Easygoing

I always find myself feeling super casual at this time of year. I’m not sure if it’s the fact January and February are always miserable, freezing and grey or if it’s the come down from all the festivities. Either way, I seem to spend my days in trainers and swathes of cosy layers, always choosing comfort first.

I’m not usually a fan of trainers for women, I tend to prefer unisex or men’s styles. The ones aimed specifically at women are often a bit more colourful and have busy prints or unecessary extra details. As you know I’m more of a paired back kind of girl, especially with trainers. Nike have completly won me over with their Air Max Thea though. The shape is a little sleeker, more refined and feminine, but other than that it’s very subtle. I already have a pair in triple black, but these Ultra SE’s, with their mix of black on black suede and snake textured fabric might have to be my next addition. This is adding print and extra detail done right.

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Trinkets

FAIIINT jewellery picked up from travelling Thailand, Cambodia and China. Pale blue topaz druzy silver necklace, black rainbow pearls, milky white and orange quartz handmade wrapped raw crystal. FAIIINT jewellery picked up from travelling Thailand, Cambodia and China. Pale blue topaz druzy silver necklace, black rainbow pearls, milky white and orange quartz handmade wrapped raw crystal. FAIIINT jewellery picked up from travelling Thailand, Cambodia and China. Pale blue topaz druzy silver necklace, black rainbow pearls, milky white and orange quartz handmade wrapped raw crystal.

When I started unpacking, I noticed that by complete accident I had come home with a piece of jewellery from each of the countries we had visited on our trip. A silver and blue topaz crystal necklace from Chiang Mai in Thailand, a milky quartz pendent from the Siem Reap night market in Cambodia and a string of black pearls from Beijing in China. I love collecting jewellery, but I wasn’t really looking out for pieces or souvenirs whilst I was away. I just kind of stumbled upon each of these and knew immediately that I needed them.

The first was the quartz shard. We were wandering through the night market in Siem Reap on our way to dinner when I saw a wooden cart all decked out in fairy lights, smelling of incense and essential oils. As I got closer I saw that it was draped in crystal jewellery. The pieces were beautiful, but none of them really felt like me. I was about to walk away, when the lady who owned the stall asked if I needed any help. As we got talking we learned that she was British, and that she had been a nurse back home but had moved to live with a Hill Tribe in Chiang Mai after her kids had grown up. She now sells these handmade pieces along with teas and oils, and comes to Siem Reap with her husband every few years to sell at the market. We couldn’t help but feel a bit envious, but also quite inspired by her adventurous spirit. She pointed me to a little basket of crystals on the shelf, and told me to see if anything caught my eye. I poured through, and suddenly found myself drawn to this pointed, white fragment. Nat said it reminded her of a tooth, and that was that. I handed it over and when I returned a little while later it had been hand knotted into the perfect necklace.

Next came the silver and topaz necklace. On our second day in Chiang Mai, I spent the afternoon wandering around the old city, drifting in and out of shops and sampling the street food. Chiang Mai is full of wonderful little independent boutiques selling handmade pieces and I was really glad I’d had the chance to look around properly. My heart skipped when I saw this necklace in the window of The Silver Cafe, and then again when I noticed the price. I couldn’t afford it. I stared longingly at it for a while before forcing myself to keep walking, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. Walking back to the hotel a few hours later I passed the store again and decided to go in. I looked in every case, and though there were many beautiful things none of them were the necklace. I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t buy it, so I decided to see if I could put the haggling skills I’d honed in Siem Reap to good use. It didn’t look like the kind of place that would entertain offers, so I was amazed when I managed to get it down to a price I could afford. It was still a little more than I should have spent, but it’s something I’ll treasure and to me that makes it worth it.

Lastly, the black pearls from Hongqiao Pearl Market. When we arrived I was pretty underwhelmed by the silk scarves and knockoff fake leather bags on the lower floors, but then we reached the 3rd floor and saw the pearls. String and strings of them! Personally I don’t like the perfectly round, uniform kind so I was much more taken by the cheaper, imperfect sets. The prices seemed too good to be true, but we gave them all the tooth and scrape test, and they were infect real. When I brought these black ones I thought I was buying them on a string and that I would have to make them into a necklace myself. I hadn’t even haggled with her on the price as they were already so cheap (£7!), so I was speechless when she whipped out some silk thread and a clasp from under the counter and started knotting them into a necklace.

There’s something so special and even a little magical about jewellery. It seems to capture memories and moments in time so effortlessly. Each piece developing its own story and history that can be passed down and built upon over the years. I never intended to pick up a piece from each place, but I’m going to try to carry this on and bring a home a new piece from each country I visit from now on.

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Best Outfits of 2016

Fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT all black everything dark street style goth best outfits of 2016 compilation.

Between holiday packing and Christmas festivities I didn’t get chance to look back over the last year and put together my usual roundup before I left. I do enjoy looking back though, and I find it’s pretty useful in helping develop my style further and also to avoid becoming lazy, or stuck in a rut with it. So, a very belated compilation of my favourite outfits from 2016!

One of the main things I noticed whilst trying to pick favourites this year, is that I actually really liked almost all of them. I had quite a hard time narrowing them down, whereas in previous years I’ve had clear favourites and plenty that I shot, but then realised I really didn’t like. It’s funny how unforgiving the camera can be sometimes! I’m not sure if this is a good thing, in that I’m developing and standards have gotten higher, or a bad thing, maybe they’ve been a little safe and there’s been less experimenting?

The big experiment of the year was the black and white striped sundress. I was so unsure about this dress when I first got it, it’s quite bold with the huge blocky stripes and I really didn’t know if I could pull it off. I’m a little surprised that even now, looking back on it, I still really love it! It’s striking and very unusual for me, but I still think it fits with my aesthetic and works. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting to wear it to a few weddings or events this summer to give it a proper outing.

My favourite buy of the year was the Rick Owens leather jacket. I only posted two outfits including it, but I think both of those outfits are easily in my top 5. I could wear just a simple black dress with this and it would still be a killer outfit, it’s such a great statement making piece it really doesn’t need anything else.

Also, check out all the previous years compilations of you haven’t already. It’s starting to look more like a little style journey now there’s a few years worth – 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

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Home Again

Fashion travel blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT laying in tree silhouette looking over beach and crystal clear blue ocean at Lading Island Hong Islands Thailand.

It’s been a crazy month packed full of adventures since we last spoke, and I’m so excited to finally share them all with you. Since I started this blog 5 years ago this has been the longest break I have ever taken, and although I can’t wait to get stuck back in, I was definitely in need of the break!

It was so nice to unplug for a while and I feel like it’s done me a lot of good to be a bit disconnected. I’m going to try to keep this up on a smaller scale now that I’m home too, with mini breaks here and there. I don’t think you truly realise just how much time you mindlessly spend online until you can’t even refresh Instagram unless you can find free WiFi and you find yourself getting a little twitchy!

There are so many photos to sort through and things I can’t wait to tell you all about! I’ll be spreading the travel posts out, so that hopefully it’ll be a nice mixture of travel and the usual outfits and fashion related stuff you’ve come to expect.

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Thailand bound!

Right now, I’m sat on a coach on my way to the airport. By tomorrow afternoon I’ll be sipping cocktails at a rooftop bar in Bangkok, ready to see in the new year with one of my best friends. I can’t even explain how excited I am!

Whilst I’m away I will be taking a little break from the blog. I considered getting some posts scheduled, as this does seem to be the norm these days, but honestly I just don’t like the idea of it. Having posts go up, like I’m still sitting there writing them up at my desk, just seems a little too contrived for my liking. Plus, I’m sure you guys aren’t really that bothered if there are no posts for a few weeks either!

I will of course be sharing things here and there over on Instagram and Twitter, so check those out if you want to see what I’m up to. I’ll be back on the 24th January, and there will be plenty of posts all about it (plus a belated best of 2016 outfit roundup!) as soon as I am.

Until then, have a wonderful new year!

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