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On feeling like a girl October 1, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Makeup/Cosmetics, Travel.
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Generally, I don’t really care how I look when I travel. Let’s be honest – I am not out here to “pull” anyone, I’m here to enjoy a country and experience the best it has to offer. Whether or not I look presentable or not isn’t really the priority here. In addition, I’m travelling. I don’t have that same easy access to girly bits and pieces, to straighteners and hairdryers and far too many pairs of shoes. If I was going to worry about my looks, I would be fighting a losing battle. Plus, if someone I meet is going to judge me based on whether or not they think I look good enough, then my normal approach to life still applies – they simply aren’t worth knowing.

As it happens, I think, most people don’t judge me. I have sported some pretty funky hairstyles these past weeks, I’ve spent nearly every day makeup free and blinking like a newborn foal in the sun, I’ve worn the same clothes all the time (and a secret relief it has been too).

However, that doesn’t stop the girly qualities catching up every now and then. Those days that actually anyone of any gender, of any inclination, can have. The morning when they wake up a little fragile, for some reason not approaching the world with quite the same casual ease as they normally do. And when that happens, you either battle on in your androgyny, or you accept the situation and do something to make yourself feel better. For me, I dyed my hair – no easy feat I belatedly realised, in the restricted facilities of even the best hostel. I also put makeup on – I may rarely wear it, but I have a basic little selection with me for just such an “emergency”.

And today? I feel pretty. People have told me I look nice (OK, drunken people, but who’s counting?!). Tomorrow, I’ll be off the makeup again. But for today, I needed to feel like a girl.


Dress Lust July 26, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Vintage.
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Oh but… please… can I have it? Please?

This may just be my favourite dress lust (after all the other ones I’m lusting after, of course). Will someone buy it for me?!

Gorgeous vintage 50s dress from Posh Girl Vintage

Gorgeous vintage 50s dress from Posh Girl Vintage

What I Wore | Feeling Grecian June 28, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Vintage, What I Wore.
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What I Wore Outfit Shot Grecian Vintage Dress

Feeling all Grecian today!

I thought today’s outfit deserved an outfit shot. Last time I wore this dress it was by Christmas do at work, but I decided this morning that through sheer determination I was going to make it work as daywear. The result was actually quite day appropriate thanks to my trusty platforms, and the addition of a casual tapestry belt. It worked with the tan too, the product of a weekend well spent!

Dress: Vintage
Leopard print slip: Vintage
Platforms: Topshop
Belt: Vintage

Childhood Friends June 2, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Family, What I Wore, Wordy Business.
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One of the advantages of living in a small and relatively quiet neighbourhood is the fact that, as of yet, we haven’t descended into a fug of anonymity. My local corner shop recognises me, people smile at each other in the mornings, and children still play in the streets. Just the other day I was lucky enough to witness a group of 10 years olds clambering through the hedges collecting “pet” snails, and this evening I sat reading my book in the rec ground as a small crew of young teenagers played a little kick around.

The presence of children playing is, of course, absolutely lovely. However, what struck me in particular was that the budding footballers were made up of a team of brothers, and of a third boy who wandered over during play. He didn’t know them, just saw the game and came to join in. There wasn’t a hint of worry or shyness, he just started in, introducing himself as he went. Unhindered by the restrictions we feel when we are “grown up”, he just went out there and made friends without blinking.

As a child, I didn’t have that courage. In social situations, although I did generally make friends, I needed prompting. I was awkward and unfamiliar, standing quietly observing on the outside of a group before getting involved. I wasn’t crippled by shyness, but it certainly put up a barrier, a division that I had to try to breach quite consciously. A deep dive into my imagination could blow the barriers away like dandelion seeds on a breeze, but otherwise I had to consciously force myself away from inaction.

In many ways I still feel like that absent individual, standing on the sidelines trying to work out how to fall in. A room full of unfamiliar faces can, for a brief moment, cripple me. The difference is that as time has passed, as I have grown and changed and come to like myself, the move to dissipate the fear happens faster.  I smile at someone, or make a joke, or comment on something they are doing. Sometimes, in unfriendly situations, I can feel myself tagging onto people who are “nice”, scanning the room but always choosing to come back to that friendly face. I am chatty, I network, I am brave. In my head I may question whether I am left out, whether people even like me, but on the outside I am the friendly gibbery one who will chat to strangers and start conversations. A shy girl in an un-shy body.But still, watching those children, it is amazing how free they are. Innocent, unassuming, unhindered by the assumption that the person they are speaking to, playing with, won’t let them join in.

Pink legs!

Anyway, totally unconnected, an outfit shot from yesterday. Pale pink tights aren’t great if you want to have “thin” thighs, but they are fun for feeling like a princess – or as Cie said, like Alice in Wonderland! I also seem to be having trouble finding a decent face too, so you’ll have to settle for slightly awkward poses – but I wanted to share the dress nonetheless.

Feeling Punky Today May 27, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion.
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Feeling Punky

Feeling Punky by LaurenEACooke featuring military style hats

I go through different style moods, all the time. One day I rather fancy myself in vintage 1940s, the next day I want nothing more than a giant hoodie and comfy jeans. At the moment, I want to dress like a punk. The urge is strong – I want layers, and rips and tears. I want bright colours and rich blacks, and awesome scary-ass shoes. I want multiple piercings in my ears, tattoos, and black hear (check!). I want to be edgy, but sexy, and cool. I definitely do NOT want to be cute. I want smudged black eye make-up, and tousled hair.

I think I could just about pull it off.

What I Wore | Lace & Knee High Socks April 28, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, What I Wore.
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what I wore lace dress and knee high socks

I think it is safe to say that despite the fact I loved this outfit, it was not a success. The first verdict of my (always lovely) work colleagues was that I looked like one of the characters from Tekken. Hmm, not good. The second piece of feedback, this time from my boss? Was that I looked like I should be a librarian in a porn film. Again, not good.

Oh well, turns out the world isn’t ready for glasses and knee-high socks yet.

My Dream Dress! April 27, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion.
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One word – wow. This dress caught my eye in a magazine, and I have barely been able to look away since. Seventies in style, yet with such elegant and modern lines. The scooping low neckline and the high back clasp. It isn’t even priced that badly – at £120 its chiffon buttoned lines cost less than I would have expected!

Anyone want to buy it for me?!

ASOS Revive Panel Maxi Dress

Last Minute Charity Shop Shopping! April 23, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Vintage.
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Today was a lovely day. Gently hung over and oh-so-knackered, we lounged in the park for as log as time would allow, mooching and people watching, and generally enjoying the spectacular and totally unseasonal sunshine. Then it was time to go home, and I thought I would just pop into the Barnado’s on the way. You know, for a quick look around.

5 minutes later, I left with these. Astonishing vintage heels that I can’t walk in to save my life. Sheer, dramatic, eye catching. I simply couldn’t leave them behind. Aren’t they incredible?

Amazing Vintage Sheer Heels

Important announcement regarding Shoeperwoman.com April 8, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Rants.
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In support of good blogging friend Amber, author of many hilarious and witty blogs including Shoeperwoman, I am reproducing this blog directly from her website. If anyone can help by further raising attention about this issue, I would be very grateful.

In essence, Amber has joined the unfortunately growing crowd of bloggers who have built their own very popular and successful brands, only to have people come along and piggyback on their success. Rather than starting from the ground up, these “bloggers” (and I use the term loosely) simply copy the name, style and subject of someone more talented and successful than themselves, and then attempt to use their blogosphere popularity to build their own imitation’s success. If is shady, unfair, and above all pathetic, and there needs to be somethign in place to ensure that this cannot happen again.

With no further ado, Amber’s post:

I had really hoped not to have to write this post, but having exhausted my other options I’ve taken legal advice (from the wonderful Caveat Calcei, who you all know from the Shoe Challenge), and feel I have no option but to go public about an issue regarding the “Shoeperwoman” name and this site.

As most of my regular readers will know, I set up Shoeperwoman two years ago this month, having registered the domain in May of 2008 and spent a year planning the site. At the time there were no other sites using the name. Earlier this year, however, a UK-based company launched a shoe blog called “Shoeperwoman” and an associated retail website of the same name.

logo Important announcement regarding Shoeperwoman.com

(Not my blog)

I don’t really want to link to these sites as I feel they are damaging enough to my brand without me helping their Google rank, but you can see the address of the retail site from the image above and the blog can be found at shoeper-woman.blogspot.com (note: all of the links in this post are nofollow, and this is the only time I will link to these sites.) First of all, I want to clarify that these sites have absolutely no connection to Shoeperwoman.com or to Midas Media. I realise it’s confusing for people as they are using the same name, and writing about the same subjects, often in exactly the same way (i.e. using phrases like “shoeperhero”, “Shoeperman” etc.) but there is no connection, so please know that this is the only “Shoeperwoman” site run by us (with the exception of our associated Twitter and Facebook accounts, which also use the “Shoeperwoman” name), therefore if you come across these sites, or any others, please be aware that they have nothing to do with us.

The other company is also using the name “Shoeperwoman” on TwitterFacebook and other sites, which I realise adds to the confusion. If you are in any doubt whether something you read online is being said by me, or by Laura Blake, who is the owner of the other sites, please feel free to get in touch.

domain dispute Important announcement regarding Shoeperwoman.com

(Not me)

When I found out about these sites, I immediately contacted Laura Blake, who tells me that she does not believe there is any issue with her using exactly the same name as me for her two sites (although she has put up a disclaimer today which you can read on her blog). Obviously I’m disappointed about this. I set up Shoeperwoman.com two years ago: it is my livelihood (along with my other blogs), and Terry and I have worked very hard to build up the brand to where it is today. It’s disheartening, to say the least, to find that someone has knowingly decided to use exactly the same name and idea for a very similar project (Laura tells me she was aware of the existence of this site but decided to use the name regardless), and obviously this will make it much harder for both of the respective businesses to thrive, as rather than having our own unique identities, these two new sites have effectively set themselves up in direct competition to us instead.

not terry Important announcement regarding Shoeperwoman.com

(Not my Shoeperman…)

What Laura didn’t tell me during our lengthy email conversations, was that not only has she knowingly used a name which has been associated with my blog for the past two years, she has also applied for the UK trademark to the name “Shoeperwoman”. If she is successful in this application, this would mean that I would no longer be able to use the name I have made mine, and this site will effectively cease to exist. As the revenue from this site forms a large part of my income, I’m sure you can understand my distress at this, and the reason I’m writing this post.

To answer the obvious question that has cropped up in relation to this: no, we do not own the trademark to the name “Shoeperwoman”. We looked into doing this when we launched the site, however the very high cost of this was prohibitive for us, as it is for most other bloggers, and so we were forced to rely on the goodwill and common sense of our fellow bloggers/site owners, and to hope that most people would prefer to create something that’s truly their own rather than to duplicate another brand. Obviously that isn’t always the case: some of you may remember the issues Jennine Jacob’s The Coveted encountered recently when another site launched using the same name, and if this can happen to me, and can happen to a well-known blogger like Jennine, it can happen to anyone.

We have now lodged our own trademark application for the name, which means we’re already hundreds of pounds out of pocket in our bid to assert our right to continue to use a name which has been associated with this site for two years now, and which I have also used on Twitter, Facebook and other sites for the same length of time. Having taken advice on this, we believe it could cost us much more to defend our brand, which is obviously causing us a great deal of stress. This is where you come in:

How you can help Shoeperwoman:

Obviously this is a source of huge concern to us, so we would welcome any support our readers and friends have to offer us, in the shape of comments, re-tweets and advice. If you are a blogger, and would like to mention this is issue on your site, I would be eternally grateful, not just for my sake, but because as I mentioned above, this is something that can happen to anyone, and it is devastating to work so hard on something for so long, only to see it put at risk like this. Also, any links back to Shoeperwoman.com (especially those using the word “Shoeperwoman” as the link text) would be a huge help to us right now as they will help cement our position in search engines and support our right to the trademark when we file our dispute.

I also want to say a big thank you to everyone who has emailed Terry and I with their support over this issue: it really means the world to us to know that we have loyal readers who will continue to support us no matter how many other ”Shoeperwomen” crop up!

Please offer your support!

What I Wore | Vintage Apple Print Dress & Bright Spring Yellowu April 7, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Vintage, What I Wore.
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What I Wore Vintage Apple Print Dress
Sorry about the pose, and the nobbly knees!

I felt quite chuffed with my outfit today so thought I would share it with you guys. Most of my posts seem to be images and very little writing at the moment, so why change things?! Anyway, this was a homage to our new spring/summer – long may this mini “heat”wave carry on!

Dress: Vintage
Heels: Nine West
Belt: Vintage