What I Did During My First Year of Fashion Buying

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Studying fashion has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and a career I’ve known I wanted to pursue since I was a little girl. Fashion has always been something I’ve been so interested in, and as I’ve got older and been able to get closer and closer to actually studying pure fashion, the more I’ve loved it and wanted to just surround myself around it. So, as I’m now only one step away from my dream career, I thought I would share what I’ve done throughout my first year studying a Fashion Buying degree.

What is it?

What actually is Fashion Buying? Well to be honest I don’t think that you will actually ever really understand what crucial job a fashion buyer does until you’ve worked in the industry yourself or you know someone who has. Basically, a fashion buyer is the main middle man between a design for an item and it coming to life. Even though there is so many other people involved, like suppliers and manufacturers, a fashion buyer works with the designer to take a design concept, sources the materials and organises it all to get made. Not only do you have to love fashion, you also need to be super organised, driven, keep on top of the latest colours and trends, and I think most of all you need to absolutely love your job.

The Modules: 

The degree I’m doing is not purely fashion buying, but it is also mixed with fashion marketing as well, so you get to work within both subjects alongside each other. The whole degree is then split up into five modules, in which four are related more towards fashion buying and one towards marketing. Even though it is a buying degree, it covers every aspect of the job and in first year really creates foundations for the whole job role.

Core Buying One:  This has to be one of my favourite modules because it looks at all the things you need to know purely to do with buying. So you look at sourcing, negotiation, the buying cycle, range building, visual merchandising and so many other skills. This module had two really creative assignments, one producing a sketch book and a mood board and another doing a comp shop. That’s for another day, as they’re so interesting. Then to finish the year we did a report on psychological buying habits, which was a bit stressful to end the year on.

Textiles Materials: This is another big module, which runs throughout the whole year. It’s all about learning the key elements to the fabrics you might source as a buyer. It was split up into four main area’s and a group project to review it all at the end of the year. Five weeks were dedicated to weave, learning about all the different structures and actually hand weaving on a machine. Five weeks were dedicated to knitting, where we learnt about different types of knit and the stitches and knitted various forms on industrial machines. Then there was another five weeks for fibres and yarns; learning about different types of fabrics and their characteristic’s and the final five to colouration. This was where we learnt about the dyeing process and the different types of fabric dyes appropriate for each fabric type.

The assessment for this module was a mini phase test at the end of each area and a big group presentation to finish.

Introduction To Fashion Business: This is my all time favourite module, as it takes all the business elements, some of which I learnt in a-level economics, and mixes them with tons of fashion examples. It’s like mixing two of my favourite things together and I found it so interesting. We focused on the role of the marketer and the merchandiser, as well as theories about business and lots of industry talks. They really made a 9.00am start on a Tuesday worthwhile.

The assignments for this module were quite varied, as we had an individual essay to write about the role of the merchandiser, in the fashion retail market, and then had to create a marketing infographic for a business, in a group project. They were both really interesting and I particularly enjoyed creating the infographic and being in a team with all my girlfriends.

Digital Communication: This was one of the harder modules on the course as there was so much new and technical information. This whole module was all about the digital aspect of buying, with practical sessions in Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as lectures about how we see colour and the different types. The assignments made the module quite hard as we had a big phase test at the end of the lectures to test all our knowledge, although it was open book, and we also had to build a five piece range on illustrator. Even though they were both hard assignments, all the information will be invaluable and I know I will always relate to it in the future.

Design Cultures: This is a module all about the history of clothing, retail and trends. It takes you all the way back to where clothing began, all the different styles, status symbols and also how retail itself evolved. Before I started the course I thought this was going to be so boring, however I actually really enjoyed it and cant wait for it to start again next year.

The assignment was really interesting and played to my strengths, as it was to create an educational blog. So I couldn’t use this one and had to write a lot more formally, but it used all my design skills on WordPress and just how to generally write a blog. You had to focus on your own fashion influences, a global fashion week, analyse a historical item and also analyse a portrait or advertisement.

My Experience: 

Overall, my experience of the whole course so far has been amazing. I searched for a long time to find a fashion degree that was right for me, and I’m honestly so happy I chose this one. Its just so varied, I’m learning new things every day and loving every second. It doesn’t feel like a chore because I love it and every assignment we have done. I’m already so proud of myself for how far I’ve come and I can’t wait for second year.

Do you have any questions about a fashion buying career or thinking of doing one yourself?

Rachel x

11 Things I’ve Learnt After My 1st Year Of Driving

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Driving was such a massive part of my life last year, and the freedom of finally being able to drive myself around and have my own independance has been a massive part of my life ever since. So, as I recently celebrated driving for a year, I thought I would share 10 things I’ve learnt over the last year of being on the roads.

1. Learn how to drive when you’re as young as possible as you have the time and the brain quickness to be able to pick driving up easily. Even though when I learnt to drive I had work, A-Levels and driving as well, i’m still so glad I did it then as I  would’nt have the time to do it now. It’s given me so much more freedom and has helped me transition into adult life.

2. There are so many crazy drivers on the road, and people that make stupid decisions it’s unbelievable. You really do have to have eyes in the back of your head and watch out for everyone, at all times and predict what they might do, and even then sometimes you can’t believe the decisions people make on the roads.

3. Having a car is at times like having a baby, as it constantly needs attention and love. Whether that’s keeping it clean, putting oil and water in it, paying for petrol and then any repairs that need doing along the way. However, if you buy a car that’s a bit newer you can avoid a lot of random big repair costs and save money in the long run.

4. Nine times out of 10 things that happen aren’t your fault, like someone scratches your car in a car park, or someone swerves into your lane. So, if you ever do have an accident don’t automatically take blame just because your a new driver. Remember your young and have quick reactions, and also you’ve had the newest training as older drivers have got into bad habits and don’t always do everything right.

5. Black boxes can be really annoying, especially when you’re running late or having someone right behind you as you’re doing the 30 speed limit. However, they are so worth it when after a safe, accident free year of good driving your premium can go down by 500.00.

6. Motorways really aren’t that scary as they seem, as long as your savvy about how you drive on them. Lets face most new drivers have to stick strictly to the speed limit so that means that we have no chance of competiting against the cars that have power and can do well over 70mph. So, stick to the left lane when you can and think about where you’re going and what lane you need to be in, and you should be all good.

7. Going on a road trip is one of the best things you can do in your first year of driving, as you can put your skills into practice once you feel confident on the roads. The best way to do it is to get one person or a group of friends you love to spend time with, make a really good playlist to listen to and some snacks and your complete. Oh and also a sat nav so you don’t get lost and stressed out too!

8. Be savvy about where you buy petrol from and which garages you get repairs done at, as not everywhere charges the same for the same thing. I always go to Sainsbury’s for petrol, if i can, as it’s cheap and lasts a long time, and with garages I always get at least two quotes for a repair before I choose which one to go for, as you can save so much money.

9. You will get prejudice as a woman when you have a car, as some men assume you know nothing. So expect looks when you go and fill your car up with fuel or your water washers at the petrol station. However, i would always recommend you take someone with you when you go to a garage for the first few times, as you may be charged more or taken advantage if you don’t know what you want. So make sure you’re clear and know what you want and you’ll be fine.

10. Having a stable, steady income every month makes it a lot easier to pay for your car and your bills to do with it. I have a part-time retail job, and I work set hours every week, so I know when i’m working. That helps me to budget for the month and know that all my bills are covered.

11. It’s the best thing you can do and it honestly has given me so much more freedom. It  makes life so much easier and even though it is expensive, its worth every penny to have a car and i feel so lucky everytime I drive it.

Are you learning to drive? What things have you learnt since driving?

Rachel x

TKMaxx Beauty Haul

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Beauty is a topic I don’t talk about very often over on this blog, however I do actually really love trying out new products and finding new amazing hidden gems. So, when I headed to Home Sense on Monday, which is just the home, beauty and stationary side of the whole TKMaxx empire, I loved searching the shelves to pick up a few new beauty bits. To be honest it’s very hit or miss as to what you will find, as it’s always different everyday with new stock coming in. But this time round I found some great little gems that I thought I would share with you in a beauty haul.

Catwalk TIGI Hair Mask

Haircare is something I’m constantly interested in. I love trying out new things and finding new products which will really look after and my nourish my long hair. To get my hair in bouncy curls, I have to curl it with straighteners, however this can damage my hair a lot particularly on the ends, so I was looking for a good hair mask that can be a treat for my hair a couple of times a week to give it some moisture and make sure it’s healthy after all the heat I put on it.

So, when I saw this Catwalk TIGI one I picked it up straight away, as it smells amazing with an oatmeal and honey scent (it sounds horrible but is actually so good). It’s also quite an expensive and luxury hair brand, and I got it for a really affordable price of 7.99 instead of over 20.00. I’ve only used it once so far, however I’m already in love with how soft it makes my hair and it really restores the ends.

Evoluderm Micellar Cleansing Water 

Michellar waters are a product I kind of fall in and out of love with. When they find became popular in the UK I loved the L’Oréal one, however over time I found it easier to use a cleanser that removed my makeup at the same time. But recently I changed up my face wash and couldn’t use it to remove my eye makeup anymore, and I needed something better than just a makeup wipe.

So, when I saw this micellar water I thought it would be perfect for what I wanted, as the French beauty products are supposed to be really good and I knew that it would make sure all my eye makeup was fully removed before I headed to bed at night. I’m so glad I bought this product as I absolutely love it. It works so well on my makeup, doesn’t sting or irritate my eyes at all and is just a dream product for 2.99. I will definitely be keeping the bottle for this and trying to hunt down some more once this bottle is finished.

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Urban Studio Contour Brush

Contouring is something I love to do to really complete my whole makeup look. It just gives your face so much more dimension and definition, which you can’t get without doing a bit of contouring. However, it can be really difficult to get it right, and I know I’m still trying to master it after around two years of doing it in my everyday makeup routine. I think a lot of it is down to the product and the brush you use. I think I’ve got the product covered with the Kate Moss contour kit from Rimmel, however I needed a better brush. So, when I saw this small rose gold one I instantly knew I needed that in my collection.

What drew it to me was at first the beautiful rose gold colour, which I just can’t get enough of, but also the shape of the brush. It’s such a perfect shape to fit right under your cheek bone and make sure all the product is in the right place, and then the wider bristles helps you to really blend it all out. I love this brush and can’t wait to carry on using it to help me master contouring.

Home and Body Co. Body Conditioner

This a new product I’ve never seen before, and was more of an intrigue buy than anything else. When I saw it I thought it looked really interesting and I’m never giving my body enough love and I’m always forgetting to properly moisturize every night. However, I thought by doing it in the bath that might solve my problem.

I used this for the first time last night and it smells absolutely amazing. Tea tree and mint are both really good natural plants to use on your skin and make it feel amazing. My skin was super soft afterwards, but I feel like you would get through the whole pot quite quickly if you used it everyday. So, I think this is going to be a going out pamper treat for me, to make sure my skin looks and feels amazing when I’m going on a night out.

Have you ever bought beauty products from TKMaxx? Have you found any holy grail products you cant live without?

Rachel x

The Casual Spring Pastels

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Dressing for Spring is something I’ve been waiting for such a long time. I can’t wait to finally be able to put those thick knits away, say goodbye to those winter scarves, hats and gloves, and say hello to my spring wardrobe. As the weather has been getting slightly warmer in the UK, I’ve been starting to piece together some fresh spring outfits, mixing some of my classic spring pieces from the last few years, with a few of my new favourite items thrown in to.

This everyday casual, spring pastels look is a perfect example of this, as it mixes a pair of my classic, go-to black high-waisted jeans from M&S, along with my gorgeous blush pink trench, a spring cotton shirt and tied it all together with my new beautiful pair of grey suede knee-high boots. This is my favourite look for a casual day out shopping, or heading out for a coffee date. The mix of the light pink and blue pastels pair perfectly with the classic, chic black and the texture of the suede boot. Altogether the whole look just oozes my sense of style; classic colour blocking with a bit of texture thrown in there too.

THE BLUE PASTEL SHIRT: This is a piece I’ve had for while but I still love it just as much as when I bought it. It’s a classic buy from Topshop in the Tall section, and is the perfect fit for me. I have a long body so sometimes finding shirts that fit in all the right places and that’s also long enough, can be difficult.

I love to bring this out every spring/summer as it’s a really light-weight cotton, so it keeps you cool in summer and warmer in the early spring season. It looks perfect paired with so many different colours and can be dressed up for a night out or dressed down for a casual everyday look paired with converse.

THE BLUSH TRENCH: This trench is one of my favourite pieces as soon as springs starts to roll around. I bought it to wear for one of my best friend’s weddings last year, and fell in love with it straight away. It fits like a glove and is a perfect statement coat to wear for spring. I always love a good trench at this time of the year as they still give some warmth, but are also still light and can instantly look so chic. This one is a purchase from Debenhams last year, and was around 40.00, however pastels are really big again this spring/summer 18, so I’m sure there will be lots of similar ones across the high-street.

THE JEANS: I’ve spoken so much about these already, so I’ll make this one short and sweet. These jeans are the best ones I’ve found on the high-street for my body shape and budget. They’re super good quality, have a really good fit and are just the perfect pairing to any outfit, whether night or day.

THE BOOTS: These are my favourite piece from the whole entire outfit, and also my newest purchase. I’m really into knee-high boots at the moment, as I love how classy they look and they’re so super versatile for autumn/winter and spring/summer, as you can pair them with jeans, skirts and also dresses. These were a great buy from River Island back in February for only 40.00, down from 60.00; as I think they were trying to clear some of their winter stock. However, I think these are super spring appropriate too, as I love how classic and chic grey is and how comfy they are to walk in, and on your leg as well.

Are you looking forward to styling up some spring outfits? What are going to be your key pieces for this season?

Rachel x

Easter Rocky Road Recipe

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Baking is something I really love to do to relax and spend time being creative in the kitchen. As easter is coming up and it’s all about enjoying the sweet treats, I thought I would get baking and make some of my own. So, i’m sharing a super yummy and amazingly chocolately rocky road recipe, which is an easter themed version of the lovely Tanya Burr’s recipe.

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What You Need:

– A Saucepan    – A Spatula or Wooden Spoon    – A Glass Bowl    – A Square Tin    – Grease Proof Paper or Tin Foil    – Weighing Scales    – A Rolling Pin            – A Sandwich Bag

For The Rocky Road:

-150g Butter    -350g Dark Chocolate     -4 Tablespoons of Golden Syrup    -250g Plain Digestives

For The Topping:

-100g of Mini Marshmellows     -90g of Mini Eggs    -50g of Melted Dark Chocolate    -3 Cream Eggs    -Small Bronze Honeycomb Decorations


1.Line a square tin with grease proof paper and measure out all of your ingredients.

2. Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup together in a bowl, over a saucepan of boiling water on a low heat.

3. Put the digestives into a sandwich bag and bash them with a rolling pin until there is a mix of crumbs and pieces of biscuit left over.

4. Pour the biscuits into the chocolate mixture and stir in the mini marshmellows.

5. Pour the mixture into the tin and make sure it’s completley even.

6. Cut the cream eggs in half and position across the top of the rocky road, as well as the mini eggs and any other chocolately decorations you want to add.

7. Melt the 50g of chocolate in a bowl above a saucepan of boiling water on a low heat, and then use a teaspoon to drizzle the chocolate on top of the rocky road.

8. Put the rocky road into the fridge for at least 2 hours, however leaving it over night is also a really good idea.

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Are you going to be doing any easter baking this weekend?

Rachel x