What I have learned in my first year of blogging.

It’s my first blogging birthday – Hannah Lu Loves is a year old! I can’t quite believe how quickly this past year has gone. It only seems like it was Christmas 5 minutes ago. I have loved writing blog posts, working on content and my photography so this first year has been fun.

I didn’t know how it was going to turn out or if anything would actually come of it. I only knew that I wanted to blog about the things that I have been doing or enjoying. I was always getting asked where my clothes were from or what make up I was using and I thought, what better way than to blog about it!

I have learned a few things along the way which I wanted to share with you, and these might be useful if you are thinking of starting a blog yourself. So let’s get into what I have come across in my first year…

Fabulous opportunities

The plus points of blogging in my first year have meant some really great opportunities. I’ve been invited to product launches, events and even a fashion show as part of London Fashion week which was amazing! I’ve also been sent lots of lovely products to review and test out which is something that I really enjoy doing. It’s so much fun to try new brands and to write my thoughts about them. I’ve bought things in the past after reading blogs and reviews so I know how useful it can be.

Receiving gifted items is amazing and I’m so grateful for this, but if you want to start blogging, I would advise not to go into it thinking that you will be constantly receiving gifted items all the time.  This is just a small part of the process. You need to genuinely love writing, producing content and focus on that, which leads me onto my next point.

It’s hard work!

Working a full time job, running a home, having a social life and blogging, let me tell you is not easy! There are days when I get home from the office, where I’ve been looking at a computer screen all day and the last thing I want to do is carry on with more typing.

I aim to post a new blog once a week and I haven’t always stuck to this. I have so many ideas buzzing around my head and have things that I want to write about, so I would love to increase this to twice a week. That’s a new goal I’m going to try and set myself for my second year.

You really have to be passionate and dedicated about blogging, putting in the hours if you want to go the distance.

Prepare to have IT headaches

I am not what you would call an IT whizz in the slightest. To be honest, computers and technological things hurt my head! I’ve literally had to teach myself how to use WordPress, (with the help of some YouTube tutorials along the way) and learn about plug ins, backlinks, coding, SEO, the works. They don’t make it easy let me tell you! SEO is a really important topic though for bloggers and if you want your blog to grow and be noticed you have to pay attention to this.

People don’t understand it

When you mention that you have a blog, a lot of people don’t really understand it. They think you are trying to be a model by having your picture taken, or that you are only in it for the freebies. It can be frustrating having to justify to others about why you are blogging. I decided not to tell many people about it as couldn’t be dealing with all of the questions. I enjoy doing it for myself and for my readers and that’s all that matters.

Expectations from brands

I have been approached by a lot of brands in the last year and those who I’ve chosen to work with have been lovely. Some brands will give you a free range on what content you put together and others will send you a criteria of what they are looking for. I have heard some horror stories from other bloggers though where brands have asked for drafts and made endless corrections and changes to their work. This I can’t get my head around. The brand must have seen their previous examples of work/blog posts so I they should have known what kind of content to expect from them surely?

Never let a brand dictate to you what your final published blog post will be like. Your post will not seem natural and will sound like a walking advertisement.

Be assertive with brands

There are some brands out there that will contact you asking to collaborate, but then expect you to work completely for free. You wouldn’t do this in your daily life, and blogging is no different – time is money people!

I don’t think brands always appreciate the time, and effort that goes into putting together a blog post and to expect you to do this completely free of charge is quite cheeky. Be assertive but polite with them and if you want to ask regarding payment, then it’s good to be clear and upfront on this.

Brands not using your images

This is something which has bothered me over the last year. I actually read a really great blog post on this. I’m not able to link it as she has called it a day with her blog which is a shame. She was saying how bad it made her feel when she had worked so hard to put together photography for a brand related blog post, but they never used her image on any of their social media channels.

This happened to me not so long ago with one brand, and it also really bothered me. It starts to make you feel paranoid – was my image not up to their standards? Why have they been using loads of other people’s images but not mine? Is it something about how I look?  – this is a dangerous mindset to get into but something that you need to be prepared for.

Who knows why brands don’t always use the images you have worked on. If you liked them and were happy in how they turned out, just remember that. Don’t allow this to demotivate you or make you feel bad about yourself. You will also get rejections from brands, and not hear back from them occasionally. This is also something to bare in mind and its important not to let that get to you. Something better will always be around the corner!

Staying true to yourself

Being authentic is one of THE most important things when blogging. If your posts are purely just product reviews, a blog can start turning into one big advertisement zone. I can often tell when people are talking about products just because they have been paid for it. I see it a lot on YouTube when people are promoting brands, when they cannot even pronounce the name of them properly and you can tell they aren’t really into what they are trying to promote. The whole thing can come across as a bit of a sham.

For me personally, I love writing reviews on products but I also want to talk about things that are going on in my life and about places I’ve been or  lifestyle hints/tips. Variety is key!

Promotion, promotion, promotion

Writing blog posts alone is not enough. The market is heavily saturated and you need to get noticed. I have found that using other social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter are essential for getting your name out there and gaining new readers. A good tip on Twitter is include hash tags of pages that help to promote bloggers and their recent posts. They will re-tweet for you which is a great way to gain new readers and interest.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading about my first year blogging and I’m looking forward to the future and to see what else is in store for me!

Leather Jacket – Per Una at Marks & Spencer

Cream T-Shirt – Zara

Jamie Jeans – Topshop

Handbag – Jimmy Choo

The return of Tie Dye for Spring/Summer 19

Tie dye has been in fashion hiding for years. That was until it started popping up again on celebs such as Beyoncé and Justin Bieber wearing the colourful print. Prada, Proenza Schouler and Stella McCartney took it under their wing and brought it back to the catwalk and now everyone is getting in on the trend. It’s official – Tie dye is back!

California cool, t shirts are the easiest way to wear this trend but it’s evolved for the modern day and we are now seeing it in new ways such as on denim at Proenza Schouler or used on mini dresses or Aline skirts at Prada.

What is Tie Dye..

Tie Dye has always historically been associated with hippies, and the flower power era of the 60s and 70s. It’s best known for it’s use of bright colours and bold patterns such as the spiral, mandala and peace sign.

The process typically consists of folding, twisting, pleating, or crumpling fabric or a garment and binding with string or rubber bands, followed by the application of brightly coloured dies. The manipulations of the fabric prior to application of dye are called resists as they partially or completely prevent the dye from colouring the fabric. So each piece that is made in this way is unique and different and you will not have two pieces that are exactly the same.

Fast forward to today and tie dye has been given a modern twist and there’s a fresh take on the trend.

How to wear it..

You can go as bold as you dare with this trend. If you are not feeling as confident to wear a splash of bright colours in a garment then you can still enjoy it with accessories instead. Try a scarf or a handbag – I’m really loving the Prada tie dye bags at the moment.

Tie Dye trend Edit

Here are my top picks that are in the stores at the moment. 

Boohoo.com Tie Die denim jacket
New Look tie dye twist front beach cover up in blue
Polo Ralph Lauren tie dye t-shirt
Pretty little thing – Orange Tie Dye joggers
Ralph Lauren Tie-Dye French Terry Hoodie
House of Holland Frayed ombré denim midi skirt
Boohoo.com Tie Dye Oversized T-Shirt Dress
Prada Tie-dyed duchesse-silk skirt
Boohoo.com Tie Die denim jacket
New Look tie dye twist front beach cover up in blue
Polo Ralph Lauren tie dye t-shirt
Pretty little thing – Orange Tie Dye joggers
Ralph Lauren Tie-Dye French Terry Hoodie
House of Holland Frayed ombré denim midi skirt
Boohoo.com Tie Dye Oversized T-Shirt Dress
Prada Tie-dyed duchesse-silk skirt

What are your thoughts on this trend for the Summer?

Will you be wearing it? 

Leave a comment below and thanks so much for reading! xx

Johnny Loves Rosie – my go to place for accessories

Johnny Loves Rosie has been one of my favourite brands for a while. They always have such beautiful leather handbags and accessories so I was really excited to try out a piece from their new AW18 headwear collection.

Leopard print is such a huge trend at the moment and I am a huge animal print fan so this headband is going to be a perfect statement piece to wear this season. This is a classic band shape with a pretty bow on the side and it is really comfortable to wear. There is nothing worse than when you wear one that digs into you and gives you a blinding headache! There are a few bow headband options on the Johnny Loves Rosie website as well as pretty jewel encrusted style which will be perfect or the up coming festive season.

I have been wearing this piece with knitwear and jeans, as well as roll neck tops with leather leggings. It also looks fab with a winter teddy coat. It looks great with so many outfit combinations, I’m obsessed!

You can shop on the Johnny loves Rosie website HERE and these are a few of my top picks!

7 simple tips to instantly make an outfit look more expensive

Making a few little adjustments to your wardrobe, and knowing what to look for when shopping, there are a few little tricks you can use to instantly look more expensive and chic. Here are my top 7 tips that you need to know on how to achieve this.

Invest in classic timeless pieces rather than trend led styles

I have come to realise that not all trends work for everyone. I love the look of mom jeans but they simply don’t suit me and they make me feel like I’m walking like the tin man and don’t flatter my figure at all! But I am realising that it’s ok and I don’t have to wear something just because it’s currently in fashion.
Trends also come and go and trying to keep up with each one that comes along can be exhausting. The “ugly” trainer is one of the fashion pieces that most girls are wearing at the moment. However, this isn’t going to be a long lasting trend and next year it will be something completely different. Save your money for the attention grabbing items that will become the main focus of your outfit instead and something that will always be a stylish piece in your collection.
A classic and simple outfit will never go out of style and choosing staple items for your wardrobe will mean that you always have a go to look without having to try! The French are the best at this type of styling and do this so well.

Dress: Zara Belt: Gucci

Shirt dress: Zara, Belt: Moschino

Choose a classic style coat

A quality jacket or coat can really make a whole outfit pop. Stick to neutral shades that go with everything and aim for high quality fabrics. Although you want a coat to look good you want it to actually keep you warm so look for lined coats with quality pockets. Zips and buttons are also an important factor and these always add that little something extra, so again, make sure they are smart and sturdy as you don’t want them to fall off after wearing it only a couple of times! Tailored or structured jackets look elegant and especially if they are a slightly longer length.

Cream waterfall jacket: Boohoo.com

Sunglasses

I have a bit of an addiction to sunglasses and they instantly make any outfit look chic. You don’t just have to save these for the summer months as they look just as great in the Autumn/Winter with a fabulous coat and boots. Look after your sunglasses by keeping the cases and storing them carefully. This will extend the life of them and keep them in the best condition possible.

Keep it simple

Now, I’m no stranger to a bright outfit and I love neon highlighter shades and bright, bold clothing. These colours look great but for that ultimate chic, stylish look, try an outfit that is all one colour or a mixture of similar shades as this always looks so expensive. You can add a touch of colour into the outfit with accessories. Also, by keeping jewellery and accessories to a minimum will add to that luxury look. There’s a reason that Coco Chanel said to take off the last accessory that you put on – this makes such a difference to your finished outfit.
I like to style up my outfits with a designer belt or scarf too which make a statement, or wear either bold earrings or a necklace – just not at the same time.

From left to right: Zara, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Vivienne Westwood and H&M

Invest more money in better quality footwear and handbags

I tend to avoid buying cheaper footwear or handbags. They never last very long and the quality is always so disappointing. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but choose items that are made from decent materials with quality hardware. Check out my previous guide HERE which lists all of the key items to look out for when investing in a new handbag.

Boots: Jimmy Choo

Replace the buttons

Buttons are always a give away that something was purchased on the high street. An easy tip to instantly transform any piece is by changing these. Adding new shiny buttons to a coat or jumper can make such a huge difference. You can pick up some great buttons in haberdasheries (John Lewis has a great section for this) and this is a cheap way to update an outfit. You can often find Chanel buttons online or in vintage stores too which would be fabulous added to an item but without the £2000+ price tag.

Maintenance

It sounds obvious but looking after your clothes is one of the most important tips. Wash them correctly, check there are no loose threads and make sure they are properly pressed. It’s a good idea to invest in a steamer as they are quick and easy to use and get rid of all creases which cheapen the look of an outfit. Hang clothes neatly on fabric coated hangers rather than wire ones as these tend to ruin the shape of them and can ruin the fit. If you look after your clothes they will last longer and look so much better on.

See all of the best looks from the SS19 Moschino runway show

Moschino is one of the runway shows that I look forward to the most and the SS19 show was incredible! Jeremy Scott has created a fabulous collection for the future season. All of the designs looked like they were straight from his sketch pad, with a nod to 80s styling and featuring colourful brush strokes in bright, fresh colours.

The invitation..

The invitation for the show was a box of felt tip pens in a selection of rainbow colours. This was the first clue of what was about to come and what the designer had in store for everyone. The show began and the crowd could hear a telephone call between Jeremy Scott and Gigi Hadid. He was telling her that the show was about to start and that he only had his sketches with him.

Scribbles and sketches..

The models started walking down the runway dressed in sharp cut jackets, pencil skirt suits, shifts, cocktail dresses and the whole collection was fabulously lady like and chic. The majority of the outfits were white fabric, on which felt tip scribbles made each design individual. I get such Pretty Woman vibes from this collection – especially the scenes where she has been shopping and she’s had a style makeover with chic skirt suits and hats.

Sassy Accessories..

Moschino have always had cool and quirky accessories and this collection was no different. Bella and Gigi Hadid wore wide brimmed hats angled on the side of their heads elegantly. Structured, feminine handbags, also covered in scribbles made their way down the catwalk and scribbled on tights to complete the looks. Kendall Jenner was also part of the show and carried a large bottle of Moschino perfume.

Gigi the bride..

No catwalk show is ever complete without the traditional final bridal look and Gigi Hadid closed the show, in a puffball dress and a bunch of flowers. Body stocking clad men carried her long train behind while butterflies flittered above her. It was a fabulous fairytail ending to such an amazing show.

What was your favourite look from the collection? I cannot wait for the accessories to launch in store so I can get involved with this trend. Here are a couple of items on my wish list:

What is your favourite outfit from the show? Leave me a comment below!

 

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