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

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

The Statement Floral Shirt

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Buying statement pieces to add to my wardrobe is one of my favourite ways to shop, as I love how you can have a one-off item that can be paired with more basic accessories to create a standout outfit. It adds so much more interest to your wardrobe and makes your outfit just a lot more unique; and that can definitley be said for this statement floral shirt too.

This shirt is one of my ultimate favourite pieces in my wardrobe, as it’s so beautiful and has so many bright colours that pop on the black, silk background. It drapes so nicely and has a lovely silhoutte, as it’s over-sized but still looks feminine and creates shape to your body. I also love how it was from an up and coming brand in New York, and so it’s a really special piece and something that I won’t see anyone else wearing. It is fairly see through, so I always pop a tight black vest top underneath it, and then let the floatiness of the top shine.

As the shirt is such a bright, statement piece, I wanted to keep the rest of the outfit fairly neutral and chic to let the shirt stand out. So, I paired it with a classic pair of black, high waisted jeans from M&S, which have such an amazing fit and add a more relaxed vibe to the shirt. For the feet I went for a new shoe in my collection, these sand suede block heels from New Look. These were a bargain in the sale, and look absolutley amazing paired with the pattern of the shirt. They’re super comfortable and a really chic pair of shoes that are perfect for a night of drinks and dancing.

What’s your favourite statement piece in your wardrobe?

Rachel x

10 Ways To Transition Your Wardrobe Into Autumn

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1. Add different layers, from a shirt under a jumper or a denim jacket over a dress. The key to dressing ready for the unpredictable autumn months, is having those multiple layers that look super stylish and are also pretty practical as well.

2.Change up your colour palette. Say goodbye to the brights and the pastels, and say hello to the deep purple’s, navy, orange’s and camel’s. Although that blush pink is still in for autumn/winter 2017.

3.Add in another texture, whether that’s through a fur Gillet, a woven scarf or a chunky knitted jumper.

4.Pop on an autumnal nail varnish, I’m absolutely loving burgundy at the minute, or play around with an autumnal eye makeup look.

5.Add a boot to your look. It’s the most classic way to transition your wardrobe into autumn and is one of the best as they go with everything. Shorts and dresses for those warmer autumn days and jeans or tights for the colder days.

6.Go a few shades darker with your jeans. Think dark navy and black, a quick and easy way to transition from summer and into autumn.

7.Change up your accessories, such as saying goodbye to that bright across body bag and hello to that dark bowler bag for this autumn/winter.

8.Why not try a jumper and skirt combo, as the jumper is perfect for those colder autumn days but that skirt still leaves a bit of leg on show and channelling the summer vibes still.

9.It’s all about adding a coat, whether that’s your go to green parka, that boyfriend style coat or just a classic leather jacket.

10.Say hello to hair simplicity. Say goodbye to hair glitter and plaits, and say hello to those natural soft waves under a cute bobble hat.

Are you looking forward to autumn dressing?

Rachel x

My Updated Pandora Jewellery Collection & How I Style My Pieces

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Jewellery is something I’ve really grown to love over the last few years, as my style hs developed and I’ve been able to find more timeless jewellery pieces to pair with my more classic style; and Pandora has been one of my favourite place to get these from. It’s far from the cheapest place to find jewellery, however they offer a good level of quality, and style for the amount of money you’re paying for your pieces. They also regulary bring out new season collections to keep your love for their jewellery going and create beautiful items that you can really customise and make completely personal to you.

So, as I’ve now got quite a substantial collection of their pieces, I thought I would share my collection with you, and my favourite ways to style them up with my wardrobe…

Woven Leather Bracelet | £45

This bracelet out of my whole Pandora collection, is the one I wear the least simply because nowadays I’m just really into more classic jewellery pieces, that I can pair with any outfit and it won’t clash. As this pink woven leather bracelet is a little bit more unique and wouldn’t tie in with every outfit that I wear, however it is a really good casual Pandora bracelet as it’s not super heavy, like all the others can be. It has a round, silver floral clip on which they no longer make, but I love how it ties in with the silver clasp and having the single bead just keeps it looking nice and simple.

How I Style? –  So, my favourite way to style this bracelet up is just with a really casual, everyday look. Maybe a pair of jeans, a graphic or slogan tee, and a pair of converse. Then the bracelet just ties in really well and adds a little bit of casual glamour to your outfit.

Pandora Jewellery 2Silver Cream Flower Enamel Ring & Silver Floral Band

These were the first two rings I ever had from Pandora, and were actually both bought for me as presents. Before I had these, I never really used to like wearing rings because I had always had cheap one’s that felt uncomfortable to wear or were more statement pieces. However, once I added these two to my collection my love for rings began and I’ve loved them ever since.

How I Style? – I love to style these two rings separately, as the thicker floral band ring can’t be stacked and looks much better on it’s own as a single piece. So, I always tend to wear them together and put the thicker banded one on my right middle finger and then the thinner floral enamel one on my left middle finger. Then, I will usually pair my silver heart bangle with them, as its not too over the top and just ties all the silver pieces together nicely.

Sterling Silver Bangle | £55

This bangle has to be my favourite out of all the bracelet’s in my collection, and that’s because it’s so simple and classic, and is also really wearable with so many outfits. I usually hate wearing bangle’s because they always seem to dig in around the bony parts of your wrists and move around a lot; however this one is just a little bit bigger than my wrist and because it has the clasp it makes it so easy to put on and take off. I also love the Pavé Open My Heart Clip that’s on it, because it adds a bit of glamour and sparkle to the piece, but it still looks chic and super feminine.

How I Style? – I would style this up with a more dressy outfit, such as when I go on a night out or for drinks with the girls, or when I go to work and want to add a bit of classic sparkle to my outfit. I think it also looks beautiful paired with my two floral silver rings, and a pair of silver crystal earrings to finish the look off.

FullSizeRenderDazzling Daisy Ring | £55 & Daisy Band Ring | £75 & Classic Band Ring | £100

My three rose gold rings are my favourite items out of my whole collection, because I absolutely love rose gold and think it looks so pretty and feminine; and these rings are no exception.

Again all these rings have been presents and have little stories behind them that make them even more special, such as the thin band daisy ring was bought with money I got from my family for my AS Results. So, I know that whenever I wear it, it reminds me of my achievements and those results. Similarly, the classic band ring, which is the newest addition to my collection and something I can’t stop wearing was bought my mum as a present for my A-Level results, so it will always remind me of the day I got them and how happy I was. As the daisy band ring was an 18th birthday present from my Aunty and Uncle, and something I will always treasure and remember from a special birthday.

How I Style? – My favourite ways to style these rings is to stack the classic band ring with the daisy thin band flower ring on the top, and then also wear the thick daisy band ring on my right middle finger. I don’t always wear all of them, but I usually alternate and wear two at a time, one on either hand. Then I usually pair it with a dainty gold initial bracelet I have as well, to finish the look off.

Sterling Silver Charm Bracelet | £55

This is the first ever Pandora jewellery piece I had and will still always be the most classic from the brand, as it’s where they started. Their charm bracelets are still so iconic and I love how you can personalise them and make each individual one to suit you, tell a story and have memories behind each bead. All of mine have been presents, that have bought for me for various different occasions, so they all have a lot of meaning for me. For example, the bracelet, two heart clips, the bow and the two thin crystal beads were all a present from my mum for my 16th birthday, and then I had various beads for my 18th birthday and other special events in between. The only thing I don’t like about these bracelets is that they can get really heavy with all the beads on and then be hard to wear all day.

How I Style? – Generally as this bracelet is so heavy, I usually only wear it for special occasions, such as going out for drinks or on a night out. I never wear this everyday as it’s too bulky and I also don’t want to risk loosing any of the beads, which I actually have done before.

What are some of your favourite pieces from Pandora?

Rachel x