Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Faux is the way to go.

Headband, Top, Skirt, Coat & Shoes - Topshop
Bag - ASOS
Lipstick - Mac 

I’d just intended to write something light-hearted about how I tried this faux fur headband on for a joke and ended up falling in love with it (which is totally true), how I love its retro-glamour and almost unintentional practicality, and how I’ve been convinced for most of my life that I am not a hat person – which I am now disproving! However, I sat down with my laptop and ended up thinking more about principles than image... I am a born and raised ethical vegetarian (I’d go vegan, if not for wine, chocolate and ice cream!) and personally refuse to wear fur or leather. If I’m not eating it, I’m not wearing it! I honestly don’t see the attraction in wearing another creature’s skin – it’s almost macabre, and completely unnecessary. I’m sure the production industries for synthetics are causing our poor planet some trouble, but there’s no point saving it if we are destroying its beautiful inhabitants for our own vanity. This is now no more than some kind of cry for the fashion industries to stop using leather and fur, or at least create without those materials for those of us who don’t want to be limited by our principles (Topshop, I’m begging you for some vegan shoes!). I’m trying not to be preachy, but honestly, give fur a miss – stick to faux: equally warm, equally soft, and a fraction of the price anyway!
Tara India xo

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Getting inked - again!

Coat, Top, Skort & Shoes - Topshop
Bag - Asos

Abusing the idea that Christmas is a time of indulgence, treating not only your loved ones but yourself, and slightly ignoring the fact my bank account is suffering at the moment, on Tuesday I got my fifth tattoo! I also had a lovely time in town with Mum – pre-tattoo breakfast at Costa (because tattooing on an empty stomach is a poor idea), and lunch afterwards, as well as picking up final supplies for our roast and a bit more chocolate. I opted for a fairly simple outfit, using small details to keep it fresh, such as the houndstooth print, the almost spring-time pink of my top, and the faux fur collar.

 I’ve included a picture of the finished tattoo – lyrics from one of my all time favourite songs, Human by Nerina Pallot, plus part of one of her illustrations. I do have a few words to say about tattoos though (and I feel fairly qualified now that I’ve had so many), so here are some tips if you’re considering getting inked! 

Bepanthen.
Of course, getting a needle repeatedly dragged through uncountable layers of skin is going to require healing and aftercare, so I recommend Bepanthen applied every day until it is fully healed. It’s technically a nappy rash cream, but tattoo artists will also recommend it because it’s very kind to skin and good for healing.

Eat beforehand.
I mentioned that an empty stomach isn’t a good idea – well, if you think about it going into anything that’s going to be painful is always more fun with some food inside you, and you have less chance of fainting from the pain! It’s obviously still going to hurt, but I think it’s much more bearable when you’re not also hungry (especially if you’re in there for a while!).

Really consider it.
It sounds obvious, but you’re going to have this on your body for the rest of your life! Unless you want to tolerate the much more painful process of laser removal, tattoos are permanent. So before you jump in and get inked, be certain that what you’ve chosen will either still look good or still have personal significance in ten, twenty years time.

Place is important.
Some professions dislike visible tattoos, and while I think it’s becoming less of a problem these days, I’d say it’s better to go for something that can be covered if necessary. All of mine can be hidden with sleeves or tights. Also, the place has bearing upon the level of pain – fleshy areas hurt less, but anywhere that the needle is likely to hit bone will be a lot more painful. I definitely found this one on my ribs far less comfortable than the one on my upper arm!

Pick your tattoo-day clothes wisely.
Either leave it out in the open, as I did with my ankle tattoos, or go for clothing that won’t irritate the area when it’s done. Something loose, in soft fabric, is a safe bet. Also, you want to be able to get the chosen area out easily when you’re in the studio! For example, I chose a crop top over a dress to wear, because it was much easier to whip out my ribs.

Tara India xo

Monday, 22 December 2014

All that glitters.

Dress & Coat - Topshop
Boots - New Look
Bag - Vintage Chanel
Necklace - Vintage

Despite saying a few days ago that Christmas is hardly a big deal to me, there is one element I love – the parties and get-togethers! Of course, I’m up for a do at any other time of the year, but December does seem to provoke a lot of them and I’m pretty much always game for a party. I’m not much of a fan of clubbing these days (I think I’m getting old now!), but I love any excuse to get glammed up. On Sunday one of these occasions popped up – a staff Christmas meal for my job at home, which was lovely because being back only for a few weeks means I’m not guaranteed a chance to see everyone and besides, catching up when not on shift and in uniform is always fun. The idea was to be festive of course, but Santa hats and cheesy accessories are hardly my cup of tea so I opted for a dress which made me feel like a Christmas fairy! The net and almost tinsel-esque material was perfect for Christmas, and I haven’t had a chance to wear the dress or these gorgeous cut out boots in ages..
Tara India xo

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Pretty in pink.


 Coat - New Look
Crop Top & Skirt - Topshop
Shoes - River Island
Bag - Longchamp

This was my final Birmingham outfit - I'm happy to report that it's warmer down south! I really love my pastel pink coat because it stands out against the myriad of darker shades (which are also favourites of mine) and the dull grey British weather, and it is surprisingly versatile.. But now it's time for an unpopular opinion - namely the fact that I'm already over Christmas! I'm no Scrooge and I love sitting by the fire eating chocolate, my favourite English meal is roast dinner, a cheesy cosy jumper is always a winner with me, and giving presents makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, but the whole performance of "Christmas" is far too much for me. Five days to go and I've already lost all the excitement..

I've never had an advent calendar or a tree in my house, I stopped sending cards about four years ago (except the family ones) and for the last three years I've worked on Christmas day! Decorating the house seems a bit redundant to me - especially since most people go tacky these days - because I already have fairy lights and cute decorations, so why would I want a tree taking up space? If I want my loved ones to see how much I appreciate them, I'd rather give a gift randomly than have one day a year foisted upon me because it almost feels forced. I'm sick of there being a Christmas aisle from practically Easter, sick of the ever-extending run-up (soon all year will just be a pathetic pre-Christmas) and I'm sick of the way it feels like an obligation. And finally, who really needs an excuse to eat chocolate?! I would much rather Christmas stuck to its few days midwinter, and all the cheesy tunes and incessantly over-the-top decoration was abandoned for good.

Tara India xo

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Blush.

Coat - New Look
Dress - Urban Outfitters
Shoes - River Island
Socks - Topshop
Jewellery - Vivienne Westwood
Lipstick - MAC

Every year I seem to buy a new coat as winter hits, and despite my love for my new Topshop coat I couldn't wait to break out this perfect pastel overcoat - there is something joyous about pretty, pale hues in winter that makes the inevitable chill worthwhile. This particular shade reminds me of clouds as the sun sets, lit up in pink, and it is also surprisingly versatile. It really brightened up my all-black outfit on Friday, as I explored the German market in Birmingham with my mum, and also kept me toasty warm all day despite only having a dress and tights (3 pairs!) underneath. The mulled cider may also have helped.. Now I'm home for Christmas and mostly working, eating and watching films, so outfit photos may be hard, but I'll do my best! At least I have plenty of gorgeous clothes to tempt me out...

Tara India xo

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Baby, it's cold outside..

Coat, Jumper & Shoes - Topshop
Skirt - Vintage
Bag - Longchamp

I'm completely in love with this vintage skirt I picked up in Camden Lock - it makes me feel like a some kind of retro angel, or a mermaid (hence my co-star in this set of photos!) and is so floaty I can almost forgive the winter gales for making it swirl around my legs as I walk. Speaking of winter.. being a southern girl I'm still not quite hardened to northern winters (yes, I class Birmingham as the north!) but I've picked up a few tips for fighting off the freeze on the walks to campus and long days out in the arctic wind that pervades this city, so I thought I'd share them. They're mostly girlie tips, but that's my area of expertise...

1. Always wear as many pairs of tights as you own.
I surrendered my love of bare legs months ago, but now one pair of opaques just won't cut it - I've been wearing three pairs at a time for days! It also means you can avoid the hassle of shaving your legs!

2. Lipstick is like armour for your lips against this cold.
Usually come winter I'm slathering on balm and moisturiser to keep my lips from cracking in that attractive wind-blown way, but I've taken to wearing lipstick whenever I go out and it really does help, as well as keeping your pout warm.

3. Faux fur is not just on-trend.
There's a reason faux fur hits the catwalks for winter - it's cosy, comfy, and feels like a hug. I've been wearing this coat almost every day and the collar really keeps my neck toasty.

4. Sometimes, practicality comes first.
Never did I think I'd say this, but sometimes you have to dress for warmth. I'll never understand people who go out bare-legged or without a jacket at this time of year - surely it's better to check your coat than get pneumonia?! In the daytime a jumper is a necessity, or at least a few tops layered up, and when the evening strikes and I'm walking to work (as I will be tonight) I'm usually wearing about 3 tops under my bar t-shirt, a coat, scarf, gloves, tights under my jeans, and a few pairs of socks. Maybe I've got old, but nothing is quite worth freezing anymore.

Tara India xo

Thursday, 4 December 2014

I dress for myself.

Coat, Jumper, Skirt & Shoes - Topshop
Mini Satchel - ASOS
Lipstick - MAC

At the risk of this becoming a whiny feminist rant, I'm trying to point out that in no way do I dress for attention. In a previous post I said I dressed for my own personality and the feeling of the day, and that is the only reason! I don't dress to attract anyone else, or to impress them. This is my feeling of the day because even while out in this outfit - with a total of about 7 inches of visible skin - I was catcalled and wolf-whistled while walking home, and I know so many people that say girls should dress to avoid this, or that they dress to invite this. My only reaction to this is: what?? Never have I seen a guy in the street and thought that whistling or shouting 'Alright, darling!' would be appropriate or the best way to get his attention. Why are women so sexualised and judged for our bodies that this behaviour is common? It happens to me repeatedly, regardless of how I actually dress, and the only thing I can do is ignore it! It just frustrates me that women are expected to deal with this daily, and if we shout anything back we are even more insulted. I have never dressed to attract attention - I dress purely as creative expression (with some consideration to practical factors) and to make myself feel good. If I feel more confident in a skirt than jeans, then that's the only reason I'm wearing it. If I want to wear lipstick, it's because it complements my dress. There's nothing going through my mind in the morning as I get dressed that is aiming for other people to find me attractive - I'm sure many people don't like my outfits! Now I'm aware I'm getting carried away, so I'll curtail my rambling, but please, if you read this then think for a minute about why women are constantly judged on their bodies and why any attempts to look pretty are taken as an invitation for attention.

Tara India xo