How to Afford Luxury Items

No matter what your budget is, you can afford luxury brands, you just might have to work harder than others. But if it’s something you want, then you’ll get it.

I was brought up in a modest family, in a modest town, therefore owning a designer item was never on the table. I was thought that money needs to be spent wisely, not on silly expensive fashion. I was also the only one really interested in this industry, so I had nobody to share this passion with. It took me some time of earning and saving, until I was comfortable enough to start my mini collection. I took very very small steps and I’m here to tell you my tips and tricks.

Start a separate savings account

Start a mini savings account for any items you’d like to purchase in the future. I like maths (a looot) so I like to work with percentages. Pick a very small percentage of your revenue and pop it on the side each month. Let’s give you an example: saving 5% each month for luxury when earning £1000/month. That would be £50/month, which makes £600/year. And boom – that’s a pair of designer shoes. The idea is to pick an amount that’s manageable to you, you can go lower or higher. But don’t go too high, there’s other things more important in life than a pretty bag.

Go for outlets

Designer items are rarely on sale. If you want to save yourself some money, it’s best to look at something that’s from an older collection – there’s a chance you’ll see it on designer outlets or in the occasional sale sections of the main online designer websites. My favourite are Outnet ,  TkMaxx for outlets and NetaPorter ,  Luisa Viaroma and My Theresa for sale. I have to confess, I only have one item bought full price. Everything else was either outlet price, sale or vintage (cha ching!)

Go vintage

Especially for bags, I recommend you look for vintage finds. Instead of getting a brand new Michael Kors made in China, why not get yourself an old YSL, full or character, handmade in France and at the same price? The problem with vintage is that it’s all about your personal style. If you don’t like old looking bags/classic bags then it will be harder to find something for your taste. When vintage, avoid big brands such as Chanel and Hermes – they usually increase their value in time. Opt instead for brands such as Miu Miu, YSL, Louis Vuitton (tricky), Gucci, Viviene Westwood. Some good vintage shops are Designer Exchange (shop and online) SophiaShop on Esty and Vestiaire Collective online.

Follow the influencers

Make sure to follow your favourite influencers and their Depop accounts. They often sell their items and they usually go for smaller prices. They’re usually inundated with clothes and accessories, so there’s a high chance they’ll be in very good condition. If you’re not into reading blogs and so on, just do a quick search on Youtube for Luxury Hauls – find their Depop accounts and just keep an eye on there from time to time. If you’ve seen someone wear something you like, don’t be afraid to contact them directly and offer to purchase the item. They sometimes say yes 🙂

Luxury comes at different price points

I’m here talking about being comfortable in buying luxury items, but I’m still far from getting a Chanel Boy bag. I mean, sorry but £4000 is way too outside of my comfort zone. Or should I say financial zone? The thing is not all luxury needs to be expensive. Some good priced brands are: Charlotte Olympia, Vivienne Westwood, Kate Spade, Malone Souliers, Moschino. You can also start with accessories such as jewellery, scarves, belts, purses.

Be flexible

Do as much research as you need in order to get to see what you would actually have the most wear out of. Go to Selfridges/Harrods etc and look closely at all the pieces that you find tempting. Try on some shoes from different designers, check out inside pockets of the bags – try to know as much as possible about the brands you like. When the sale hits up/outlets get more stock in – try and keep an open mind. There’s 0.001% chance you’ll see the exact item you wanted. So be a bit more flexible with your choices, kind of when shopping in a vintage or thrift shop. Look out for the hidden gems!

Don’t get into debt

Last but not least, have fun and make sure you make the most out of your luxury items. Don’t overdo it, don’t buy them on credit or using instalment payments.  Fashion is not worth getting you into dept. And if you still feel you struggle to save some cash for luxury, make it your goal to earn a specific amount of money in a year or two or five. Use it as a financial goal and work to make it happen.

Wearing Coast Dress | H&M Shoes | Ted Baker Bag

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Sicily – 5 Things You Need To Know

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t like to plan my holidays too much, I like to go with the flow and often make random decisions. It always turns out to be amazing, so why change my strategy? That’s kind of what happened to our trip to Sicily – it all started with finding very cheap flights via Ryanair. Once we booked the flights, we started doing some research and decided on an itinerary. So if you’re like me, here are 5 quick and easy tips you need to remember when travelling to Sicily:

Places

Make sure to travel around the island as it’s so different and has so much to offer. Our itinerary was: Palermo – Cefalu – Taormina – Etna – Palermo. I have to say that every location has its own beauty and you don’t need more than a day to spend in any of these places. You can if you want to, but you can see enough in a day.

Food & Drinks

If you’re on a diet you might as well not go. The food is de-li-cious! Plenty of fresh seafood, prepared in different ways, accompanied by the best wines. If you don’t fancy the sea food, well, let me state the obvious: pizza & pasta! The only regret I have about our trip was that we didn’t eat more, and I’m not even joking.They also have the best ice-creams, fresh fruits and Cannoli, which is a traditional Sicilian desert best described as heaven. I realised I haven’t got any pictures of my Cannoli’s (which I think were 10 over the course of 2 days) and that’s because they were too delicious, I couldn’t take 2 minutes to snap a picture.

Money

Prices in Sicily vary depending on the places. Except Taormina, everything is pretty much affordable and quite on the cheap side. Taormina however is a bit pricier, being the most touristy place. It is very good for buying souvenirs though, but I’ll cover this subject more in the Shopping section. Make sure you have cash available, there’s not many ATMs available and it feels like it’s safer to pay cash rather than card in most of these places (if you know what I mean). One big spent will be the accommodation, don’t be afraid to check out B&Bs – people are very friendly and prices tend to be much lower.

Transportation

Best option is to rent a car – it gives you the freedom to move around the island and it’s quite affordable. However, be aware of the driving there! Around the East coast was brilliant, lovely sceneries and lovely roads. It was all great until we arrived in Palermo and we were just shocked – as my friends put it: like driving in India but maybe not as hectic. Or as the guide book put it: Driving in Palermo requires nerves of steel. I may add: and a car of steel, so you don’t get crushed by everyone else around you.

Shopping

Sicily is a great place to buy some souvenirs: olive oil, pistachio cream and liquor, herbs, Cannoli, wine and kitchen accessories. They have the prettiest handmade ceramics, all with lemon and fruit patterns, very Sicilian like. I would also emphasise on the pistachio cream – is like Nutella but with pistachios – heaven in a jar! Make sure to keep some cash for these souvenirs – I spent about £100 with presents included. I bought all the kitchen bits and lemon soaps from Taormina. I had to buy all the food from the airport as I only had a hand luggage, but next time I’m getting a big luggage and get my food from local shops – cheaper and tastier!

Last advice I can give you – make sure to make the most out of the trip, walk around the small streets with beautiful architecture, enjoy a drink in one of those fancy hotels overlooking the water, swim in the most clear and blue water I have ever seen so far, don’t worry about the calories and make sure to indulge in their cuisine.

Sicily, you were amazing!

 

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We’re all in this together

It’s funny how things work.. Last month I had a flicker of creativity, wrote an article quickly and before I knew it, I pressed publish. And there it was. Out for the world to see my weakness. Me, a typical Aries – stubborn, ambitious and with too much personality. So for me to say I couldn’t handle it, was not easy at all.

I was overwhelmed with the messages and the amount of people that contacted me afterwards. First, everyone wanted to know if I’m ok, how I feel and if they could help. It made me feel incredible to see that many people that care.

Secondly, I felt like I started my version of a #metoo campaign. So many of you told me how you’ve been struggling, how you couldn’t do it anymore. And that, basically, we all deal with issues and it’s not as easy breezy – and that it’s harder and harder to find the best opportunity to talk about these things. How do you start a conversation about “I can’t do this anymore?”. In my case, this is how I started the conversation and I ended up talking with many beautiful friends that all had challenges much bigger than mine.

It gave me peace to share this with others and it gave you peace to share your problems with me.

We’re all in this together.

I’m wearing: dress from Shein and the bag belongs to Dan’s grandma. She used it when she was my age, to take food to workers on the fields. It’s older than me and yet, the trendiest accessory for this summer.

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Life Update: A lot has happened and it’s been too much

– life update –

A lot has happened since I last wrote on this blog. I have been going through so many emotions that at the end of it I was just too exhausted to do the thing that relaxes me most: create blog content. But I have to force myself back into this routine. It’s like going to the gym – takes a bit of effort, but once you’ve been you feel proud, like you’ve just accomplished something. That’s how this blog makes me feel. And I’ve missed it.

SO WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON?

We got married

First of all, the most obvious thing was that Dan & I got married last year.  Planning a wedding abroad was not the easiest thing, but I wasn’t too stressed. You see, I never dreamt of a specific wedding, wasn’t sure what I wanted or anything. I wanted to feel good and have fun. And boy, I did!

We lost a house

To make it all more interesting, we were in the process of buying a house. Right after the wedding we were meant to finalise everything and we were already inviting everyone over. It all fell apart shortly, when the bank said the house is not worth the money we were paying and they won’t give us the requested loan. We had to let that house go. It wasn’t easy to find a house in the first place and now we were back to square one. Just imagine how hard it is to find a dress for a special occasion. Now imagine how hard it is to find the house. And then be told you can’t have it anymore. Heartbreaking.

We bought another house

Honestly, from then on all we wanted was to find a new place and that became our obsession. All mornings, afternoons and weekends. This meant I had to give something up: my blog, my creative part time pleasure.

I am happy to tell you guys that early this year Dan & I have received the keys to our first house. From the moment we saw the house and put an offer on it, it took 5 months to get the keys. My patience has never been tested like this before..

We started a project

The house we bought is more like a project, it’s an old house in need for renovations. We’re talking walls taken down, replacing the wiring and heating systems and so on. All very big jobs. So no matter how fun it all sounded at the beginning, getting the right people for the job, getting the right details and documentation and then.. well.. spending all the money – all this was a bit hectic and nerve wrecking. We moved now in a house with no kitchen and only one room where we sleep, eat, change, everything. It is not the most comfortable thing but I’m happy to finally have taken this step.

I re-started my blogging/vlogging

I got myself new lighting, a new camera and decided to re-launch my blogging. This time I was going to do Youtube, which meant I can organise it all myself and decide my own schedule without any additional help. I made a calendar, made a plan so I could find enough time to create videos on a regular basis.

I crushed

Now just imagine this: I was working full time with no holidays left, Dan was working 60 hour weeks on a new project he just started, we were in the middle of changing houses and moving into our new home (aka construction site), packing all our things/unpacking everything, still trying to cook with no kitchen so we eat healthy(ish) and also trying to film interesting Youtube material at least once a week. I just couldn’t do this anymore. It’s funny, you’ve got all these things going on and think to yourself – why am I complaining? It’s just that it all happened at once and we just couldn’t take it anymore.

I prioritised

So instead of giving up the things I like, I decided to come to a compromise. The big news is that I’m working part time now. This way I have more time to do other things that matter to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. But I also love creating content. I also always dreamt of having my house with my garden and my style. So yes, I wanted to take over the house project too. And lastly, I wanted to lift some pressure from my husband’s shoulders. One of us needed to take over some of the new responsibilities.

I can sleep now

I haven’t slept so well in months, I am so excited and so happy. There’s still a long way to go and I’m not even half way there. My blog is nowhere close to a winning website, money maker machine. My house is a mess. My career is under pressure with me spending only half the time on it now. But it’s ok. You can’t always have it all and you can’t put all that pressure on you. I’m here to enjoy my life and that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m still not sure why I told you all this. I usually don’t share this much with the world. But the morale of the story is: sometimes it’s ok to feel overwhelmed, even though apparently it all looks good and exciting. Sometimes it’s just too much and sometimes you need to let some things go.

I’ve only got one life and I’m gonna bloody enjoy it. I’ve missed this.

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My last obsession

Go through my last posts and you’ll se a theme going on: I’ve never worn so many maxi dresses in a season. And I love it! They’re such a statement, but most of all – they’re very comfortable and flattering at the same time. I used to only wear maxi dresses for a special occasion or for a holiday. But this year I went a bit crazy with the maxi. I do love it how the always windy Manchester makes these cute waves, hair and dress always blowing in the wind.

On another note, this has been my first summer in a while without a holiday abroad. And it will be my last. I just realised how much I miss travelling and how it acts like a therapy in a way. Just to escape the ordinary, get to change the landscape, food and the language. Have you had a nice summer break? Any places you would recommend? 🙂

My friend Alexander Ward took these awesome pictures, he’s a Manchester based photographer, you can find his work here. Don’t be afraid to drop him a line 🙂

Dress – ASOS

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Pardon my French

When I was a little girl, I never wanted to be an astronaut or a doctor, or a lawyer. No, I wanted to sale dresses. And people would be: But don’t you want to do something bigger? In other words, something that society thinks is a good career? I always loved clothes, I would spend hours trying on my mum’s dresses, playing with fabrics and creating outfits. I never wanted to be a designer, I was told I’m not that talented so I decided to give up on that dream. But I did like playing with clothes and I decided I’ll create a career in the fashion industry somehow. I went on to study Marketing. I thought I needed to learn how to sell the clothes, I needed to know what people want and I needed to find a way to use my creative mind. I don’t even remember the amount of times people made sure to tell me how easy is to study Marketing. And my answer would always be – it’s not easy to be the best, no matter what the hell you study or do, so shush.

I was over the moon when I found a masters degree in Fashion Marketing. I thought I finally found a way of building a career exactly how I wanted. In the meantime I started writing this tiny blog of mine. Not because I am confident, not because I am photogenic, but because I like to do creative shit and this was the best way. In the meantime a lot of girls decided to become fashion bloggers, I guess there’s no point to tell you how many eye rolls I get when I say I’m one of them. And then comments like “oh, you’re actually smart, you actually have something in your head, not just <check out what I wore today>”. Since when working in fashion is not good enough? Since when having a passion about clothing, cuts and designers is a silly thing to do? I choose my path, you do your thing and give all us fashionistas a break! I’ve seen too many awful doctors, shitty lawyers, corrupt presidents and bad teachers to think that just because you have a society favourite job, you’re fab. The job does not define you, you define you.

P.S. I hope you like my outfit! Got it in the sale, of course.

Dress – French Connection | Shoes – Zara | Watch – Daniel Wellington

 

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Wedding Attire from PrettyLittleThing

Wedding season is upon us and I for one absolutely love it. What’s not to like? You get people celebrating love, a lot of food, dancing all night, buying new clothes and having cake without feeling bad about it. And speaking about buying new clothes – I am very excited to share with you today three different outfit ideas based on what kind of wedding you will be attending. There are three things I always keep in mind when picking my wedding attire: it needs to match the wedding theme/venue, it needs to be comfortable and it cannot be too over the top. You ain’t the bride, so you don’t need to steal the show. But you still need to feel beautiful and confident.

PrettyLittleThing has just the right wedding guest dresses for you. 

Garden weddings are often based on nudes and pastel colours. It’s like a box of macaroons, where you get to pick your favourite shade. I do love my pinks so I had to go for a lilac/pinky dress. This cut is extremely flattering on every bodyshape, and the strings in the back make it even easier to adjust. That’s why it would make a great bridesmaid dress too. The good news is that if you want to go ahead and buy this dress for your brides squad, it’s only £30. And it also comes in grey. You’re welcome.

I do love wearing a red dress as it doesn’t happen very often. It’s the perfect outfit for a glam wedding. The frills on the side of the dress give me the impression I’m somewhere in Spain, drinking sangria and showing my dancing moves on Despacito. So I decided to pair it with some vintage mules. But change the shoes into something glittery, put some bling on and you’ve completely changed the outfit. Either way, you don’t need to do much – this dress is a gorgeous statement on its own.

Summer weddings on a very sunny day are the best. But then there’s a catch: it can easily become sweaty and sticky, especially for us being used to the typical British weather. For this occasion is best to keep your makeup minimal, your hair natural and your dress as flowy and breezy as possible. I love that this PrettyLittleThing dress is cute, formal enough but still perfect to wear on other occasions too.

Thank you PrettyLittleThing for being so awesome and helping me create this blog post. I hope you guys got some inspiration and don’t forget to check the new wedding guest dresses here.

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I’m really bad at this

It’s one thing I’ve always kind of ignored or not paid too much attention to. It all started when I was a child and realised that I was allergic to all my favourite watches and bracelets. My doctor told me that the only metals I can wear is silver, gold and titanium. I was relieved to know what the issue to all my problems was and I suddenly decided to get rid of accessories. It is a bit tricky because I do love accessories, I always admired those girls who use jewellery to change a whole outfit. But you see, I was never good at that because I couldn’t and still can’t wear much. At the moment I have a couple of watches I always change and my rings have been the same for more than a year now. I don’t usually wear earrings, unless I go out. And they all end up in my bag after a couple of hours, when the allergy starts to kick in and I feel uncomfortable.

But I’ve learnt how to play with outfits by keeping it simple with accessories. One trick of mine is: coloured/matchy shoes. Now this is where I like to have fun. Leopard prints, glitter, bright colours – I do have loads of pretty shoes that would make any outfit stand out. I do keep them for special occasions, but they are my accessories. Another favourite of mine is bags. My daily bags are colourful, but also practical. For someone who is not good at accessorising their outfit, all I can say is – invest in just a couple of pieces. Don’t spend too much on pretty things, they’ll end up in a closet. Pick colours that you love. And when you’re lost, just borrow some bits from your friends. Some of us don’t have time to change our bags twice a week, our watch every day and our bracelets on a weekly basis. And that’s okay.

Skirt – Topshop | Top – Zara | Shoes – New Look | Bag – Michael Kors | Watch – Daniel Wellington | Blue ring – Santorini

 

 

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Dear Journal…

It’s the middle of the night, in the middle of the week. I need to wake up early tomorrow but I just can’t fall asleep. Too many thoughts running through my mind, too many plans I still need to catch up on, too many exciting things happening at the same time. It’s really quiet and I can finally think about the last couple of weeks that went by too fast. I’ve noticed something that I’m not happy about. I’ve been postponing some fun stuff because I was busy with other stuff. Why do we have to cancel the things we like, when we’re too overwhelmed with work, tedious jobs and other things that don’t bring us joy? Why do we always have to sacrifice the good stuff? Naah, I’ve had enough. So I decided to revisit my blog again. And tomorrow I might even call a friend and spend an hour on the phone just because. And after that I’ll do some shopping – afterall it’s the sale season and I still haven’t had the chance to check it out! What I’m trying to say is, don’t forget to do some fun things especially when you feel you have no time.  That’s when you most need it.

Trousers Primark | Shoes & Top Zara | Watch Daniel Wellington

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Lust for Life

CLICK PLAY

We’re a generation that struggles to get a house and settle down. We don’t like saving. We’d rather enjoy our youth and spend our money on travelling, experiences and too many drinks over the weekend. But you know what? Life is short. And it’s a lesson I’ve learnt again after the tragic event that happened in Manchester. It’s so sad and scary and just so unfair. What am I personally gonna do about it? Spread positivity and enjoy the privilege of being alive, healthy and free to enjoy this beautiful world. We’re so damn lucky.

Dress – French Connection (find it here)

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