Tuesday, 22 December 2015


Jacket – Members Only | Top – Topshop | Dungarees – Boohoo | Boots – Zara | Backpack – Savida | Rings – Camden/Brandy Melville

Hello, it’s been bloody ages

First things first, as you may notice I’ve had a slight change of hair colour. By slight change, I mean I’ve bleached it to death. The change came about one evening after too much scrolling through the Bleach London hair tag on Tumblr, when I asked (forced) my friend to grab a packet of bleach, a bottle of peroxide and with a healthy dose of fear, made her apply it to my head. The end result was not what you see before you, but a nice mix of yellow and brown more akin to Eminem than any Bleach London model. Thankfully, the salon next door had an appointment at 9am the next day and my hair is finally white/blonde!

Anyway, I’m back to my blogging ways and took these little outfit snaps in Notting Hill with my good pal Amy. We had an absolute blast strolling round the markets there, the area is so beautiful. Please excuse the slightly dodge posing and facial expressions, it’s been a while. These dungarees are an absolute steal from Boohoo at around £25, and they definitely came to my rescue during my internship with The Debrief when I was in a bit of a rush getting ready in the dark at 7am. Dungarees instantly make any ensemble below look slightly less thrown-together, and I’m pretty much living in them these days.

In other news, I’m back home in Northern Ireland now and while I had the absolute BEST time in London, I’m so excited to be fed and watered by my family. London really ain’t cheap. I’ve got plenty of time to catch up on blogs now, so please leave your links below and I’ll have a nosey!

Sara x 

Sunday, 13 December 2015


I'm going through a bit of a homeware-obsessed phase at the moment and prints are my latest thanggg. Here's my little list of faves which I may or may not have accidentally emailed directly to my mum for Christmas gift ideas. Tehe.

In other news, I'm currently in London interning at my absolute favourite website The Debrief and having an absolute blast. I've already been lucky enough to write some articles which you can have a little look at HERE.

Speak soon,

Sara x 

Friday, 2 October 2015


A few months ago, myself and Katie were lucky enough to interview John Waugh on behalf of Newcastle Gig Guide and hear all about his newly released EP, Flight. You can read the interview below, and download the EP here.

During Gig Guide’s second meeting with John, there’s an air of excitement and a genuine sense of passion behind every sentiment expressed by the Newcastle based musician. He meets us to discuss the upcoming release of his debut EP, Flight, the first solo endeavour to be produced by the talented saxophonist. We’re dying to hear all about it, and dive right in talking about timing, inspiration and exciting plans for the future.

You’ve spent time touring with The 1975 and working with The New Standard, how have you found the time to put together this EP?
With touring, a very small percentage of that time is actually spent playing music so you get a lot of time in dressing rooms, or on flights or on a train. I had a lot of spare time even though the schedule was really busy so I was able to write bits and pieces while being on tour. Since being at home in January I’ve had a lot more time to kind of refine those ideas and work with musicians, because up until then all the ideas I had either existed in my head or just on my laptop. So really, for the most part it was just working on it here and there and then piecing those ideas together while I was at home.

If you could describe the EP in three words what would they be?
Naturally it’s quite eclectic and there  are parts of it that are decadent as well, so really quite lavish and over the top. There’s a little bit of self-indulgence but not to the extent where it’s really arrogant or anything like that. So I think eclectic, decadent, but hopefully it still remains quite humble. I think I can stand by those three words.

So where do you get the inspiration for composing from?
One of the tunes I wrote for Stu’s band, called Fillmore, was inspired by San Francisco and specifically a venue. That often is the case – travelling is quite a big influence and that makes sense as well with the timing of writing a lot of this. I was travelling around the world, which is a very inspiring thing to do regardless, so to kind of feed that in to this EP was really cool and quite natural. The name was really influenced by the timing of everything, and the experiences I had and the people I met travelling.

How would you say your time specifically touring with The 1975 influenced this EP?
Just being around them really influenced it, obviously they’re musicians too and they love music just as much as I do so we’re always sharing music. There’s a lot of common ground there in terms of the stuff we listen to and all draw an influence from. I think if anything, it just heightened everything I love about music and it just distilled a little bit more self-belief in me as well because they have so much belief in what they do and they’re so ambitious. You see it work for them so much so naturally that inspires me to have enough faith so that if it does all fall apart or someone doesn’t really embrace it the way you’d expected it doesn’t really matter because you’ve got so much out of it yourself. It also made perfect sense with the exposure of touring to do the EP now when I had about 6 months away from working with the band and to have something with my name on it when I start touring again just makes a lot of sense.

Where did most of the production happen?
A friend of mine who I used to work with in Leeds, Lee Roy,  did a lot of front of house and studio engineering for the bands I was playing in, and I moved up to Newcastle around the time he’d just got a job in Newcastle College so I was able to get access to a studio through him. A lot of the tracking and recording was done there – most of it happened in Newcastle. Most of the guys I’ve got playing on the EP have their own recording facilities at home so they’ve been able to record it and send stuff through. That’s all happened in the North of England; if it hasn’t been in Newcastle it’s been in Leeds or Huddersfield so it’s been quite local.

You’ve mentioned that you’d describe your EP as eclectic, so what different kinds of music would you say influences you?

A lot of old soul and RnB and that kind of music scene inspires me in terms of harmony and how chord progressions are pieced together, and how the fundamentals of groove are built. The thing that I really wanted to do with this EP was to have a core live band but then embellish that with live electronics and ambience. One of the people me and the guys on tour listened to a lot is a guy called John Hopkins, we got his new album and when we were on tour in Europe we listened to him a lot in the dressing room. He’s amazing at orchestrating electronic sounds and making them sound extremely musical, for example he could sample someone sitting on a chair, and take that audio apart and make that into a percussive kind of groove. It’s not that my EP sounds like that, but there are definitely elements of embellishing the live band, and I suppose it’s eclectic in that regard.

What do you find are the main differences performing your own songs or playing with another band?
I think if you’re playing with another band and you’re working collectively as a unit then you have a kind of pack mentality. I don’t really get nervous when I play with The 1975 because it’s not just about me obviously. You’re confronting the crowd and playing for them as a unit, whereas when you’re playing your own music and you’re the face of something there’s a different kind of responsibility there. As much as I still kind of feel responsible playing with other people, I’d be way more nervous playing a tiny gig with my own music than playing in front of 20,000 people with the 1975.

Do you have any plans for the future? Maybe another EP or more work with The 1975?
Yeah, I’d love to release an EP of my own music on a yearly basis. I’ve started working on a new EP already! The first one is written and I’m halfway through recording it and now I’ve got some draft ideas that I want to finish working on and get recorded next year. I’m not really sure if I’m allowed to say much so I probably shouldn’t, but my calendar is pretty full next year and I’m meeting up with the guys over summer to play on some of their tracks which I’m excited about.

When do you reckon the EP is going to be ready?

That’s a really good question; I keep pushing it further ahead. Ideally I want to have it finished before I go away, so towards the end of July and if not, then September – it’ll definitely be released this year, which I know is a huge space of time. I haven’t got any management and I’m not signed to a label so I’m the only one pushing it, and there’s 19 people who are creatively involved so there’s lots of people I’m trying to get in a certain place at a certain time. For the most part, the other guys are involved in other projects and some even have a wife and kids, so it’s hard to fit in a studio session. It’s definitely getting there though and starting to take shape, and it’s really grown a lot since being a collection of ideas on my laptop. It’s amazing, when you bring an idea to life and give it a live energy it’s so satisfying, regardless of how many people hear it.

Sunday, 9 August 2015


Type the phrase ‘sad girl’ into your search engine of choice and within seconds your screen will be filled with copious collections of noir images featuring exclusively beautiful, melancholy girls, often with a self-depreciating quote thrown in for good measure. You can find these ‘sad girls’ late at night as you scroll through your Tumblr feed before bed. You can find them as you wake in the form of a poem pinned to your Pinterest homepage. You can even find them on the radio, “I’m a sad girl” ringing out as you drive to work.

Herein lies the rise of #SadGirlCulture, a trend that finds its place within the realms of social media and in which girls are finding a sense of belonging and personal identity. As much as I detest saying it, depression has become a sign of social status online; a part of an aesthetic that defines itself as interesting, cool and different. The sad girl has been established as a brand and merely a couple of  clicks allow you to purchase clothing, tote bags, even phone cases adorned with phrases and key words remodelling a dispiriting emotion into a trend.

The thing is, the sadness projected by ‘sad girl status’ sails far too close to the territory of mental illness for it to be brushed off as just another flimsy fashionable movement we can roll our eyes at and move on from. Commodifying mental illness and treating it as an aesthetically pleasing aspect of life is something I will never stand for.

Watching my friends and family struggle under the weight of mental illness is not something to celebrate. I hate that some of the most amazing people in my life are unable to get out of bed, unable to recognise their own worth when they are so quick to applaud everyone else’s. Watching someone you care about feel less than human and less than brilliant is something I would wish upon no-one. Depression is not something to be adorned on a t-shirt. While I hope that my friends that suffer know they should never feel stupid for feeling sad, I hope they don’t revel in it either. It isn’t their sadness I find impressive, it’s their unwavering sense of compassion and their ability to even make a cup of tea when they feel like their world is crashing in. Their ability to not only pick themselves up, but other people when they’re feeling so down is the thing to be admired.

Depression is a part of my past, thankfully not a part of my present and is something which may or may not rear its head again in my future. A younger, more vulnerable version of me would’ve, and did, buy into the sad girl culture. Scroll hard enough through any of our online postings and there’ll no doubt be evidence of belief in the shared sadness of generation Y. I thought identifying with quotes describing how I felt was cathartic, I thought finding beauty in sadness was a positive which could be found within a very negative situation. With a few more years and a little bit of hindsight I realise that neither of these things were true, and it’s important for others to hear that.

Appropriating mental illness is not beautiful. The feelings experienced are terrifying, isolating, angry, confusing and all consuming. They are not feelings you’d want to be reminded of day in, day out by those who feel that a little sadness makes a good Instagram feed. Panic attacks do not make for good tweeting material and anxiety does not make you mysterious. Sadness shouldn’t be branded as a desirable characteristic when its effects can be so deeply damaging.

You might be an interesting girl experiencing sadness, but sadness does not make you ‘interesting.’ You might be a ‘cool girl’ who suffers from depression, but depression does not make you ‘cool.’

To define someone by their emotional state is a terrible thing.

Sara x

image source: Tumblr

Saturday, 1 August 2015


Polo – H&M Sale, Pool Sliders – Topshop Sale
Swimsuit – Batoko
Shorts – H&M Sale, Choker – La Moda, Shoes – Local Boutique
Pineapple Ornament – TK Maxx, Books – Urban Outfitters, Plants and Candles - IKEA

For a girl that has no money I seem to have acquired a considerable amount of new bits and pieces over the last few weeks. I’m actually going to Thailand for 3 weeks at the end of August and although I’ve been working full time over summer, all my pennies are being saved for my hols. I am BEYOND excited to visit Thailand and going with 4 of my best gals from Uni will undoubtedly make the experience even more amazing. Included in this post are a few of the lovely items I’ve bought to bring with me, as well as a few other pieces I just couldn’t resist.

I’m particularly proud of my sale shopping skillz this year; I managed to nab these Topshop snakeprint pool sliders for £7, the H&M white polo neck for £5 and the H&M shorts for a fiver as well. Whaaat a bloody bargain. I’d seriously recommend nipping to H&M at the minute and having a rummage through the sale racks, there are some serious beauties to be purchased. Also making me happy this week are my new homeware bits from TK Maxx and IKEA – this pineapple ornament was an absolute steal at £3 and the baby plants make me want to weep with joy.

In other news, you may have noticed my blog has undergone a somewhat major make-over. In a conscious bid to start writing more, I decided I needed to invest in my future and get a proper professional to help a sister out with my blog template. This lovely one was designed and installed by Pipdig, and I seriously cannot recommend them highly enough. Their blog templates are reasonably priced for what you’re getting, they offer free installation within 48hours and their aftercare is fantastic – I had a few niggling questions I needed to ask and their response was so informative and helpful (and this isn’t even a sponsored post, they are just THAT fantastic.)

Hope you’re well and if you have any comments on the new blog style do let me know!

Sara x


Saturday, 25 July 2015


If you hadn’t already heard, I went to Isle of Wight festival a few weeks ago. I phrased that statement the way I did because I plastered the news POSSIBLY OVER EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL EVER INVENTED. Without a shadow of a doubt, IOW 2015 provided 4 of the best days of my life. What started out as darting eyes and a nervous flutter in the pit of my stomach as we approached the campsite slowly but surely subsided until the flutters became waves of excitement and the waves became happy exhaustion. I stood beside the Spice Girls, I drank more vodka redbull than should ever be legal and I probably took more photographs than Mario Testino at a Vogue shoot. To put it simply, the festival was knackering, loud, hazy, unexpected and FULL of amazing music. While all the acts I saw were suitably impressive, Fleetwood Mac absolutely stole the show for me, and watching them on stage at dusk surrounded by some very cool people is something I’ll never forget.

In saying all of this, the week did have its rocky moments and I’ve noted a few below so you can learn from (and laugh at) my mistakes, observations and misfortunes.  Enjoy!

1.  You will be drunk A LOT of the time. Plan accordingly.

 I go to a university city where 3 treble and mixers cost £5 and I like to think I can handle a drink or five, but drinking in a festival environment where the grass is both your bar and your bed definitely tested my stamina. Most festivals have a no glass rule, so we’d pre-poured a litre of vodka each into an old bottle and grabbed a bottle of double strength blackcurrant cordial to mix with water, which (sort of) saved us from paying the equivalent of a month’s rent at the bars inside the arena. If you’re like me and need a bit of a pick me up the next day but can’t stand long enough to queue for a coffee, Pro Plus is your absolute saviour. Keep it close at all times. 

2.  You won’t be able to put your tent up, but it’s a great way to make friends

We marched into the campsite full of naïve hope with a stupid amount of determination in our eyes, before sitting on the grass about five minutes later feeling dejected and defeated.
 "I put up a tent at Guide camp when I was ten” and “I definitely put one up when I went to a motorbike rally” were genuine words spoken by two of the group who will remain anonymous out of respect for their dignity.
 Thankfully a lovely couple came to our rescue, and one shared packet of cigarettes and six badly mixed vodka and lemonades later we were friends. A few minutes later a stag do came and joined the party and the rest is history. The long and short of it is, yes you will probably be shit at putting up a tent, you will probably look like idiots, but you just might make some friends out of it. 

3    3. It will probably rain and you should probably not care

      For the most part Isle of Wight treated us well and the sunshine skies and fluffy white clouds made a nice little backdrop to the music stages. We’d been sitting outside in the sun, absentmindedly drinking and chatting, before one treacherous night gave us a serious reality check. One apocalyptic storm, a serious amount of thunder and a few bolts of lightning later and we all ran for the tents. After sitting miserably for an hour, sharing kit kats and moaning about the weather, enough was enough. We put on our macs, shoved on our wellies and slipped and slid down to see The Prodigy with our festival pals. Oh my god it was muddy, but it was also one of the best nights we had. If you’re in the same sitch this festival season, my advice is just go with it (and bring a trillion packets of baby wipes.)

4. You really CAN wear whatever you want

Before Isle of Wight I already knew festivals were famous for their freeing nature, but I didn’t really have any concept of how much everybody let go. From barely there bikinis to full on tiger onesies, IOW festival had it all. Since I was little I’ve always been someone who often makes a daring choice with my outfits, hair and make-up, but I definitely still have moments when I put something back in my wardrobe for fear of looking stupid. My advice for packing for festivals is of course to cover the essentials (wellies, A MAC WITH A HOOD, copious amounts of dry socks) but mostly to pretty much pack whatever the hell you want. A few temporary tattoos, a bit of fancy dress, an outfit made entirely of sequins – whatever you feel like, this is your excuse. Go wild!

5. The trip home will probably be the most miserable trip of your life

 At the ripe old age of erm, 20, I thought I knew sadness. OH how wrong I was. Troublesome teenage years, boy drama, finding out the pair of boots you had your eye on in Topshop have sold out in your size – none of these travesties compare to the utter misery you will experience on the coach ride home from a festival. You can approach the situation in one of two ways: 
a) refuse to let the festival spirit die by continuing to talk about your favourite acts in excitable tones and pretending to enjoy a can of leftover cider, or the more popular option;
b) sit AT LEAST two rows away from your mates, plug your earphones in and listen to your fave festival act whilst staring sadly out the coach window. (Guess which one I chose)

You can make the trip slightly more bearable if you have any nutritious snacks leftover – I found a lovely, lovely, squashed cereal bar at the bottom of my bumbag. Happy times.

Speak soon,

Sara x

Monday, 22 June 2015


If you know me well, actually, if you know me at all, then you’ll probably be familiar with my obsession with all things romantic. Don’t mistake me for referring to cringe, over the top, social media based displays of affection – far from it. The notion of old school romance has been a major storyline of my life and cult 80’s classics definitely influenced the narrative of my own formative years. My best friends still to this day chastise me for my extraordinary expectations of romance and it’s probably fair to say my love life would thank me for listening to them. (Not that I’m going to anytime soon.)  Name me an 80’s film and I’ll probably have watched it, and if not, I’ll probably have to cancel all plans for the foreseeable future until I have. Say Anything, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles are 3 of the most obvious, but nonetheless brilliant movies to emerge from the era, and the champion of all indisputably has to be the obvious John Hughes classic. I found The Breakfast Club when I was about sixteen years old, going through a turbulent time as all sixteen year olds do, and in it I found a sense of comfort and rebellion that sat very well with me.

While The Breakfast Club restaurants have come a long way since two “children of the 80’s” pinched the name for their new start café in Soho, their world-renowned restaurants still serve as the perfect spot to celebrate the nostalgia that comes with the past. And what better way to celebrate than with food?

A couple of weeks ago, my best friend and I trotted down South and naturally had to make a quick stop at the breakfast mekka of London. We popped into the Spitalfields branch for a bacon sandwich and cup of builder’s tea, and boy did it not disappoint. I think I paid something around the £5 mark for my breakfast, and it was genuinely the perfect early morning filler. The staff were brill, the atmosphere was cheery and the soundtrack to our breakfast is one I would quite like to soundtrack my life. With the overwhelming chatter about newer, prettier, shinier breakfast establishments it would be easy to overlook the BC, but if you’ve got half the chance I would definitely encourage you to call in and experience the magic for yourself.

Sometimes old news is the best news.

Until next time,
Sara x

Monday, 18 May 2015


Top – Primark | Jeans – Topshop | Coat – Primark | Shoes – Nike | Trainers – Pressie

SOS - I’m in the midst of essay hell. With about 4 deadlines to hand in within a 2 week time period, I’m sure you can imagine the scene surrounding me right now - printed pages of journal articles have replaced my copies of ‘Glamour,’ my usual gig watching/bar dwelling/topshop drooling has been replaced by 24/7 library sessions and Google Scholar has replaced ‘The Debrief’ on my list of recent searches. There is no way to sugar coat the overwhelming wave of stress and panic overrunning my life as we move closer and closer to deadline day, but for the purpose of not dragging you all down with me, this little post will focus on my sartorial choices rather than my impounding sense of doom.

The libes calls for smart dressing – the kind that says ‘I’m not wearing pyjamas’ but still gives a nod to the utter despair you’re currently experiencing  in order to blend in with your fellow stressed out students and avoid the look of the carefree first year. I’ve gone for my trusty black skinnies and a pair of comfy trainers, but added a smarter camel coat on top to ward off the funeral director vibes, and a backpack which screams I AM WORKING – HONEST. LOOK! I HAVE BOOKS IN HERE! MAYBE A COPY OF COSMO BUT ALSO SOME BOOKS! and tricks even myself into thinking I’ve got my life sorted.

If you’re living in the library too, know that I feel your pain.

Chat soon,

Sara x

Saturday, 16 May 2015


As if you haven’t already seen me banging on about it enough on social media, this little post is my way of reminding myself that I’m gonna be lucky enough to travel across to the Isle of Wight with summer with 4 of my best friends. IOW will be my first proper camping festival and although I’ve heard horror stories of mudslides, NO PHONE BATTERY and drunk men pissing on tents, I’m still pretty excited. (Understatement of the century.)

Fleetwood Mac have been one of the bands I’ve listened to consistently throughout my life. My dad named me after ‘Sara’ (and after the Thin Lizzie song by the same name,) and they’ve always been in the background of my upbringing. I am literally ecstatic at the prospect of seeing them play live, and I’m SO looking forward to seeing the beautiful Jessie Ware, James Bay and Kool and the Gang too.

It’s set to be an amazing 4 days and I’m going to need the wardrobe to match, so I’ve been spending a lot of time scanning the interwebz to grab myself some sartorial bargains. I'm a big, big fan of the seventies trend despite my usual goth-like dress sense, and plan to rock a flare if I can manage it. Topshop, as always, have come out on top and I daresay a few of these pieces will be sneaking their way into my rucksack. 

Fingers crossed for good weather, and I’ll let you know how it all goes,

Sara x

Monday, 11 May 2015


Amidst the flurry of exam stress (you know the type – weeping, panic buying highlighters, watching 6 back to back episodes of Made In Chelsea in order to pretend it’s not happening,) I received a little electronic message of joy.

An email popped into my inbox which was not actually from a) Groupon b) my tutor or c) LinkedIn. It was instead from next year’s editor of The Courier newspaper, informing me that I’d been chosen to be a Fashion Editor for the 2015/16 edition of the paper. A little tear of happiness MAY OR MAY NOT have escaped. 

I’ve written for The Courier newspaper since my first year of Uni and absolutely loved it, and the opportunity to be editor for the section I’m really passionate about is an absolute dream. Coveting a career in journalism means that while my dreams are exciting, they’re also bloody hard to reach. I’m more than aware that I need as much experience as possible to even think about knocking on the doors of my favourite publications, and I’m so thankful to those who recommended and picked me for helping me get one step closer. A special shout out has to go to my predecessor, blogger pal and good friend AmyO’Rourke for giving me a heap of advice and listening to me stress 24/7. She’s a gem.

I’m excited to see what being a Fashion Ed brings, and I’ll keep you updated,
Sara x

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


Bomber Jacket – H&M | Top (actually a dress) – Motel Rocks | Trousers – Zara | Shoes – Zara | Ring – Brandy Melville | Bag – Topshop | Earrings – Claires, Topshop, Market

I’m back with another outfit post this sunny season with what I think is the perfect summer transition outfit (not that I’m biased or anything.) I don’t know about you, but it’s an all too regular occurrence that I exit the house warmly wrapped up in my trusty Topshop duster coat before realising ten minutes into my walk to Uni that it is actually a trillion degrees outside and I’m going to have to face the fact that melting to my death is inevitable.
I’m putting my foot down once and for all and have decided that this little black Bomber jacket from Zara is my new BFF. Lightweight but perfectly tough, it’s saved me from many an awkward outfit ordeal. I’ve also decided to wear this Motel Rocks stripy Breton dress as a top because it is quite frankly indecent. I’m not sure if it’s my lacklustre washing skills or if I’m having a spontaneous growth spurt at the age of 20, but it is impossible to wear this without two pairs of tights and a very long coat.
Apart from wrestling with many an outfit dilemma, I’ve been interning with a very exciting (but still top secret) fashion experience soon to hit Newcastle, attending a James Bay gig and less glamorously, pretty much living in the library. Top of my libes playlist has been new artist The Japanese House, real name Amber Bain, who has surfaced from the depths of London with a collection of extremely addictive songs under her belt. Have a listen to Pools to Bathe In, one of my personal faves.

Sara x

Thursday, 26 March 2015


It’s a widely acknowledged fact amongst those that know me ‘IRL’ that I am the Queen of the skinny jean. I wear my fave black pair almost every day, and they are the saviour of many a crap outfit. They’re classic, flattering, and go with literally everything. So imagine my shock and surpise when in the midst of Brandy Melville, facing a mannequin adorned in a pair of flowery flares, my heart begins to beat faster and that all too familiar ‘oh my gosh I need them now’ feeling sweeps its way from head to toe. 

After rushing to the changing room to try them on, I’d fallen head over heels. These flares are possibly the comfiest item of clothing I own, and are indescribably nice to chuck on after a lifetime of jumping, hopping and zipping myself into my beloved Joni’s. If you’re thinking of investing in the 70’s trend which is set to rule Spring/Summer 2015, I’d definitely encourage you to have a little look into some trews like these. They’re floaty, flattering and to be honest, anything which makes me look marginally more Coachella are fab in my book. The moral of the story here – flares are friends.

Are you a fan of the wide-legged trouser or are these ones enough to give you night-flares? (Sorry, that was terrible)
Do let me know in the comments!

Sara x

Sunday, 15 March 2015


From time to time, I write for the fashion section of my University’s newspaper. Recently I wrote a little ‘yes’ piece on why I love the floppy hat trend, and why I think you should too. The ‘no’ side of things was written by Lucy Snowden, and you can check out the original article here.

There’s a reason why bloggers, campus trend setters and ‘It’ girls can’t get enough of the floppy hat trend, and that’s simply because it looks GOOD. Brigitte Bardot et al were rocking them in the 70s golden days, all tousled hair, pouty lips and an undeniable sense of power, and now fashionistas everywhere are commanding the same attention with these wonderful felt toppers. First things first, hats are a tragically overlooked accessory – the distant cousins of shoes and handbags – which means that popping one on instantly adds a little something special to your OOTD. At this point in March, bundling yourself up in coats and scarves in an attempt to keep warm is growing a little old and if your wardrobe is  looking a bit lacklustre, the floppy hat is the easiest way to inject instant chic into your look. If you’re a bit like me when it comes to 9am lectures (perpetually late no matter how many times your alarm tone squawks) then the FH is your new best friend. Feeling a bit worse for wear and no time for repair work? Peek out from under the brim of a floppy hat. Terrible hair day and run out of Batiste? Throw on your hat with the knowledge that your secret is safe. The floppy hat is a versatile beauty and it can be used to finish off almost any outfit, making it the lazy fashion lover’s dream.

A few quick questions: why would you choose to wear something that ruins your chances of a good hair day, becomes a source of embarrassment if blown off in the wind and potentially impairs your vision (depending on the size of the brim)?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty keen on the floppy hat trend, or at least the idea of it. I look at the street style sections in magazines where fashionistas have been snapped, effortlessly rocking the floppy hat. However, the issue I have is the reality of actually trying it out. Hats in general inflict quite a lot of fashion anxiety on me, with the age old issue of hat hair filling any vain twenty-something with the dread of discovering their perfect outfit can be ruined with just a poor choice of head attire.
Then there’s the dilemma of what to do with in once you get inside; you risk looking slightly ridiculous if you leave it on, but where’s the much needed hat rack if you fancy taking it off? Another fear is that if you make any sudden head movements there’s a genuine risk of whacking someone in the face with, the oh-so-stylish, but dangerously wide brim.
I think the best way to brave this trend is with bags of fame and fortune; however, for those of us who don’t live in New York, and instead frequent Newcastle University’s campus, the floppy hat should be left alone; it does not belong here.

What's your opinion?
Sara x


Friday, 13 February 2015


In a cosy little jazz café, tucked around the corner from the O2 Academy, I order myself a gin and tonic before climbing up the stairs to the intimate room set to be the venue for tonight’s gig. Newcastle based jazz band The New Standard are playing, featuring John Waugh, a talented saxophonist most widely known from his recent tour with The 1975. I find John sipping a drink at a table next to the red velvet curtains and atmospheric fairy lights which frame tonight’s stage, and after a strong sip of my drink I finally say hello. After a slightly surreal recollection of “are you the girl that tweeted about tonight and commented on my Instagram?” (yes and yes,) I ask John a few questions. It’s worth mentioning that despite his rise in exposure of late John is still incredibly down to earth and willing to speak, even when my friend Maisie spills an entire glass of Pinot over him, herself and the floor. One promise of gin to replace the lost wine later, we continue our chat:


So you’ve been playing the saxophone for 15 years, how did you get into that to begin with?
 I had a family friend who is here tonight actually, called George, and he was a really big influence – showing me really good music when I was little. Based on the kind of music I listened to, I wanted to play the saxophone and I just kind of did it in school. It was quite an easy thing to become a part of, it wasn’t a particularly great school for music but it was integrated enough for me to get lessons and not think about it too much.

Do you want to just tell us a little bit about The New Standard? How did you join together and come about?
Well Stuart [Davies] who runs the band and is the front man of it, me and him played at a lot of weddings together – a lot of function band gigs and that kind of thing for ages, so I met Stu through that and it’s just something he’s always wanted to do. He just had the idea of putting together a funk and soul band and playing lots of covers and that kind of thing. It still feels like a new project, even though it’s been going on for more than a year. We’ve only had a handful of gigs here and there so yeah it’s just a small project. It’s a lot of fun and it’s more of a labour of love than anything else.

Do you play most of your gigs with The New Standard in Newcastle?
Yeah, so far, because everyone in it is so busy doing other things. It’s usually when we’re all at home and we all have time that we get together and do gigs and so far it makes sense to have them in Newcastle rather than anywhere else.

What would you say the main differences are between playing with this band and The 1975 and what do you prefer?
They are very different, obviously, because with The 1975 there’s so much exposure in every aspect of being in a band or playing a gig. The venues are a lot bigger, but then fundamentally it’s kind of the same. A lot of the places that The 1975 draw influences from are the kind of tunes we’re playing tonight – there’s a lot of soul and old RnB music that is very much the basis of this band and it’s the kind of stuff that the guys in The 1975 love to listen to. So musically speaking, even though it is different obviously, the basis of it feels the same.

How did you find touring with The 1975 and do you have any plans to tour with them when the second album comes out?
Yeah definitely! The next time I see most of the guys anyway will be to play on the new album and then when the next touring schedule starts I’ll be playing with them again which is cool. I’m very excited. I can’t say when [the next album will be released] though!

“Haha I’ve seen the interviews - don’t worry I know you can’t tell me”
[Laughing] Haha exactly, I do know but I can’t tell you when.

Your music has had an incredible influence on your fans, but are there any ways your fans have influenced you?
In terms of The 1975 and the guys in the band I have very little exposure really, but it’s enough for me to feel slightly more self-aware obviously because you get, out of nowhere, all of this attention and everything, and I’m still really honestly not used to it at all. So it’s not so much musically, because if I’m putting something out that has my name on it I want it to be me, I don’t want it to have any other agenda. So if people like it then they like it. But then naturally because of the exposure and the attention it does change my awareness of myself if that makes sense.  But I don’t know, I’m still figuring it out to be honest. 

I think that’s all for now - thank you John. Err before you go – can we be really cringe and grab a picture?

Review of the gig available here.



A few months ago I told you I went to Barcelona with 3 of my best friends. A hell of a lot later, I’ve finally got round to producing a quick little YouTube video documenting our travels. Have a watch below and gratify me by leaving a comment (I’ll love you forever.) 

Sara x
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