{blogging 101} Teaming up with Karen Millen to talk life hacks, leather jackets and the Olympus PEN

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{A sponsored collaboration with Karen Millen and Olympus PEN}

“I thought my life would suddenly improve if I bought a leather jacket… and I was a 100% right”…

Leather weather is here finally. Truth is I see the weather as an instruction from the sartorial GODS. An instruction to go out immediately and secure the finest leather jacket out there. Yer know?

So from the minute I took receipt of this Karen Millen buttery leather moto, I knew this autumn/winter was bright.

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Brighter still now that I’ve reached a mile stone two years since I began my ‘serious’ blog career. Two years to the day since I pledged to my laptop to check-in more than once a week and to convert my insta-hobby into an actual job.

Two years of treating every pr brunch and avo-on-toast as a potential opportunity.

So I thought I’d show you just how my blog and outfit posts come together – the nuts and bolts if you will.

FYI: Before blogging, my wardrobe was super curated, neatly folded and much smaller. Now it’s a forever evolving – taking over as Mr. Luxe succinctly put it – space with unlimited updates on a daily weekly basis.

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ONE. The popular survey: 

Before each blog post I like to road-test a variation of the style/colour/trend/piece I’m planning – by sharing it on my social media.

Yup, for me this is SO so important. It’s a way for me to gauge opinion, see exactly how it’ll be received by my audience and chiefly, it gives me insights into what it is I want to talk about. If something falls flat on social media, it rarely ever gets airtime on my blog. 

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TWO. I’m all about realness. 

I recently gave an interview to the Mail Online where I confessed to driving into London for outfit shoots at 4 am in the morning.

Truth is, Mr. Luxe (all suited and booted) crouches on street corners at the ‘crack of dawn’ to take my pictures (before heading to a full day at work in Canary Wharf). Often I’ll have a ‘carfie’ outfit which is cosy and comfy for the 2 hours journey. Then I’ll switch to my ‘fierce street-style’ outfit once we’re illegally parked (I’m joking) and ready to shoot. 

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THREE. It’s all about the ‘right now’

 Once I’ve established a look is good to shoot and we’re on a street corner in South Ken – me sipping coffee, him crouching – the real work begins. I like a quick turnaround from social-to-blog content. By that I mean, once I’ve shot a look in the street and shared it on social, it’s a priority for me to have it posted shortly after on my blog. This is deliberate.

WHY? Partly because it feels more authentic and so much more in the forefront of my mind and most probably my followers. Practically because my instagram edit is very curated, so changes to colour and weather I like to keep cohesive.  Instagram goals…. yadda yadda.

HOW? Olympus PEN wifi means I can transfer images to my phone or laptop on the move. Olympus PEN flip screen allows me to ‘back-of-the-car-chestfie’ in the smallest of spaces and still see exactly what I’m capturing. And I do love a chestfie.

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FOUR. The equipment hacks

My reasons for owning an Olympus PEN E-PL8 are varied and I could bore the pants off you with my white balance party trick and nose-to-touch-screen lighting.

What I will confess to is that I almost always reduce the brightness on every capture before I shoot. It’s much easier to lighten a dark image than it is reduce brightness on an over saturated one. I also set the aspect to 16:9 as this is how I like my images to appear on instagram (most people prefer square 1:1) so you do you. I’m also smitten with how she looks and how little she weighs. I carry her like a purse and sometimes on a chain so I can whip her out discretely at events should a chestfie-tunity arise. She’s so cute non?

fyi: i shoot a lot of my pics (where possible) in sunlight. The Olympus PEN loves the light! And I love the sheen of my skin when I shoot in brighter light – so long as a i stick to my *rule.

*Rule is; always lower the brightness by tonnes when shooting in raw sunlight, it sculpts with shadows and add so much depth to the picture (try it and thank me later), but also reduce the ‘warmth’ by a notch too – the blueness counteracts the suns yellowy tones.

Post edit, I find that darker images are way more malleable where filters are concerned. I use vsco filters H’s and J’s to finish… our secret yeah?

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FIVE. Finding a signature

 I once wrote a whole blog-post championing the importance of finding your signature.

Someone once said style is a way to communicate who you are without speaking… so for clarity, like my personal style, less words the better yer know.

And truth is, half the battle is won if you’re able to maintain as highly an edited wardrobe as possible. I find it the most effective way to dress/live/enjoy life full-stop.

So, I stay selective in my choices, I concentrate my budget on quality and I seek out pieces I know have longevity. Then once in a while I splurge on something special – usually an amazing knit or sweater like this Karen Millen one.

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I look for sweaters with  unusual details like the sleeves on this one – they look amazing slightly ruched up the arm.

Mr. luxe will bare testament to the fact I get obsessed with sweaters and find reasons to wear them with everything. What’s great about this draped rib jumper is not just how soft and cosy she is, or even how she kind of envelopes me, but the way her oversized fabric falls so nonchalantly from my shoulder.

Yep, knit goals!!!

L x

{EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT: Join me for a special event at the Karen Millen Glasgow store on the 21st  October from 6pm. I’ll be sharing my styling tips and chestfie techniques amongst other things…. I’m so excited to be hosting this event and I know places are limited so here’s a direct link http://www.karenmillen.com/gb/aw16-infocus.html to book in and find out more. Make sure to RSVP}

draped rib jumper KAREN MILLEN here

limited edition leather biker jacket KAREN MILLEN here

mid wash skinny jeans KAREN MILLEN here

slouchy suede boots KAREN MILLEN here

quilted bag KAREN MILLEN here

ph. by J. Andrews and me

Shot on Olympus PEN E-PL8 with 14-42mm pancake lens and 75mm lens

  • Love the outfit! I can’t wait to get my new camera I have pre ordered it so excited for finally have an Olympus pen! I love your photography!

    Sophiekate.co.uk

  • Love your fab style. Out of three bloggers of KM campaign your style and your personality was standing out the most! I will follow you on my personal front. Jo x

  • Rachel Durrant

    Gorgeous jacket… But love love LOVE the boots!!!!! ????????????

  • you look amazing! love the burgundy jacket!
    http://www.somethingvogue.com

  • You’re such a PRO and simply amazing. And this jacket rocks.

  • These photos are amazing- you look fab!

    http://Www.kizzimay.co.uk

  • Claudine

    That moto jacket and bag are really cool. I love them ans the way you styled it.
    Perfect as always!

    xox
    Claudine / http://www.claudinesroom.com