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The Fashion Internship Guide - Part Two - How to get an internship

I have now wrote a book on fashion interning, containing  75 pages of my top tips and insider advice for aspiring fashion interns!
As your manicured helping hand, The Fashion Internship Guide offers all the advice on how you can gain valuable experience to build your CV, cultivate your USP, create a fantastic application, and excel in an interview; propelling yourself towards the working woman or man you wish to be. 

Download it here now!

image from flyingsaucer.typepad.com

Hi dolls! I hope you liked Part One of my internship guide and it was clear to read! I don't want to confuse anyone or bombard you with stuff, and if you asked a question I'll address it in a future post or reply to you personally! I feel like I've worked loads recently as the sale was in full swing and ended up probably spending more then I earned anyway! I always buy things from my wish lists rather than impulsing and it feels like I haven't bought any new clothes in ages! From watching hauls, I can see how other girls will pick up basics and go on sprees, but everything I buy tends to have  huge purpose or is quite poignant so I always seem to have a full wardrobe but nothing to wear! Also everything I'm buying right now is reserved to be worn in the Autumn as there's no point buying into Spring/Summer trends right now. The new Elle Collections isn't as good as the last but has given me lots of ideas and I'm going through all the catwalk pics saving my favourites. 

Today I had a little sort out of my room but I'm feeling really weighed down by the stuff I like but don't need anymore. My sister and I want to do a carboot sale or something; maybe I should do a flash sale on here? Everything £1? Coincidentally, the Guardian ran a front page article in the Work section today called Fashion Victims, debating whether interns should be paid, and if not, are they being exploited for their labour? You can read the article here, what do you think? I believe if a company expects you to become a long term member of the team with your own tasks, rather than working with and helping out existing employees, then you have a proper role rather than the role of a intern, and should be an employee too. But if you love the industry, the pleasure of the opportunity will well outweigh any stresses on your part so you won't walk away feeling like you were taken advantage of. Anyway, hope you enjoy the second part to this guide! Good luck!


 

The first hurdle is of course: how are you going to get your internship? As I said before, finding an internship to apply for will already demonstrate your sourcing skills and show that you truly like the company because you have searched them out. Every unique company is looking for their ideal person, and every aspiring intern will be looking for the placement to suit them best, so I cannot point you towards vacancies or provide lists of hiring companies. If I can find them, you can too! The perils of being the oldest child means I've always had to find things out for myself!

How do I find an internship?

First think about what sort of placement would suit you and when you have the time to commit to one. Are you doing a year in industry as part of your degree? Are you still in school? Do you have the whole summer holidays? Have you just graduated? You may want an internship with a view of being hired by the company, or just a two week taster of the place. Most companies will tell you on their website if they offer placements in their careers section, so first make a list of the top places you'd LOVE to work at. These will most likely be scratching the surface of the fashion industry if they're well known brands, shops and designers. Check their sites and see what their work experience policies are. If they have established them, their length and requirements may or may not suit you. Some places will only offer placements for a whole year and you have to be studying, some will only offer government-assessed work experience where you can go if you're 16. Keep thinking outside the box and flick through magazines to be reminded of brands and labels out there. If you don't live near London, you might be surprised that some companies have head offices situated all around the country. Check out the top businesses in your town, you'll usually find a list through a search engine.

There are sites out there where companies list their internship vacancies, and they're extremely useful as they have to fill in all the questions you want to ask like how long their minimum requirement of working is and if they offer any payments. These sites can be easily found by searching online and it's essential to keep checking them daily.

Also think of your friends and family, friends of family, and the family of friends. Someone may know someone who works in a relevant company, or if you're looking outside your home town, they may have a room to rent. Start looking outside the box and think of the other companies that make up the fashion industry. Check out Drapers or Women's Wear Daily to have a vast knowledge of industry players. If you want to work in the industry, these are things you must know already. I found one of my placements first through researching my dream places, and the second through a site listing vacancies.

When do I apply for an internship?

As soon as possible!! Some of the more well known publications are flooded with applicants and are booked a year in advance. I found mine for May in February, but many places I applied to were already fully booked. It's still worth applying at short notice though because people may drop out or they hire and recruit quickly.

Consider the day and time you send off your application too. If sent on Saturday or Sunday, they will be part of the flood of emails viewed on a Monday morning, and the employer may not be interested in hiring interns when they have the height of their normal tasks to deal with.

How do I apply for an internship?

Especially if you are searching online, most require online applications. Some companies that must receive masses of applicants may set out strict rules for application, such as certain information needed and certain presentation of your CV. These are the first test of your ability to follow direction, so make absolutely sure you satisfy their requirements. I would always send a CV with a covering letter, as there you can really tell them why you especially want to work for their company. Make sure your email address isn't sexy_gurrrl1988@hotmail.com, and make sure your spam filter isn't blocking replies. If emailing, send the email to yourself first and reread and then reread it again. Get someone else to read it too. The receiver may be viewing it differently and you might have made a fatal error in addressing the right company. Take your time and don't apply for twenty in one day, as guaranteed you'll slip up somewhere. 

Tips for your application...

  • In the subject line of the email, state it is an internship application and put the dates from and to when you are available. At one of my placements, the lady who employed me said sometimes people will cancel their spot on short notice so they must quickly look back at previous applicants. If your availability is clear, they will make a beeline for your email.
  • Take your CV and covering letter to the careers adviser of your school/college/university, or have an educated or experienced friend or colleague read over yours. They will not only be able to spot mistakes or errors in them, but will also tell you things that aren't clear and ways to improve. I took my CV to the careers advisory department of my University and they were amazingly helpful.
  • One of the tips the careers service gave me was to backup your experiences will your skills, and your skills with your experiences. For example, don't write a personal profile saying 'I'm hard-working, creative, bright and a team player', because everyone writes those key words that they think employers want to hear. You should be writing 'I'm hard-working because ...' or 'I showed hard work through...'. Give examples that demonstrate your skills and talents to prove you have had unique opportunities and that you actually are what you say you are! Don't write 'My responsibilities at my Saturday retail job included working on the till, replenishing stock, and tidying,' you should be writing 'My responsibilities included working on the till, showing my mature attitude to handling money and my confidence in talking to customers, etc' for example. You must show the reader why exactly you are organised, and what skills are needed when putting out stock.
  • Hopefully you will really want to work for the company that you are applying to, if not, what's the point? Make sure you state in your email or covering letter what you like about the company, how working there could benefit you, and what you could bring to the company because you know about/admire them so much. If you owned a company, you'd be much more inclined to employ someone who really knew what it was all about and had a passion for making it better and contributing to it, rather than someone who was just keen to work anywhere. Even when people email me things for this blog, my name is right by my email address so if it's just a press release with 'Dear Ms' or not even a hi, I have no desire to read it. But if someone says 'Hi Selina, I like your blog!' then I'm more keen to read the rest of it. If people actually show they've read my blog, like 'Hi Selina, I like your blog because .... Therefore I think you might want to know about....' then I have more of a responsibility and a want to consider what they've emailed about. Put yourself in the employer's position and consider if you would want to hire yourself, and who you would apply before you. Always address the email recipient. 
  • Hopefully the fashion industry is a bit more personal and fun, so you don't have to go as far as ending your emails with kisses, but remember you are emailing a real person who was once in your shoes. You don't need to be overly formal and matter-of-fact, especially if it's a place that encourages personality, such as a magazine. Tailor your approach to the formality of the company.
  • Keep things short and sweet, with quality points rather than a high quantity. A magazine may not wish to see the results of every exam you've ever taken, whereas a fashion business agency might be more interested. You should not be sending the same CV and covering letter to each place and just inserting different names, it should always be tweaked. As you improve your CV, make sure relevant things jump off the page and you don't say things that are too obvious. If you've been a sales assistant in a shop, generally it's quite obvious what tasks had to do, so don't take up page space with huge lists.
  • As I'm working in a high-street store at the moment, for the past few weeks loads of teens have been coming in asking about jobs. This is a little off topic but there are so many people who run in (like actually jog in looking really rushed) eating food (yeah, in a clothes shop?! why would you do that anyway!), with some rolled up CVs already in their hand and say 'do you have any vacancies?', and they're not doing themselves any favours! By being like that, they're showing that they're asking in just about every shop and will apply for any vacancy anywhere, and if you don't have any then they'll quickly go to the shop next door. Most places only take online applications anyway, but I thought a good approach was a girl who came nicely dressed to the counter with some CVs in her bag in plastic wallets, and said 'Could I give you a CV to keep just encase any job openings become available?'. This showed that she was interested in the store especially and was keen to work there in the coming future, rather than looking for any job, anywhere at that time. Well, maybe she was, but that was a nice approach. 

What is I have little/no experiences to put in my CV?

If you believe you'd be good in the fashion industry, you must already have a passion for it. If you've never worked before, you should try getting involved in school/uni newspapers or local fashion charity events or try making a website. There were people on my course at Uni who didn't even buy magazines, and if you're serious about working in the fashion industry, you have to respect that you will get hired only if you have something to offer and if you are an asset to the company. Sure your Mom and friends might think you're great, but what can you offer an employer over everyone else? What can you do to really move the fashion industry, as fashion is a continuously evolving and adapting sector? Imagine you already have a job in fashion. You'd have to keep up with fashion news and the news in general. Start reading the business pages of the newspaper and watching the business news. A lecturer once told my class this and said it was on at 5.30am and pm. One exchange student didn't understand too well and thought it was compulsory to watch the 5.30am news!

There are so many books out there on fashion and business and media that you can read, and there are so many blogs too! Social media is huge and if you work in the fashion industry, you must be aware of everything, as you essentially are making the news. If you are part of the fashion industry, you are the news! You can use your CV to demonstrate how you've been to fashion fairs and art exhibitions, how you have an extensive library of relevant and cult fashion books, how you can mention your favourite designer and show how you've studied their history, know all their muses, and what their high impact collections were. This all seems like a lot but if you have the drive, you must remember you will need to have this knowledge anyway for your job. Fashionista.com is a good place to start to really familiarise yourself with the goings on of the fashion world. I'll talk about interviews in another posts, but for one of my placements in the interview I was asked what magazines I read, and I said my favourites and said how I'm really not a fan of UK Vogue because I don't feel it's aimed at people like me, i.e. students who have no interest in going to a spa, etc. The interviewer said that was a good thing to hear because I can view magazines in the way of considering their target audience, I didn't just give off a reel of titles that I liked with no explanation.

Also show things that you have done that may not be aimed towards fashion, but you can show how you have had enthusiasm and drive in other areas and that you are now keen to direct them towards a job in fashion. Like I said above, for all the experiences and qualifications that you state, you must put why it's relevant. Even if you've done a course in learning Swahili, you can say how it shows you have drive to complete tasks you begin, and could bring your dedication to your internship. For every point you write about yourself, you should follow it with a statement saying either how you demonstrated it or what skill it required, and then follow that with a statement saying how it can be used at an internship with their company.

If you have no experience, hobbies or plans for the summer, volunteer! Volunteer in a charity shop to get some retail experience, volunteer with children or people with disabilities or older people or animals to show you are practical and responsible, and you are active and spend your time productively. I read a really funny article yesterday about a guy who had no joy finding a job after being a carer for years, so he stood by a main road for hours in the rain with a sign saying 'Please give me a job!'. A businessman stopped and drove him to his company to give him an interview, saying he was impressed that he was being active and determined! He said, "I thought if someone could stand there in that deluge - and it was absolutely torrential rain - then they must be determined to find a job. My attitude was the he would be an asset to any company." You need to be that determined!

What if I don't hear anything from my application?

Many places will not send you an email saying you were unsuccessful, so you can't count on any application. Keep researching your options and expanding your application genre, and keep carefully applying. Don't assume you have any place, even if they offer you an interview or say they are considering you. If you don't get it in the end, you will be back to square one with no options on the cards.

When talking to the lady who gave me the placement at the national newspaper fashion desk, she said she did get loads and loads of applications and it was a bit annoying if people emailed again a few days later saying 'did you get my email?????'. You must respect that the people you are applying to have jobs and tasks that need to be fulfilled over addressing emails from internship applicants, and not be mad or disheartened if you don't get acknowledged. My feelings were that if I applied and didn't hear anything, I didn't get the placement. If it was a more formal opening where they were definitely recruiting people for a certain place, it might be worth inquiring if they received your application OK in a few weeks time, but if the placement opening is ongoing and quite a big company where many people will apply, you should apply elsewhere or reconsider your application if you really love the place. Show your CV and covering letter to different people, get more advice, get more experience. Change your approach or time of day that you email. Just leave it at least two-three weeks before inquiring again, as my placements took at least a week to initially reply to my applications.

Don't be disheartened as your job is just round the corner and places will be looking for their ideal person, maybe you just aren't it at this time. There are so many people in your race that you can't dwell on each application, just keep going and you will be matched with your fateful placement soon enough!

I hope that was useful! As always, I'd be happy to answer any questions! Please keep in mind that you have to hunt out your own internship, but if you're stuck on something or if you are wondering about something, drop a comment below.

Blythe Picture from Kid Crayola Flickr


Hello Kitty, Play with us today

I haven't had the most productive day off as first I spent hours researching Blythe dolls and actually bought one, omg! It's a Pow Wow Poncho and was sort of a birthday present to myself as it seems weird to have it as a present off someone else when I ordered it myself. I just need to think of a name for her?! My favourite girl names are Queenie and Barbie, and I doubt I'd ever find a guy who would let me name any children those but Barbie isn't appropriate for a different doll! I'll wait until she arrives from Hong Kong to see if she looks like a Queenie! I'll have to find a great first outfit too.

 

The rest of the day was spent doing my nails. I did grow to like the white doves on black and a lot of you liked them too, but after a week I got bored and had saved loads of Hello Kitty nail inspiration from Fuck Yeah Pretty Nails and the nails category of the Hello Kitty Tumblr.

    

I tried!! You can't really go over and over the polish of nails and keep perfecting it because you mess it up even more and they go all lumpy, but I don't want to buy any nail pens as I already own a tonne of polish! I was using old liquid eye liner brushes but next time I'll make sure I'm in really bright daylight and go especially slowly. I know it would look neater if all the lines and dots were perfect but hopefully from afar they look OK! I also stuck on some pearls that I got in a nail art set from Poundland haha! On my right hand I've got pink and lilac leopard with pearls too.

 

Going to sort out the thumb! I mostly tried to follow a YT video and this girl does it absolutely perfectly! I can't embed it but click here if you want to see. I also made a video on gel nails on my YouTube channel! For those who wondered, these are what gel nails look like when you take off any polish.

 


In good Company with Whitney

Thank you to lovely @CazSchuh of My Stylisms for tweeting me that I was the 'Nice to tweet you' blogger in this month's Company magazine! I read Elle, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Company so I might have had mild shock if I'd turned the page and saw myself, even though it's a very teeny photo! I am not one to jump into the shot when a camera is pulled out so don't have many good photos of myself, and didn't know it would be a face shot! But I'm really proud Flying Saucer was featured in one of my favourite magazines and actually bought some to celebrate!

 

Also I'm especially excited that Whitney Port is the cover girl. I remember aaages ago I said on here that I didn't understand the point of The Hills, then promptly started watching all of the last few series, and so became a convert to The City! You get a great (if not staged) peek into the Elle US offices and can gather some tips on what not to do if you work in fashion (aka Olivia and Stephanie!). Also I LOVE Whitney! She's so cool and genuine but I mostly love her style and makeup. She's one of those people that actually has a true personal style and her outfits would look wrong on anyone else but her. She brings her gorgeous LA glowing tan and Chloé waves to New York so she immediately stands out, but her outfits always have a quirky print or material, especially lace. She doesn't accessorise very much either which is inspiration for my previous post on how I can't accessorise, as she pulls it off by having really beautiful clothes that look great quality, and has lovely skin and hair. She also wears really natural makeup so if you see a photo of her with loads on, it just looks strange! I might make a resolution to get my skin in tip top condition so you can throw on anything and look really put together and fresh.

The article has been shortened and changed a bit but you can click the picture below to enlarge it or I've added my original answers below! It was great that they printed some blogs I recommended that I was loving (and still do!) at time time. Thank you Company and YOU for reading this blog! xxx

SNV88515

What go you into blogging? 
There weren't many fashion mediums apart from magazines, and discovering some great blogs tempted me to share my thoughts too.

Tell us why we should log onto your blog? 
I chat about fashion and beauty that students can afford and access, and mix it with gossip, discussions and video blogs.

What's it all about? 
Mostly the things I'm thinking of buying or new trends I'm wearing, all my thoughts on fashion in one place.

What's your biggest fashion tip?
Keep new buys in the store bags with the receipts inside until you actually wear them. If not, send them back easily.

Where do you buy your clothes?
I fill my wardrobe with H&M and mix Topshop tights with American Apparel dresses for nights out. I keep tabs on ebay for unique buys.

Is blogging your only job? 
I'm a Management of Textiles student at Manchester Uni and am doing fashion internships in London now after studying in Sweden this year.

Top tip for interesting blog entry? 
Original pictures and content that inspire or make people laugh. Show your opinion and don't force yourself to post, blogging should be fun!

What other blogs do you love? 
I love Style Bubble, Diamond Canopy, Gem Fatale, The Clothes Horse, Canned Fashion, Discoteque Confusion, Fashionista, Thrills and Frills...


A birthday outfit

I wish it was OK to post mirror outfit shots with the camera in front of your face like the good old blogging days. Things were much faster and you had no worry of looking posed or awkward. Now standards are much higher than having a bathroom in the background and generally I see how they're a lot nicer to see, but if you haven't noticed recently I haven't been posting many pictures of my own outfits. The process of taking loads of photos of yourself and then choosing the most decent one isn't very fun and mine never turn out great anyway! Certainly I'm no great poser and definitely don't have the face for random snaps; I am a serial untagger! And it's not the people you don't know that you think about as hopefully readers come here because they want to see outfits, it's the people you do know that you worry will judge you for putting up loads of pictures of yourself and therefore looking like you're saying that they're really good! That might not be the case, but it definitely stops me. If I ever have to send photos anywhere from the blog for an interview or something, I never have any suitable!

 

Anyway, today my family went for a meal at San Carlo to celebrate my Nan's birthday and I got my brother to take a photo as I was wearing the River Island Miu Miu copies for the first time. Glad to report, they are quite easy to walk in! Stairs are a bit tricky because you feel super tall but walking down the street is fine. I also wore a River Island dress that I got in the sale for only £12, and looking at this photo really reminds me of something Alexa Chung might have worn. I can't find the exact photo I'm thinking of but I think it's sort of a mash up of these three. I'm loving the longer lengths in everything.

I still don't even have anywhere to live in Manchester yet as my friends have only just came home from their years abroad, but living at home with my family is turning me insane! My sister was taking a photo for me and this is just to prove how very annoying my brother is, pretending to pick his nose and casually on purpose wandering into the shots!

 

And this is my Mom and Nan, just wanted to post the pic to remind myself not to worry about aging as it was my Nan's 80th! You wouldn't think my Mom is 50 in a few years either. I'm 21 in a few weeks and to be honest I'm not really looking forward to it! It's all a bit embarrassing!! In February my sister and brothers are going to be 16, 18 and 20 all within four days and today they were saying they're going to have a huge Super Sweet 16 style party, and if 150 people showed up to my sister's 18th last year, I think it might be a bit insane.


my not so miu miu nails

I might have to rethink my local nail salon because as much as I like the lovely technicians, things are not looking so good. I know most of their clientèle particularly favourite nails with white tips and playboy bunnies, but today I took in a picture of the amazing Miu Miu-inspired nails doing the rounds on lots of blogs by Stop It Right Now (sorry I can't find her name anywhere!). They're black swallows on a pink background and I thought the salon might be able to do some freestyle but they could only find a stencil of doves, and then painted the base black. I would have stopped them but I was in there for nearly three hours as I got my gel nails removed and redone, and I wasn't watching intently the whole time! When the lady took out some black polish I thought it was for the birds, and once one nail was painted I just thought ah why not just see how it turns out this way. The birds ended up being white though and it does not look anything like how I wanted. Oh well!

I have work tomorrow and think I'm out after so I can't decide whether to paint them or have this design for a few days. Seems a terrible waste of a good polish to take it all off hours after doing it. I'll just have to make up for it with nice rings; I just got this sparkly skull ring in the post and love it! It's sold on Tanya Burr's website, an amazing makeup artist and vlogger with a huge YouTube channel. I'm doing a post on my favourite YouTubers soon but Tanya has fantastic tutorials and really useful haul and info videos, plus some really funny and entertaining daily life videos or tags with her boyfriend and family on her vlog channel. She's one of the few makeup artists on YouTube too who actually have favourite products and mention those often, rather than switching always and reviewing products sent for free even if they are not relevant or widely available.

The rings are sold out now but she gets new stock regularly and the skull rings are incredibly sparkly and the actual skull has little teeth and rounded cheekbones, it's actually kinda cute! I couldn't capture the Swarovski sparkles in the picture but sometimes it's hard to look at because it catches the light so much! Loads of customers asked about it when I wore it on Thursday and sadly two little crystals have fallen out. I was on the cash desk all afternoon so I'd probably save this for a less abrasive activity but I would wear it all the time otherwise.

I'm going to make a video possibly tomorrow on gel nails so I'll post it here too! If you bite your nails, they're the only way to go.


The Fashion Internship Guide - Part One

I have now wrote a book on fashion interning, containing  75 pages of my top tips and insider advice for aspiring fashion interns!
As your manicured helping hand, The Fashion Internship Guide offers all the advice on how you can gain valuable experience to build your CV, cultivate your USP, create a fantastic application, and excel in an interview; propelling yourself towards the working woman or man you wish to be. 

Download it here now!

image from flyingsaucer.typepad.com

Despite not being able to blog during the internship and work experience I did in May and June, I've referred to them quite a bit.  I don't get hundreds of emails from readers but often I'm asked about the course I do at Uni and about working in fashion. I study Management and Marketing of Textiles but it's a BSc (Bachelors of Science) instead of a BA degree (Bachelors of Arts). Therefore I don't really study fashion, and most of my modules hardly refer to it at all. Maybe because it's part of the Materials school and most degrees are materials science, engineering or medical based, but Manchester seems less keen to have a true fashion arts subject on the bill. Other textiles courses have design based modules, but of the four offered, mine definitely doesn't. When I say I study textiles and people assume I make clothes, they are very wrong! I just had a look at the Manchester site and now they offer Management and Marketing of Fashion Textiles, so maybe some modules have changed. Even so, the main thing readers really ask me is about whether to study fashion and how to decide if you want a job in the industry and what's the best thing to do. Many readers will be bloggers and I know many want to get a job in fashion. I haven't even finished my degree so I cannot advise on whether doing a degree and working in fashion is the way to go, but I have interned, and it seems it's a hugely valuable stepping stone into hopefully the career you want, whether that's in fashion or not. 

The hot topic in the news right now is that there are over 50 people applying for each graduate job, and it's obvious that just a degree to your name will not cut it for employers. I really wanted to share my thoughts and tips on interning as they're so popular today, especially in fashion. Shows like The Hills and Running in Heels have demonstrated that internships get your foot on the career ladder and give you access to events and features, while fictional films and shows like The Devil Wears Prada, SATC and Ugly Betty have glamourised the fashion industry, making it the most attractive and exciting place to be. But it worries me that so many people are influenced into thinking it would be sooo fabulous to work in fashion, or usually at a fashion magazine. It's like the go-to career for some girls and guys who aren't pulled in another direction but really like shopping, or feel it brings fame, fortune and fun. I've created a guide to all things concerned with interning, from why you should and shouldn't intern, how you organise an internship, how to prepare for an interview, how to prepare if you get the role, and how to survive the experience and dazzle your employers. It will hopefully give tips for all interns and people taking up any work experience placement, and as I was an intern, I can show the truth! I've read many sources around the subject and most information comes from employers or existing interns. As I completed my internships, I can give practical advice from a normal point of view. It's a chance to share all the things I found out while being right in the hub of the fashion industry so you may find it useful and interesting even if you're not thinking about a career in fashion! 

To make a few things clear though, I'm not going to  say exactly where I did my work experience as firstly, I'm not officially affiliated with the places so it's not fair for me to openly share things about them or associate myself with them now, and secondly, they would get loads of applications from people who are reading this with an intention of finding an internship, and it wouldn't be fair if they would have never gone to apply in the first place! Also I'm not saying I was a star intern and I am the best of the best, I w0n't say what's right or wrong but I'll give tips that I found out were true. My placements gave really good feedback and invited me back but I can think of ways I could have been better and improved myself, so it's quite cool to give the tips to others. My first work experience placement was in the fashion department of a huge national daily newspaper, including a prominent Saturday magazine, and the second internship was at a fashion PR agency, which had international brands, designers and labels, some veeery appealing! I wish I could say! This meant at the newspaper they were receiving promotions and samples from brands and PR agencies, and at the PR agency they were sending them out, so I got to see things from both sides. 

I hope you enjoy this guide and that it is useful to you! I've got all areas planned that I can think of and will have a special question and answer post and also some interviews with other interns hopefully, but if you have any special requests, please comment them below and I'll do my best to help!

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

What is an internship?

An intern will join a company for a short period of time and take on a small role, usually helping others or completing day to day tasks. In Britain they're usually unpaid, so the main gain for the intern is the chance to observe existing employees and find out how the company works and progresses, the routine of their job, and how the industry works. They gain knowledge that they can take onto other positions when they apply for jobs in the future, as they will know the general practices of the work industry they are aspiring to join. Once you've completed a placement, it will grab attention on your CV and show future employers that you are capable, willing and productive. There are also opportunities for the intern to make contacts through the people they meet and possibly, if they impress their employer enough, they may want to keep the intern in their company and offer them a job. The employee benefits as their staff members will have extra help and can delegate their more mundane and time-consuming tasks to the intern while they deal with their important work load.

Why do I need an internship?

When you take on an internship, you not only observe and gain an understanding of the work industry you have chosen, but you develop your own skills to apply to the working world. You don't come out with just a knowledge of how everything functions and what job roles entail, but your own attitudes change as you learn how to deal with a full time job, multi-task, receive direction and instruction, and meet many new people who will be living the dream, or at least living your dream!

Some industries require a strict educational path and others, like fashion, are a bit more diverse. Put yourself in the shoes of your employer always, and for this example think of what you would look for in an employee. If they have already been in a similar setting for a period of time and been given responsibilities there, they require a lot less training and adjustment. They know what is expected. But if you have spent the past years in school or working in a different area, you will need time to be trained and to adjust. If you have already interned, it is highly attractive to an employer as you are already capable in many areas. You personally will be a more rounded person in the field as you have observed the actions that are appropriate and positive, and have had time to adjust and feel comfortable.

It's also useful if you want a taster of the industry or the role you aspire to work in. You see the real day to day demands of an employee and get to figure out if you'd love to contribute too or if it's just not for you. And quite importantly, it's exciting! You get an inside peek into the world you'd love to dedicate your life to and meet people who inspire your studies. You may get to contribute to whatever your company is creating and you learn SO MUCH it's unreal. Even just knowing what the setting or office looks like is exciting. You'll walk away with a real sense of achievement and maybe like me, you could look at future magazine issues and say, 'I ironed that dress!'. The fashion industry is very networked and integrated as everyone uses other companies for different things. A brand will need PR agencies and manufactures and retailers to promote, create and sell products, and a magazine works with brands, retailers, and PR agencies to source stories and items. Everyone has a similar end goal: to create fashion trends that people buy into and enjoy, so people work together and create professional relationships. Once you have your foot in one door, you are exposed to hundreds of others, and so a fashion internship in one area will award you knowledge of how many different other areas work too.

Should I get an internship?

First you have to analyse your industry and determine what an employer looks for. Then analyse where you are right now in your studies or career. Do you already have skills that you can apply to the industry or could you do with more knowledge? Do you have experiences related to the industry or could you be more versatile?

There are many other alternatives to an internship that you might want to consider first. In terms of the fashion industry, your projects and coursework may showcase your talent. You might consider applying for a graduate scheme offered by many companies, where you jump straight into a paid role. When I applied to contribute an article in the fashion section of my University paper, I assumed there would be tough competition, when in fact they were asking for people. I'd assumed almost all girls on my course would head to the fashion section straight away, but then again I suppose not everyone is interested in fashion journalism or print. When one of my employers was looking for the next intern, after one interview she noted that the girl was the fashion editor of her university newspaper and was obviously impressed. It's all well and good putting your fabulous personality into words but some employers will look for practical experiences and accomplishments.

Do I need fashion qualifications?

Maybe the course or subjects you study are not immediately related to fashion but you want to work in the fashion industry. A lot of the members I met didn't have a degree in fashion and had qualifications in areas like Law, English and Economics, which have transferable skills. When choosing a subject to study, especially if you are paying for it at University, make sure it's something you enjoy and something you can excel at. I was originally going to study Maths at Manchester and it already felt a little off when at the interview, everyone was in suits with their parents and I'd just explored the Northern Quarter for vintage buys to see in my eBay shop. I got my place but by about May I realised I would always have to work to keep my head above water in the subject as I'm not a maths genius but I love sums and numbers!! Give me a quadratic equation any day my friends! I knew deep down that I wouldn't get the offered grades to get onto the course and didn't want to chance on them lowering them through clearing. I changed my degree and started looking for something involved with management or finance, and really chose it on a whim. In the beginning I didn't even want to work in fashion as I didn't think there were enough jobs in the field, but over time I realised I really wanted to be part of the industry. I don't think any course will turn out to be what you expected though and you should go on your instincts and whether the department and the city feel right for you. You don't need a degree in fashion to work in the fashion industry at all, so an internship would be a good bridge into it. Don't forget you could still work in a different area that dabbles in fashion, for instance law or accounting.

 

Do I want to work in fashion?

Also ask yourself why you want to work in the fashion industry? You may think it looks like a cool industry and want to be part of it, but do you have what it takes? I'd love to be a famous pop star but I definitely cannot sing, and I'd absolutely love to be a model but I don't look like one. TV shows like The Hills make it seem like it's for everyone. To work in fashion you have to be totally forward thinking, as the industry works seasons ahead. You have to have a natural drive to find out what's cool and what people are buying and wanting, even if it's not your style. You must be confident in talking to new people and dealing with the unknown, and have a cool head in tough situations. You need to feel a drive to put things out there and give other people inspiration and incentives to view and consume fashion. You must have the want to dedicate lots of time to a full on job as there are many girls ready to put in more hours than you and go that extra mile to complete the work load. You have to have the ability to turn things out well and complete all your tasks to your best ability, along with being responsible and mature. Fashion doesn't sleep, and neither will you for a few years while you are low in the fashion food chain! 

There are many different jobs in fashion and if you want to work in the hub of the industry then generally you need to get experience, but you could work just outside the industry and in other areas of retailing or finance or creative arts. If you just see yourself at a well known magazine or brand, than you need to rethink because it's the glamour that is attracting you, rather than the key characteristics of the job.

Do I have what it takes to be an intern?

Even if you think 'yes! I'm ready to dedicate my whole young adult life to fashion!', then do you have what it takes to be an intern? Being an intern is tough stuff. I'll go into this later but interning is very stressful and quite scary! You are thrown in at the deep end in a real life fashion setting and it's never how you imagined. You're dealing with real clients and real money and if you loose a garment or forget to send an email or address the wrong package, the repercussions are on you. Other employees have their own jobs to do rather than spending valuable time training you, so you must be a fast learner and make an effort to be precise and observant. You must have a cool head and mature attitude to given tasks. You need loads of respect for your company and must put 100% into your time there, and not have the sort of thinking where you have one late night with friends at the end of the week and show up a little worse for wear one morning.  If this all sounds daunting, you just need a natural can-do attitude and realise that these jobs need to be doing; you are there to help in any way given, even if they are tiring or tedious.

When should I get an internship?

In the UK, generally a work experience placement will be for a few weeks and a company will set them up with government backing, whereas internships are usually more flexible. First you should consider your age and when you'd be free to dedicate time. If you're still in school, you do some work experience in Year 10 and your school will help you find your ideal place, but you also have the summer holidays. If you're at college or Uni, you may have longer holidays and fewer hours of class, so you could apply for a placement where you dedicate a few days a week or a whole holiday at Christmas or Easter. You'll really be able to give a useful amount of time and get your teeth into a place if you can give your whole summer, or a couple of months. Some courses require a year in industry for school credits and certain companies offer these, such as River Island and Debenhams. If you are applying for University courses, it may be useful to ask if a year in industry placement is available.

I didn't do my internships until one year before I graduated so don't stress! You could do one after you've completed your studies or even not at all; by the looks of Facebook show-offs, girls on my course seem to have jobs lined up now they've graduated without interning. You should consider the types of job you'd like to do and whether you need experience to be the best at one. Some places train you or like qualifications, some will want to see that you know what the job entails and have developed skills already. 

Don't be too ambitious and imagine you'll spend a whole Christmas holiday working every hour or an entire summer long. Be realistic and put your main priorities first. I'd love to do another internship but I know I'll have to spend my Christmas and Easter holidays revising for final year exams, and they sadly take a lot of dedication. You should organise an internship when you can really put 100% into it and have time before to plan and prepare. I was back in the UK for a month before mine.

It's essential to apply in as far in advance as possible. Some placements are booked up even a year in advance! I applied for mine in February but I was at an advantage because most students were doing exams in May and June, whereas I'd completed all mine over the year. I'll go into it more in another post, but you should state when you are free as clearly and accurately as possible, because you may be offered something at short notice.

Where should I get an internship?

I was quite open minded about my placement as there were many areas that I wanted to try out, so I started by making a list of the dream places I'd love to be at and applied to them first if possible. I then started brain storming and thinking outside the box. There's not just the ten high street shops and designers that come to your head or the magazines stocked in your local newsagents; many different companies make up the fashion industry and you need to really pinpoint what angle you like the best; marketing? forecasting? merchandising? buying? finance? law? graphics? design? manufacturing? The list is endless, so you need to figure out where your talents lie and match them up to what's out there.

One major flaw in the whole plan could be where you live. Sadly, if you don't live in London, your chances of getting one outside the city are low. Most fashion companies in the UK are based in London so you could commute if you live close enough or plan to stay there for a bit. I rented a room that I found on Crashpadder (tip: zoom out of the map for more houses) for some weeks and stayed with friends also. Because my placements weren't paid, I essentially paid to be there. As I left Sweden early, I had some money that I would of spent on rent there to spend on rent in London, but don't forget you need living costs and transport costs, but luckily one of my placements paid my travel expenses. I took the gamble and paid my own money because I know I'll make it back in the future by hopefully having wider job opportunities. Also, like I said before, it was exciting and fun! I could have stayed with friends the whole time but I knew after a week of sharing beds with my mates in a student house, I wouldn't be the best worker!

Unfortunately internships may be a bit elitist then, as not everyone can afford to do them. Like I said above, there are plenty of ways to get involved in fashion and demonstrate your skills otherwise. Before you apply, again don't be too ambitious with offering time or money, as it's tempting to say yes yes yes to every offer so people definitely take you on. The last thing you want to do is cancel your placement well down the line when you realise you have no where to stay or no funds, as people are relying on you and it will already give you a bad name with one company.

How should I get one?

 

One of the skills you need during an internship is to be good at researching and creating ideas, using the internet to your advantage. I had a little debate with myself on whether to actually create this guide because I never read one before my internships and I still haven't graduated and (cross fingers) got a job, so really all the people reading this will be in competition with me! It might not be wise to give a helping hand to others in the race for jobs with me but as the oldest of four and being generally productive myself, I like to give advice! So I'm not going to give a list of all the internships available and spoon feed here, as if I can find internships, you can too! There are sites that companies advertise on, and most brands will have a special section on their own sites that give information on their work experience policies. In the next post I'll give tips on your application. One thing's for sure, you need to keep applying as you might get lucky on your fifth application or your 100th. You may get replies the same day or four weeks later. It's foolish to dwell on one reply, get onto the next one!

Hope that was useful! Tell me what you think and if there's anything special you'd like to see!

Blythe Picture from Kid Crayola Flickr


teen dreams

 

I'm just coming to the end of my diary and will probably hit Paperchase for a new one, but it's still full of random to-do lists with endless ideas. I love lists! Especially when reading magazines and browsing blogs, I always jot down things to look up and find when I've got a spare minute. I might get a Filofax as Gala Darling makes them sound amazing! One thing I've been meaning to do for a while is subscribe to some teen magazines. Maybe before I didn't have the funds to throw on things that I didn't actually need but I don't subscribe to any magazines at all, even if it's better value! I got my Mom a Glamour subscription for Mother's Day so they're sorted when I'm at home but there hasn't been any great freebie subscription gifts with Elle in the past months to persuade me, despite me buying it every month anyway. In fact I'm a bit fed up with the past few issues as they're getting a bit predictable and there's not a huge amount of content? I appreciate the high quality over quantity but I do like magazines like Glamour and Look that keep throwing pieces and articles at you.

But the reason I bought Bliss, Sugar and Shout yesterday was because I'd love to work at a teen magazine, it's my dream job! One reason is because I'm definitely a bit more youthful for my age? I would say young for my age but I don't think you can say that at 20, it's not like I'm going around acting like a 17 year old by partying in parks instead of clubs! But my birthday is right at the end of the school year so I've always been one of the very youngest in the class, and especially when I got to Uni, I realised there are lots of girls who just seem to be a bit more mature? Many people at uni are quite affluent and at 18, a large majority of girls already wore designer makeup and went for cocktails, and probably wouldn't touch my sailor dresses and Hello Kitty swag with a bargepole!

Also I was OBSESSED with magazines when I was a teenager. The internet only really came into homes when I was about 16, so from the age of 11 to 15, magazines were the only source of information and gossip about anything! Other than my five best friends at school and all the other girls in my class, there was no other access to different girls or boys. I'd go home from school, watch teens in Byker Grove or Grange Hill, and that was it. As I went to a girl's school, I didn't know any boys, and developed a crush on all of my friend's brothers at least once! Even shops were simply a sales room of clothes rather than providing the diverse offering that they do now. So in the  early noughties, if you were a young teen, there wasn't a lot on offer! If you had a fashion interest, you could only satisfy it with magazines or books. There's no interaction with teens across the country and the only way I could see what other girl's lives were like and the things they were doing and the problems they had were through magazines! If you are a teen reading this, could you survive if the internet shut down completely? So I devoured magazines and regarded them like bibles each month. If there was a fashion spread, it as your only source of fashion, so I would follow it religiously and know that it was the absolute only fashion out there. You and your friends grow up together so you learn things at the same time, and as I am the oldest of four, I didn't have any older role models. Teen 'zines were my role models! I still can only read 'young adult' books now too because I loaned out almost the whole bookcase in the library over time and really don't like today's adult chick lit, which is always man-obsessed and the characters work in an office. I used to hit the beauty section too, which compromised of some naff DIY beauty recipe books. In fact I just remembered that the library was the only place with internet and I used to go after school and play games! It was the only thing to do online back then.

Everybody in my year at Uni has just graduated, as there are hundreds of girls on my course and in my Uni school, but only about ten did the study abroad year. I d0n't know why so many decide not to go live in another country, no strings attached, but I suppose it's not for everyone. Still you can't ignore all the statistics on graduate jobs and just because you have a degree, it doesn't mean you're qualified. If I'm graduating at the same time with hundreds of girls (and a few guys) next year from my course who are all applying for the same jobs, you have to imagine ways you can offer more. I'd love to work at a teen magazine and it was a teen dream come true when I was featured Bliss magazine last year, but how can I hope to be hired by people if I have nothing to offer apart from a certificate and completed exams? Sure I loved teen magazines and remember all my favourite features and articles, especially since once I'd read the month's issue, I'd have nothing else to read so poured over old issues! But I converted to Glamour and More when I was about 16 and went to college, so I am not clued up on the teen magazine world now. America has Nylon and Teen Vogue, which is a but more fashion based, but British teenagers do not need to aspire to designer clothes because the high street here is amazing! Not that it isn't in America, Forever 21 is coming over here soon! But Topshop set the majority of fashion trends here.

So I picked up the best magazines and studied up! I might subscribe to just one or maybe pick up a couple with the best freebies each month, as you really do get a lot! Sugar comes with a Barry M lipgloss that smells SO good and two liners, and you can eat the lollipop while reading! The only things that have changed are the prices and that all three magazines are much thinner than when I used to buy them. I love the embarrassing moments and real life stories! And of course they are all Twilight, Bieber and Disney OBSESSED!! Luckily my sister is a Twihard fan and has a humongous Edward poster so I can give all the freebies and booklets to her. Don't even ask why she has a mannequin in her room, it was originally for an Art project and is called Pauline as it's from my Nan's friend Pauline, who has a shop called er, Pauline! Now we put her in front of the webcam and go on Chat Roulette, waving her plastic arm haha!

Do you know your dream job? It took me years and years to decide on one thing I'd aspire to do and I get lots of emails from girls who feel confused and crowded by options. Don't worry if you have no idea, take all opportunities given and take the challenging but rewarding road!


help! can't accessorise!

I'm really, really bad at accessorising. I just can't do accessories! I don't really understand how you accessorise well. If Coco Chanel said you should remove one piece of jewellery before you leave the house, I would be wearing -1. All my clothes are so different and an accessory like a necklace, for example, seems to need to be the right length and style to go with each single top or dress, and how can you own an accessory for everything?! I may be generalising but if I put a certain necklace with 95% of my wardrobe, it won't look great, and then there may be one outfit that it suits. I just can't accessorise!

 

When I shop I always have something in mind and it's hard to aim for an accessory because they're all so different. When browsing the accessory section of a store, everything seems so fancy in it's own right that nothing jumps out as something I could continuously wear. The high street often only seems to offer bronzed, boho or retro, plastic stuff, which I can't imagine wearing. When I put together an outfit, to me it looks fine without accessories because all the elements are enough for me, but I can see how amazing jewellery can make or break one. I do think really eye-catching pieces boost an outfit into a really well thought-out and cleverly styled area and I can see they're like the cherry on the cake. Jen Brill's wrist bling totally makes the outfit above by adding a lux and glamourous element to an otherwise edgy outfit. I love overly girly, pimped out styles with loads of makeup and big hair and bright heels for going out at night, and I would love to wear some fab extras to make an outfit more fun. 

 

Models don't really wear accessories in photo shoots and on the runway unless it's a highly edited piece that the outfit wouldn't be without, and I'm trying to get my head around how I can emulate that. Often you see major statement pieces out there, especially by Freedom jewellery which I always check out in Selfridges as the concession in much bigger there than in Topshop, with a better sale too! You know the humongous necklaces you see out there in every collection? They're something I'd never buy because it feels like the outfit built around requires a delicate balance. I always forget the accessories I own and it's a bit time consuming to check everything out and untangle chains. I'm going to hunt on eBay for a ring box like the one above! Belts and scarfs? Forget it! In my mind it's an impossible task to comb stores for the perfect belt. Maybe it's because clothes are generally unique when you buy something original and exciting, but every shop has tonnes of accessories and I'd feel I'd have to check it allll out before buying one thing. I used to impulse on cheap jewellery when I used to shop in Primark but I don't anymore and the novelty of my buys wore off so quickly that I'd hardly every go to wear them.

 

It's my aim to get better at all this and it won't be hard in the next few months as I have to wear a uniform t-shirt with jeans for work and so have free reign over shoes and jewellery. To tempt myself I'm going to try and wear rings all the time. The more mis-matching, the better with rings it seems! I hate things jangling around and basically hitting me when I walk like giant pendants but I can do a few bangles easily enough, and maybe some earrings? It's my summer resolution! I picked up these rings in the sale today and may injure myself with this major knuckle duster bling but nothing makes you feel more elaborate and even delicate than a huge ring. I'd love an over-sized, misshapen crystal ring but they all seem quite pricey online, but the amber heart is one step in the direction. The bracelet wasn't in the sale but it matches Lady Gaga's Viva Glam MAC lipstick perfectly, and like my friend Ellie said, wearing it makes you feel cool by association! The triple ring is a little big but I just thought of getting a teeny, clear plastic hair tie and wrapping it just above the ring on a finger a couple of times to create a barrier? Hopefully by the end of the summer accessorising will be more natural as 95% of the time I leave the house with NO jewellery at all, even when going out at night! Do you find it easy to wear accessories? Do you pick them at random and throw them on and go, or spend time selecting the best ones to suit your outfit?

 

Pics from To Love With Studs, Dirty Little Style Whore, Jewellery from River Island.


no more nibbling!

If you're a long time reader, you may remember aaaages ago (well, one year), I finally kicked my nail biting habit when I got gel nails. I'd bit my nails for a whole decade and there was no way I would ever naturally stop biting them, unless I never wanted to read a book again or get stressed! But gel nails work great on even the teeniest nails and your natural nails grow perfectly underneath. At the nail salon they do expect you to wear them very long and even when I requested them to keep being cut down, I still found it really weird to have them and after about a week they started snapping or cracking one by one, either due to chopping food or knocking them. But they managed to grow and I've been painting them obsessively ever since, and am now an official Barry M loon.

But in the past few weeks when I was just sorting out the end of the year, I wasn't changing my polish as it would have been a waste, and a couple of nails broke. I've been staying at my Nan's loads and as she doesn't have the internet, I've been reading loads, and that's when I don't even notice I've bitten off all my nails! So they were looking a sorry state when I was about to go for a job interview last week and so, during an England match, I popped to a local salon and has more gel saviours! Sadly they turned out a little unexpected.

 

The nail artists were all from Vietnam and not only did I leave with a few sayings, I also left with some superbly chav-tastic creations! I got powder gel this time and they are so strong and thick that there is no way they would EVER snap off. You have to be careful not to catch them on anything encase they pull up the nail they are stuck to, ouch! But it is amazing to have absolutely perfect nails and they paint like a dream. I didn't request any colours but the lady brought over a fluorescent green and a pink polish and alarm bells started ringing! Hot green and pink thick nails? That's not going to impress a high street fashion store if I'm repping some fantastic plastic! I didn't want to boss anyone around and things were getting lost in translation anyway so I suggested pink and blue, but it turned out the plan was for white tips with streaks and glitter. Really not me at all!!

 

Thankfully the designs just came straight off and I went for a Barry M lilac for the interview, where I saw all the girls have long nails anyway (can you guess the store?)! It's been a funny day today though where it's suddenly the middle of the evening and I was feeling pretty unproductive after spending hours trying to catch up with my google reader, to no avail. Then I remembered one of the fantastic Tuesday Tips from gorgeous Gem of Gem Fatale, an amazingly thrifty and creative blog, and it has actual English student-type references! I think I've been brainwashed by all the blog posts I've read today but it is truly nice to read fashion gossip that's actually understandable and accessible. I'm subscribed to too many blogs that are all five-billion-pound-camera shots and daily 5inch designer heels. Also I've been reading Gem Fatale for ages! Truly one of my favourite blogs.

One of Gem's previous Tuesday Tips was how to DIY some Wah inspired leopard print nails, including a very funny video! It was very easy to follow and now I've got one hand of marvy nails for work tomorrow, which might make up for having to wear jeans for the time being. Haven't worn skinny jeans in years arghhh!

  

I used NYC Long Wearing Nail Enamel 108A Polyester Pink Creme (GREAT pink but quite streaky at first), Barry M Nail Paints in 279 Bright Pink and 47 Black, and Sally Hansen Double Duty Strengthening Base and Top Coat.


H! look at me!

Picture me rushing down crammed Oxford Street on one of the hottest days of the year, hair shoved in what earlier resembled a bun (not a cool Scandinavian top knot but a attempt at any style that satisfied getting hair out of the way), crumpled t-shirt, and makeup, what makeup? That sweated off hours ago! Is this any way to go to a press event? Probably not, but oh well. I don't go to many press things as you know I don't live in London and I'm not quite sure people like to read about them? But I was invited to an event at Debenhams and, as I used to work there aiding the nation's bust, I have a little soft spot for the store. I've just started working in another high street store for the summer and the manager who interviewed me had managed in Debs before and said, 'I know if you can do the lingerie section at Debenhams over Christmas, you can do anything!' But I had been doing all the things that make up an internship during the day of the event and really I have a blog, not a modeling contract! It probably was worse not to have ate since 1pm so by 7 I definitely passed on the champagne!

 

The event was for the current and future H! by Henry Holland collections, where I suppose Debenhams are being quite kind as most other high street x designer collabs have you camping outside the store at 4am. The sad thing is I'm not sure the target market frequents Debenhams as much as Primark or Topshop, and I suppose events like this are meant to change that. My camera wouldn't have made much of a dent so I only snapped one photo, but there were two full racks to browse. It was mostly school inspired stuff like blazers with checked lining, random prints like giraffe leggings, and mismatching patterns like a colourful playsuit. We were kindly told there we could generously take home two things and, like when you have just been paid or have been gifted store vouchers, you have no idea what to choose! 

Everyone on earth now seems firmly addicted to maxi dresses and nearly all the bloggers at the event made a beeline for this dress. I have a mental radar warning me automatically against grey as it washes out my skin-tone. As much as I'd love to try grey jersey and studs and ripped tees, it just doesn't suit me. But as time went by chatting to the bloggers there, my future trend radar started warming up and I know khaki is going to be huge in Autumn. Army prints have been popping up in unexpected places and as trends are always in cycles, I'm starting to wish I still had all my Spice Girsl-esque army print stuff from the '90s, especially a mini backpack with one of those push fastenings. The smaller sizes had been snagged but you could put your name down for the next batch, so I've been eagerly awaiting this dress in the post. My house number was a little mixed up on the package but somehow the postman must know what house a Selina lives in; most probably because he has to lug my packages down the road all the time! Sorry Postie!

 

This dress could be quite the miracle dress, but I don't do it justice, I do it too much justice! I'm not tooting my own horn, let me explain. There are definite design skills here because the black vertical seams of the dress as already sewn in a curved shape, and the ties at the waist are adjustable, so it gives you an hourglass automatically. The green section gives the illusion that that's the main silhouette of the front of your body, making you appear slimmer. And somehow it's flattering on my tiny bust as there's the separate grey section, and if you notice it slopes down underneath, creating a fuller illusion, and there are strong-looking straps to make it appear there is something worth supporting! It doesn't attract attention to what's missing and gives a balanced look. Yet some bloggers, after taking one look and saying 'there's no way my boobs will fit in that dress', tried it on and loved it! The straps are adjustable so that might help, but this would also make the dress a bit shorter or longer if needed, and it even has a slit up to just below the knee, letting you move and flash your ankles, oh my!

The problem is this dress is too flattering! I live in the second biggest city in England and I could not walk around in this dress, even in flats. I would not take a photo from the side in the dress as I've said many times, I'm very bootylicious, and the close cut and the lines of this dress enhance that dramatically. I'm already hourglass-y so the dress is less casual and more hello boys. I've had some trouble with maxis so far because the close cut ones suit me the best as fuller ones that hang from the bust would make mine look smaller and make me look bottom heavy, so they have to show my waist but also go back in at the bottom or I'd look like I had a small top half and big bottom half. So I'm afraid even in London, people (well, men) have leaned out cars to make remarks, and especially where I live in Birmingham, aka chav and general 'lad' haven, you generally can't walk around without looks, calls, and comments anyway. I've addressed this before on my blog and at least in London you have the freedom of everyone being super busy and commuting around constantly, so you don't notice one person or spend much time thinking about them as you genuinely pass thousands each day. But when I'm innocently argan oil shopping on my local high street and some guys are waiting at the bus stop (with a pram too!), you're probably one of the very few girls aged between 16 and 25 that they'll see, and if you have something that's unexpected, you are going to hear a purposely loud 'look at the arse' remark. 

It's a catch 22 situation that one of your, or at least one of my, natural and enforced daily aims is to be attractive. Not necessarily to every eye or to the 'norm', but I have to satisfy my own degree of attractiveness. I guess everyone has a level when they go out that determines whether they think 'today I feel a bit minging as I crashed at a friends after that 3am take-away' or think 'today I'm wearing my new top and feeling great!'. When I go out [Edit- as in to a club] I do wear body con dresses because I want to attract guys. It gets a bit tiresome if you get those annoying comments in clubs still, or if people take photos of you or literally assault you, which has happened to me because of my derrière, but you can hope for the proportion of people who will say I like her figure, wonder what her personality is like? So my point is, during the daytime I'm not on the pull and despite it being great if people think you look nice, I don't have an interest in attracting any unwanted attention. The solution is to fold the dress up until autumn and wear a thigh skimming jacket, or preferably my Monki hoodie with furry pom pom ties!

Despite my rant, this dress would be amazing on girls who want to enhance their whole figure, as the dress does wonders on every size it seems. Remember us bloggers are of course real ladies of all shapes and sizes, and I'm guessing at least half walked away from the event with this dress. I was going to exercise my new found sustainable habits and come away with just the one item, but I spotted the dress below and it had my sister's name all over it. Well it has flowers all over it and not 'Chloe', but anything with a bustier top is amazing on her. I took this dress away on the day but it's taken me weeks just to track her down and get a pic as even when I snapped this, her friends were in the garden on pre-lash (read: getting drunk before going out). With siblings aged 19, 17 and 15, my house is like a youth club and I can't even spend a day in my pyjamas on my computer without teenagers raiding the fridge and getting up to no good. I can say this because I'm 21 in a month and officially a grown up, gosh!

 

The maxi dress isn't out yet but this dress has been reduced in the Debenhams sale from £38 to £11.40?! And my sister has a fabulous but balanced figure with one of the largest bra sizes, and she says the cups are fine. Maybe Mr Holland worked his designing tricks with it too?

 

In true blogger style, I must say a shout out and a hiii to the people I met at the event, who were Natalie (and her friend!) from Canned Fashion, Fiona from SOS! Save Our Shoes, Reena from Fashion Daydreams, and then for the first time I met Amy from Wolf Whistle, Carina from Carina 100, Kirsty from Belle Fantaisie, and Dina from She Loves Mixtapes. Dina gave me some lovely feedback on my blog and she looked absolutely divine, the sort of outfit I might have to go up to someone and say wow, you look fantastic!

Also, what do you guys think of blogging about press events? If you don't have a blog but certainly read blogs, do you honestly like to read those posts?