Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Instagram Invisibilty - Why, as a community, we have to support one another

Over the last few months shadow bans, bots and algorithms have been the words on everyone in the blogging communities lips. It seems like Instagram - a once loved and admired social platform is slowly becoming everyone's biggest nightmare. We are stressed about our lack of engagement, obsessing over our follower count and generally, Instagram is becoming one huge headache.

I must tell you there have been several messages exchanged between the TQR team; obsessing about how badly a beloved and meticulously shot photo has done and analysing the exact time we should be posting. We have noticed an undeniable drop in engagement, even though we feel as though our content is slowly but surely improving. The classic Instagram formula is beautiful content + engaging in the Instagram Community = likes & followers. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore. It's completely demotivating, but I have some thoughts on what we need to do to improve the situation.

I have been planning this post for a few weeks now and taking notes on what I wanted to say, but last night I was really inspired by something I posted on Facebook. I have been lucky enough to enjoy a few days away at the Spa with my Aunt, which has been absolutely wonderful and I took a lovely snap of her relaxing in the lounge and posted it to my Facebook profile. Almost instantly I was inundated with likes and comments of love and support from all my friends and family. She is one of the kindest and most loving people I know, but I was struck at the truly authentic and genuine encouragement her and I received on the post - and it really made me think.

Why is it that our parents and grandparents generation takes pride in boosting each other up and celebrating one another's triumphs, while we all seem to find it much more difficult to do this. I can't speak for everyone and I know that younger people are less active on Facebook but this engagement doesn't seem to be transferable to platforms that we are active on. I see friends get less than 10 likes when posting beautiful work they have produced or talking about a subject they are passionate about. It really is sad and over the last few years, I have made an effort to 'like' everything I see on social media that is positive for somebody, regardless if I saw this friend last week or three years ago. I know we shouldn't get wrapped up in how many likes we get, but I think something as little as a like on a bad day can really improve our moods.

A few months ago I had a pretty humiliating and deflating experience with two fellow bloggers. I was on a bit of a liking spree and was finding fellow Scottish bloggers to follow and support their accounts. There were two particular girls who I'd followed and liked 5 or 6 of their photos and after about five minutes of doing this, we were tagged in a photo. It was a screen shot of one of the girl's notifications of the new follower and likes she had received from me - with a caption that said something like 'U ok @thequietresolution?' with sarcastic emojis. I felt pretty embarrassed by this remark and went to unfollow her before I got the chance another girl commented on the photo too. She said 'I have the same lol' with an embarrassed face and laughing emojis. I was furious by this exchange but decided to ignore it and not stoop as low as to unfollow them.  

Taking it back to a more positive note - I honestly believe this mentality is how we beat the algorithm. Make a mental note of all the bloggers in your community that you admire, know personally or not and support them as much as you can! It's so easy to get competitive with people but it's ten times better to make friends and become a support system for one another. We have as a group and individually made so many lovely friends, and created a really creative and supportive community to blog in. 

I think liking a photo is great, but also retweeting a fellow blogger's inspiring blog post or sharing their page on your story is such a small but fantastic thing to do. These small acts of assistance can really make a difference. I have seen a lot of talk from bigger bloggers admitting they never follow accounts anymore, and that makes me really sad. They talk about how people really need to prove themselves more, I'm not saying you should just follow anyone but if you like someone's account I think it is truly petty not to follow them out of spite, or looking like you are following too many people.

 Every week I try and find new accounts to follow that are inspiring or entertaining to me in some way. I also make a point of supporting my peers and taking an interest in their lives and what they are blogging about. I truly believe that if we all pull together a little more and help each other this Instagram mess wouldn't seem half as bad.  I would love to know any fellow bloggers or Instagrammers thoughts on this subject, and please leave your handle below for your social media platforms!

L x


Sunday, 3 September 2017

Suit up, look sharp.

Suits are shaking things up all we've anticipated for the coming months and seasonal changes. For me, I've always wanted to wear a suit rolling back to my High School prom there was a part of me that loved the idea of a sharp tailored suit that probably came from watching SATC2 and seeing that amazing crown Carrie wears at the wedding and thinking 'Why not?'.

A good tailored suit is necessary in every mans wardrobe and now ladies, it's out turn. Think Clueless, Princess Diana and long-lines. The high-street inspiration for suits have had heavy influence from Cher and Dionne and they rule-breaking lavishly bold two-pieces i'm sure we've all considered for any fancy dress occasion. But now, it's going to be part of your everyday wardrobe. Below are some of my favourite Clueless-esque suit's with a little how-to guide.

This Topshop two-piece is the kind of thing you can wear anywhere to anything. The light grey and long-line fit can be made formal or casual for whatever you need it for! Don't be afraid to wear a long-line if you're short; it's all about the right fit. Topshop will usually do petite alternatives but as a petite person myself, I prefer over-sized so would try both and see what you prefer. Match this similar to the model or try a cobalt blue mule with a metallic details and an art-deco earring.

Of course, ASOS have something on the table. It's a heavier fit than the Topshop one previously but will be an easier staple for our wardrobe. Because there's a darker check it means that it's easier to pair with anything rather than a faded check that can sometimes get a bit lost when worn with bolder colours. If you're more of a bright and bold gal, this one is ideal for you. Pair with some super shiny trousers from Millie Mackintosh, a clean white T and edgy heels.

Anthropologie have nailed the Cher styled blazer. By Cartonnier their masculine style with feminine detailing makes this blazer perfect for everyone. As a brand, their sizes come up quite big so if you're popping in to try it on, try a couple of sizes on. The green thread that goes through this reminds me of a very Pandora Sykes staple. It's double-breasted which means if you wear it closed it will give you some shape around the waist and will sit in all the right places. Pair with this ASOS Glamorous silky dress (i'm completely obsessed with) and match it with a ruffled heel for ultimate sassy pants vibes.

Next let's think more bold and something you would wear to an occasion and easily slipped into your staples section of your wardrobe. I'm talking, pattern, colour and texture are all super key features to think about when shopping for suits. I'm all about a bold colour so i've found a couple thing's I love and some inspiration for you!

This Missguided orange suit is a slice of zestyness I think we all need in our life. It's fun, tailored and sexy. The orange is super clean and perfect for going into Autumn for a fresher look. If you're worried about it being too much, you can tone it down with an illustrated t-shirt  or a sweet mini-peplum for a more cheeky edge to the suit rather than a typical white shirt or something really fitted and a block colour. With some metallic trainers, this is perfect for those last minute outings with the gals. 

This floral suit is my pyjama dream come true. Finally it's acceptable to wear something as comfortable as pyjamas out in public and not be judged. It's elegant, feminine and perfectly beautiful in every aspect. I love the effortless shape it has and the way it hangs mirrors oriental styling and the palazzo trousers are a dream. If you're as brave as the model, wear nothing underneath. If it's for an occasion a simple silk vest will be perfect or take the oatmeal colour from the flowers in a layered frilled top but i'm also obsessed with the idea of a raspberry pink too. Matched with a super simple heels or shoes, this suit speaks for itself with no need for any fuss.

So there you are- a very quick look into the new trend of suits. Whether you love tailoring or you prefer something a bit looser and floaty, there's a suit for you! Be bold, brave and always try something new.

Z x
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