The big issue: Birkenstocks and fast fashion

alexa chung in birkenstocks

By Terri Cluckie

Lately it has come to my attention that people don’t like my Birkenstocks. I know, it’s shocking. I thought we all loved Birkenstocks too.

I actually thought I was doing myself a favour when I bought my Arizona-dupe Primark fivers that are very comfortable and also very versatile but apparently I’m not the most fashionable person in the room. It wasn’t until recently when one of my best friends found my pair in my kitchen and thought they were my boyfriend’s that the cogs started turning. My other best friend has actually always hated them so I guess the signs have always been there but still, I’m shocked. How could I have been so wrong?

I pondered my shortcomings last Tuesday when I was alone in the house and came to the conclusion that I blame fast fashion. I blame cheap prices making everything so accessible and providing me with all these opportunities to be expressive and try new trends! But this is the problem with the (high street) fashion world. It makes us do crazy things. How often do we play Risk with new trends when the price tag is sky high? I think I’m in the same boat as many people here so will go ahead and speak for us when I say not often at all.

Places like Primark make fad trends so accessible that we will all continue to make the same mistakes over and over again in the vicious circle of life meaning my Birkenstock issues are only just the beginning. Lord help us. I mean, we’ll be walking away from the EU soon so for fuck sake can we just have a bit of mental clarity to know that we’ve at least got a decent pair of socially acceptable shoes on our feet?!

I’m getting carried away but I thought my purchase of the sandals was fool proof because I seen them on one of my favourite fashion blogs (R.I.P. AfterDRK) and if you can’t rely on your everyday gal to let you know what’s in and what’s not then who can you trust? Now, yes, that was two years ago so I admit time may be spent on my beloved sandals but they’re still being sold on ASOS so how am I supposed to know they’re not cool anymore?

Life is hard sometimes. Maybe I should admit defeat and move on. Maybe I should stand my ground and buy a new pair of Birkenstocks because I like them. Maybe none of this matters and I should go read another book or something. Maybe I’ll just go ponder some more.

Another interesting take on the Birkenstock debate:

[Photo credit:]


On being 36 weeks pregnant

Eight months pregnant

By Terri Cluckie

The past few days I’ve been really uncomfortable at night time. I can’t get comfortable on the couch when I lie on my side or my back, and there is only so long one can sit perched like there is a ruler running down one’s back. Sleeping has been a little on and off. Whenever I need to turn over I can feel the baby like “right there”, as I keep telling G, like he (the baby) is forever lying at the front of my stomach and in between my legs. It’s the strangest and most awkward position for him to be in. I can feel his weight on either my stomach or my bladder pretty much constantly unless I’m walking – but when I walk for too long I get tired. It’s a lose/lose situation.

I do however have a “glow”. But whether that’s because of the Mac blusher I’ve been wearing on the inner corners of my eyes and cheeks or the baby I’m not so sure. I’ll take either because it makes me happy. I still get a fright when I look in the mirror because from up top (AKA my usual point of view) my bump is pretty small. I find myself wondering if people are aware that I’m pregnant. I’m definitely clearly pregnant. I just moved my mirror from my Mum’s house to our house so now I have a view of myself from the front, from the side, whichever way I like. My stomach is huge. My baby looks massive. As far as I’m aware I haven’t put on any weight though and I pretty much look the same. For this I am very grateful because being pregnant takes its toll on your body, regardless of how much you change and I can only imagine how upsetting it is to feel/be bloated and nauseous all of the time.

I’m also grateful for the fact that I haven’t had to work during the majority of my pregnancy. I realise it’s a luxury/ privilege so I won’t dwell on the fact, but I do understand how lucky I am to have been able to rest up and enjoy my pregnancy as much as I can. I have nothing but admiration for mothers who work throughout their pregnancy. I get tired after doing the dishes, Lord knows what kind of effect a full day’s work must have on the body and mind when 8 months pregnant and carrying a bowling ball between your legs.

I have four weeks left to go (maybe) but I’m convinced he’s going to arrive any day now. With any slight twinge I brace myself for the full impact of labour, the smallest drop of fluid down there and I’m sure my waters have broken. I used to think I would give birth exactly one week late, but now I’m sure he is going to arrive a few weeks early. Our hospital bags wait for us in the living room so I feel more prepared for when the day comes.

I’m nervous about what my body is going to look like after I’ve had the baby so I’m trying to bat that curve ball as far away as possible before the time comes. When I want to feel good about myself a new outfit always helps so as my way of pre-boosting my post-birth body confidence I’ve bought a new pair of trousers especially for coming home in. I’ve wanted them for a long time and managed to snag them when they came back in stock. In fact, I featured them in my post back in April about having no money but mentally spending anyway. They’re the slouchy navy Topshop trousers with polka dots. I swear they’re very cool. I saw them on an Instagram post so have based the concept of my look on that photograph. I’m convinced they’ll relieve any kind of baby blues I might experience in the next few weeks. Ha. The power of blissful ignorance.

[Image: Me at 35 weeks pregnant]