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A gingham dress and rattan bag: translating Pinspiration to my wardrobe

Wearing   ♥  Tailored gingham dress {similar in plus size here and here}  ♥ Handmade flat straw hat  ♥  Handmade rattan Ata bag  ♥  Birkenstock Arizona sandals {similar here}  ♥  Jeepers Peepers pink round sunglasses 

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I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. I love all the fashion, DIY and home inspiration I find there, I hate how 85% of the site is basically images of skinny, white women. When I started blogging, it was with the intention of creating fashion imagery in a similar dreamy, wistful aesthetic but as a fat, brown woman instead. For today’s look, I’ve drawn inspiration from a select set of imagery that’s had my attention on Pinterest all summer. It started with the Rennes Veritecoeur dress which I kept seeing everywhere early this summer but which was hopelessly out of my reach. Around midsummer there was this serendipitous moment where I was obsessing over black and white gingham and my tailor got in a bolt of gingham fabric which was just right, so I got my perfect flowy billowy gingham dress tailored. Although I’ve been wearing it constantly the past couple of months, I wanted to wait until I had all the components of my ultimate summer vacation outfit together before photographing it for the blog.

Next up was the hat. I’d been perfectly content with my trusty Olney boater all these years, until I realised that a flat straw hat is what I really really wanted after seeing this image of Imade Ogbewi from the Kinfolk summer issue. And this obsession was further cemented by everything from the Jacquemus Spring 17 collection. But even Jacquemus sized hats are way out of my budget, retailing at £200 on average, so I kept hunting until I found my handmade flat straw hat from Portugal for less than £25! Even though I draw a lot of fashion inspiration from Pinterest, my budget for translating that inspiration isn’t much, so I have to get creative. I switched the original ribbon the hat came with for a velvet one because hat ribbons in my wardrobe have to be velvet. And yes, someday I will have an outrageously massive wide brimmed straw hat, and I’ll handle it like a baby and also wear it for gardening, but in the meantime, working with a limited budget helps me harness my ingenuity a lot more than I would have if I could just buy everything I saw off Pinterest.

The bag needs no introduction to anyone who’s been following Summer 17 fashion trends, because these bags have been everywhere! It started with the Rachel Comey Baan bag and soon enough, traditional Indonesian Ata bags were hanging from almost every single fashion blogging shoulder on the internet. I actually had to wait and save up for my rattan Ata bag - at $75 plus shipping, it’s the most expensive thing my wardrobe has seen in a while. And it’s such a beautiful, delicate, unique piece, I’m utterly besotted with it! I so wish summer wasn’t coming to an end soon so I could keep styling this bag with every single outfit, but there’s always next summer and many more summers to come. And what August holiday outfit would be complete without a pair of Birkenstocks? Ever since I got my first pair last summer, I knew I wanted more of these unbelievably comfy sandals, which are the only things I can actually walk in thanks to my fallen arches. My pink Birkenstock Arizonas are currently sold out, but Birkenstock has a similar pair in the very reasonably priced Eva range. The Mediterranean inspired setting of Rural Blues on the outskirts of Bangalore was the perfect backdrop with just a hint of Santorini (another Pinterest favourite!) to complement the look.

So that was a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes and in my head while putting together an outfit. A lot of the time, it’s not as easily defined since Pinterest isn’t my only source for fashion inspiration - but I do try and pin bits and pieces I see on my internet journeys so I can collect most of my inspiration in one place. Where do you find your fashion inspiration from? And how do you put outfits together? Let me know in the comments!

Photos by Taha Zaidi