photographs or videos?Videos

until next time, take care

Keya

The social network

Good day my popular butterflies,

This weeks post I have decided to discuss how fashion has become so readily available with the emergence of social media and the Internet and what key pieces you could add to your existing wardrobe each season. 

I am so pleased and slightly relieved that I did not spend my teenage years with access to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Those hormonal angst years of getting the bus to go shopping  with my friends or going to under 18 foam parties are best left with no photographic evidence! 😀 Even in my early 20’s when Facebook became the “in”thing with my peers, I held my ground and didn’t sign up to it. Eventually after a few years when I moved back to my home town, with still some hesitation I set up a page and got back in contact with some of my best friends from school which was lovely.The below picture was one of my first profile pictures from 2009 – funnily enough I still have that leather jacket! It’s one of my favourites.

  

  
There are definitely some plus points to social media too. I do love how connected you are, especially with friends who live in all corners of the world. It especially amazes me how I feel as though I know family members who live as far afield as New Zealand who I haven’t met in person. The application is amazing for that 😀

I remember when I was growing up how I longed for the end of the month when my pocket money from my part time job would go towards buying my favourite magazines. I would pour over them from cover to cover assessing what trends I already had in my wardrobe or what I needed to go and purchase to add to my collection. The process of which wouldn’t be a few clicks on an online store to order it, I had to physically venture into a shop, see if they had the item I coveted and crossed my fingers it would suit me! 

Nowadays it seems fashion is so fast paced and disposable at times. A style may grace a movie star or a TV personality on the red carpet and then within a matter of days it is in the high street stores at a fraction of the price. Before you know it that style is “out” and the next trend has emerged.

With the onslaught of fashion bloggers, you tubers and social media tycoons on the scene, entire collections from fashion weeks around the world are showcased before the clothes even hit the stores . One example which springs to mind is the new Moschino collection. The logo was emblazoned on everything from belts, to shoes to necklaces and it filled every weekly gossip magazine with famous faces getting in on the look. 

  
(Image courtesy of google images)

For this very reason, I tend to rather invest  in classic pieces which are timeless and never go out of fashion. I love my Burberry Mac which I’ve had for around 10 years, it comes out every year and still looks effortlessly chic. It’s the same for my leather biker jacket. I’ve had that since I was 16 and although it is getting slightly  worn on the shoulders now I still love it as much and the day I bought it. If you like to keep on top of the current styles, there are some great bargains to be had on the high street, Mango is particularly current and I’ve managed to find some amazing fitting skinny high rise and wet look jeans in there.

With fast fashion you don’t want purchases to break the bank, you may as well have one key item from each season whether it be a clutch bag or a pair of shoes then spending out on a head to toe look which will be old news a month later 😀 

Happy shopping

Until next week, take care 

Keya x