Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A Fashion Bloggers Mini Guide To Psychology

Before I gave up real work to run my own business in fashion blogging and marketing, I used to work in a training and development consultancy and was lucky enough to get to complete a course in psychology (I am being a little vague about the full details as I don't want to bore you).

Today I wanted to write a more intellectual (and hopefully helpful) post than I usually do and it struck me that some of the things that I learnt on that course could apply to fashion blogging. I thought I would share my thoughts on just a few of the points (it was quite  along and detailed course) and how they could apply to fashion blogging and be helpful to fashion bloggers.

How you communicate

Blogging is effectively a form of communication just like many others in that it can and will influence others in one way or another. People have different preferences for how they like to communicate and how you choose to communicate on your blog will affect who your message reaches.

Some people prefer visual communications whilst others prefer audio and others to touch and feel. Lots of pictures will appeal to those who are visual and perhaps videos to those who prefer visual or audio. Whilst it is not possible to communicate by feeling on a blog (wouldn't that be great) you can appeal to touchy feely types in the language that you use. For example by describing how a fabric feels or how a piece of clothing makes you feel (you can also use language to describe sounds and images for those with audio or visual preferences).

In real life things are slightly more complex, many people will have a mixture of preferences for communication with one dominating. In order to communicate effectively with as many people as possible you can use a range of methods of communication and language in your blog.

Recognise why you and your readers like certain styles

Some of us have a desire to belong and be the same as everyone else, whilst others feel the need to be different. Chances are that you will notice a bit of both in yourself. To follow fashion is partly about looking the same as everyone else but most people will want to show some individuality in what they wear too. It is interesting to see how this fits with both how you dress, where you get your inspiration and how you write your blog. Are you breaking apart from the crowd to be different or following others winning formula?

Some people pay more attention to the big picture whilst some are more interested in details. Do you try and create beautiful images with the perfect composition and balance of light. When you put together an outfit do you look at the shape, overall proportions and balance of colours or so you obsess over the details like the tiny beads on a necklace or intricate embroidery on a neckline?

Do you live in the past, present or future with your clothes. Do you wear clothes that remind you of things that have happened in the past or do you like to wear the more fashion forward pieces? Are you a retro or vintage enthusiast?

What is most important to you regarding both your blog and the outfits that you wear. Is it that you like them or other people like them? The obsession with getting lots of comments that many bloggers have may be because they are externally referenced (they need others approval) to know that they have done well. Those with a really individual style will more likely be internally referenced (they decide for themselves if their outfit works)- perhaps that is why some people turn the comments off on their blog.

The people that read your blog will each be influenced by your blog in different ways depending on all of the above (and a lot more).

Level of influence

If people arrive at your blog and read it, it is highly likely that they will be influenced by it in some way even if they don't think they have been. Perhaps they will see you wearing a floral dress and without thinking pick out a floral dress to wear themselves the following day. If you read lots of other fashion blogs, you may find that what you wear and write about is heavily influenced by what you have read and seen. Some people are not easily convinced and they will only be convinced after a certain amount of repetition. Others will become convinced immediately.

The interesting thing about fashion blogging and other social media is the huge influence that one blog can have. For example if one fashion blogger starts wearing a red and black spotted hat combined with black. If this influences just two or three other bloggers to try out this colour combination and they publish a photograph of the results on their blog each may inspire another two or three fashion bloggers to try it out and so it goes on. This is how trends can and have been started and I guess why brands are so keen to work with fashion bloggers.

My final point on influence is that you should use it carefully and ethically. The power of suggestion can be really strong. Is the message that you give and the way that you influence others beneficial to both yourself and them? An example of where it might not be could be publishing an extreme starvation diet on your blog or publishing photographs where you are smoking cigarettes.

Building rapport with readers

Building rapport with your readers is an important part of blogging, isn't this what sets us apart from so many other forms of media? In real life they say to build rapport by maintaining eye contact, actively listening and mirroring gestures and body language. On a blog this is more difficult but you can use your language to build rapport. Try writing as if you were talking to a friend. Listening and responding to comments and reading and commenting on your readers blogs is also a great way to do this.As with my previous point on communication using the language that relates to all three communication preferences will also help to build rapport with a range of people.

Gaining Trust

This is really similar to building rapport but in order to gain peoples trust you need to really believe in what you are saying and enjoy what you are doing. You might not think that it is possible to tell from your writing, photos and videos but it is. This is why sponsored posts can be a problem, readers will instantly pick up if you are unenthusiastic about something even if you don't actually say so. I think honesty is always the best policy

Achieving what you really want with your blog

Part of achieving what you want with your blog is knowing what you want in the first place. Think about the higher purpose of what you want to achieve with your blog. Do you want to be more relaxed and calm by having a creative outlet and hobby that you enjoy, do you want to get discovered as a model or make your blogging into a job so that you can quit the day job or do you want to inspire others with your outfits? Make sure that your fashion blog fits with who you are and who you want to be. Once you have clarified what you really want you can begin to move forward with your blog.

Where you focus your energy is what you will get so think carefully about channeling your energy and thought into what will help you achieve your goals.

I hope that you found this post interesting and useful. I would love to hear your comments, thoughts and views. I am sure there are many many more ways that psychology relates to the clothes that we choose to wear and how we communicate with our blogs. As it says in the title, this is just a mini guide containing some points that I wanted to share, I am sure that this subject is huge and there is plenty more that could be said.

With warmest wishes

 Ceri X

Image credit
Red and black spot hat Marks and Spencers

Monday, 29 November 2010

Frizzy Hair and Hand Knitted Goodies

You might have noticed from some previous outfit photos that my hair is startiing to look a bit of a mess. Maybe a combination of the weather and  the heating but it is really frizzy at the moment. It is also in desperate need of a cut but I keep forgetting to book the hairdresser (top of my to do list for tommorrow). I have take to wearing scarves around my head as they hold down the frizz that starts to appear around my face. This is the Liberty scarf that I bought at Vintage at Goodwood.

On Friday of last week I was really pleased to recieve my order of hand knitted goodies from Oranges and Apples for a change from scarves and a further weapon in the battle of the frizz. In my last outfit I wore one of the handknitted headbands. I also got one in a dark grey but it didn't show up too well in the photo.

I also got a new red beret. It is really soft and baggy so it is really comfy to wear and doesn't exasperate my hair problem. I love vibrant colour which looks great with my navy winter coat. On Sunday I wore it with a slightly mad rainbow colour scheme which definitely cheered me up. I was definitely glad of it when I went out to the park, it was freezing. I also ordered another item which is for a Christmas pressy so I had better not feature it incase I spoil the surprise.

What do you do if you have a bad hair day?

With warmest wishes on such a cold evening

Ceri X

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Let It Snow

Was really excited to wake up to snow this morning (although we don't often get much where we live). My  Blend Intarsia Shawl Cardigan from Blue Inc arrived just in time for a cosy snow ready outfit. The cardigan was actually from the mens wear section. I have been wanting a really cosy cardigan for a while and just couldn't find the right one. It was Giselle from Style of a Fashionista who inspired me to check out the mens wear with one of her recent outfits.

In the past I have steered clear of menswear as I am so short and I was worried it would look ridiculous. However when the weather gets cold, Mr Style Eyes clothes always look so much more inviting than my own. I decided to wear leggings to balance out the volume of the cardigan and a belt to give it a little shape in the waist.

I think Mr Style  Eyes would quite like to have the cardi for himself but there is just no way he is getting his hands on this baby. And if you are wondering how warm it is, it is really warm. I layered two thin tops and wore this cardigan outside without a coat (although I wasn't going any great distance just from car to shops).

The knitted headband is one of the items that I recently bought from blogger Franca of Oranges and Apples. I will hopefully be featuring the other items in my next post. The necklace was £4 in the Oasis sale and I just couldn't resist. I am also wearing my favourite Chanel Rouge Noir lippy.

Have you had snow? what have you been wearing?
Hope you are having a lovely weekend and keeping warm.

Ceri X

ps if you are going skiing in the near future or just want some really warm clothes please checkout my picks on Adidas Stella McCartney Ladies Ski Jacket.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Friday Finds - Erdemesque Florals and 20% off Madness

Erdem SS10 - image credit

Erdem AW10 -Image credit

Erdem SS11 - Image credit

This months Vogue magazine had a feature on fashion horescopes and naturally I couldn't help checking mine out. According to Mr Style Eyes, they are just a load of rubbish that someone has made up an are usually so vague that they can apply to anyone.So could it be a coincidence that the fashion horescopes for Taurus (my sign) mentioned one of my most favourite designers Erdem along with Prada and Dries Van Noten which I also love.

Quite simply I love florals anyway but he does them in such an amazing way. The rich and vibrant colours, the accents of red and the simple but feminine dresses. For SS10 his collection featured the most amazing floral summer dresses and for AW10 more beautiful florals but this time in a much darker and more wintry way. For SS10 I was really excited to yet more stunning floral dresses this time in creams, whites blues and reds but best of all with some patchwork type of effects and some floral pattern mixing. There has been talk of an Erdem Topshop Colab but nothing definite yet so I continue to live in hope as an original Erdem piece is far beyond my budget. So for today I have been hunting down Erdemesque florals on the high street - enjoy!

The great thing about buying florals in the winter is that many of them are reduced. Which brings me onto my next point. Has anyone else noticed the number or offers and 20% off discounts online at the moment. They are falling over themselves in a effort to get us to buy stuff. Not so great if we end up buying stuff we don't need, but great for saving money on stuff we need and Christmas presents. Here are just a few of the offers this weekend.

20% off at People Tree with code WONDERLAND
£20 off all dresses at Kew until Sunday
20% off at Coast until 29th November
10% off at Lipsy with code PARTYISSUE2
15% off Womens and Mens Shoes at Liberty this weekend!

Have a great weekend and happy shopping!

With warmest wishes
Ceri X

P.s this post contains some affiliate links

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Style Eyes Weekly Fashion Round Up

I have been feeling pretty Sh*t this week. I have the mother of all colds and apart from feeling bad with that I have had to miss 2 exercises classes which I really look forward to all week. I have been stuffing my face with vitamin c laden fruits in the hope that the cold will go away soon but so far no luck. I was suitably cheered up today though by not 1, not 2  but 3 parcels. I try not to buy too much stuff but I have had to relax this rule a little this month as I felt I did actually need a few things. More on what I got soon!

Despite not being well I have still managed to get through quite a bit of blogging. The highlight of my week has been the announcement of the Royal Wedding, I am so excited about seeing the dress and even better we get an extra bank holiday (although as I work for myself not sure why I am bothered). I have written a few posts on the subject including what fashion inspiration from the royal wedding for spring summer 2011 and a look at what Princess Kate might choose for the royal wedding dress.Is any one else planning their Royal Wedding party yet?

Also this week, I have written a post for Style Sampleon how Social Media is making fashion more accessible. Along the same lines of this post I have just spotted  another really interesting post on “curated” shops–a group of items selected according to a distinct style and point of view. It tells you how you can 'curate' your own collection. I love this idea, although not sure anyone would buy it if I did!

With all the hype and talk of the H & M and Lanvin collection, I haven't even had a chance to check it out yet. I have almost finished my Christmas shopping though which kind of feels more important to me at the moment. What did everyone think, is it worth dragging myself out in the cold and frosty weather to check it out?

The above outfit picture from last week is (I think) the first featuring my new coat which I eventually made up my mind on. It is a sort of duffle coat style by Maison Scotch made from a cashmere mix. I am really pleased with it. I decided that this year I wanted to invest in a nice coat that will hopfully last. I love the simple shape of this coat, the fact that it is not synthetic and the lovely details on it like the little metal button in the shape of a dandelion on one sleeve and a great lining with a star pattern on it.

I actually choose this Maison Scotch Duffle coat as one of my picks on the Shopping Forecast and you can see some of the details on the pictures on there (and if you like vote for it for the chance to win £200 of clothes). I am a big fan of duffle coats and have also just set up a new page on my website with my favourite duffle coats for the winter.

Hope you are having a good week and managing to stay cold free. To those in the US, a very happy Thanksgiving

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Ashley Hall Vintage Fashion And Textile Fair, Bath

On Sunday I took a trip to Bath with my mum and two children to visit the Vintage Fair at the assembly rooms in Bath. Anyone who has visited Bath will know what a stunning location this is with it's high ceilings and chandeliers. It is also right next door to the Fashion Museum which is another place I love and an amazing bookshop filled with books about guess what? Fashion. It is just such a perfect location for a vintage fashion fair.

It is the first time that I have been to a vintage fashion fair and I soon discovered that taking the children with me was a big mistake. In order to get the most from a vintage fashion fair or indeed any sort of vintage shopping, you need to have a really good look. A three year old who insists on being carried (I know I should put my foot down with her) and an eight year old who wants to go to Claire's Accessories to spend her money does not make this an easy task. However mum was at hand and a subtle suggestion that she might like to take the children to the cafe for coffee and biscuits while I had a look round did the trick (Mums are the best!). I was also coming down with a cold which made it a little difficult to make any decisions on buying anything.

I did see some great stuff including loads of lovely jewellery, a Louis Vuitton handbag and Ossie Clarke dress with Babara Hulanicki print (which I think may have been out of my price range). There were also some great hats. The fair had a real mix of items from really old stuff to the relatively modern pieces from fifties onwards which is what really interested me.

I was however in one of my indecisive moods and consequently came home with nothing. I did give my mum a suggestion for Christmas pressies - 2 scarves which she got for my Christmas (she is keeping them for me). I would definitely like to return again, perhaps the next fair on January 23rd when I don't have 2 children in tow or a cold!

Afterwards we went to Waga Mamas for lunch. Food was delicious unfortunately the service was appalling. My dinner was brought out first. We then had to wait about another 10 minutes for my mums and oldest daughters food and another 10 minutes for my youngest daughters food by which time she was inconsolable and my food was stone cold. They didn't bring the drinks until after the food. I won't be going back there again which is a shame because I really love the food.

Despite this, I had a lovely day and was a great chance to spend some time with my mum, who can shop like no other.

The next Ashley Hall Fair at the Assembly Rooms Bath is 23rd January, you can check out their website here.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Going To The Dogs

On Saturday night, I went to the dog races for the first time ever. It was a great night out with a three course meal (Ok it wasn't gourmet) for £24. I didn't really win very much (less than I spent) but Mr Style Eyes won on just about every race, same as he always does when we go to the horse races.

Having never been to the races I was a bit uncertain what to wear. Our friends said it was pretty casual and as we were sat inside in the restaurant we didn't need to dress up too warm. I don't really wear jeans and as I don't go on a saturday night very often I decided stuff it, I was going to get a bit dressed up. Also no children and being sat down all night was the perfect opportunity to wear my wedge boots. It was very casual but I felt completely comfortable, the atmosphere was so relaxed.

As usual I was late getting ready and only had about 10 minutes to get changed, make up on and out the door. This photo was taken in an extreme rush. In hind sight I should have worn something a bit warmer. I didn't realise that the dress was not very warm at all until I stepped outside. The burn out parts of the design are extremely thin and let in quite a draft, next time I am wearing my big coat.

Dress - Something Else by Natalie Wood
Leather jacket - Gestultz
Tight - Dorothy Perkins
Wedge Boots -Topshop

What did you do at the weekend and what did you wear to keep warm.

Ceri X

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Friday Finds (late) - 6 Christmas Pressies for Fashion Bloggers

I know it isn't for a while but I can't stop thinking about Christmas. I love buying Christmas pressies and my ideal person to buy for would be a fashion blogger. If by chance you don't have any fashion blogger friends or family to buy a pressy for, BSB are running a secret snowflake (a bit like a secret santa) where you send a present and get one in return - I love this idea and will definitely be joining in.

Here are some of my ideas of pressies for a fashion blogger. Sadly none of them fit into the price limit of £7.50 for the secret santa, but don't worry I have another idea for that, it is of course secret though!

1. A subscription to Style Sample Magazine - Although it is available online, I think that sometimes there is nothing better than flicking through some glossy magazine pages. For those who are fed up with so many ads in magazines like Vogue or who just want to indulge their obsession about fashion blogging, this is a great read full of colourful pictures, interesting articles and useful blogging tips.

2. Vintage jewellry - fashion bloggers love accessories and a vintage piece of jewellry makes a unique gift. There are so many place to buy vintage jewellry why not see if there are any vintage fairs being held locally or even look in charity shops. If you haven't got time both Etsy and Urban Outfitters have a good choice.

3. Pretty food - if there is one thing that bloggers love nearly as much as (if not more than) clothes, it is pretty and colourful food. Cupcakes, Macaroons, iced biscuits would all make great fashion blogger pressies, not only can they eat it but also take pictures of it for their blog. If you aren't great in the kitchen or just don't have time Biscuiteers have whole tins of shoe or handbag shaped biscuits or single ones that you can send.
5. Tights and socks- I am a firm believer that you can never have too many tights and socks. Whilst giving socks as a Christmas pressy is a bit of a joke, I love the idea of a variety of coloured, patterned and interesting socks from My Tights and Tabio.

6. A Stylish Handmade Goody - making something definitely requires a little more though than buying something but then that is what Christmas is about, isn't it? Many bloggers like wearing unique and individual stuff and something handmade likely to be different and unique. If you don't know what to make there are plenty of online tutorials to give you some ideas, you could start with Threadbanger.

Would love to hear any more ideas for fashion blogger presseies and also what you will be hoping to get in your stocking (or sock) this year.

Ceri X

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Dolce and Gabbana Inspiration and Christmas Creativity

Last weekend I went to my Mother in Laws for lunch which gave me a rare chance to relax and do not very much all afternoon. I am find it impossible to sit and do nothing at home and rarely get the opportunity to watch TV or read a magazine so it was a real treat for me.

I decided to wear an outfit that combines polka dots and animal print. I am a big of bold black and white prints and patterns and so when I saw this look at the Dolce and Gabbana AW10 collection I just wanted to give it a go. My version is slightly different as my animal print is grey and black rather than shades of brown.

Is anyone starting to feel Christmassy yet? I popped into a Christmas market in the local town on the weekend which got me into the  festive spirit. I have also seen some great Christmas pressy ideas on BSB.  Actually I am doing really well with my Christmas shopping so far. My plan is to get it done as early as possible this year leaving December free for celebrating, we are definitely starting Christmas early this year at Style Eyes towers.

On the weekend the children made salt dough Christmas tree decorations. They are really easy to make you just make the dough with the recipe here and then cut or make them into whatever shapes you like and leave them to dry out for a few days. You can also paint them or cover them with glitter or sequins. It was my daughters idea to add pink food colouring which makes them look good enough to eat. I managed to nab a bit of the dough to make some decorations of my own. Below are my very quick attempts to make fashion related Christmas tree decorations. I had an idea that perhaps this year we could just have pink decorations on the tree perhaps combined with some black tinsel. This was greeted with 'no way' from the girls. I guess it wouldn't be Christmas without our colourful mish mash tree.

Cardigan - George at Asda (from  years ago)
Dress - Marks and Spencers
Boots - Topshop

What are you doing to get ready for Christmas?

Ceri X

Monday, 15 November 2010

Irregular Choice Shoes

For me, the name Irregular Choice says it all about the range of shoes designed by Dan Sullivan. The philosophy of the brand is to maintain individuality and creativity in a world of conformity, something fresh and fun. This sort of describes my own attitude to fashion and clothes although I am sure that I don't express it any where near as much as a pair of Irregular Choice shoes.

The store started in Brighton following Dan working with both Red or Dead and Katherine Hamnett and now has a very cool store in Carnaby Street London and another in New York. For those of us that don't live near these store you can also buy Iregular Choice online at Spartoo.

For me the best thing about Irregular Choice is that you never know what is going to appear in the next collection except that it will be completely different from the last collection and that it each pair of shoes will definitely make its own statement.

For winter 2010,

Patty Shoes - the perfect way to channel cool Brittania. These would look great with all sorts of outfits from a red dress for a party to a pair of jeans.

Flick Flack Shoe - this pair of court shoes would work really well with some of the seasons ladylike looks including a pencil skirt. Definitely more interesting than a plain black court shoe. I am loving the fun detailing of these shoes too, check out the bunny rabbit teapot design on the soles!

Princess Peacock shoes - if you live in flat shoes most of the time, these beautiful and colourful alternatives will make a change. I love the idea of wearing these to brighten up a plain old jeans outfit.

Do you like wearing statement shoes? which are your favourites?

Have a good week.

Ceri X

Friday, 12 November 2010

Friday Finds - Gold and Yellow

This week I am loving all things yellow and gold because they are warm looking, bright and just a little bit festive. Here are some of my favourite gold finds.

Do you like yellow and gold, how will you be wearing it this winter?

Have a great weekend and keep warm

Ceri X

This post contains some affiliate links !

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Style Eyes Weekly Fashion Round Up

I am warning you now, this is going to be rather a lengthy round up post. There seems to be so much that I wanted to say and have forgotton to say in the last few weeks so here it is.

First of all major apologies for the delay in announcing the winner of the DKNY Be Delicious perfume giveaway. Thank you to everyone who entered the winner is Chrriss88.

You might have noticed (but most likely didn't) that I have added an Eco and Ethical Fashion Guide to the menu at the top of the blog. This is something that I have been wanting to do for some time and I thought it would be a good way to keep track of who sells what and share that with others who might be interested. It is very much a work in progress and I hope to add to it all the time making it bigger and better. My eventual hope is that it will eventually contain enough choice that I (and others) can buy anything and everything I need in terms of fashion and clothes from these retailers.

If you love second hand clothes and swapping, you might like to check out my clothes swapping website. It has had lots of new listings recently including a very lovely Maxmara dress and a Karen Millen dress.

I was really pleased to here that People Tree one of my favourite ethical retailers has just won the WGSN award for most sustainable brand. I think they really deserve it and the best new is that to celebrate they are offering 20% off until 14th November with the discount code PTWGSN. If you haven't already checked them out, you should as they have some very nice party dresses.

Whilst on the subject of party dresses, this week I have written a blog post Christmas party dresses 2010 - splurge or save?

The outfit pictured above is one that I wore the other day when I was working. It kind of evolved throughout the day as I got colder and added more layers.

Dress - Oasis
Top (under the dress) - a charity shop, then bleached to give it an orange pattern
Cable tights - Dorothy Perkins
Dress worn as a jacket - Something Else By Natalie Wood
Boots - Topshop

Hope you are having a great week, take care.

Ceri X

Weekly Shopping And Goodies 10/11/10

A Few Goody Gumdrops is giving away a goregous Black Diamond Circle Pendant in White Gold. Enter to win!
Child Mode gives us a glimpse of Burberry's Mini-Me Prorsum A/W 2010 Collection For Matching Kids And Parents
Couture In The City shares with us a giveaway not to miss!Show your style for fall with a pair of Sperry Top-sider boots!
Fashion Cents gives you 3 tips for wearing the season's hottest color - RED!
Ladybrillemag.com Says Joanna Wiley Weidenmiller is Ladybrille Woman of the Month!
RedPoppy Fashion has fallen head over heels for Burberry's perfectly pleated trench...
Shopping and Info wants these gorgeous leopard print Giuseppe Zanotti booties for the Holidays.
Style Eyes tells a few of her favourite tips in How to pick clothes in colours that flatter
The Bare Skinny shows you the perfect gift for the Girly Gamer!
TheFind is stepping into the holiday party season with style and a NET-A-PORTER.COM fabulous $5000 Shopping Spree Giveaway!
Violet Revolution asks: Do you know the Whipped over this jewelry ?

Image credit - a Few Goody Gumdrops