How to style menswear – adding a masculine edge to your wardrobe

How to style menswear – adding a masculine edge to your wardrobe

“Forever a wardrobe staple, forever a never ending quest to find ‘the one’.”

Ah the humble, white shirt. Forever a wardrobe staple, forever a never ending quest to find ‘the one’. I not so ashamedly have a pretty large collection, with which I would ditch in an instant in favour for my growing repertoire of mens shirts. From about the ages of 7-11 I was a pretty big tomboy – boys clothes, matching with my brother, camo print galore, etc, etc. This has definitely channeled its way into my new adult life and thus, into my shirt collection.

I’ve never particularly enjoyed fitted clothes, particularly on the top half, I have no idea why, but I have grown to favour a slouchy sillhouette. I’ve worn oversized shirts countless times on the blog, such as here and here and god help me if I ever tire of them, as I’ll have nothing to wear! Through my quest to find the perfect, oversized shirt I’ve come to find that in actuality, menswear does it so much better – so here’s my little guide on how to style menswear and give your wardrobe that masculine edge (camo and pokemon tee’s not required)

A multi-seasonal god-send

Nothing beats the effortless drape of an oversized shirt, hanging ever so slightly from your shoulders, tucked into some killer, fitted denim.   A classic, white will always be a winner, particularly when paired with a punchy, red lip. Experiment with colours too – blush pink is killer come spring and summer, paired with light wash denim. Come Autumn and Winter, layer over some leather trousers, boots and a wool jacket to nail layering for colder months.

Make Pinterest your bestie

Pinterest, over the last several months, has become nothing less than a sartorial lifeline when I feel like I can’t get myself dressed in the mornings! Some days I can be overwhelmingly inspired and others, stuck in a style rut with not way out except my pyjamas and slippers – I can pass that as cosy-chic, right? I started to compile Pinterest folders over on my Pinterest from seasons to occasions, meaning that whenever I get stuck, I’m only a click away from a wardrobe revamp.

I’m the type of kid that likes to cut out her fave outfits and editorials from Vogue and Elle and stick them all over the place (how damn, cliche!) But this is what’s inspired me for years, keeping a collection of pretty things that I love, so I feel like Pinterest was a natural progression. Not sure what shoes to pair with an outfit? Struggling to know what would compliment your oversized, frill adorned shirt? Pinterest will pull up a multitude of stylish options, which you can save into a little folder to look at whenever you fancy (this ALWAYS helps me, without fail!)

Flirt with masculine silhouettes paired with feminine touches

Nothing makes me happier (or defines my style more) than a delightful mix of masculine and feminine. This is also perfect for those of you who are new to experimenting with menswear and masculine shapes. I don’t feel right if I’m wearing a head to toe masculine outfit, nor do I feel comfortable in a super, girly ensemble – I need to mix the two in order to feel like myself. If you don’t feel right in a look, play around with pieces – your jacket, shoes, bags – balance out the masculine and feminine elements of your outfit until you feel amazing!

My fave masculine/feminine combos:

– Oversized shirts + High waisted jeans (straight legged or skinny are my fave!

– Slouchy, boyfriend jeans + Heels, to add sophistication

– Floaty & ruffled dresses + Denim and biker jackets to toughen a look

– Maxi/midi dresses + boots for the perfect summer festival combo

– Oversized tee’s + bright lips ( a pop of pink, red and coral for summer and a deep plum for autumn/winter

– Tailored trousers + cosy, soft and chic knitwear

– Distressed denim + silk camis and blouses

SHOP MY TOP, MASCULINE PICKS

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I hope you guys are loving this pop of colour I’m embracing at the moment, I was also so impressed with how colourful my recent ASOS haul was! I’d love to know whether you’re a seasoned, colour expert or like myself, are only just dabbling your foot into this new world!

I’ve also got so much Spring style & travel, goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

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A Luxury English escape: What to do in The Cotswolds

A Luxury English escape: What to do in The Cotswolds

“There were pool parties, moustaches, sombreros, lots of food, Prosecco and Pimms!”

If you lovelies are subscribed to my Youtube Channel or follow along on Insta you’ll know that last week we were whisked off to The Cotswolds by the wonderful guys at The Blogger Programme and Kate and Toms for a few days of luxury and relaxation! There were pool parties, moustaches, sombreros, lots of food, Prosecco and Pimms! We were all taken aback by the sheer beauty and kind of felt like we were in Hogwarts with the tall, stoned walls, ivy climbing every crevice and history around every corner!

I wrote about the importance of taking a break and my little London staycation here, but this time we headed off somewhere a little bit rural and off the grid! Wherever it is you’re staying, and whoever with, I thought I’d put together a little mini guide to the ultimate Luxury, English escape and what to do The Cotswolds! From were we stayed, what we ate to what we did, as well as showing you around our beautiful Mansion for a few days and what you can expect from a little retreat away from the world!

Where to stay

 

As much as I love hotels, for me, a countryside retreat wouldn’t be complete without staying in one of the many, stunning manor houses they have to offer – I’m obsessed with finding out the history behind them too! If you’ve watched the vlog you’ll notice me and Emma questioning the slightly eery hanging portraits! Kate and Toms have SO MANY properties on their books, this is just the selection to choose from inThe Cotswolds! We stayed in the incredible Marsden Manor  in Rendcomb which has a whopping 10 bedrooms and sleeps 20! I feel like somewhere like this would be perfect for a milestone birthday or celebration away!

It was a bloggers paradise and we ALL made sure to make use of the marble walled bathrooms, deep blue pool and immaculately manicured lawns for some photos opps! It had such a homely, cosy feel and we all agreed that it would be so, insanely magical at Christmas time too to stay somewhere like this! The bed in my room was the comfiest I had ever slept in, I literally sank in and woke to the birds chirping outside my window – bliss!

What to do

We had a wonderful packed couple of days but just enough time left to take in the beautiful views, tranquility and atmosphere of The Cotswolds! I thoroughly recommend making wonderful food plans whilst you’re away – it’s such a lovely sociable time and a great way to get to know people and have amazing conversations into the night! Get outdoors too – rain or shine! Go for a jog, a walk up the hills, check out nearby horse riding, cycling or whack your yoga matt out on the lawn! We also had a super cosy room filled to the brim with blankets for movies and boardgames!

It would also be rude NOT to have a pool party when you have a heated outdoor pool too (because when are pools EVER warm in England!) Complete with inflatable donuts, unicorns and pimms for the perfect sunny afternoon! No Pool? Find a nearby river and have a paddle and a picnic! We also had the lovelies from Blossom & Jasmine come and treat us all to a pamper session with Massages and Manicures which was total bliss! There’s so many hidden Gems in The Cotswolds, immerse yourself in the local culture and things to do – we went for a Brewery Tour before dinner which was so much fun! 

What to eat

Whether you’re self catering and whipping up a delicious meal for your friends and family, getting someone else to come and cook for you or dining at a restaurant – it’s always an occasion to look forward to! Dining is hugely sociable and I love dinner party conversations and sitting around a table with a good bottle of wine! We had an insane collection of wines from freshly bottled Bellini’s to fine reds from Sporting Wine, which well and truly kept us hydrated throughout our stay 😉 On our last evening we all sat around the table after we’d finished eating and talked about everything and anything until late, it’s these kind of occasions that I love! Breakfast and lunch were delicious and fresh, a beautiful spread put on by The Blogger Programme girlies – freshly bakes croissants, strawberries, avocado, granola – eating your breakfast outside in the sunshine is a must in the Cotswolds!

For our first dinner we had a full on Mexican party (complete with furry moustaches and sombreros if you’ve seen the vlog 😉 ) an amazing feast from Hello Fresh. (you can actually grab a cheeky discount with the code ‘primrose50’ 😉 ) Mexican is my absolute fave, so to say I was excited would be an understatement! Then for our final evening we had the incredible guys from Las Tapitas cook us an incredible and authentic array of Spanish Tapas – this was such a treat and I highly recommend if you’re self catering for a night off! They explained every dish, the origin and even labelled things so we knew what was GF, vegan, etc! If you’re staying really rural and far from any eateries, self catering is such a lovely way to have fun with cooking whilst being sociable – hello summer BBQ and Pimms!

 

Shop my fave, summer escape picks

 

I hope you guys enjoyed having a little peek at what we got up to – such a wonderful way to kick start summer! Remember you can catch the vlog below (to see my stupidity in all its glory!) so make sure you’re subscribed loves!

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by myself and the wonderful Emma – you can catch her blog post here!


Once again a ginormous thank you to The Blogger Programme & Kate and Toms for the wonderful experience, Hello fresh & Las Tapitas for the DELISH food and Blossom & Jasmine for our little (well needed) pamper sesh!

Also a big old thank you to Thomas Sabo, Charlotte Tilbury, Soak and Sleep, White Glo and Ice watches for our wonderful goodies!

Watch the vlog!

Dressing for your holiday destination (and what to pack!)

Dressing for your holiday destination (and what to pack!)

“I wanted to insure I packed a suitcase that would see me through (stylishly!) every twist and turn of our journey!”

If you guys have been following along on the old Instagram, you would have seen, been holiday spammed and saw that last month I jetted off to sunny Spain, to explore the alternative side of Benidorm with Jet2Holidays! You guys wouldn’t believe the beautiful views and scenery and I am BEYOND excited to share the travel vlog with you soon on my channel – what a whirlwind 3 days! We ate at wonderful restaurants, drank copious amounts of sangria and took in the most breathtaking views over Benidorm and the Spanish Coast! With that in mind, I wanted to insure I packed a suitcase that would see me through (stylishly!) every twist and turn of our journey!

Packing can be both super fun and excite you even more for your time away, but also super stressful! I like to think I’m quite skilled in the packing department, my inner Monica Bing from friends definitely comes out, as well as countless checklists! So I’m sharing a few tips which have helped myself, as well as hopefully help you guys stylishly make the most of your holiday, whether it’s a weekend staycation in the UK or hitting the beaches of California!

“Be a savvy traveller and check out the climates before you jet off as well as tailoring your wardrobe to you activities!”

First of all, and probably most obviously – check out the climates for the time of year you’re going! A week or a few days before – check the temperatures – will you need jackets, raincoats or boots? A little fan to help with the heat? My fave for keeping my cool is a nice, water face mist (SO refreshing in humidity!) I knew Spain at this time of year was lovely and warm but I’m also prone to being pretty cold, so made sure to bring a jacket or two for the evenings! The amount of holiday’s that I’ve gone on in the past and not worn 80% of what I’ve packed because it just wasn’t practical or I didn’t think it through properly! Dresses on a ski holiday? I’m definitely not that ambitious and would rather stay in cosy jumpers and boots! Think realistically about what you’d wear – remember you want to be comfy too!

Also try and tailor your wardrobe to what you’re doing – relaxed beach holiday? Lots of ‘kini’s! Action packed break? Make sure to take your converse and some shorts! We had a full itinerary varying from scuba diving and jet skiing through to bike tours up the mountains and a tapas tour – so I had to carefully plan each outfit before hand, what would work through day until night to save a packing overload! I must admit any last minute worries about having an over weight bag were subdued by the pretty damn generous 22kg allowance with Jet2.com – literally the most generous airline I’ve flown on in terms of luggage – they let me have 2 pieces of hand luggage!

“The hotel was the most instagrammable, bloggers dream – pastel washed walls, pools and palm trees!”

I can’t recommend building a little capsule wardrobe enough to save you much stress and time! Before I went, as well as factoring in what we were doing and what I’d need to bring, I had an evening of pairing things together and sorting through outfits so I had a rough idea of what I was going to be wearing. The key is to make everything work in conjunction with each other, so that no matter would you sling on – it’ll all fit perfectly with everything else! Pack your dresses and make everything else flexible – shorts, tee’s, shirts, bags and shoes should all go together to save you the stress of last minute outfit panics! This floaty, dress fitted in so well with our surroundings and was so comfortable and breathable – if you’ve read this recent post you’ll know I’m loving indulging in some colourful pieces this season!

The fun part came with researching the hotel! Being a blogger I wanted to make every moment a beautiful, photo opportunity! (because looking back at holiday snaps is the best!) Knowing the setting of our stay and our hotel meant that I could incorporate the colours of my surroundings into my outfits, to make the two compliment each other. The Hotel  was HANDS DOWN one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed! I’ve already decided I’m going back, so much to do, incredible food and also a total, bloggers dream with pastel washed walls, pools and palm trees around every corner! Wait until you see the room tour in my vlog! 

Shop my top, summer holiday picks!

Shop the look

I hope you guys loved the first little instalment of my Benidorm series – I’m so excited to share all of the video content and posts with you – what we did, what we ate, where we stayed and what I wore! I’d love to hear your top, travel tips and your little packing hacks! 

I’ve also got so much Spring style & travel, goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by the beautiful Emma! 

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How to invest in designer on a budget (and why I’ll never be a clothes snob)

How to invest in designer on a budget (and why I’ll never be a clothes snob)

“I can’t help but wonder if I disappoint people’s expectations when I say these Gucci’s cost me £30 and my coat is from eBay.”

Looks can be deceiving and we’re always told to never judge a book by it’s cover, however I can’t help but think that we’re all occasionally prone to accidentally judging others by their appearances. It’s been engrained in us since childhood, through film and vidid depiction of characters in books. It’s easy to assume someone is a certain type of person, just by their dress sense. If I saw a woman walk down the street, feet clad in Gucci’s and a Chanel slung over a shoulder, I would admire her, probably stare a little too long, longing to be as successful as her to get to the point where I can afford such things. This woman knows what she wants and how to get it.

I’ve lusted after a bit of luxury ever since a young age, longing for a Louis Vuitton speedy to swing from my arms, I can’t exactly say where this stemmed from, but it’s something I’ve always loved. Materialistic things most definitely do not define who you are, but you definitely should also not feel guilty for wanting to have nice things now and again. With designer labels, sometimes comes some sort of entitlement for some – people automatically have some sort of admiration for these people for attaining these kind of things. I can’t help but wonder if I disappoint people’s expectations when I say these Gucci’s cost me £30 and my coat is from eBay. Either way I don’t really mind.

“How the tables turn as you grow up – finding a bargain or buying something pre-loved was something I used to be ashamed of. People could be so judgemental at school, but I’ve learnt to embrace my unique finds, charity shop trawls and eBay steals. Walking into a Chelsea charity shop was like going into the Willy Wonka Chocolate factory of shoes!”

“There’s definitely worse things going on in the world than whether or not a pair of shoes I own are second hand.”

Growing up, I would scour Devon’s charity shops with my dad – something I always had so much fun doing, discovering incredible pieces that I’ve kept for years. We do this whenever I go back to visit, make a day of it, have some lunch, coffee and even have competitions of the most hideous ornament we can find each other (an example cropped up in my recent ‘What’s in my handbag’ video haha! – hand’s up if you’ve seen it!) Pathetically, I used to let people’s judgement at school get the better of me and be ashamed of this – like buying from a charity shop was ‘cheap’ or ‘disgusting’ – silly how much we care about what other kids think of us at school. There’s definitely worse things going on in the world than whether or not a pair of shoes I own are second hand.

Which leads me to these insane Gucci’s. Man oh man, are London’s charity shops like a more affordable version of Harrods! They’re notorious for celebrity cast offs and unused designer pieces, so one day in between meetings myself and Ben scouted out the best ones and THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT! I snapped these suede Gucci’s up for £30 after 5 minutes of being inside the first one! The lady who served us was so lovely (British Red cross in Victoria by the way!) and gave us advice on which shops were best for what – I’m not kidding when I say the next place we hit in Chelsea was FILLED with Chanel, Louboutin and Prada. Of course I’d love to be able to wander into Selfridges and drop 2k on a handbag but I’m definitely not at that point and EBay and charity shops are really delivering the goods!

“I now own Chanel, Gucci and Christian Louboutin shoes – all proudly brought pre loved and for total steals.”

Pre-loved’- is on the rise – sites like eBay and Vestiaire Collective are making it easier for us to shop pieces that need a new home, often with the price seriously decreased! Of course you need to be sensible and make sure you’re buying from someone reputable – Vestiaire is fab as everything is authenticity checked too! That said, I got the most INSANE Chanel shoes off of the most lovely lady from eBay, for wait..£60! They’re absolutely beautiful and that classic white and black toed pump – something I’ve always wanted. Always keep your eyes out on sites like that regularly, set a budget and alerts and soon enough you’ll find something you’ve fallen in love with for an amazing price! I now own Chanel, Gucci and Christian Louboutin shoes – all proudly brought pre loved and for total steals.

In my experience, the best discoveries for me were in charity and vintage shops – I also love the whole process of going in, starting up conversation, sifting through things and finding a totally unique piece! Sometimes things in Charity shops can be very expensive (hiya £400 shoes!) but this tends to be in cities where people are clued up about the worth of some items. There’s nothing better than looking through things yourself and trying them on – I can’t recommend paying your local shop a visit (or the London ones if you’re ever in town!) you’ll honestly be overwhelmed with the sheer choice and variety of luxury which has been barely touched! I find people are so much more intrigued when I tell them the stories of how I’ve found my little designer gems. This way of purchasing might not be for everyone, but it’s certainly worked for me and enabled me to buy things I never thought I could have!

Shop my fave, designer picks (with a few killer dupes!)

Shop the look

Really hope you loved this one beauts – I’ve been so excited to share how I afford a bit of luxury on the blog – do let me know if you’d like to see my little collection or a YouTube video on this topic! I’d also love to hear if you’ve ever got a designer steal – comment below to tell me your ultimate buys!

I’ve also got so much Spring style & travel, goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

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How to be a positive person (even when things really suck!)

How to be a positive person (even when things really suck!)

“The days are longer, warmer and leave me burning with drive and big ideas”

will forever love the seasons of spring and summer, it continually fills me with hope for the rest of the year ahead and motivates me to work hard and chase opportunities. It’s a bit of a cliched mindset but I really do see it as a time of positive change. The days are longer, warmer and leave me bursting with drive & big ideas.

Having always had a positive outlook on life, I recently also decided to purchase and read the much raved about ‘Secret’. I devoured the book quicker than you can say positivity and was left feeling even more determined to make my outlook on life the best it can be, no matter how hard times get. I’ve always been a firm believer in silver linings and having bundles of optimism, so with that, here’s my tips on how to be a positive person!

“Put things into perspective and be thankful”

Whenever I’m having a bit of a crappy day or feeling sorry for myself, I think of the bigger picture. It’s okay to have a moment to yourself, a sob and relish in your woes but pick yourself back up again and remember how lucky you are. I will always be happy and thankful for being happy, healthy, have a wonderful family and friends and a roof over my head.

Some people have it a lot worse so I always try to remind myself of this and be thankful for what I do have. If we spent life focussing on what we don’t have, life would be pretty miserable! The amount of times I’ve been somewhere and there’s someone that will always find something to complain or have a moan about – don’t be that person! Be the one that enlightens people’s days and lifts them up!

See the silver linings

Similarly to being thankful, always try and see the silver linings in a situation. Whether thats counting your blessings, or when things really suck, thinking how you can learn and become a better person from the situation. Everything could go wrong but things could always be worse. You’ll probably laugh at the situation sooner or later anyway! Trying to look at situations in a positive light has really trained my mind to have a better outlook on overall life!

“Will this matter in 5 years time?”

What might seem like a pretty crap situation will admittedly, make you feel like you want to disappear into the ground for the unforeseeable future – but really, will it matter in 5 years time? It was the same at school, my god didn’t a fall out with friends feel like your world had ended forever?! Realistically, most issues can be resolved relatively painlessly in the grand scheme of things. When you feel like your world is crumbling, take a step back and think about how you can sort things out in the least stressful way. 

Saying this, always believe that these happenings in your life will go onto shape you into a stronger and better person – who you are today is because of what you’ve lived before. Having people make fun of what you’re wearing at school, making fun of your name or just generally being cruel for no total reason is heartbreaking. But I’m telling you your world will not end because of this, you will become stronger, better, kinder and compassionate and it will most definitely not matter in 5 years time.

Shop my fave, spring picks to boost your mood!

Shop the look

I hope you loved this one and that it inspired you to boost your positivity – I can’t tell you how important and bettering for your happiness it is to try and be a more positive person! I’d love to hear your thoughts and top tips for staying positive and optimistic! 

I’ve also got so much Spring style & travel, goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

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How to – DIY Gucci inspired loafers

How to – DIY Gucci inspired loafers

“There’s something proudly satisfying about someone asking where your clothes are from and replying that you customised them yourself”

Ever since I was little I’ve loved putting my own spin on things – sticking 3 different dresses together and gluing pieces onto old jackets. There’s something proudly satisfying about someone asking where you got your shoes from and you reply that you customised them. I’ve suddenly been inspired over the past few weeks to really revamp pieces that are just sitting vacant in my wardrobe. It all started whilst I was putting this blog post together about my favourite, affordable designer dupes.

I then wandered around Zara the other week, lusting over summery pieces to add to my wardrobe. As I walked around I realised I already had SO MUCH of this sitting in my wardrobe and I could easily make the pieces myself. Embroidery is HUGE at the moment, florals, studs, jewels and pearls. They adorn all the clothes at the moment and is so easily achieved yourself! So here’s my little (and hopefully the start of many!) DIY – how to revamp a pair of unloved shoes into my fave Gucci Dupes!

HOW TO

Step 1: Clip off the backs of the earring findings and stud bases with the pliers, so that they both sit flat. Gently tap any stumps left over with the flat edge of the pliers

Step 2: Carefully super glue the half pearls inside the earring stud bases, making sure you’ve brought the correct sizes in MM so that the pearls will fit inside! I bought an assortment of pearls, and have linked everything I used in the Youtube Tutorial below!

Step 3: Once all your pearls are glued and the bases and finding are clipped to be flat, roughly place them along the heel to get an idea of the placement. When happy, apply a little glue, hold in place and gentle tap with the pliers to secure in face.

Step 4: Once the heels are covered as you like, clear up any excess glue or markings, give them a polish and you’re good to go! You can do this with any kind of shoe you like – loafers, flats, heels or boots!

BEFORE

AFTER

“I now have a list as long as my arm of projects I want to try to inject some life into unloved pieces!”

And that’s it! Crazy simple and affordable but it’s now transformed something I wasn’t wearing into something I am obsessed with! I was toying with the idea of buying a pair of dupes (I’ve listed my top picks below for you guys!) but after realising I had a great pair of leather loafers, that could totally be changed with a few pearls seemed very appealing, so I thought why not give it a go!

I now have a list as long as my arm of projects I want to try to inject a bit of life into unloved pieces in my wardrobe! The best bit is, most of them simply involve pearls and super glue! I love the brassy metal I used here, it’s definitely a lot more understated than bright gold, but I’ve seen some great dupes with silver, why not mix things up, design your own and see how you go! I’d also love to know what dupes you’d like to see next – I’ve definitely caught the DIY bug! 

Shop the style and my faves picks!

I was SO EXCITED to share this one with you loves – I really hoped you found it useful and interesting – do have a peek at the video below to see how I made them, it really was so simple! Do let me know if you’d like to see any other of these style posts or videos – always loving hearing your thoughts! 

I’ve also got so much Spring style & travel, goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

Watch the Tutorial