I've mentioned her before and now I'm chuffed to bring you an interview with one of my favourite bloggers! Gem's blog has become one of my daily must-reads. She is hilarious and just the sort of girl I would try to befriend in the bathroom of some indie dive bar. Let's have a natter, shall we?
Hello Gem, how are you today?
Hi Lauren! I'm fine, thank you. I've had really bad headaches the last few days and I'm so pleased to wake up and not be in pain today! I do have work shortly, so this good mood could be shortlived...
Heh. Tell us a bit about you and how you spend your days.
Well, I've just finished my second year at university studying Fashion Promotion (styling/journalism etc). As it's the summer holidays, I've been working at Topshop 4/5 days a week. On my days off, I am usually drinking coffee, eating crumpets (with cheese and marmite, which I thoroughly recommend! My thighs don't, though...), responding to emails, reading zillions of blogs and writing new posts for my own blog. I also like to sit in the park and read books with Alex (my live-in boyfriend/BFF of 5 years) or go charity shop shopping when I can drag myself away from the laptop!
Your blog is an absolute hoot and very informative too! What do you love most about blogging?
Why thank you! I think the bit about blogging I like best is having people that actually read it! For a longggg time (about 2 years) I had very few readers. But in the last year or so, since I've been putting much more time and effort into the blog, it's really become a big part of my life and subsequently people have actually wanted to read it. It's taken me so long to find out what it's like to have a proper community of readers that get involved and respond to my posts, etc, that I appreciate it so much more than I would've if I had been an instant blogging success. It's just the nicest feeling knowing there's people that want to read whatever it is I'm banging on about.
You've been blogging for a good few years now. How has your blog evolved in that time?
Oh god. It has evolved in almost every way! It's pretty funny that in just a few clicks, people can see how shoddy the blog used to look (please don't!) I now try to make sure the blog looks as good as it can with my zero html skills when it comes to layout and photos. It's also less of a style diary than it was at the start. I have grown up a lot and also learnt a lot about fashion and life in general, so I now feel equipped and confident enough to share my opinions with my readers! Speaking of readers, I consider them a lot more when thinking of new post ideas these days. I like to try and make reading my blog a valuable experience in some way, whether it's with new tips or giveaways, rather than going on about me me me all the time! My writing style itself hasn't changed much at all, though. Lolz are still my primary concern.
And lolz there are a plenty! You mentioned to me on twitter that your dream is to become a writer. Can you tell us more about that please? And for the record, I think a fashion column or book deal is around the corner for you!
Haha, thanks so much! That would be dreamy! I think I definitely will go into writing in some capacity. I haven't thought too much about exactly what I want to do though. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed making my own lifestyle magazine for my last uni project, so that might be something to consider! I have a lot of opinions on the magazine industry, and really want to provide something different to what's out there already. Something for girls like myself that want to look cute on a budget and care more about style than fashion. Talking about this has made me want to do it now!
Good, you must! Now, you work in Topshop aka 4 Floors of Retail Heaven. How do you cope surrounded by constant shopping temptation? I would want to buy everything ALL the time.
I generally find that blind fear of debt collectors is the main way I avoid temptation! To get your Topshop staff discount, you have to buy things on a staff credit card, so you literally do need to be super careful with how much you buy or you'll be in big trouble. Due to my non-existent budget I have to be quite a nazi about what I buy these days anyway, so I'll only buy things I think I'll wear again and again (not one-season wonders), which renders most of the clothes un-investable anyway, no matter how much I want them!
What are your favourite things to wear? What's a real Gem outfit?
I always try to dress in the best way for my body shape, so a typical outfit of mine is made up of the following components:
A baggy h&m jersey top - I have a bit of a tummy on me so I always try and wear baggy tops so I can be comfortable! Also, I am rather busty and I don't like to make too much of a show of it (due to unwelcome pervy stares of the male public), so baggy tops are a must!
A long necklace (to make the boobs look smaller!)
Either a body-con skirt (I find having a baggy top tucked into a tight skirt makes the tum appear flatter!) or just leggings.
Desert Boots or Brogues (with socks) - I find androgynous footwear stops a plain outfit looking too boring. I add socks for a bit of cuteness!
Ah, well you always look awesome. Any looks or trends you'd never touch?
I will never wear a full-on harem trouser. The saggy nappy look just isn't to my taste! Also, I hate that weird thing people do wear they wear leotards with the leg-holes showing above the waist of their trousers so it looks like they have a full-frontal wedgy (I blogged about it here if my description makes no sense!). It makes me a bit sick. They are the two main things that are on my to-don't list. Oh, oh, and kitten heels. Vom!
Ha. Which are your favourite places to shop other than Toppers?
My fave places to shop for clothes are h&m and charity shops. It's not clothes related but I also really love pound shops... You never know what you might find in there! I found a hilarious little play tunnel for my cat Roxy once and it made her life complete. Then she broke it and we had to chuck it away. She's never been the same!
Do you prefer to shop solo or with a shopping bud or boyf?
I actually prefer to shop alone. None of my friend's really have the same style as me, so I don't like to put them in the awkward 'how does this look?' position. And shopping with Alex is a nightmare because he never says whether he doesn't like something. I have to rely on body language and/or telekinesis to work out the truth! All in all, it's just much simpler to go solo!
Heh, men and shopping. Alrighty, back to the blogosphere. Who are your top 5 daily reads?
I can never do Top 5's, so in no particular order...
Flying Saucer - Selina is one of my favourite UK bloggers and one of the first blogs I ever read. I love her writing style and she has a really cute sense of style. Selina is the person who first made me aware of my next blog pick...
Fk Yeah Pretty Nails (Tumblr) - Endless nail inspiration! This site will brighten your day! And possibly your nails!
Cali Vintage - Erin is a cool American chick with awesome style and short hair like mine, so I always find inspiration on her blog, as I find it hard to imagine whether certain looks will suit me.
Mademoiselle Robot - Laetitia is another old school blogger. She has gorgeous style, the cutest french accent and is a big Luella fan like me (Bring back Luella!) There's always lots of outfit inspiration to be found on her blog!
Perez Hilton - My guilty pleasure... Don't judge me!
No judgement here! What tips would you give to someone wanting to start a blog?
Don't do it! Your social life will be history! Joking aside, my main tip is to be yourself. Take pride in having your own opinions, and just write whatever comes naturally to you.
And finally, Minstrels or Maltesers?
You just can't beat a nice microwaved bowl of Minstrels. Absolute bliss!
Microwaved Minstrels! Gem is full of handy tips like that. I'm starting to sound like a bit of a stalker so let me shut up and steer you in the direction of her lovely blog. But before you go, let us know in a comment if you're also a fan of Miss Fatale. I'd love for her to have a warm welcome here :D