Summer's Style Archive - Celebrating 6 years of blogging
This June, TTW turns 6 years old! Quite the achievement, if I do say so myself.
We recently migrated from Blogger to Squarespace and in doing so, had to reformat every single post we had written over the past 6 years. It was a nostalgic walk down memory lane, and an opportunity to reflect on how much this little platform has grown since 2013!
During this time we started University, studied abroad in Canada, travelled, got our degrees, moved back to the UK, lived and worked in North London for a year, went backpacking in New Zealand & Canada, returned to France and more.
I thought I’d put together a few pictures from each year to see how much my style, our photography and our surroundings have evolved. Holly will also be sharing a post like this too which is why I’ll keep this first introduction short and sweet!
2013: The Early Days of Blogging
When I think back to this time of my life (pre-university), I see an incredibly shy person, someone with slightly bad posture and that awkward body-language most of us experienced as teenagers (home videos with friends and family verify this). However I was surprised to find that in most of these pictures, I looked confident in front of the camera - such a huge contrast to how I was in real life. Photography has been a passion of mine since I was 14 or 15, and to see the confidence it brought out in me at this stage in my life is quite wonderful.
My outfits in my early posts were very dressed up. I was 16-17 (even younger in my Lookbook posts), wearing a lot of dresses and heels, and clothes that ultimately didn’t reflect my style. Blogging at that time consisted of playing dress-up and shooting for the fun of it (1st picture above). In 2013 I started University, and began documenting my student outfits which were generally a mix of H&M, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and New Look (2nd & 3rd pictures above) - fast-fashion brands that I soon moved away from.
2014, 1st & 2nd year of Uni - being more creative
I started being more creative with my style during my second year of University. It was my first time living in a town with access to different shops such as Zara and Mango, and I wore a lot of Asos at the time too. My standard every-day uniform consisted of oversize jumpers with skinny jeans, perfect for long days at Uni. I remember writing some of these posts and feeling like I had finally found my personal sense of style: I wasn’t just wearing nice clothes, but styling them my own way.
2015 - establishing my personal sense of style
To this day, 2015 is my favourite Blogging Year in terms of outfits. I still love all of the pieces I wore, and many of them remain in my wardrobe today. I was really into feminine looks with a-line skirts and ankle boots, and had started investing in more expensive pieces from Mango & Zara; I began experimenting with brighter colours, different textures and fabrics. I also wore a lot more make-up back then, always embracing eyeliner and contouring my cheekbones.
We had a much needed camera upgrade this year which allowed us to step up our photography game, and we made sure we shot content 2 - 3 times a week. Holly & I both worked incredibly hard at uni in order to study in Canada the following semester: we both got accepted into the program (after lots of admin issues) and both enrolled in the same university in Ontario! (looks 2 & 3 above). It was possibly the most rewarding experience of my life so far. The personal growth that flourished within those months and the ones that followed shaped the person I am today, and I will forever be grateful for it - it’s the best thing I have ever done for myself. This confidence boost translated through these outfit posts and encouraged us to write and create more.
2016 - confidence
2016. After Canada. Looking back, I see how much more confident I felt in myself and my abilities: I felt even more comfortable in my own skin (and I chopped several inches of my hair off with no remorse). I began wearing more neutral colours, and my obsession with white blouses took root! I moved away slightly from a-line skirts and dresses towards culottes and skinny jeans. It was our last year at university, so we embraced the cobblestone stone back-drops and french town squares.
2017 Part 1 - London Living
The Blogosophere grew exponentially during 2016 and 2017, and in some ways I think we unconsciously changed our approach to blogging - in a bad way. There was pressure to consistently shoot content of the highest quality: essay length-posts and editorial pictures 4 times a week. We had also moved back to North London, and finding a balance between work, blogging and living away from France was a difficult adjustment. We ended up shooting tons of outfit pictures in the front garden (not the best idea) which ultimately ripped away any enthusiasm we had when creating content. Once we made an effort to find new locations and backgrounds, we felt more inspired to sit down and write posts we were proud of once more.
Once again, living somewhere new pushed me to seek out new shops and brands: I walked into & Other Stories and never looked back. I strove to create more sophisticated outfits, less skinny jeans more smart trousers, discovered my love for midi skirts and sharper lines.
2017 Part 2 - Backpacking & Back To Basics
Towards the end of 2017, Holly & I went on an incredible 8 week backpacking adventure across Vancouver, New Zealand and San Francisco. We created enough content in those 8 weeks to last for an entire year: travel guides, vlogs, 35mm film pictures and more. We were on extremely tight budgets, so naturally my style was completely stripped back to the essentials required for non-stop travel. Casual wear and fitness wear only. I used less make-up (sunscreen over foundation, no eyeliner) and wore 2 pairs of trousers and a handful of t-shirts on rotation. At this point I had started altering my shopping habits: Buying Less and Buying Well, investing in expensive pieces for the long run.
This trip was all about embracing and celebrating Mother Nature, wandering through breath-taking landscapes and admiring the beautiful planet we call home. Everything else came second: clothes were for comfort and practicality. This experience allowed me to reflect on my own style, how I perceive clothes and my approach to shopping.
I purchased very few clothes in 2018. Personally, it was the most challenging year of my life. Utterly lost, financially unstable and desperately trying to figure out what to do next. This rather bleak year did have its bright days: I was once again back home in France, I made more of an effort to visit and photograph nearby historical monuments, and because of this lack of stability I was simply unable to afford any new clothes so instead decided to focus our content on Film/TV reviews. So, there were fewer outfit posts. This financial instability however did enable us to stick to our Buy Less & Buy Well motto - we had sold the majority of our clothes before backpacking to help fund the trip, so we never truly replenished our wardrobes until the end of 2018, when a new job called for it.
2019 - Refined
I believe personal styles are constantly evolving depending on circumstance. 2019 started on the best foot and I couldn’t be happier!
I started a new job which required me to replenish certain areas of my wardrobe: as I’ve mentioned quite a few times before, I sold most of my clothes to help fund my backpacking trip. It wasn’t until I got a new job (in retail nonetheless) that I realised I desperately needed some wardrobe essentials, so I slowly began investing in key pieces that would last me for years to follow: cotton twill trousers and button-up shirts have been the priority, and I soon discovered I was curating a more grown-up, sophisticated wardrobe. However I want to make sure I still dress my age, and I’ve been looking through Vestiaire Collective for some dresses and found myself favouring lots of clothes with bold prints and ruffles too!
We are almost halfway through 2019 and I’m still struggling to put outfits together. I’m being as much of an ethical and conscious consumer as I can be, but my wardrobe still needs to be practical! I’ve been loving Vestiaire Collective and have added tons of pieces to my wish-list recently. It’s also a great way to discover new brands available at high-street prices!
So there you have it, I didn’t realise how much my personal style had changed over the past few years! I’ve moved around a lot in that time and it’s quite amazing to see just how much my living arrangements affected the way I dressed. As much as I love the way I style myself now, visiting earlier posts makes me want to invest in some more feminine pieces again such as a-line skirts and dresses.
I look forward to seeing how my style continues to evolve over the years, and thank you all for coming to back to this little corner of the internet - I’d love to know what you think of this little trip down memory lane! x