Style with a smile

Posted in Daily Outfits.


Thrifted jumper, Gap shirt, Primark tee, H&M jeans, Primark socks, Primark shoes, thrifted brooch, thrifted bangle

And the details…

Remember when I asked which shade of red lipstick would suit my pale colouring? You all gave me so many great suggestions and using your ideas I tracked down this orangey red. It’s a 17 lipstick in ‘Playful’. I love it!
The lovely Anna Jane from Pixelated Blonde really caught my attention with her post on the Tanya Gold article. She spoke about one thing that really puts me off the fashion trail – the lack of happiness in the industry.
I’m generally a very happy person – I think a positive outlook on life makes everything better, including how you’re seen by others. It seems strange to me that an industry so focused on appearance can look so down in the mouth all the time. Experts are constantly telling us being happy prolongs our lives, makes us look younger, reduces frown lines and keeps us slim. You’d think models would be all over it like Posh on the new Birkin.
I don’t suppose many people will know this, but for a time, I worked for a glossy fashion mag. It wasn’t a big one, unless you live in Yorkshire you probably won’t know it and the content was less Vogue, more vague, but still. A fashion mag it was. I worked there for 6 months and hated every waking moment. Wearing jeans was a sackable offence (well, almost). A size 12 was fat. Flat shoes were considered sacrilegious and I was sent sobbing to the bathroom after eating a burger for lunch. That was one place where a shining smile, goofy grin or cheerful chuckle was received with the same distain I usually reserve for The Daily Mail.
I’m glad I no longer work directly within the fashion industry. I know not all places are the same, but prejudices and judgements from the very top filter down to even the smallest of fries. And I’m relieved I got out when I did.
Have you ever worked in a fashion-related job? Is it a career you’d like to pursue? I’d love to know!
PS – Don’t forget, Little Bird readers get 20% off at elsiebelle with the code ALITTLEBIRDTOLDME!



Long-time lurker on your blog here. I totally love your style -you carry off so many looks well and I’ve been inspired more than once by your lovely looks. In fact, when I saw those shoes, I just had to go out and buy them in black because they were just too cute!
This post really prompted some feedback from me because it’s been my ultimate wish to work in the fashion industry. I’m fifteen, and have been into fashion since I was five, and I’ve always wanted to design pretty clothes for a living. The industry scares me (just a little!), but with changing attitudes nowadays, hopefully it will be less prejudiced and have a better environment when the time comes for me to try and score a job.
I too am generally a very happy person. Spread the love with a smile and all that. I don’t want to work in a horrible, soulless place. c:
Looking divine as always today. Lovely and simple but oh-so-nautical. How chic!



I actually kind of know what you mean about the fashion industry. I trained for a year at the Scottish College of Textiles (as it was then, before Heriot-Watt subsumed it). Yes, size 10 was fat. God forbid you should be seen actually eating in the cafeteria, and the food there was damn near inedible anyway. The tutors made no effort to hide their disdain of anyone deviating from the fashion ‘norm’.

I was only there a year (personal trauma, don’t ask) and learned a lot about clothing construction, but even more about an industry that can’t be bothered blocking clothes beyond a size twelve because ‘fat girls aren’t fashionable’.

pip a la chic

I love this outift. I love you’ve got the red long sleeved top and the red shoes.
I studied four years of fashion and worked briefly in the fashion industry whilst living in Sydney. My first job was as a fashion assistant, that was ok…..I was pretty much a slave. Then found a new job where several brands where there. Everyone was lovely and there was a mixture of people, ages, fashion and style there. I regret leaving Sydney but if I really wanted to go back I would of by now… so I guess I don’t regret then hey?


The red lipstick, sleeves and shoes look great – glad you found a red lipstick to suit you!

That magazine doesn’t sound like a nice place to work, it’s so sad how fashion can be manipulated to be bitchy and joyless…I’ve always thought of it as something that’s supposed to be expressive, inspiring and above all fun – it’s only clothing after all (albeit sometimes really, really nice clothes!)

I’ve done work experience at a magazine, I enjoyed it but the double standards were shocking – shoots featured skinny, skinny models while the magazine churned out articles about self-acceptance and how you didn’t need to be thin to get a boyfriend…it was a teenage magazine but hopefully even the young audience saw through things like that…

Sorry for the little rant! Great post as always πŸ™‚ x


Looooooooooove this look! Nautical AND bird brooch? Fabulous! Everyone this stylish deserves to be happy.



Oh god, I’d hate to work in that sort of environment! It sounds horrible. The fashion industry makes me feel sick. It shouldn’t be so arrogant and elitist – and prices for stuff make me angry, too. How can someone spend thousands on an item of clothing or bag when they know some people are starving?! I’d feel like a complete moron doing that, although I suppose it’s all relative to what you earn…maybe if I earned that much I wouldn’t think twice? I’d like to think I would, though! Lovely outfit as usual! xx


Loving the nautical look, and I have a really thing about bird jewellery at the moment. I’m glad you got out of that industry when you did I like you happy!
VIcki xx


Beautiful outfit today Jen.

Crumbs, I would never survive working in the fashion industry. Uniform in the organisation I work in seems to consist of cords, tweed jackets and posh checked shirts, couldn’t be further away from fashionable if it tried! I’m trying to make my own style a bit more interesting now but I’ve quite happily worn jeans to work for the past 5 years and no-one’s batted an eyelid at it.

The lack of joy is something that really strongly depresses me when reading beauty and fashion magazines. I don’t cope well with them – everything is so cynical and aimed at skinny rich girls πŸ™


The bird brooch looks great here πŸ™‚

I watched the ‘September Issue’ on tv the other day, was certainly an eye opener! It’s a very controversial industry.


You look lovely ♥

I love clothes but I’d never want to work in the fashion industry. I’m comfortable with the size I am etc and wouldn’t want to feel pressurised into becoming something i’m not.

I’m glad you’re happier doing something else now! xo

E is for Eleanor

Jen those shoes are lovely! The red shoes and the amazing layering look brill.

I would love to work in the industry, maybe as you said no directly- I love the thought of publishing or print but fashion itself scares the crap out of me. You have to have thick skin, and mine would need to seriously toughen up to survive it! xx


Hi Jen, I keep seeing your comments on all of my fav blogs so I had to check your blog out! love it already, your shoes here are awesome! For awhile I wanted to work for Vogue, like in the devil wears prada, be Anna Wintour’s coffee slave, but then I started realizing just how horribly frivolous the industry is. The documentary The Sept. Issue was fascinating. It’s amazing how arrogant these fashion industry gurus can be.

Btw would you like to trade links?

ζˆ‘ moi

oohh wow . . . I love those shoes ! That reminds me of these shoes I saw in Topshop online πŸ™‚ hehe must go and buy them after I comment you !

I was tagged and I tagged you , so check out my blog and see what you have to do πŸ˜€ !

ciao ciao

Cafe Fashionista

First, Jen I’m loving this look on you. The nautical inspiration makes me downright giddy!

Second, I had no clue that you worked at a fashion magazine. Your experiences sound like something directly out of “The Devil Wears Prada.” I’m glad you got out when you did – you’re too sweet to have to suffer tormenting at the hands of clackers!! πŸ™‚


Oh I love the little hints of red in your outfit!! The shoes are totally adorable too!

Wow, the job you had sounds so very “the devil wears prada”!! I don’t think I’ll ever want to work directly under the fashion industry, I’ll never be able to withstand those kind of pressures. But I do have a dream of opening my own boutique shop one day, hope it will come true:)


heart charlie

Love your stripes!!! LOVE LOVE!! I am so glad to hear that you left a job that did not make you happy! Good for you, that takes a lot of courage and intelligence! I do work in the fashion industry, I have definitely met a lot of terrible, judgmental, and stuck up people. But I have also met a lot of talented, funny, kind, smart, gracious, and beautiful people as well! I actually love my job and the people I work with πŸ˜‰ I am so sorry you had a bad experience πŸ™


I love this outfit. I especially love the red shoes/white socks combo. You always get it so spot on!

I’m sorry to hear that you had a bad experience in the fashion industry, but it’s nice to hear that you’re a positive person! We need more of you in the world. πŸ™‚



Oooo, black/white/red is SUCH a great combo imo! You look fabulous and I am loving that lipstick on you as well!

I totally agree about the fashion industry, I don’t want to generalize but I believe that when every waking moment is devoted to clothes/shoes/accessories, it can lead to a somewhat shallow existence at the end of the day.

My aunt is in the fashion industry and it’s like her religion. I’m ALL FOR IT as a hobby and I love it, but I’m just sayin’ I completely agree. You put my same thoughts into words far better than I ever could πŸ™‚


it’s funny cuz i was just thinking if it’s necessary to be depressed or confused to have a good fashion photo…i smile in mine most of the time..and i mostly write happy stuff too. i mean, i’m way too stressed at work to not be happy when i blog…

ps. love that brooch!

Lexy @ Quirky Explosion

Love the bright red accents. Those shoes are so shiny and they remind me of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz (but in the best of ways). And I find that shoes always look so much cuter with socks with them! You feet look AMAZING (obviously, that’s not all – but they do look, like, EXTRA amazing.)

This is a really weird comment.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


jen you’re not alone! i also worked at a fashion company before and the amount of stress was just unbelievable and the worst part was it was coming directly straight from the owners too… also..i was put in a position where i was not really moving up, nor i could see the possibility of doing so…i didn’t want to get comfortable and be stuck i left.. and im going to take some time off for myself to figure out what i really want to do and how to get there.. πŸ™‚
and of course, another lovely outfit!



I always wanted to try and get into journalism, never really considered fashion, but based on the fact that i’m not great at fitting in with trends etc, i’d probably not last long!


Great lippie on you! and I love those socks, cute and practical otherwise you’d definitely lose your toes in this weather! πŸ™‚

I went to uni studying media practices and did my work experience at the Herald and Post, not a fashion mag but I experienced the same bitchy vibe which put me off I must say.
Your experience sounds horrible, and you can see why many think the fashion industry and the mags are cold cruel people.

X x

Anna Jane

Aww thank you for the reference! You do appear to be a very smiley and positive person and it makes me sad that such qualities are a rarity amongst many people. Personally if I’m shopping, trying on clothes, or doing anything remotely fashion-related, I’m always smiling!
Your job sounded like hell though. I’m determined to end up working for a fashion mag and be the first person ever to put those sour-faced ponces in their place!!!

As for your outfit, I LOVE the shoes and the contrast of red and stripes. The red lipstick defo suits you and goes so well with those super duper glasses! One of my fave outfits of yours I think! <3

– Anna Jane xxx


Amazing post. It is quite horrible to think that the world of fashion can be so patronising and hurtful. Fashion should be something that is fun and enjoyable, not judgemental and shallow. Love your nautical, happy look!


interesting to learn that you used to work for a fashion mag (small or big, doesn’t matter). i’ve always wanted to go into the fashion industry but unfortunately, i’m stuck in a more serious profession that adds a prefix to your name πŸ˜‰



The whole outfit is gorgeous, I love it all. The details really make it though, the shoe, the brooch and oh mythe lipstick is totally fab.

I’d love the idea of working in the fashion industry but as you said reality is often much different to the dreams in my head

Queenie xx

as told by kiki

OMG! youve got the most adorable pair of red shoes! πŸ™‚ it’s soooo CUTE!

I can imagine how it’s like to be working in a glossy mag…tsk tsk.. It kinda makes me think of the movie the Devil Wears Prada…hehehe. πŸ™‚ x

Audrey Allure

i love your outfit – it’s really cute with the white, black, red & stripes πŸ™‚

and i think it just depends where in the fashion industry you work. i also worked for a magazine, but things were a lot more friendly – they even encouraged us to wear jeans & sneakers to be more comfortable since i worked in the fashion closet all day anyway. my boss even made us take one hour to go & eat because she didn’t want us starving ourselves.

but i did work in the same building as vogue – & i heard some horrible stories, but i think it just comes down to who your supervisor is & how he/she treats those below him/her.


It’s really all in the details! Missed visiting your blog for inspiration … Did you know that red suits you?!


You rock those red lips, and I am now obsessed with your shoes.

I was once given the oppurtunity to sign with a modelling agency
but meh…I have enough self esteem issues without working in fashion! As much as I love the idea of fashion journalism, I could never put myself in to such a looks based environment.



Love that brooch!

As for the fashion industry, it’s a shame it’s so snobbish and elitist. It’s not always the hardest worker who gets all the kudos which is so unfair.

I work right near Natmags and when I’m out for lunch at the same time as the editors/journalists etc it’s so clear there’s a pecking order. First it’s the tall, skinny girls with long blonde hair and manicured nails puffing away on their cigarettes (no doubt thinking they look Parisienne when the actually look like chavs) talking about the latest whatever, then there’s the girls who I consider normal (average height, average weight with good style) then the few girls who are considered to be ‘large’ [read: size 10] who are fortunate enough to get a job or work experience there.

Shame as fashion is art, and the snobbish-ness really makes it seem so ugly.


My SIL works for Natmags – she’s one of the ‘normal’ ones but about 6ft tall.

I wish I knew what I wanted career wise. Is it too late at 36 to decide?


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