29 Dec 2016

2016: Shit or Lit?

Well...fuck. What a year it's been. A year filled with death, political stupidity and bloody good music 2016 has had pretty much everything. Even from a personal perspective, this year has been mental. I've worked three jobs (one of which I was made redundant), I've moved house and I've worn pink trousers. With that being said I've decided to try to see the positives and negatives of this year to create this post, let's get into it!

Positives of 2016

After the duff hand we've been dealt this year, you'd think that looking for positives would be difficult. But lets not kid ourselves there's been some amazing things to happen in 2016. Let's look at the music for example. Frank Ocean (Frank freakin' Ocean) treated us to not 1 but 2 albums and they were both biblical. Endless and Blonde are follow ups to Channel Orange which have been 4 years in the making and in hindsight, it was worth the wait. All I ask is that Frank doesn't disappear off the face of the planet once again. Kanye dropped The Life Of Pablo which was definitely one of the best albums of year along with Colouring Book by Chance The Rapper and A Seat At The Table by Solange. But the best album of the year was Malibu by Anderson. Paak. Oh man I can't put into words how much I love this album but what I will say is that everyone has to listen to this work of art at least once. If you're interested in seeing my favourite songs of 2016, here's my playlist!

Other positives of the year were Stranger Things on Netflix and of course, Planet Earth 2. I am such a sucker for David Attenborough documentaries and this series was just so perfect. It was honestly some of the best TV I've seen and who can forget the iguana being chased by snakes?

My personal highlights of the year have to be attending London Fashion Week, seeing Chance The Rapper in Brixton and Wales' performance in Euro 2016. If there was one moment from 2016 that I could relive again it would be Wales vs Belgium and specifically THAT goal from Hal Robson-Kanu. And you know what? I actually cried when Wales won. Is that sad? I don't care because Wales' football team have been shit for years way before I was born and it was amazing to see us do so well finally.
I also bought a lot of new clothes and had a fair few pieces from Vivienne Westwood given to me as part of my uniform when I worked there. To fuel my narcissism, here's some of my favourite looks from the year.

Negatives of 2016

Hold on to your hats kids, because this could be long. First of all let's just get to the celebrity deaths. Jesus Christ there was so many. Prince, Muhammad Ali, Carrie Fisher, George Michael, Pete Burns, Ronnie Corbett, Terry Wogan and sooooooo many more. It's been horrendous! The worst part of it all is how they were all so important to their craft and how they changed the way thought. Prince presented himself as a mysterious androgynous male, something that was unheard of at the height of his fame and he shaped the rebellion against conservative music ideals. Muhammad Ali was a sporting great who will be remembered for his showmanship and his willingness to speak his mind on issues that were traditionally ignored like his opposition to the Vietnam War. I think 2016 will be year most people remember as the year we lost so many icons. 

To make matters worse, America really outdid themselves this year by electing Donald Trump as president. That still sounds weird. A campaign based on hate and misogyny led to Trump's victory and I still find it hard to believe that 53% of white women voted for Trump. This is the man who openly mocked a disabled journalist, who claims groping a woman is not sexual assault and plans on building a wall to stop Mexicans entering America. Aaaaaand if you thought it couldn't get any worse then just remember that Mike Pence will be vice president. Mike Pence is someone who is in favour of allowing businesses to refuse service to people of the LGBT community, someone who believes abortion is a sin and someone who believes you can 'cure' gay people with shock treatment. Well done America!!

From a personal perspective, 2016 has been pretty null to be honest. 4 days before Christmas my nan died which obviously is shit. I'm not one to dwell on this kinda thing but yeah it's shit. 
My social life (or lack of) was pretty dull too. I'm not kidding I think I must've had about 5 nights out this year so in 2017 I think I'll try and shake off my introvert shackles and maybe go out a bit more as that's what you're supposed to do in your 20's right? 

With all that being said, at least we made it through 2016! Let's see what 2017 has to offer! 


11 Dec 2016

Quarter Life Crisis - Am I Having One?

You've heard of the mid life crisis, of course you have. It's that time in an adults life (usually between 40-50) where they trade in their Citroen Xsara Picasso for a Harley Davidson and get a tattoo of a snake coming through the eyeball of a skull. The mid life crisis is much publicised and well recognised pretty much worldwide, but the quarter life crisis is a lot less prominent. Is a quarter life crisis even a real thing? In a nut shell yes, but there's so many different factors which could contribute to your quarter life meltdown!

The first one being the constant questioning of what you're doing with your life. Back in the day it was easy to know what you were doing with your life. The general expectation of ones life was to have a family, career and home by the age of 25. Back then of course it was easier to jump from job to job. These days however, leaving a job is a massive risk. The constant reminder of 'a job is a job' is whispered into your ear if you're unhappy with your current work life and a lot of people are happy to suffer through their unhappiness in the hope that all will turn out well. The positive sign here though is that Millennials seem to have a different approach to life, where happiness definitely comes first. With the shit we've been dealt the last 10 or so years (housing crash, double dip recession, Trump etc) it's no wonder our generation has started to try and shift the gears and take a different approach to life. I've tried my best to adopt this mindset in recent months and I finally managed to sack off retail and have now settled into a much nicer and better job! After so many years in retail I think I owe it to myself to reprogram my brain into putting myself first.

The second thing that could contribute to a quarter life crisis is comparison. By this I mean comparing yourself to other people your age. This is such a toxic habit and definitely something I wouldn't recommend doing. As harsh as it is, there's always someone from school who's doing better than you: they've got a better job, nicer car and they've just got engaged. That's not a problem though. The thing I've learnt in the last few years is that everyone has different motives and goals so some people progress faster, they get what they want faster than you but that's ok. If anything we should be encouraging each other to reach our goals and wishing each other the best. Your twenties/thirties are too short to be getting jealous of other people and these are the best years of your life (so I've been told) so why not focus on yourself and enjoy it while you can!

The third thing and what I think is the most relatable sign of a quarter life crisis is not having anything in common with your friends from school/university anymore. From the ages of about 16-25 you meet a lot of new people from different circles like education and clubbing but the majority of people are temporary. This 9 year time span is the time in peoples lives where their interests dramatically change, they go from loving certain things to absolutely having no interest in it at all. For me it's probably been football. A lot of my friends were made at Cardiff City & Wales games but in recent years my interest has declined and I've got different priorities like my blog. These days I'd prefer to spend my money on nice food or going for coffee rather than going to the football in the pissing down rain, surrounded by the smell of football farts and pasties. Not to say that I don't enjoy football anymore, I loved Euro 2016 and I'll still watch Match Of The Day but I'm just less active in the social aspect of football. I was going to the football since I was 13 and since then obviously my hobbies and interests have changed and so has my friend group.

My final point would probably be the realisation that there's no such thing as a perfect outcome. I don't know anyone my age who's fully content with how everything has turned out, or anyone of any age for that matter. When I was younger I imagined by the age of 25 I'd be on the property ladder, I'd have a French Bulldog and I'd be wearing a suit everyday. And to be honest I couldn't be further away from that! I rent a flat, I don't have a dog and I still dress like a child but I'm ok with that. The moment I stopped telling myself I had to have certain things at a certain age was when I decided to just roll with it. Take today for example: I've been out of my house all day by myself and I've been to the museum, gone for a coffee and managed to write this blog post. A while back my Sunday's would have been spent dying in bed with a hangover, regretting everything and having the bitch that is Monday looming over my shoulder. Those days are behind me I think as I've realised that booze is the devil and drinking just makes me depressed.

So how do you prevent going through a quarter life crisis? Stop caring about what other people think for a start. I genuinely think this is so important. I used to be so shy about blogging and being open on social media because I thought people would just laugh behind my back, especially because blogging has this weird stigma behind it. When I tell people I blog there's often a little sneer or a grin that says "really?'. A lot of people think it's about getting free stuff or just eating smashed avocado but there's a lot more to it. There's a real community feel between bloggers and recently I've found fellow male bloggers to be really supportive.

Another way to avoid falling victim to a quarter life crisis is to switch off. I've been guilty of becoming being sucked into worrying about the smallest of things for every minute of the day but you owe it to yourself to have some time out. Instead of checking your emails and scrolling through Instagram, get yourself a Dominos and have a Netflix marathon. Switch your phone off and watch the whole of Stranger Things in one sitting. It's worth it (not only for your mental health but also because Stranger Things is the best thing I've watched this year.)

I hope this helps anyone who reads it but in all honesty it's been good to get if off my chest!

(This is me dressing like a child, not giving a fuck)


3 Dec 2016

The Alternative Christmas Playlist

Ah, Christmas. The time of year where we all come together and rejoice in the birth of Jesus. The time of year where all differences are put aside and where everybody spreads the Christmas cheer....Absolutely no chance! Aside from in the movies I don't know anybody who sticks to traditional Christmas customs, in fact most people I know do things that would make The Baby Jesus cry.

Undoubtedly, the most annoying Christmas tradition has to be Christmas music. Surely I'm not the only one who's sick of hearing Slade, Mariah Carey and The Pogues year after year? This is why I'm here to bring you an Alternative Christmas Playlist that will be sure to perk up your Christmas spirits without having to listen to a song about a couple having some bad luck over Christmas!

Have a listen to the playlist below and here's to a Merry Alternative Christmas


27 Nov 2016

Finding your niche as a blogger

In recent years the blogging world (or Blogosphere) has hit new heights and there are now more people than ever getting involved. I've been blogging since I was roughly about 18, I started off on Tumblr as most people do and only the last couple of years I started to actually 'write.' I started to take blogging a bit more seriously about a year ago, and even in that short space of time I've seen the growth with my own eyes. Since the supply of content has grown, so has the demand. With that being said I've began to wonder: Is it harder to make yourself stand out as a blogger now that the market is more saturated than ever?

Your niche is essentially what your blog is about and the content you can offer your audience. It's normal to have a specific focus or a broad variety of subjects and there's no way you can get it wrong because you're creating content that fits perfectly with you and your personality.

There are so many different sub categories for bloggers which is a great way of beginning to find your niche. For example we have fashion bloggers, travel bloggers, beauty bloggers, bloggers who focus on male grooming as well as lifestyle bloggers, parental bloggers and so many more! To be honest I would place myself somewhere in between the fashion/lifestyle categories with sprinklings of music. I tend to write about stuff that I'm passionate about whilst also trying to share tips and ways that people can help themselves. I set up this blog in the hope that people would take interest in my general life but I also want it to be somewhere that people can find fashion inspiration, places to visit and discover new music. I don't mean to sound like a hipster but I don't believe there are many bloggers who write about my interests i.e hip hop and streetwear so I thought I'd try and capitalise on this and start to focus my energy on things that I think I could write about forever: my passions and interests. I found that writing about things I'm confident in has allowed me to really enjoy blogging has also ensured I don't lose interest in it. I've written for online magazines and websites in the past but since I've started to focus more on my blog I've found that everything comes more naturally which is the most important thing.

After all of that, I'm not saying that it's a hindrance that there's so many other bloggers out there, it's actually a really welcoming community. Pretty much every blogger I've interacted with through Twitter and Instagram has been really friendly and helpful and I've enlisted some of those delightful guys and gals to share some of their wisdom and hopefully give you some sound advice on finding your niche and improving your blog!

Abigail Alice from abigailalicex.com says:

"I think finding a niche has been really hard for me because my interests are so mainstream ie fashion and beauty. But I found that by exaggerating those interests I was able to find a niche. So I'm really interested in TV show/movie fashion and love outfits female characters wear in films like Mean Girls or Scream Queens, Pretty Little Liars etc. and even though at first I thought "Oh I cant dress like that its too 'out there'" I realised that actually is my niche. So I try to recreate that to some extent on my blog by doing a Character of the Month etc and just wearing things that I usually wouldnt and those have turned out to be my most popular posts! Its finding that weird quirk that you love and completely running with it that makes you and your blog unique."

Daniel from vibetwentyfive.com also says:

"I'm very new to this but have already interacted and had conversations with some really talented people, it's definitely a welcoming community. I think it's a saturated market but your personal style and taste is very unique, if only a small portion of people read it and are interested then at least you're still having an impact. Even though we feel it's saturated, it's still a very new thing and I think it's a good thing brands are taking notice and us "normal" people are being recognised as the face of things over your celebs that are usually chosen, I hope this is because we're an honest bunch and give real insight in to products that we're looking at."

After weighing up so many different opinions and hearing other peoples views on the matter, I've come to believe that as long as you stay true to yourself and keep enjoying yourself then there's no way you can be doing this whole blogging thing incorrectly! After all, it's all fun and games isn't it?!

If you have anything to say, don't be afraid to hit me up over on Twitter!


30 Oct 2016

Current Life Situation

I'm basically here to just give you a little update/blurt out the stuff that's in my brain at the moment. Let's talk about the photo above first: I know they say stripes are slimming but this pattern clash makes me look almost non existent and about 8ft tall! I do like the outfit though which is all that matters!

I got offered a new job this week which I'm so happy about as the last few months have been awful. It's knocked the living shit out of me to be honest and was definitely the straw that broke the camels back with regards to me working in retail. Nonetheless I'm excited to get cracking with my new employers Barber Blades. I'll predominantly be running their social media accounts and just generally helping out which is awesome. I can't wait to get started! I worked at Salons International for them and it was honestly so fun it didn't even feel like work, which is always a good sign right?!

The positive energy has started to flow more naturally since I've known I'm starting a new job and I think it's evident in the way I've been conducting myself on a day to day basis. I know it's not really important but I've started to put more energy into my social media especially Twitter & Instagram and hopefully it improves the content for my blog. Having weekends off in my new job will definitely allow me to take this blog to the next level and fingers crossed it'll bring a lot more opportunities for me.

As I type this I'm listening to the (leaked) ASAP Mob mixtape and God Damn it bangs so hard. There's been so much good music this month again. I've been listening to Jonwayne's new song, Surfin' by Kid Cudi & Pharrell and Solange's new album.  I've also been watching Freaks & Geeks the last few weeks and I'm so in love with it. It's so annoying that they never made a second season but 18 episodes is a generous chunk of TV. My resemblance to Bill is so uncanny I've started to relate to him on a ridiculous level (see photo below as proof!) While I'm talking TV, it would be grand if someone could point me in the direction of somewhere to watch The Office U.S, I miss that programme.

That's pretty much me at the moment. I'm planning on doing a lot more lifestyle posts on this blog and focusing less on just FASHUN (mainly because I've been spending loads of money on clothes recently) so hit me up if there's anything you'd like to see on my blog!


2 Oct 2016

4 Things I Wish I Knew As An 18 Year Old


Things I wish I knew as an 18 year old:

You don't have to go to university

When I was 17/18 the main focus from my teachers was to get us on to the university path and ultimately give us the best chance in life. For most people I'm sure going to university was the highlight of their youth and has steered them onto the right path when it comes to their career. But personally for me, going to university was a total nightmare. I went to university to study Internet Computing and when I look back at that choice now I just think "What on earth was I doing?" Computing was never a passion of mine and I wasn't even particularly good at it, but when in school I was encouraged to take it further and at that age I was definitely easily influenced and why on earth would I not listen to the people who (I thought) knew what was best for me? It wasn't too much of a shock to me when I dropped out after 6 months and went into the world of work. I'm not saying university was a waste of time because it taught me that it definitely wasn't for me, but I do believe I was misled and sort of pressured in to going. If I was to go back and start again I'd have definitely looked at the possibility of doing a media/journalism based degree as I've found that is where my passion/talents really lie.

Don't be shy about blogging

This is only something I've really started to embrace over the last year or so and I'm so glad I did. Since I started to write for Real Clobber in April last year, I've become really confident in myself and more specifically my writing whereas in the past I was really timid about sharing anything I'd ever written.
As with many people, my first 'blogging' experience came from Tumblr which I still use to this day just a lot more sporadically. I set my Tumblr up when I was 17 and even now I'm reluctant to let people know that I use it, even though it's where I get a lot of my influences from especially fashion.

I think my shyness stems from the fact that none of my friends or anybody I know really blogs so I didn't really have anybody to seek advice from or even talk about it. But in recent times I've managed to meet a lot of likeminded people who enjoy writing and this has given me the confidence to be a lot more open about what I do.

Money isn't everything

Don't get me wrong; money is important. But I've come to find that even though I'm making money, I'm not entirely happy and there's something missing. I currently work at Vivienne Westwood which is such an amazing company to work for and it pays pretty well for retail, but it doesn't engross me in the way that a potential writing or social media job would. Like I said, the money is pretty good and I'm comfortable when it comes to being able to treat myself and it's also allowed me to move out of my parents' home. The thing that is missing and the void that I whole heartedly need to fill is job satisfaction. 7 years on from being 18 I'm still learning that being happy is greater than working for the rat race just to put food on the table and it's definitely something I'm still working on.

Believe in yourself

I'm definitely not one to get all soppy and motivational, but there's been so many times where I've been told I'm not good enough or I've been undermined and I'm now at a stage in my life where I genuinely believe I think I know what's best for me and I know a lot more than I thought I did. Whether it be at work or in day to day life there's always going to be cynics who'll try to bring you down a peg or two and I've now learnt that a lot of these people tend to be selfish beings who're so self consumed they fail to see the good in others and try to stop others from progressing or even worse doing better than them. It's definitely healthy for you to want to be the best and do better than everybody around you but I've changed my mindset to just focus on what I'm doing while also encouraging others to be the best they can.

31 Jul 2016

Feelin' Blue

Cap - Supreme
Jeans - Vintage Levis
Trainers - Vans Old Skool

Following from my trip to London earlier this week, I thought I'd give you guys a look at some of my latest pick ups (especially my delicious new shirt). 

Me and my cousin headed out for a few hours to shoot some new photos and I think these came out pretty awesome! The blues and yellows are so aesthetically pleasing and the backdrops sit so nicely with my cap and shirt which I had for my birthday. 

I picked up my t shirt a few months ago but I also copped another design from the collection whilst in London. I like a lot of KAWS' work and I was put onto the artist after he designed the bottle for Pharrell's fragrance. As for the jeans, I managed to snap these up for just £8 from Urban Renewal at Urban Outfitters (I am a bargain king). 

I think in pretty much every outfit post I do, I'm wearing Old Skool Vans (specifically this colourway) but they are definitely my favourite sneaker and I can see myself wearing these until the day I die.

Head over to my Instagram for regular updates and also check out my cousins photography page


28 Jul 2016

Turning 25 In London

I'm not usually one to celebrate or make a big fuss of my birthday and with my girlfriend being on holiday and all my friends in work I decided to take a trip by myself to London, just to get out of Cardiff for a few hours. I caught the 6:20am Megabus (ridiculously early I know) and arrived by 10am. I've been to London a fair few times so I stayed clear of tourist spots like Buckingham Palace and the London Eye because once you've seen them once, you don't need to see them again right??

So instead I headed to some new spots and a few places I like to go whenever I'm in the capital. My first stop was Dover Street Market, somewhere I've wanted to go for a long time. It's a fashion and retail concept store which also has an art gallery and was created by Rei Kawakubo of Comme Des Garçons. It houses brands such as Raf Simons, Christopher Kane and of course Comme Des Garçons.  I was debating whether to buy a pair of Comme Des Garcons Converse but I decided against it and instead ended up buying a Supreme cap and a Uniqlo x KAWS tee. Nevertheless it's an amazing space to check out garments by designers that I usually wouldn't get to see.

I also spent some time in Shoreditch to fill my hipster shaped needs. There's an array of vintage and concept stores on Brick Lane as well as having pop up stores in Old Truman Brewery, one of which was an All Saints sample sale. I treated myself to a couple of pints as well as a bagel from Beigel Bake, following a recommendation from Action Bronson!

Soho is always a place I like to check out as there's always so much going on. Chinatown, Palace Skateboards and Supreme are places I always like to explore and I highly recommend having bubble tea from Bubbleology and pork buns from one of the many food spots in Chinatown.

I ended up taking a lot of photos in just a few hours, below are a few. I think I'm definitely destined to move to London eventually, I hope it's just a matter of time!


16 Jun 2016

'Get The Look' Style Challenge SS16

I've always enjoyed a challenge for as long as I can remember, whether it be the local pub quiz or that time my dad said he'd give me £10 for every goal I scored against the team at the top of the league (I scored three). So I was more than excited when I got asked to take part in The Style Challenge in association with St Davids. 

I was set a budget of £100 to put an outfit together that coincides with the current Get The Look SS16 campaign from St Davids. The challenge saw me choose an outfit from stores based in the shopping centre only, which sounds a lot harder than it actually is. With stores such as Size? and Clarks situated there I was spoilt for choice. But the stores on my hit list were the ever reliable H&M and River Island. With summer fast approaching I knew that a short sleeve shirt was a necessity and H&M had me covered. The shirt of choice features a Cuban collar and has Polynesian detailing which definitely rings out summer vibes but isn't as loud as your standard Hawaiian or floral print shirts. 

I teamed this with navy slim chinos from River Island. A general rule for a lot of people is to never mix navy and black in the same outfit, however I think the colours from the shirt really sit well with a navy lower half and isn't as much as a fashion disaster as I may have first thought! I usually like to roll the bottom of my trousers as I like to show off my socks but in this instance I opted for a shorter leg to give a cropped look, which makes the outfit feel more formal.

To finish off my summer look, I picked up a pair of taupe monk strap shoes also from h&m. They're made  of premium quality suede and have two front straps with metal fastenings to finish. As regular visitors to my blog know, I'm accustomed to wear trainers 99.9% of the time but as I'm getting older I'm slowly beginning to realise that formal shoes are a staple in any man's wardrobe. The outfit is topped off with a run of the mill plain white tee and  Vivienne Westwood belt and watch. Now that I have my first full summer outfit I'm excited to expand my wardrobe and looking forward to seeing what all you guys are wearing!