I AM CHARLOTTE MAISIE

Hello there! Welcome to my fashion and lifestyle internet diary. Regularly I post about my day to day regarding personal experiences, but of course sharing my outlook on fashion trends and building my wardrobe around them and myself. I do post the odd foodie related posts, plus my finds and discoveries of amazing independent business in my local city of Cardiff.

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16.12.19

How working at Victoria's Secret opened my eyes

As some of you might know I once worked for Victoria's Secret and today I'm going to share with you my experience of working in a store but also a couple reasons on why I also left the company.

Some girls would dream to work for Victoria's Secret with all the pretty lace underwear and always leaving work smelling amazing as you can't help but spray yourself with a tester every time you walk past the beauty room. While working for the company I was trained to be a certified bra fitter and when I say trained I mean I needed to know every apart of the bra, what each part of the bra does in the sense of lift, hold and fit... it's function. plus also knowing the different style of bras and what they offer, for example we have the BBV which is my personal favourite known as the Body By Victoria it's the perfect everyday bra but it also comes in 4 different lining levels, so you can imagine how much information we had to store inside our heads. At this point I would like to say I'm a professional boob fitter. So overall it's about a months worth of training to get a great understanding of what you're talking about when explaining a fit of a bra to a customer, which now leads me onto the topic of customers. For my whole time working in retail I've always strived to make every customer feel welcome but also leave the store feeling million dollars and I seriously needed to step up my game to achieve this at VS (Victoria's Secret), what do I mean? WELL! A week wouldn't go by without having a customer cry about how they personally feel fat, not sexy or too small for a bra.
This is what truly opened my eyes, I'm going to list some situations that I witnessed while working in the fitting rooms and fitting customers for bras and even 2 years later it still bothers me and I want to share this as it made me realise that we're not alone but also how much of a problem it is too.

Teenagers wanted to buy bras that made their boobs look double the size they are, when I asked why they said because all the girls on instagram have big boobs which makes them famous... yikes. Half the time these girls haven't even developed enough breast tissue to even fill an A cup so we would send them away and ask them to come back in 6 months with a parent.... the amount of unhappy parents that would turn up and kick off about letting their daughters buy push up bras, ek!

Women crying because they don't feel sexy, with this one I felt this to a personal level as I've always personally struggled with this one. A couple occasions I would even cry with them because their feelings truly hit home but you know what? I would always manage to find them something which made them feel sexy and half the time they didn't feel sexy was because they was wearing the wrong size in the bra - so it wasn't going them any favours. I fitted one lady to the correct size and she was blown away on how much of a difference was made to the shape of her breasts she didn't want 'sexy' lace she just wanted simple everyday bra because it made her feel sexy because the bra did so much for her. It never fails to amaze me how some women don't get fitted for a bra they just grab whatever looks nice and looks like it will fit and leave then come back complaining about backaches or the underwire digging in. Everyone body is different specially boobs! Did you know everyone as one boob bigger than the other and to 'fix this' all you need to do is adjust the straps - tighten the strap on the side that as the smaller breast until the cup is against the skin and then loosen the strap on the side of the bigger breast. So simple but it would blow customers minds, I think us women always try to perfect everything and we just simply line our straps up to be balance because it looks like the right thing to do, when actually the whole point of adjustable straps is to adjust them to your own body shape etc.

This one completely blew my mind, when we thought social media was effecting young girls when actually it can be the parents being mean to their own daughters because they've gone up a bra size so they must be putting on weight.... lies! I remember one mum saying 'you need to stop going to the chippy after school with the girls, because I'm not going to be buying you more bras when you get even fatter, specially not at £40 a pop'. And you've be surprised that I heard conversations like this more often than I would like to admit. I would have to step in and ask the daughter how old she is and then explain to the mum that her daughter is in the age range of development so her body will be changing for the next couple of years and have the time the mum would snap back saying well it's her back side (band size) that's gone up and it's because she's eating too much shit after school... The band side can go up with the cup size, some girls have a larger rib cage than others, specially girls that do a lot of sport. Trying to explain to a mum that thinks she knows best was always such a struggle.

Young ladies upset that they don't fit into our bras and that their 'fat' when matter of fact they are truly bless with amazing curves that loads of women wish for and also pay thousands for. For my time working at Victoria's Secret I was just 1 size away from being too big for their bras so I knew the frustration, because as soon as you're in H cups it's very hard to find sexy and pretty bras in that size range that also doesn't cost over £80. Before I left VS there was talk of them extending their size range but in all honestly I haven't been back since I left, so I'm not too sure if they have already but I do hope they do - specially with this new spot light on them currently.


And the topic of them being in the spotlight brings me into a couple reasons why I wanted to leave, I do have some deeper private reasons which I won't be going into but the reasons I'm willing to share are pretty straight forward and most likely wont shock you.
1. Always displaying thin models around the store with unrealistic body shapes and sizes, which also includes the fashion show which I'm lowkey happy that they've now cancelled it. I do believe it was showing the wrong message but it also was the same old too.
2. It's all about the 'fantasy' and forgetting that others want to be apart of the fantasy but being pushed to one side because they don't tick the boxes. The amount of transgender customers that would come in-store to be fitted for a bra and they would always say they wanted to be apart of the fantasy from a young age but never will because they are trans would break my heart.
3. After the company got backlash about not being open to having transgender models because it's about the 'fantasy' they then signed a transgender model, I felt it was all done to save their own backs - it shouldn't have never got as far as that. Don't get me wrong I'm glad they're open to it now and I hope to see more in the future.
4. The brand doesn't line up to what we offer in-store, like mentioned before we're so open to helping young customers, pregnant mothers, transgender, cross dressers and even elderly women, just didn't sit right with me that it's all a big show when actually in-store we do so much more - I hope this makes sense.

I guess what I'm trying to get at with this post is don't be too hard on yourself when it comes to how you feel in underwear, but also don't shy away from the idea to getting fitted for a bra too. Wearing the correct size doesn't only improve how the body looks but as so many health benefits too. I learnt as I'm a 34DDD (34E) it's better for me to wear my straps crossed at the back to help spread the weight of my breast and ever since doing that I don't get back pains as much as I use to - getting fitted to a bra as so many perks trust me. If you want some tips and tricks with bras don't be afraid to ask me, I'm more than happy to help and answer any questions.

I do miss working for the brand and having such a positive impact on women and making them feel empowered and sexy. I would love to hear some of your comments and thoughts on this topic, feel free to reach out to me over on instagram @iamcharlottemaisie
Much love, Charl .xo

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30.1.19

re-mastering my wardrobe.

Hello stranger!
I hope you're doing well, so I had a bit of a writer's block for the last couple of weeks which as been super annoying but after today I realised what I can share with you! Basically I've been re-mastering my wardrobe, what do you mean by this Charlotte? WELL!
In my last job my 'uniform' was all black, but it could be whatever I wanted it to be as long as it's smart, presentable and comfy of course. After growing a fairly big wardrobe of just black clothing I want to give it all a new fashionable life for my everyday life and job! For a long while now I've been wanting to update my black wardrobe to be more chic and fashion forward in a sense of them 'Tumblr/Insta street style' images we're always see across almost every platform and magazine. You know the kind I mean, the tailored coated, laid back jeans - trainer combo and a crisp white shirt. Very effortless - yet timeless.

But of course if you know me well I do enjoy a graphic/band tee once in a while but I do feel this can still be workable in this new re-mastered wardrobe, it's defo a working progress project but I've already kick started it. The aim of the game is when I'm buying items to wear for work I want to be able to style these pieces into chic outfits outside my working hours, but also getting my moneys worth out of the clothing. I use to be one of them A-holes that saw something and had to buy it there and then without a thought, then get bored of it after a couple of wears and bin it - damn fast fashion! And this was such a negative impact on my bank balance but also the environment. But we won't fall so deeply down that hole today, that's a topic for a different day.

I hope this all making sense so far, bare with me on this one okay! So I thought I would share with you my inspo board that I'm always adding images too (it's basically a keynote presentation) to get outfit ideas from, plus I do love myself some Pinterest! come follow me and share your Pinterest links below in the comments! So my inspiration boards are based around how to create a number of different looks with layering the same items but in different ways and of course also still managing to stick to all black and neutral colour story.
So these are the key items to kick start this re-mastered chic wardrobe:
'leather' biker jacket / structured handbag / loose fitting T-shirt / jeans / white trainers - black boots / tailored coat - blazer
I feel most of these items are easy to get hold of but also key staple items in anyones wardrobe and definitely items worth investing in. I would say the best place to purchase most of the the items I mentioned is Zara, because their prices ain't too expensive and the clothing is made to last. My boyfriend bought me a PU-leather biker jacket almost 2 years ago now and it still looks brand new. I pretty much wear that jacket everyday. Then I would say the second best place to get a decent pair of boots, I normally buy my boots from Topshop and I highly recommend keeping an eye out for random offers they do - regularly they do 20% off a selected lines/styles or be cheeky and use your friends student discount hehe. Next basic t-shirts, I normally pick mine up from Primark in the men's departments for £2 a pop and I find that they wash really well and also inexpensive, which is a bonus in my eyes. Once you've got you basic wardrobe in place it's just the case of adding and layering on. I am planning to do mini IGTV videos over on instagram showing you how I do my layering on to keep it chic but current to trends. If you would also like me to do more in-depth videos over on youtube do let me know!

I hope you've enjoyed this blog post! Hopefully in the next one I shall have some photos of myself in my new updated wardrobe pieces! I would love for you to leave me a comment with ideas of what you would like me to post next but also tell me what your wardrobe staple item is. I think it would be interesting to see the differences between people.

Much Love, Charlotte x


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4.3.18

Reflection.

Why hello there, once again I vanished off the face of earth when it comes to blogging and I'm truly disappointed with myself. I could come up with many different excuses and reasons on why I haven't been active on my blog.

I'm not too sure on where to start, a lot as changed since I last posted on
here. I guess the biggest change is that I recently got myself a new job and I'm truly over the moon with this change. For a long time I fell down a hole of depression, boring routine and working hard without any appreciation in my old job. But my problem was that I felt safe, in a weird way that job was a safety blanket. I had worked for the same company almost 5 years, it was all that I ever knew. Leading up to Christmas I finally snapped and realised that none of this was doing me any good, I was depressed and it felt like my life had no real meaning... deep I know.

Now reflecting back on everything from last year, I don't even recognise that girl from 2017, she was broken and damaged. I can't get over how badly I let my old job take over my life. It was effecting my relationship with my boyfriend, my parents and even my close friends. I couldn't see it at the time, it wasn't until my boyfriend sat me down and basically said I've turned into a horrid person and it's my job that's doing it to me. Deep down I knew I was getting nasty because I wasn't getting anywhere within my career and was taking it out on others.
I finally sat down with my manager and asked him out right 'Do I have a future career with this company?' and he just stared at me blankly and gave me no real answer, that pretty much summed it up for me that it was time for me to move on from this path and find a new one. I didn't want any old job I wanted to find a company that was passionate and excited about their staff and customers. So I started hunting for jobs late November and I found the perfect job for me. It was for a company/brand that I always got excited about thanks to my old manager who also currently works for them. She would always tell me how amazing the company is and how much they care about their staff. So I applied for that one job and just hoped for the best.
I had my interview early December and didn't find out until the start of January that I had the job. I worked 4 weeks notice at my old job and they truly gave me a hard time, which just opened up my eyes on how petty and horrid they were. I worked really hard for that store for 2 and half years and my manager at the time didn't even have the decently to say thank you or good luck to me. Which just summed up my time with that store. But I've moved on to bigger and better things now, if it wasn't for my manager treating me with no respect and basically pushing me out I wouldn't have found this new amazing job! So in a weird way I guess I should thank him, for being a jobs worth and a bit of a knob?
JACKET - ZARA // TEE - TOPMAN // SHOES - TOPSHOP // BAG - CHANEL
I've currently worked 3 full weeks at my new job and I can truly say I can't compare the company or staff to my old job at all. They are all so lovely, hard working and caring people. The company is amazing that truly care about their staff and not just how much money goes into their tills. The culture and brand worth is honestly the best thing I've ever witnessed and I'm so excited to be a apart of it all! Within my first week there I could feel the difference within myself, I was more happy, upbeat and confidenced. My life as completely done a 360° within 3 weeks all because I got myself a new job, it's completely blown my mind. So I guess the whole point of this blog post is if you're not happy, do something about it even if it's a scary big change. 

Carrying on with the reflection vibe/theme of this post I've also decided that I'm going to take a step back from YouTube and focus more time into this blog and Instagram. As much as I love creating content for my YouTube channel, it takes a lot of planning and time to get a video up. Recently YouTube emailed me saying they are pulling adverts from my videos, which is heartbreaking as my videos just haven't been getting the views, specially when you compare how many subscribers I have, it just doesn't add up. I've contacted YouTube about this so many times now and they just haven't done anything about it. If you've followed me for a while I've been very open about how much I earn from my videos and it's little as nothing, roughly £60 a year. I don't create videos for the money at all, I create them to give advise but also talk about my personal experiences which might help others. But if my videos aren't being seen by my subscribers that I've worked so hard to get, then what's the point? Sounds all negative I know but I'm just not too sure on what else to do. If you have any advise please get in contact with me! 
But on a positive note! I'm going to try and post on here on a weekly bases, I haven't decided if I will have a schedule a such but time will tell! 
Much Love!
Charl .xo
Photography by Billy Shatford

26.2.17

A Cute Dress & Fishnets

| DRESS: TOPSHOP | JACKET: TOPSHOP | TIGHTS: EBAY BOOTS: MISS SELFRIDGE 
Heya! It's me again. I know I've been terrible and haven't posted in forever but I'm here posting this outfit because after wearing this very outfit at work and having a couple of the girls say 'you need to blog this outfit' I think you should take it that as a hint to post about it! So if you've been following me for a while you would most likely know that I don't really do the whole 'girly girl' kinder thing when it comes to my outfit builds. I enjoy making outfits my own by jazzing them up with a chunky boot and a leather jacket (in this case) or even throwing on a oversized hoodie or denim jacket. I've noticed the whole ruffle, frill and lace layering and bibs style is coming in and being showcased everywhere at the moment but being a girl with a big chest and not so girly I wasn't completely sold on the idea of investing in this trend until the other day when going into my local Topshop and I laid my eyes on this dress. Not even going to lie I walked around that store for about half hour holding the dress trying to decide if I needed it or not while also trying to figure out what the hell I would wear it with to make it my own. With some convincing from one of my friends I took the dive and bought the damn dress, plus many other things... Topshop is a dangerous place to be with payday around the corner plus having staff discount, things just happen to slip into your shopping basket. Shit happens as some say.So with that all being said I made this dress my own by pairing it with my leather jacket which I picked up from Topshop in Oxford Circus about a month ago and I can't lie, doing this almost made me miss my train back to Cardiff because I got too distracted and engrossed with their sale. Oopies but was totally worth it though, just look at how wonderful it is! Another trend that I'm completely inlove with is fishnet tights! it's a thang and I'm enjoying it as I feel like I can show off my slutty side but in a sly way LOL JK but I can't lie I've been wearing them at lease twice a week even though we really haven't had the weather to do so, but you've got to live life on the edge a little specially when it comes to fashion! Then at last I've got my Miss Selfridge boots on, yup you've read right these bad boys are from Miss Selfridge it took me a little off guard too. I've been on a hunt for a while looking for the perfect boot that can be worn all year around and I truly believe these are them, I adore that they have the cut outsides ready for summer but I can also show off my slutty ankles in my fishnet tights this season, hehe. I've also noticed that metal hardwear and buckles on boots is also a big thing this season. Also I would like to add these boots are super comfy I highly recommend them to anyone thats looking for a good pair of boots, plus their only £49 at the moment.
I finished the overall look with a red lip and a neutral eye as I didn't want too much to draw away from the dress detailing. I would love to know how you would personally style this dress to make it your own.
Much Love, Charlotte
photography credit: Sammy Hamilton | www.elephantphotography.co.uk

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