It’s been a month since I’ve posted an outfit, would you believe that! Spring has turned to summer in that time, and only the mornings are pleasant now. For summer ‘17, my primary style goal is to make the shift towards ethical, mindful, slow fashion. Coming from the scarcity mindset that the lack of options in plus sizes inevitably steers you towards, I always felt that ethical fashion sounded wonderful in theory but would be impossible to implement. And yes, I’d probably want to make the occasional purchase on ASOS (for example) but for the foreseeable future, I’m taking advantage of India’s dressmaking culture and getting everything I can tailored.
I went back to tailoring last winter after months of encouragement from Ushshi, for which I’ll be forever grateful because tailoring has fundamentally altered the baseline of how much I can do with clothing. I admit my motivations are rooted in selfishness - more than anything I’m dreaming of finally designing my dream wardrobe - at the same, given my current lifestyle, mindfulness feels natural to who I am. When I’m not working on blog-related stuff, I spend most of my time cooking, gardening, reading, and making things. It would be strange to not at least try to be mindful about the clothes I wear, considering how important they are to me.
Here’s what I’m planning to do this summer (and afterwards!) when it comes to my wardrobe
Shop locally and support local artisans.
Support independent makers with my wallet instead of big brands.
Recycle clothing in my wardrobe, which is to say wear stuff I’ve hardly ever worn instead of buying more. I’m especially guilty of this one because I tend to stick to just 5 or 6 pieces at any given time and then keep on replacing them with new ones.
Shop sustainably whenever possible, like vintage or second hand pieces instead of new. This is actually something I’ve been doing since I first started shopping online (I think about…15 years ago?) Some of my all time favourite pieces are second hand scores off eBay like my Brit Stitch satchel and Anthropologie jacket. Buying second hand clothing might not sound as glamorous as buying, say…organic, fairtrade clothing, but it’s a cheap, easy and useful thing you can do towards building a sustainable wardrobe. Whenever I buy second hand or vintage clothing online, it’s almost always from eBay (or Etsy) UK so I can get it delivered to my fiance and he can bring everything over in one go when he comes over. I would feel pretty awful flying over clothes one at a time halfway around the world even if I could afford to.
Invest more in quality pieces I can wear over and over again, now that I have a core wardrobe to see me through.
There’s also the fact that I can afford to do this now. There haven’t been a lot of times in the past 5 years that I could. Not to mention the question of access to a good tailor and the time needed to go fabric shopping and basically getting whatever I want to wear designed from scratch. Sometimes it takes a fitting session after the clothes are made to ensure that they sit well on my body. It’s time consuming and more expensive than buying the cheapest stuff on sale online and taking advantage of free shipping. It’s only recently that I’ve been able to afford both the budget and the leisure to do so.
I’m so obsessed with smock dresses I rarely wear any other kind these days! This is one of the two midi smocks I’ve gotten tailored recently. Ikat is such a springy and fresh look, and a pattern I’ve always loved. If you’re looking for similar styles in natural fabrics, there might not be a lot of options in retail but Etsy is one place where you’ll find dresses in a similar aesthetic. Sondeflor Shop and OffOn Clothing, both on Etsy, have many bohemian smock styles in custom sizes.
My shoes are also from Etsy, and I’ve gotten quite a few questions about them on Instagram! They’re from a shop called Bonjour Store, who are actually based in Jaipur. Having worn similar pairs in my childhood, I was expecting them to be the hard leather kind that you need to break in. I was pleasantly surprised when these sandals turned out to be really, really soft with padded insoles. I love how they look like clogs but feel so different on my feet. I also got a pair of strappy sandals from Bonjour Store that I’ll planning to style next, and I’m thinking of stocking up on some more styles from them over the summer!
My top is from ASOS, way back in 2011. I’ve styled itmore than onceon the blog and worn it many more times than that, so it exceeded #30wears a long time ago. The vintage purse has been on everydayrotation in my wardrobe since I got it. The pear pin that isn’t quite visible in photos is still a pretty little addition IRL and is salvaged from a dress I bought in 2007. I’ve linked to similar products on the widget below so you can re-create this look for yourself if you like!
It’s easter at Hogwarts. Fred and George are both alive and
kicking. They have decided that since Umbridge left, this might be a
good moment to re-do their last year and cheer all the traumatized
war-veterans up with some top quality pranks.
And maybe play matchmaker for a couple or two.
Harry and Draco
“Why are we even participating in this stupid Weasley contest?” It was the first thing Malfoy said after he’d stalked off towards the forbidden forest. Harry had so far not even been sure if they were participating or if Malfoy just fancied a walk and Harry was tagging along. Or stalking him.
“Uhm… I dunno. Because it’s fun?” It wasn’t meant to be witty or sarcastic. Harry really didn’t know why they were taking part in the hunt. Especially since the price they could win wasn’t something either one of them was able to use. At least, Harry thought it wasn’t.
“Last time I had proper fun was fifth year, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.” The depressing content of Malfoy’s answer went right past Harry, who was still a bit lost in thought.
“Are you single?”
“Am I what, Potter?” They had reached the edge of the forest. Malfoy turned around to stare at Harry in surprise and disbelief, with a still lingering flicker of sadness in his eyes. It was the last question he’d expected Potter to ask.
“Are you seeing anyone?” Harry clarified, a bit flustered.
“I know what ‘being single’ means, idiot.” Malfoy turned around again to enter the forest. “But it’s a rather foolish question to ask a gay ex-death eater with PTSD, who is covered in scars and in general not considered to be a very nice person, don’t you think?” After a short pause he added, “Who the hell would want to date me?”
His pace quickened while he spoke. He had never disclosed his sexuality to anyone outside of Slytherin, and he wasn’t really sure why he suddenly came out to Potter. Though Draco supposed the boy could hardly hate him more than he already did, and if there was anything he’d learned from the war then it was shielding himself from spells aimed at his back.
But Potter didn’t respond at all, so Draco could safely continue walking. Well, I suppose silence is still a much better response than the curses my father flung at my head.
It wasn’t the fact that Malfoy had just admitted he was gay that rendered Harry speechless. His often theatrical behaviour and flamboyant mannerisms made it hard to not at least suspect. It was the casual mentioning of suffering from PTSD. Harry had been struggling with nightmares, old reflexes and anxiety every day since the war had ended, but not even Ron or Hermione knew he was seeing a therapist for that. No one did.
He’d never even thought of the possibility of just carelessly mentioning the state of his mental health, of just being open about it. It felt almost good to hear Malfoy say he was struggling, however selfish that sounded.
Suddenly Harry realised he hadn’t responded to Malfoy’s revelation. “What about Zabini?”
Malfoy laughed, relieved the tense silence was broken. “Blaise the ace. A good friend but he’d never be interested in more. Besides, he’s not my type.”
“Hells no. Guy’s as straight as they come and still not my type.” Draco was surprised at the amount of relief that flooded him when the other boy didn’t seem phased at all to find out he was gay. So surprised he gave genuine answers to his questions.
“What is your type then?”
“None of your business.” Draco was now over his surprise enough to prevent himself from giving a truthful answer. He could barely admit his type to himself, the last thing he wanted to do was tell Potter. “Why do you care anyway? The goal was finding some stupid egg not playing matchmaker.”
“I think you’ll find Fred and George disagree with you on that. Didn’t you see the other pairings?”
“They were mostly Slytherin and Gryffindor, your point?”
“My point is that they’re trying to make us get along. They’re pretty fed up with fighting now I suppose. We all are. And forcing us to hang out might stop the quarrels amongst our lower years as well.”
Sometimes it seemed like the first years hated each other with the same passion as Harry and Draco did at that age. It was very confronting to see their childhood feud damage the relationship between their houses so much.
“You didn’t think of that yourself, did you?” Draco cursed himself for missing the obvious. The sharp edges of his trademark wit had faded since he was on meds for his anxiety and nightmares. He often cursed how much they slowed down his thoughts. But then, not taking them wasn’t very pleasant either.
“No.” Harry blushed a bit and looked at his feet. “Hermione did.”
They were silent again after that, but this time it was a bit more bearable. Almost nice.
“Why are we in the woods exactly?” Asked Harry after five more minutes of walking among the trees. They were following the edge of the forest, where the sun shone through the fresh spring leaves, drawing patterns on the path.
“To find those bloody eggs of course.”
“But we haven’t searched anywhere yet, just walked.”
“That’s because I know where they hid one of them. I saw Lee and the twins come out of the forest here this morning. So if I remember correctly….” Draco craned his neck, searching the trees with his trained seeker eyes. “There.” And with a surprising ease for someone in skinny jeans and highly polished shoes he started to climb a huge oak tree standing next to the path.
Harry noticed a golden shimmer among the highest branches of the tree. “Are you sure you can climb that high? I don’t particularly fancy catching you.”
“Nice to hear you’d be happy to let me fall to my death, and yes, I can climb that high. I might be shit at making the right choices or getting people to like me, but if there’s one thing I’ve mastered beyond fucking perfection it’s climbing trees.” It appeared to be true. Already Draco was twenty feet up in the fifty feet tree and he showed no sign of slowing down when the branches thinned and started to creak under his weight.
“I didn’t mean it like that! Of course I’d catch you if you fell!” Shouted Harry back in the direction of the fine ass that steadily moved up in the tree. Draco was now so high speaking at a normal volume would be inaudible.
“I’m not saying you did mean it like that Potter.” Draco raised his voice now too, he had nearly reached the egg. “It’s just that I probably wouldn’t catch myself if I did fall.” But he let his volume drop so Harry wouldn’t be able to hear the last part.
At least, that’s what he thought.
“Catch!” Draco dropped the egg into Harry’s arms. Harry nearly let it crash to the ground because he’d only now began to process what Malfoy had told him. He hadn’t had any real fun since fifth year, suffered from PTSD, apparently wouldn’t mind dying and on a whole he just looked quite alone and miserable. It didn’t sound like much fun.
“Well, let’s see what’s in it then.” Draco climbed down the tree even faster than up. Harry didn’t respond again, so Draco took matters into his own hands.
He made a displeased sound when he finished reading the note. “If we want to win this thing we have to hold hands for 24 hours. Non-stop. No separate bathroom breaks, no separate showers, no separate beds.” Draco didn’t look thrilled at the thought. “Look, we don’t have to do this. If you want to have a date with someone I could arrange some…”
But he was quickly cut off. Harry had come to a decision. The idea of the twins to bring the houses closer together had seemed rather foolish first. A stupid search for easter eggs surely couldn’t bridge the huge gap between Slytherin and Gryffindor. But then, he’d already learned more about Draco during the past half hour than he ever thought he would. He grabbed Draco’s hand.
“Shut it and suck it Malfoy. Looks like you’re stuck with me for the next 24 hours.”
It wasn’t as bad as Draco initially thought it would be. It was much much worse. “No Potter. Just no. I am not okay with this. I will not be seen with you if you keep wearing that.”
Draco sounded properly horrified, but that just made Harry more determined to keep wearing his Weasley sweater. It was the only item he owned that had a zipper on the side so he could put it on without letting go of Draco’s hand. Mrs. Weasley had made it for him so he’d have an easier time changing when he injured himself during quidditch.
Now that all the eggs had been found the twins had called everyone to the three broomsticks to announce the winners. Draco had insisted they’d change outfits first but he was starting to regret that decision more and more with every passing minute.
He’d had no problem with putting on something different since the hand-holding didn’t obstruct magically changing clothes, but Harry didn’t know how to do that and Draco knew better than to step in and help. The one time he tried that it had gone terribly askew and the image of a half-naked Vincent Crabbe still haunted his nightmares sometimes.
“Why not? It’s either this or a house elf style tea towel.” The smug smile Harry got from annoying Draco would probably be the death of him.
“Oh my god, Potter. I will literally kill myself if you’re going to wear a fucking tea towel.”
“Really? You don’t think I could pull it off? I thought it would accentuate my hips perfectly.”
Draco face palmed himself. “Kill me. Just fucking kill me now. I’m forced to hold hands with with Harry fucking Potter who thinks he looks sexy in a tea towel. And here I was thinking my life couldn’t get any worse.”
“At least you don’t have to spent the entire evening with hair hanging in your face. I can’t put mine in a bun with one hand.” And Harry made a failed attempt to blow his long hair out of his face to prove his point.
“Yeah, right. You have it much worse than me. As always” Draco rolled his eyes. Harry snorted.
“Okay. That’s it. Dress in a fucking potato sack? Fine. Complain about your riddikulus hair? Go ahead. But I am not getting laughed at.” Before Harry could apologize or call Draco a drama queen he was violently shoved face first against the wall of his dormitory.
“Shut it, Potter.” Draco twisted Harry’s arm behind his back and in one smooth movement grabbed all of Harry’s hair in his free hand. With a whispered wandless spell a magical ring appeared to tie it all together. As a petty revenge Draco pulled it much tighter than necessary.
“So. Happy now?” He released Harry’s arm from its twisted position while continuing to hold hands.
“Sort of. It’s a bit too tight if I’m being hone… Ow!” Draco had pulled Harry’s hair again.
“You’re an absolute asrehole, you know that Potter?” Harry rubbed the back of his head.
“Nope. But you have until tomorrow afternoon to remind me.”
“Prick.” Draco sighed.
“Git.” Shot Harry back as he stuck out his tongue at him. It felt good to banter with each other over the tiny things. And when they walked hand-in-hand towards the three broomsticks Harry saw Draco smile a bit from the corner of his eyes.
It might not be a perfect solution to all of their problems, but at least Draco could have some proper fun bitching to Harry the entire night, and Harry discovered he found that worth much more than a too tight ponytail or a sore shoulder.
I personally think this one is the funniest of the three, but that’s probably just my weird sense of humour.
And this isn’t the last part yet! Just the last part of today. I will still write something about the winners announcement at the three broomsticks, including a whole new ship…
Yes, I know. What the fuck Ever? It’s been ages since you’ve posted anything! And wasn’t True Beauty just a oneshot? A oneshot you wrote like…a year ago?
Yes. I did write the original oneshot a year ago. Buuut then I got inspired and ran with it. I edited chapter one, by the way, so if you ever read the original oneshot, you should go click on the link above and re-read chapter one. The edits are super subtle, but important.And if you haven’t read chapter 1, you’re going to need to in order to understand this chapter.
(You can skip this author’s note if you want, but it’s pretty important explaining my intentions with this story. But I get it if you don’t wanna read all that, I’m rambly.)
I’ve had an idea in mind for a long time, and I decided to go for it. I’ve noticed there’s a lot of stories,
particularly in this fandom, that portray depression totally wrong. Now,
it isn’t necessarily the author’s fault: depression is a hard thing to
write and understand when you haven’t experienced it yourself. That’s
part of why I’ve decided to write this story. I have depression and
anxiety myself, and not only is this story a great coping method, it’s
also a way to show people who may not fully understand mental illness
what it’s like being in our heads. I also hope to portray how society
treats mentally ill people: especially schools. I’m trying to show the
signs you can look out for, how to help a mentally ill person, and how
sometimes, people truly are oblivious.
Of course, this means this story is going to be a difficult read at
times. The first scene in this chapter could be potentially very
triggering, and perhaps there will be more scenes like this, or even
more graphic scenes. I’m not going to sugarcoat anything. Things may not
have gotten this bad for me, but I’ve seen it happen to many close to
me. Too much media romanticizes mental illness, thinks that a
relationship can cure it. News flash: people in relationships may be
happier, but nothing can magically cure mental illness. It takes time, a
lot of hard work, and potentially medication.
In summary, I’m trying to portray this as realistic as possible. This
is a very extreme case, so not everyone who is mentally ill will act
like Rogue does, but I figured after a chapter like the first, Rogue’s
situation is a difficult one. His actions also add to the common
misconceptions that depressed people are just lazy or bad students.
I am not perfect in any means, there will likely be some inaccuracies
or in some spots it’ll be a bit dramatic. But that’s to be expected, as
no author can write something completely and totally flawless, no
matter how informed they are.
Without further ado, Chapter Two of True Beauty: You’re Proud, but I’m Getting Nowhere. I hope you enjoy.
WARNING: SELF HARM. SKIP THE FIRST SCENE IF THIS TRIGGERS YOU.