Summer in the city

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Portraits by Tom Flathers 

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2nd Birthday

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After sitting down and staring blankly at my computer screen wondering what the hell I was going to write (something which happens all to often) it suddenly occurred to me that this little corner of the internet has existed for a whole 730 ish days, or 2 years to the slightly less maths savvy. As someone who spent her own 21st birthday sat at home eating pizza (don’t worry I splashed out on the expensive shit), I haven’t been cracking out the party poppers and cocktail sausages for this little milestone quite yet. However I knew I had to at least acknowledge it. 

After staring the early remnants of Fabric Forward back in the summer of 2015 it has gone through many a face lift, style change and focus to become what it is today. As some who has never known her HTML’s from her SEO’s, is not only just bad but scared of writing and used to run away when anyone got a camera out, the idea of me creating a fashion blog all being rather dependant on those 3 things would have seemed somewhat silly. However I think if from nothing else than my own determination to not have another hobby flop (lets not make a repeat of the tennis lessons), we’ve persisted through the technical confusion, writers block and pubic awkwardness to see ourselves here 2 years later. 

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Despite 2 years seeming like a rather long time I think it has taken to this point for me to finally feel happy and pleased at what I am creating. From finally finding a layout that I like, being more comfortable in my personal style and knowing the kind of posts I want to create I feel it makes me eager to want to write and create more rather than it feeling like a chore. I think the fact I have managed to post twice in week I think says it all. 

Is it at a level which I might have hoped it would be by now? Not really, however at then of the day, as long it’s stays enjoyable and interesting then what does it matter if there is 1 or 1 billion of you out there.Through all the ups and downs of daily life Fabric Forward has been a wonderful little escape as my little part of the internet and somewhere which I am able to pour my creativity and love of fashion and photography into. So roll on the next 2 years and lets see where it takes us! 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

Lacy days

Lacy days

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Hello! As you may have been able to tell from the large black whole where last weeks blog should have been this weekly posting thing is going extremely well!. Anyway, my punctuality aside I am back today and we are going all old skool in terms of me just wittering on about something that I have decided to wear on one fine day (and other wicked fans feel free to continue the song.)   

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If you have been over on my instagram recently you may have noticed that my all time love with all black outfits has been seeming to wain a little with items such as bright green jumpers and red trousers weaselling their way into my wardrobe (whatever next!) However there are always going to be days that old colour ignorant Chloe comes out and reverts back to a (nearly) all black look. With not being one of the girlies of girls, I don’t own a particularly large amount of lacy items. To be fair, this dress is probably as far as it goes. However the small amount on this lovely black Zara dress had my eyes pulling me towards it whilst my debit card was trying to pull me away.

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In the short amount of time I have had it I have already found it to be a very versatile piece with it being great to layer up, with a long sleeves underneath or a jumper over the top (or both if you end up working in a tent over christmas, long story). Also for anyone like me who doesn’t like showing oodles of flesh in the summer this piece will be great in terms of keeping you cool with the strappy top and thin floaty fabric but keeping that cellulite from christmas that you haven’t quite managed to shift yet out of sight! 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

DRESS | TOP | BOOTS

Busting the January blues

Busting the January blues

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So Monday the 16th of January came and went. To most people this is another normals day but apparently over recent years it has been coined as the most depressing day of the year. With the all the fun and festivities behind us and just enough time to let some of those new years resolutions starting to slip away, it can be all to easy for mid January to turn into a bit of a downer. However, having spent one to many evenings alone in the flat nursing a one too many bowls of weetabix and nearly resorting to watching everything in my subscription box a second time round, i’ve finally unearthed myself from under the duvet to get out and get proactive and try to set an example to myself for the rest of the year. Only time will tell if this works out or not! So here is a list of my best ways of trying to bust the new year blues this January! 

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Taking up a new hobby 

Be it tap dancing or tiddlywinks there is never a better time than any than at the beginning of a new year to pick a new hobby. After all the socialising of the party season I will be the first one wanting to turn into a bit of a recluse and spend the best part of the month hiding under a pile of pillows. However taking up a new hobby will not only get you your creative juices flowing and your brain back into gear but it could also give you the opportunity to socialise more and meet more like minded people. And who knows what might happen, you find that you rather quickly become the best miniature model cake crochet-er in the country! (Genuine failed hobby of mine #807) 

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Get out and get active! 

Now hear comes the old cliche of starting off a new year by getting fit and healthy. By this I really don’t mean you have to go out and sign your life away to a new gym that you will use once, get intimidated by the large muscly men and continue to spend your evenings at home binge watching Lost with a large bowl of trifle (got to put the weetabix down on some occasions). Getting the so good old fresh air pumping through your lungs from a simple walk around the park or leisurely bike ride can do you the world of good after being cooped up inside all day. After all, it will give you an excuse to try out that new pedometer that you were so lovingly given by your mum for christmas, not as a hint or anything! 

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Go to the cinema 

With Brent and Bridget making their returns to our screens last year, cinema has definitely been on good form recently. But with awards seasons now well underway the beginning of a new year is always brimming with brand new brilliant films to take a good gander at. Whether it be action or animation that tickles your fancy, I find its a great way to pass the time in the cold winter night. 

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Having a “spring” clean and getting rid of all the crap 

Lambs may not have started leaping, daffodils may not have started growing and spring may not have sprung quite yet however spring doesn’t have to be here quite yet to have a good old clear out. I always find having a good old cleanse of your surroundings at the beginning of a new year will make for a much happier and healthier you. All the stuff which we have manage to accumulate over the year that we have desperately convinced ourselves that we need can either be chucked out or given a brand new how for someone to love more than you. And besides, you need to make some room for all those brand new christmas presents anyway. 

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Find some new meals. 

I know its a pain but with most of the tins of biscuits laying bare and selection of various cheeses all finished off, its time to put down the tin of quality street and find actual proper meals made with actual proper healthy things and stuff. I’m not saying go on some crazy celery juicing health kick (if celery juice is even a thing) however after having one to many batch cooked, reheated bolognese’s at the end of last year I definitely think it is time to broaden my culinary horizons and try something which isn’t 90% pasta! 

Now I just have to go and put all these into practise!

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Photos | Tom Flathers

Getting the best of Boxing Day

Getting the best of Boxing Day

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After usually giving it a few days to the crazed bargain hunters to retire and the shelves to have been tidied up a bit, for the first time this year I braved the boxing day sales on actual boxing day, I mean how could I resist when it was on my way home from work. 

For the first time of experiencing the January sales in London I definitely saw some of the true madness of it and I am not surprised why so many people have moved online. But if you are like me and prefer to go the the actual shops and pic things up in person its a good idea to go in with a  ready prepared game plan to tackle that madness head on! 

So I have come up with my top 5 items to splash the cash on and look out for this January. 

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COATS

It may be January but at least in the UK there is still plenty of winter left to get a great deal of wear out of a new winter coat. A good old winter coat is something that I definitely look forward to cracking out every winter when that cold weather comes back around (even if I do have to put the leathers away for a while). I definitely have a less is more approach with coats. Its always the way despite there being a lot of nice lower price ones available on the market, that the one you fall in love with that season has a slightly higher price point. If you are able to find that perfect one that will carry you through the whole season and years to come then in this event it is good to wait it out and catch a lovely little bargain in the sales! 

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SHOES 

As someone who will wear boots shoes all year round, winter is away the best time for me to buy shoes. Like coats, i’m not a big shoe shopper with being perfectly happy with a good pair of Dr Martens on a daily basis. However when this year I seem to have caught the shoe shopping bug and used the sales as the perfect opportunity to expand my shoe collection slightly. My fave bargain this year would have to be my pair of Adidas Gazelle trainers. I may be slightly cheating with this being a 40% off black Friday purchase but a winter bargain is a bargain right? 

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BOOKS 

Having always dreamt of having my own little library in my house consisting of floor to ceiling book shelves and a lovely collection of very instagramable coffee table books just casually laying around . Despite not owning a coffee table of my own, on many a day in Foyles I have spent stroking all the beautiful books they have on sale, most of that time spent wishing they weren’t so damn expensive with not even being able to justify them as being educational. But this year appear to be becoming more of an adult by the day choosing to spend my money on some good old reading material, potentially even throwing in a cook book or two. My favorite little find this year would have to be Bloom by the lovely Estee Lalonde. This is one I have been itching to read since it came out and I managed to pick this up half price at Olivier Bonas and have been flying though it not being able to put it down. 

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STATIONARY 

And with a new year ahead of us sometimes it is nice for us to literally turn over a clean page and start anew with some brand new stationary. With a small collection of un-used notebooks at the ready, I seriously don’t need anymore for myself however I thought I would let you in to the not very secret secret that the January sales is a great time to stock up for the year ahead. 

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THEATRE TICKETS 

This may be something that most people won’t think about during the January sales however there are some great deals out there at the beginning of the new year for various different offers on theatre tickets. If you are a theatre mad a I am then you will know that seeing some shows in  London can seriously eat up that weekly student budget. Their never going to be cheap but if you are able to find some money of any that you have been desperate to see then you would be stupid not to take advantage. 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS | BRICK LANE LDN

The classic coat

The classic coat

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Every year winter rumbles on around (funny that) and it was finally time to tear myself away from my beloved leather jacket and into something a little bit more practical for the season. Despite last years orange number still being very much in my good books, Zara has pulled it out the bag again this year with this beautiful double breasted grey number which I have had glued to my shoulders.

Not to diminish my love for a good jumper but probably my favourite things about winter dressing is being able to crack out a good old coat and wrap up all warm and cosy. This look really encapsulates all of my favourite styles at the moment of with the ever so practical for the ankles culottes, a good knitted jumper and obviously a good old cosy coat. With the simple accessories of a chunky black belt and small and simple bag, they nicely finish this simple yet stylish look and keep everything very comfy with my Adidas Gazelles .

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PHOTOS : TOM FLATHERS 

COAT | CULOTTES | JUMPER | SHOES | BAG 

Nobodys Child

Nobodys Child

 

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Don’t worry, i’m not getting all deep and meaningful about sense of belonging or feeling like a nobody on you today, I mean, i’m writing this late on a Tuesday night after doing all manners of life admin and cleaning, ain’t nobody got the brain power for that as this hour. What I am actually awake at the ungodly hour to type about is my love of the brand Nobody’s Child . My first discovery of the brand was seeing their concession stand in Topshop in Glasgow. Armed with the majority of their range I bundled myself into the changing rooms to go through the general charade of wanting everything while my bank account screams at me to get as far away from the shop as you can.

This jumpsuit was by far the piece that jumped out at me the most with being (wait for it) black and with seeing the sheer amount of fabric there is to make up the trouser part. Your definitely getting your meterage for your money with this one. I’m not usually one to purchase for occasion however having an event coming up at this point and obviously deciding there and then that there was nothing I could possibly wear other than this jumpsuit, I allowed my self one this little slip up.

This brand seems to be an all round good egg with being impressed by their quality, designs and rather lovely price point. It seems to have something for everyone with mixing classic shapes like the jumpsuit with some more quirky pieces in a mixture of colours and patterns. This jumpsuit may be solely flying the flag for Nobody’s Child in my wardrobe however i’m sure it is only a matter of time before it gets a friend.

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GET THE LOOK

JUMPSUIT | CARDIGAN | BELT | CHOCKER 

PHOTOS: Tom Flathers 

Bowling, and I don’t mean with 10 pins

Bowling, and I don’t mean with 10 pins

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There are not many times in your life that on a day out you happen to stumble upon somewhere which could have been plucked from an epic war film.  Unless said film was set on a tiny farm in the middle of the countryside (a niche they are completely missing out on) I can’t say this has been a regular occurrence for me. However while visiting the beautiful Loch Lomond the train rumbled through the small town of Bowling and we had to get off and have a look. 

This was differently a moment when the stars aligned in terms of happening to wear an outfit which managed to match with my surroundings. Grunge was definitely the order the day with this lovely brown T shit dress from Urban Outfitters matched with my trusty Topshop leather jacket. Brown is a colour that I tend to avoid with feeling it matches too much with my hair however mixed in with black in this fine stripe it makes it easier to pair with black (and theres always room for a couple of exceptions to the rule.) 

Visiting somewhere such as Bowling really dose remind you of some of the amazing locations that theses British Isles have to offer and right on your doorstep. 

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WHAT I WORE

DRESS | JACKET | BOOTS

Photos by Tom Flathers

1 year of Fabric Forward | What i’ve learnt about blogging

1 year of Fabric Forward | What i’ve learnt about blogging

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So that year milestone has finally arrived.

With my habit of dropping hobbies as nearly as quickly as starting them (those golf lessons only lasted a matter of weeks), it is a minor miracle that we have actually of this far. Having not done anything to celebrate one of my own birthday for the past few years, I can’t say I have cracked out a cake quite yet however having managed to stick at this semi constantly for the past year I thought it should be given at least a small nod somehow. From horse riding to knitting after taking up something new for over a year, you would hope you have learnt a few things new about it and blogging has been no different. So without further ado here are some of the things which this year has taught me about blogging. 

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Technical stuff it hard!  

From SEO’s to HTML’s no matter how much you consider yourself a wiz on the computer with being able to use Iplayer and photoshop at the same time, coding will always seem to be another language to you. 

That writing isn’t the easiest things to come to me.

You may have noticed in the early days of the blog, nearly 1000 word essays seemed to be the order of the day, competing with War and Peace in terms of time taken to read.  This is something which didn’t last particularly long realising 1. I’m not exactly the next Charles Dickens and 2. I don’t exactly have the size of following of Charles Dickens  

Staying consistent can sometimes be hard (as exhibited today!).

No matter how many days that I give myself to sort the photos and write a new blog post, you can almost guarantee that I won’t end up doing it until the morning of wanting to post it. 

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That it is harder to get your blog noticed than I first thought.

With everyone and their dog seeming to have a blog nowadays to make someone read yours rather than one of the big guns’s seems to be a never ending struggle. I guess many many more tweets is the key. 

Whenever your eating out you feel obliged to take photos of your food.

I don’t think I can scroll through instagram nowadays and not see a picture of avocado on rye bread served on perfectly dainty crockery anywhere. 

Learning more about what suits your figure.

No matter how comfy and marshmallow like those big baggy winter jumpers are, sometimes when put on camera you realise their not the most flattering thing for you. A good old waist belt never did anyone any harm! 

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There are only so many times that your home city will come up with new and exciting places to shoots photos. 

 

That at some point or another no matter how well you thought you hid it on the extremely public on the internet one of your friends of family will find it, and spread it.

Any new blogger out there will know the feeling of panic that rushes through their veins when someone tells them that they have been reading their blog, then you just have to remind yourself, you did put it out on the internet. 

Check, check and check again!

Even if you are damn sure that when you wrote that post you couldn’t possibly have make any glaringly obvious grammatical errors or spelt any words practically backwards its highly likely that there will be a mistake lurking in there somewhere. it is aways good to go back and check everything through if nothing more than to save the embarrassment of having your friends scribble their hypothetical red pen all over it. 

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Finally, to end on a positive note after realising they all seem slightly negative, it is a great way to journal your life and look back at where you have been and what has happened over the past months/years.

Its like having all you photo albums at the click of a button! 

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Photos – Tom Flathers 

Wonderfully white

Wonderfully white

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White, I know, the colour that all of us clumsy people out there try and avoid with the fear of spilling all manner of substances down the front. Bolognese, orange juice and pen ink have all been things which any of my other pieces of white clothing have been succumbed to in the past.  However this summer I was extra brave and decided to risk it with an all white skirt.

With my what I am coining “granny chic” phase still in full swing, only increased by now seeming to be surrounded by vintage shops, anything that is button (or in this case popper) up the front and sits below the knee, my eyes will be draw to it. Paired with this simple black camisole top, a black western style belt and obviously my Doc Martens grunges up this pretty skirt and keeps it as the focus of the outfit.

As of writing this yet I have manage to keep the stains at bay, hopefully I haven’t just jinxed it!

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Fab photos by Tom Flathers 

 

Last days of summer

Last days of summer

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With summer now unfortunately coming to a close with the days of lounging around catching a few rays soon to be exchanged for wrapping up in a warm blanket in front of the fire, for many it would seem the time to pack up all the floral dresses in exchange for chunky knits. But part of me is still definitely not ready to pack away all the summer dresses quite yet.  Having gone back to uni and Strictly being back on the telly, its practically already Christmas but with far too much forward planning your going to have to put up with a couple of summery posts for a little bit longer!

For this summer was very much the year of the vintage dress. With my collection continuing to grow in all cuts and colours the black shirt dresses were finally given a bit of a rest in exchange for a couple of colourful numbers. This dress definitely encapsulates the 70’s trend with the button down front and neckline frill detail. Frills tend to be something that I keep rather at arms length with not feeling they are particularly flattering for me however, with the addition of the grungy elements and the leather jacket over the top (how could I possibly leave that out) the whole look becomes a lot more ‘me’.

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Photos by the ever wonderful Tom Flathers

Shopping my stash

Shopping my stash

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We all love a good shopping trip, especially when it is free right? How do I have one of these I hear you ask.Well for me this came in the form of ‘shopping my stash’ as in finding something crumpled in the back of your wardrobe, realising that you actually really like it and want to try and re-invent it in a new way. This is what happened with this lovely little Zara checkered shirt of mine. As someone who probably does own one too many chequered shirts this one in recent times had been rather neglected. But in an effort to just put the beloved grey one down for just 5 minuets I grabbed this green one and once again loved how it looked. Paired with my Nobody’s Child black jumpsuit which I just can’t get enough of this was a great method of layering for when the summer nights are beginning to get chilly.

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Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun

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Now I have never considered myself much of a beach babe before, with the whole idea of stripping off into pretty much underwear in front of a large group of strangers while having sand get into all those places you really don’t want it to (especially your tuna sandwiches) isn’t the most appealing afternoon for me. However this year while on holiday in Norfolk I decided to throw caution to the wind and actually crack out a real life pair of shorts (I know, living life on the edge!) Turns out it really isnt quite that painful after all.

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Cromer No. 1

Cromer No. 1

 

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For anyone who may have taken a gander on my instagram over the past week (where have you been if you haven’t ;) ) there may have been a few subtle hints/me spamming you that this last bank holiday weekend I was away in the lovely sea side town of Cromer. Now I know it may not be the most exotic place in the world with a few more pensioners than palm trees, however give me a beach, some cute streets and some good proper fish and chips then I am a happy Chloe.

To start with the weather looked as if it was going to be against us with the forecast seeming to change at the drop of a hat, leaving my summery packed suitcase the night before starting to notice its sever lack of jumpers (how miss layering obsessed here didn’t pack any I will never know). But luckily the sun decided to dust of his hat for the last few days and give us some glorious sunshine, and all with me managing to not get burnt this year, which is always an added bonus.

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With the weather just managing to tickle 20 degrees plus the sea side breeze, layering was the name of the game for day one. With my current addiction to the plain T under strappy top trend, another trend which makes me wonder whatever I used to wear before it, I cracked out one of my favourite summer purchases being this black jumpsuit from Nobodies Child. Being a light weight it was nice and cool when the weather got a bit warmer yet covered up enough to keep the breeze away.

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Photos as ever by Tom Flathers and moi