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  • Writer's pictureEmilia Hargreaves

My Fashion Edit

I don’t know a lot about fashion. Well really, I don’t know anything about fashion. My go-to outfits tend to be pjs. A nice baggy top, usually courtesy of my dad, some super comfy granny pants and if they’re really needed then I’ll whack on a pair of shorts. Most importantly, I will definitely not be wearing a bra.

Having spent the last year at drama school, most of my wardrobe consists of blacks.

Leggings and a loose fitting top. Yoga pants and a leotard. All black.

Basically I only wore activewear for a year. Which was lovely because it meant I never had to put any effort in. However, I was wearing a sports bra every day. The pain. Unreal. It’s just not natural to confine your breasticles like that! Let them be free. Free to slip, free to slide, free to sag. #freethenipple! Except, if I were to do that there would be a symphony of boob claps every time I moved.

So for a whole year, I wore nothing but pyjamas and gym clothes.

With my drama school blacks, my loose fitting tops often annoyed me so I would tend to tie the corner into a little knot so that I could move around more freely. While I was in classes, the most important thing to me was that I was comfortable. Which you can probably tell from the pictures below.

I didn’t really go clubbing after freshers week because I’m a lazy bugger. But when I did, I went full out with my looks. I’d spend about an hour doing my makeup and I’d do a fashion show of outfits to my flat mates who’d help me decide what to wear. Courtney, if you ever read this - thank you for curling my hair on Friday nights. I have awfully thick hair which does absolutely nothing but stay dead straight and somehow she managed to, piece by piece, with the weirdest looking hair curler I have ever seen, get my hair into curls and set it like that with about three cans worth of hairspray. Courtney, you’re amazing.

Navy Grey Suade, High Neck Dress From New Look

Clubbing wise, my usual was a mini skirt and a crop top, or a cutesy little bodycon dress. Something where, in the most part, I was decently covered - but I could still give off a subtly sexy vibe. And once the outfit was combined with the hair and makeup, ooo girl! Once in a while you really have to feel yourself! When your makeup is popping on a whole new level, there is absolutely nothing wrong with whacking on some funky music and taking some selfies.

For me, when buying clothes, I don’t give a flying fish what it looks like - all I care about is the price. Generally, I don’t wear items of clothing that cost more than £20, unless it was gifted or purchased with a voucher. As much as I wish that I could afford to wear Levi trousers and skirts from Urban Outfitters, everything I buy is on a tight budget. I would love to be skinny enough to fit into Brandy Melville and look “fashionable” like all the girls with an insane number of followers on Instagram. But that’s just not me.

I remember being 12 on non uniform day at high school and seeing all these expensive labels in front of me. I’d just turned up in my straight leg GAP jeans and my ratty Sketchers but all the girls in my class were wearing unbelievably skinny jeans with sparkling new Converse sneakers or shiny little Airforces. What’s more is that they had all smeared some sort of orange paint all over their faces.

Clearly I Have Been A Fashion Icon Since Day One!

As I grew older, I realised that this mysterious paint was called foundation and that they had also been using something to do their eyebrows. Sharpies maybe?

Obviously, as the weirdo that I was, often misjudged and laughed at by the more popular social groups, I thought that the best way forward was to just buy a load of makeup and try and find myself some “cool” clothes. As you might have guessed, that didn’t really happen. It took me from year 7 to year 10 to realise that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of me or what I wear.

If you can afford all the expensive labels and the fancy dresses, fantastic. Good for you. But if you mostly wear handmedowns or clothes that may not necessarily make you feel good about yourself; make it your own! Tie your shirt to one side or cut up the seems on each side to make it floaty. Slice your jeans into shorts or rip holes in the knee caps if you’re going for a more edgy vibe.

My knowledge of fashion is so limited, but these are just some things I have tried to spice up my not very interesting wardrobe.

If you’re on a budget, in my opinion, your best bet is looking somewhere cheap and cheerful. Forever 21 constantly has sales on and smaller boutique fashion brands like Pretty Little Thing and Boohoo have some really nice cheap tops. Honestly though, whatever you’re looking for: check Primark first. They literally have everything. Not always in the right sizes or the best quality, but they do have a little bit of everything. However, it is a common occurrence that you’ll go in for one thing and come out with seven other random things that you didn’t really need.

When you're slightly more prepared to splash the cash, my personal favourite is ASOS. I adore the app and how easy it is to use, my Wishlist is over 500 products and one day I hope to be rich enough to buy them all. H&M is also a classic, you can get you're good quality basics along with some pretty little dresses and jumpsuits. Currently, I am living for Depop. At first, I turned my nose up at second hand clothes, but you can pick the wheat rom the chaff by checking for accounts with blue ticks. This means their account is verified. Also, an obvious suggestion: check the reviews. Over the last couple of years I have purchased some incredible products from Depop, including a deeply loved Ellesee jumper and two pairs of brand new shoes for half their retail price!

My Beloved Ellesee Jumper, Purchased Off Depop, Paired with my Checkered Trousers from ASOS.

Now, being on a gap year, pretty much everyone I know is back at Uni, so I only really have to get dressed for work. I am incredibly lucky that I don't really have to dress up for work. As long as I look relatively smart-casual, all is good.

But at the end of the day, I'll wear what I want. If I want to wear a push up bra and a boob tube because my boobs look great that day, then I bloody well will! If I want to wear an oversized t-shirt and shorts, even when I haven't shaved my legs, then I damn will. No one should be told that they can't wear something. Specifically, women should not be shamed for choosing to show or not show their bodies. We do what we want with our bodies and we don't care what anyone else has to say.

Fashion and clothing is a beautiful way for us to express ourselves and if someone doesn't wear what everyone else is wearing, or what they are expected to wear, then we must embrace it. We need to learn to embrace difference.

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