Thursday, 28 December 2017

THE LAST POST OF 2017


I have been thinking about writing this post for a while now. I honestly did plan to write so many Christmssy blog posts - from gift guides to XMAS outfit inspo. For once though I don't really want to write about knitwear or what colour I'm digging at the moment - which is always gonna be black isn't it really. I guess sometimes you have to listen to yourself (which is kinda the point in this post - trying to do that more).

The Ivory Tower has always been my outlet in some way or another - although I didn't even realise at the time I signed up to Blogger, the things that I care about and when I have topics I want to discuss - this is always my first port of call. Even posts I have in drafts that I have never published - getting it all down in this little place of mine has always been what I have wanted to do. I was probably going to leave this in drafts - but I recently read a post by Robin James about wanting to post so that he can look back and see how he got through things. I like that.

So recently I have been taking some time to reflect on some things - maybe (definitely) because it is coming to the end of 2017. People sometimes make comments about a New Year - but its definitely a good opportunity for a mental refresh. The past 12 months have gone so fast to the point where I feel a little hazy looking back. It can sometimes take actually stepping away from a situation to fully understand what is going on and what it means. I can't really find a quote lately that summarises how I'm feeling so I am gonna just try my own words this time...mental, I know.


This year there have been times where I have been in a  relatively negative mentality. At times, I wasn't particularly finding it easy to sleep, I found myself only being honest with myself after I'd had a drink, and maybe getting a little (a lot) aggy. In reflection I wasn't really happy with who I was. So much so to the point where I remember scribbling notes in my phone, trying to explain clearly the feelings I was having and the reasons why (if it can be clear after a couple of wines) and basically, just wanted myself to fucking do something about it. I think I somehow thought this was normal though? That was just how things were? I didn't really say anything to anyone and sober Mel ignored a lot of things for a hellaaaaaaa long time.

See, I have realised how for the most part of life - it's not always just one factor that causes you to get into this mentality, it is a build up of lots of factors and separate moments. I have realised now that is is much easier to first of all just be honest in facing what is going on, and in turn being able to distinguish between behaviours that are good for your soul and those that are certainly not - effectively removing yourself from the latter.

I remember some time ago I read some messages that had been sent to someone I cared a lot for at the time - the person who sent the messages I had never met nor even knew of. Amongst other things discussed, in those messages I was being completely mocked. Having the piss taken out of me for taking pictures and for actually caring so much about taking them, and I wasn't being defended. That has stuck with me, sure - but in reality I think it has actually just made me want to take pictures even more. I feel that I can sometimes get very defensive now when I get any rebuttal against me taking photo's (is it not just a bit ridiculous that there actually is any?). I am very confident in doing it, don't get me wrong, after all, it is my job, but I can't help but feel this instant defensiveness for myself. I have had amazing support from the people around me and it is sad that some negative comments are the ones that stick with you - but I guess that is what we do. I have realised that it is important to always stick to what you want to do and not what others expect you to do. At that particular time I wouldn't even say I took as many pictures as I do now...and sticking with it has meant that I now get to take pictures for and work with brands that I absolutely love and I truly get more and more enjoyment in it as time goes on. It is so nice to see people who have a genuine passion, and do you know what? You never know what a little bit of support can do for someone.


For the most part of my life I have always been the first to make fun of myself - I genuinely don't take myself very seriously at all, and to be frank, I do come out with comments that don't even make too much sense to the majority of people (shout out to my old work work pals who got to witness the old Mel Harris quote board). People laughing because you thought Jonathan Creek was a wine - totally cool. People diminishing the fact that you have a first class degree because of the University that you went to - not cool. If you are proud of something you have achieved then my god shout about it - and find people who want to shout about it too. In reality you are probably going to be limited in the amount of people who truly truly want you to succeed and actually big you up. I am very fortunate with those that I have in my life. 

One major thing I have learnt this year is actions are EVERYTHING. Ever think that you don't know why you feel a certain way and there isn't a reason? There is.  Gut feelings? Also a thing. If people want to speak to you and make time for you, then they will do it. Simple - it is just human nature. And if its not you that they are doing that to, but someone else instead, then it is what it is - you cannot force people into acting a certain way. So previously I found myself reading my horoscope daily - but now realise I was trying to find the answer to some questions in an app. Why though? I was pinning quotes on Pinterest boards - thinking they could explain things and I wasn't crazy for thinking what I did. I wasn't crazy - in fact I was bang on the money and to be honest - we usually are with these things (I still love a quote though). A lesson that I have learnt moving forward is that we should always trust our instincts.

So in a nutshell - I have realised it is how you view/respond to negative situations that really matters. For real my parents have been telling me that since I was about 1 (not really 1) but we don't fully appreciate these nuggets of information until it is presented to us in a real form. We don't actually even realise it at the time but we can look back and say "oh shit yeah". It's a shame that there is sometimes a delay in our responses. That doesn't always have to be a reflection on us though, I think speaking from my own experience sometimes you can be blinded by a lot of things. Thinking about the bigger picture (and reading a couple of books about not giving a fuck...FFS sorry for swearing...again, Mum) along with the law of attraction I feel like I can flip some things on it's head here.

So maybe things happen to teach us how not to do things, a lesson to show us what is good for us and also who is actually there for you when things aren't going so great - that's a definitely a biggy for me. I guess this is a mental nod to being able to recognise situations for what they truly are, and being confident in focusing on the good, not the shady.



2017 was the year for growth and I now know the direction I want to go in and feel genuinely content with it all. So this is the last post for this year - and one that I am taking into the New Year with a positive, bold, and confident attitude! I am so freaking excited to get started.


- SHOP THE POST -





SHARE:

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

POWER DRESSING



We all have those days - when we are feeling sluggish and not really fully prepared to get out of our pjs and into socially acceptable attire. Especially as it gets a little (a lot) colder now, it is even easier to layer up in whatever is easiest in the name of keeping warm. 


But what about those days where we want to put on our boss babe hat? Or in this case - blazer. I have always been a firm believer in dressing for the occasion, and when I look back on certain experiences; interviews, school discos, day trips - I have always spent a lot of time planning my outfit and channelling my attitude through it in the process. I wouldn't ever say that you have to rely on your wardrobe to give you the confidence you need - but in my case, it certainly plays a big part.


Something definitely screams business about a blazer and I have obsessed over them for many years now. I have two staple blazers, one black and one white that are always my fail safe for a smart day/evening event. That is probably why I always feel like I am ready to tackle whatever life throws at me when I'm wearing one, which is why I instantly fell in love with this feminine take on the blazer-dress - and probably why I am leaning more towards it at the moment.


As I say a lot in my posts, I am a sucker for black, so I was in quite a predicament when I found out this dress came in this check...but also a black. I completely stepped outside of my comfort zone with this but gee am I happy I did. It gave me even more sass than I think it would've in black. Mission accomplished. 


Another thing I love about a classic boss-babe blazer look (aside from the confidence boost) is the sheer versatility - depending on what level you want to hit. Sure, this is a dress that is achieving everything it is set out to, without being too short so that you can actually wear heels without showing everyone, well, everything. The fact is I can wear this in SO many ways; chuck a polo neck on underneath for that extra warmth and autumnal vibe, wear open with a plain white tee and some jeans, or maybe just a black bodysuit tucked into a PU skirt. I really do think this single blazer could transition you to multiple levels of girl-boss, for whatever the occasion.


This post got me thinking about when my love for the blazer actually started - and the fact that I really can't see them ever not being the perfect wardrobe staple. I remember seeing Angelina Jolie turn up to an awards do with Brad Pitt (I didn't personally see her - I mean online, obv) and she was wearing a full suit. I remember feeling in awe at the fact that she effing owned that red carpet...and thats definitely how I want to approach certain moments in my life (maybe not quite red carpet ones - but a red door will do!).



So guys...what is your go-to for power dressing and boosting your boss-babe attitude?


- GET THAT BLAZER HYPE -




- SHOP THE LOOK -



SHARE:

Monday, 23 October 2017

LIFE IN YOUR 20s


I attended an event recently and the speaker was talking to us about the benefits of yoga and how to deal with being stressed. In all honestly I didn't actually think I would pay that much attention at the time, one because I had brunch in front of me, and two because I have never done yoga. So it turns out not only was I very much fascinated by the talk but it has stuck with me ever since. It has also got me thinking, what else am I not embracing just at the assumption that it's not for me? We say all the time - life goes extremely fast. Nothing makes you realise this more than bloody time hop every single day. Everyone also says time moves even faster when you get older. Errrrr YEAH I am realising that now more than ever. It's probably because we have deadline after deadline. Also trying to mix that with socialising with friends, getting some sleep, excelling in our careers and just generally trying to figure out which direction we need to take our life in, is quite time consuming.


So, I am now undergoing operation slow-life-down. I am fully aware (as my Pinterest quote board tells me daily) that it is okay that I don't quite have things figured out yet. I am 24 after all. What I have realised though is a lot of things are in my control now, more so than I realised they were three or more years ago. My first port of call is fitness - something that has definitely slipped over the past couple of years. One thing that does seem to motivate me that little bit more though is buying cute work-out gear. Now that we are in autumn and its a little bit cooler, I will definitely be investing in some gym hoodies! After how Jack Wills-eque these pictures felt (country bumpkin written all over it) it inspired me to check out their active wear - and it is safe to say I now have 5 things in my basket. All in the name of getting fit...right?

- SHOP MY JACK WILLS WISHLIST - 




Second plan of action is to focus on what I love. Like we don't already know to do that? Yeah sure we get told, and probably by ourselves most of the time, but SO often we find ourselves doing things that in reality we wouldn't be doing if we had a brutal choice. My best friend gave me a book recently about not giving a fuck. I only read half (lols - clearly didn't give a f...) but definitely got the picture. Why do we do things that don't truly satisfy our heart? I have also realised recently though that may just be because we don't fully know what it is that we are supposed to be doing...that is equally okay. We will figure it out.


Another thing that I have been trying to do (okay it sounds like I have been on a retreat - I haven't) is trust my gut. Like I am not actually sure what that means because your gut is...your gut...but I guess it means the feeling you get. We have an instinct, we don't always necessarily have to understand it, but we have to appreciate that we should probably be listening to this rather than other elements that may seem to make more sense - maybe advice from someone, after all - that is their opinion not yours. I think the difference between the start of your 20s to the end might seem pretty big - obviously I am only (almost) halfway through so cannot fully comment but from how I felt at 20 to now, I would say has been a big change, so I can only imagine this going further. I certainly feel more sure about what I love and what I want to do with that. Take blogging, for example. I knew I wanted to do it but I didn't even really know what it was or how to. I guess that is half of the fun looking back and seeing how things have developed.


I'm not sure what it is - but as we move into the autumn (my all time favourite time of year) I just always feel a little reflective - but also excited. I am NOOOOOO where near figuring out what the hell is going to happen and in turn what direction I am going in, but it is definitely forward (probably towards the prosecco).


- SHOP THE POST -






This post is in collaboration with Jack Wills.


SHARE:

Monday, 16 October 2017

THE TEDDY BEAR EDIT



HOW could I not dedicate a whole post to the trend that is taking the world by storm right now? (Slightly dramatic - but also true).

I am starting to realise lately that I maybe have a thing for jackets. I have wanted to get my mitts on a teddy bear coat for so long now but just haven't found one that leapt out at me. Well...this one certainly bloody did. Probably because it's bright orange to be fair. I think I can actually say that I don't own any other items this colour, which is always good to act as a breaker of the constant black that is in my wardrobe.



Do you know what my favourite thing about this coat is? Besides the fact that it is a walking blanket and literally the cosiest thing that I own. The pockets. Now, we all know the feeling of joy when you find pockets in an item of clothing that you didn't know where there. To the point that you exclaim "IT HAS POCKETS" as if it is a really rare thing and you're actually going to store things in them. Chances are we won't. But THESE pockets are seriously deep. The one thing (or two) that I will be storing in them is my hands! My gosh it is so cosy and snug in there.


- SHOP THE TEDDY BEAR COAT -






So, now that I have finally taken the plunge and joined the teddy bear crew (sounds good huh?) I really don't think this will be my last purchase! Nothing quite says winter like a cream teddy bear coat does!


- SHOP THE TEDDY BEAR COAT -









- SHOP THE POST -






SHARE:

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

AUTUMN TRANSITION: FIVE STEPS



The question of the day - how do you nail the transition from Summer to Winter in one clean sweep? I ask this as over the past couple of weeks I feel like I have been cheated by the English weather. Or maybe the perception of it. It got me thinking...do we have some form of subconscious plan for transitioning? One minute I was frolicking about in the sunshine and now it goes dark at like...6:30pm. I want me and my wardrobe to feel prepared for winter so I am planning in advance! I thought I would share some of my top tips for items that could see you through this awkward transitional phase!


1. A COSY FAUX FUR

As you can proooooobably tell from this post - I am all fur a good (get it?) faux fur jacket. Seriously though, not only can you pretty much throw it on over everything (I say that a lot - maybe I just don't care what I throw together hahaha) but they are also super handy for day to night transitions too! For me - the bigger the coat the better. I'm talking definite honey monster. But yeah - dresses, jeans, shirts, t-shirts...its lightweight but keeps you warm. Double win!






2. A JUMPER DRESS

So yeah I have been wearing a lot of these at the moment too. Why? Autumn transitioning! I find these super comfy and pairing them with tights is just the perfect combo at the moment - not too hot, not too cold. I am partial to a little knitted number, but I am finding Jersey or other alternatives work just as well. This way you can also judge what kind of jacket you need - raincoat? Maybe a biker jacket? Oh go on - throw a fur in there! Effortless.







3. CHUNKY ANKLE BOOTS

Okay so this is an absolute STAPLE. Now I could probably argue this all year round...but autumn/winter especially! Most importantly, you can now get the most insanely cool styles and colours and maybe a little bit less important - they are super practical. The little bit of heel makes you feel more glammed up but you can still walk without breaking your neck. Also how unpredictable the weather is going to become you just never know when you will get caught in the rain/torrential downpour. So this autumn I am going to be playing it safe with these bad boys! Who's with me?







4. A GOOD OLD HAT

Now I always have and always will be a lover of the hat. Any shape or form. Not only are there some seriously cool hats making a comeback right now (your classic baker boy and beret style) but the old classics can't be forgotten...the fedora! Perfect for dressing those casual outfits up a little. Plus, you will be laughing when you're caught in the rain and your hair is tucked neatly under it! Thank me later.







5. A BIG BAG

Gone are the days you can just waltz outside with just your clutch. No no no. The benefits of having a big bag this Autumn will be ridiculous. You will 100% need to keep an umbrella on you at all times (unless maybe you have your trusty hat on - refer to point 4). What about a brush for when you have been faced with gale force winds? Makeup to reapply after the torrential rain has splatted your face or your eyes have watered from walking in the wind? Probably a scarf as you don't want to look too wrapped up and overly keen for winter - you can throw this on later in the day when you're too cold to care. These bags would preferably have a strap so that your hands can stay firmly in your pockets keeping them toasty!






SO there are my five tips for tackling the autumn/winter transition. Good luck and god speed!

SHARE:

Monday, 9 October 2017

MY GO-TO THIS SEASON




So - my last post was my Santorini travel guide, where every shot was taken against clear blue skies and the stillest ocean (and I was sporting a pretttttttttyyyy solid tan). Now, somehow, it is the 9th October and I couldn't be any further away from those things if I tried. You know what though? Autumn/winter is probably my favourite time of year. I love the feeling of darker nights and getting cosy indoors with candles and generally just being merry. Plus - I happen to be a December baby...okay yeah that's probably it.


SHOP THE POST







It doesn't take long in the UK does it - the transition from summer to winter? I am completely taking it in my stride though as I am gearing my wardrobe up for alllllllll of the chunky knits and yep, you guessed it...aviator jackets!

This boohoo jacket is actually relatively old, so I am not gonna sit here and say this is a new obsession of mine, as it is completely not. But seriously, how many different variations are there out there now? It's literally blowing my mind and I have a list of approx 5 more that I already know I need (/want).


I actually surprised myself with this one, as generally I screw myself over (mainly financially) by only wearing items a couple of times, it's a real thing. These aviator jackets though (plural, as I have been wearing a couple lately - which you can see over on my Instagram) are my current go-to, and I don't see that changing much at all this season.



So first things first, let's talk versatility. 

Roller neck dress - check. Jeans and a nice top - check. Heels? Boots? Trainers? Check check check. Going out for some drinks with the girls? Sure - let me just grab my aviator. Walking the dog? I know just the jacket for that occasion. 

I also love the fact that the variety of these jackets available this season include a multitude of colours, just to make our wardrobes that little bit more flexible (and quirky, too!). So I already have my eye on a green...which is a must-have this season, surely?!


Numero two on my "I love aviator jackets" list...warmth. I mean you can't really go wrong with a little oversizing on a chilly day, can you? But the fact that this extra bit of fabric is lined with fleece, well, snug just isn't the word! Who doesn't want to feel like they are walking about with a sleeping bag wrapped around them? No-one! Well...maybe someone.

So, let's talk business. Price. Now we all love to get a bargain yada yada yada but seriously, you can get these jackets at the most ridiculously great prices considering how much wear you can get out of them! Which almost isn't helping with my obsession. is it an okay excuse to use that my sister works in aviation? Keep it in the family and all that, right?


Stay tuned here and over on my Instagram for more snaps of me sporting my aviator jackets avec the slowly fading Santorini tan. Also if you have any recommendations of any cool colour-ways - I am always keen to mix things up a little bit from the usual black. Hit me up!

You can shop this full outfit by signing up to LIKEtoKNOW.it and checking out my profile here. Plus I have added a couple of aviators into my wishlist which can be found at the bottom of my blog homepage! Enjoy!

Get 15% off Daniel Wellington by using MELISSALHARRIS

Dress: Loavies
Jacket: Boohoo
Bag: Zara
Necklace: Topshop

X

SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig