TREND: Pockets

Thursday, February 23, 2023

In the 1970s, when second-wave feminism gained ground and the Equal Rights Act was ratified by the US Senate and the Roe v. Wade decision marked a success for women across the America, the utilitarian look made a comeback. The military-inspired look then saw a second renaissance in the 1990s and early 2000s. Now it's back in style once more and this time the key detail is pockets - BIG pockets. The utilitarian style is functional and convenient; influenced by the military and menswear. When we think of functional style, the immediate image can be unflattering, however this season designers are proving that functional fashion can be sexy and feminine.

Shop The Trend: High Budget 

Shop The Trend: Lower budget

Sadness First-Aid

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Growing up, I was consistently described as moody. I've never been a naturally charismatic person, I'm prone to sadness. My brain has never been very good at giving me regular boosts of serotonin and is quick to pump me full of adrenaline the second I have a negative thought. As I've gotten older and the worries have gotten scarier, it's been easier than ever to give in to the sadness - to mope in it and let it take over my life. I've found that since I've been able to stick a nice label on it - 'mixed anxiety and depressive disorder' - I often feel helpless to it, victimised by it. I am a work in progress when it comes to my own happiness. Through a mix of self-help books and trial-and-error, I've established my own first-aid kit to get myself through the rough patches.

Clean room, clean mind

When I'm depressed I live in filth. This is a common side-effect. Clothes get left on the floor, coffee mugs remain on the desk and the bed goes without being made from night to night. Shockingly, it makes things worse. 

The most crucial part of the cleaning ritual is the changing of the bedding. Somehow, a fresh bed makes the nights softer and the mornings lighter. Sometimes there's nothing more comforting than fresh, taut sheets, plumped pillows, and the clean smell of laundry detergent. Plus, it improves your sleep. A 2012 survey showed that 73% of people sleep better on clean sheets.

The satisfaction I feel after doing the big weekly clean on a Sunday is genuinely the most fulfilling part of my week. Its a symbolic reset on the week  For something that's relatively free, the little boost of comfort that it gives me is worth the effort. 


One of my favourite things about living in London is that you can get the tube and choose from a seemingly neverending selection of parks to explore. You can take a friend and put the world to rights as you meander, or - equally as fulfilling - you can go solo. Most of the time, we walk because we need to get from A to B, but there is a real pleasure in just wandering at your own pace. 

I'm a person who looks out for the small things that bring me joy, and for this parks are a treasure chest. Dogs. Tiny ones. Massive ones. 'Ugly' ones. I don't discriminate. Couples in love. Gorgeous people in gorgeous outfits. Pretty flowers. Enormous trees. Though slightly sadistic, children falling over. Different people have different examples but I can almost guarantee there's something to observe in a park that will spark a little happiness in everyone.

Put it in the diary

I am not naturally organised so I rely heavily on my planner. I use the weekly pages for work; I write down my to-do lists and my deadlines so that when it comes to the dreaded 1-1's with my manager I don't look like a total unqualified idiot. However the monthly pages are for me. I put in when I have tickets for a show, a planned night out or a trip home. All the fun things that I can look forward to. Every day when I'm sat at work, I catch a glimpse of all the good stuff I have to look forward to.

When its looking a little bare, that's also the prompt I need to plan things. The list of things you want do but just never seem get planned. The restaurants that you saw on Tiktok. The plays you see advertised in the tube station. The markets, the gardens, the rooftop bars. Put it in the diary. 

Stop listening to sad music

I have a playlist for crying. A playlist for when I feel numb and want to lie with my eyes closed, music blaring at full volume. A playlist of every single Beatles song in a minor key. My top artist of 2022 was Phoebe Bridgers. It's safe to say that I listen to a lot of sad music. The guardian conducted research on why some people enjoy listening to sad music - because not all people do. They found that people who scored highly on empathy were more likely to enjoy the sad music. When asked about how they felt after hearing a melancholy track they reported feeling moved, which is something I can relate to as someone who actively seeks out things that will make them cry. However, what I found to be key in this research is that enjoyment was reliant on the participant's ability to self-regulate and distance themselves from the sadness. 

Right there, that was the lightbulb moment. If I enjoy sad music so much why can't I listen to it when I'm sad? Because when I'm depressed I lose the ability to self-regulate, to distance myself from Phoebe Bridgers' grief. 

The first week of my breakup I isolated myself and listened to exclusively devastating music. To me, this felt right. I was so depressed that the mere concept of joy felt obnoxious. I only wanted to listen to other people that were hurting, almost like a sadness support group, except no one actually heals. I lived like this until desperation took over and I listened to a podcast on how to get through a breakup. For the most part, the advice was trivial and obvious, but it did convince me to ditch the sad music, at least for a while. Instead, I replaced it with music that was obnoxiously happy. I swapped out Bon Iver for Stevie Wonder. Adele for Bee Gees. It helped.


This is one that has only recently clicked for me and I think it has everything to do with mindset. We all know the benefits of exercise, I won't waste my time telling you about endorphins but it is true. It is scientifically proven that exercise improves mood. However, I think the key to actually making exercise an effective tool long-term is your reason for going. In the past, I'd almost always go to the gym because I wanted to lose weight, and whilst this is obviously still a goal of mine, forcing myself to exercise because I hate my body has never helped my mental health. This time, I decided to try something different. I now go to the gym because I enjoy it. I go because I want to. I approach it like a treat after work. A fun activity. This mindset did not come naturally - I had to consistently convince myself and eventually you start to naturally believe it. 

Making progress is also a huge boost. The sense of accomplishment you get when you finish a leg press set after you've upped the weight. The relief when you get to return to a walking speed after your longest run yet. That feeling is golden. That feeling is why I keep going back day after day. I highly recommend the couch to 5k app. When I started I couldn't run for a solid minute, now, in week 6, I'm running for a solid 25 minutes. Its a really great way to get into running and I don't think I would have been able to have made the progress I have without it.