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1st year Blogiversary and what I have learnt so far.

Lessons learnt from the Meruti blog.

A little over a year ago, 1st June 2015 to be precise, I hit ‘publish’ and the Meruti blog went live. I had been mulling the idea of having a space to share my views and ideas on things that excite me, which included a blog on tall style and home decor as well as an online store that would be anchored by the blog. While that was a desire, I was also very ‘scared’ of revealing myself. No, it was not going to be a personal blog, but the idea that my thoughts would be online for the world to see, scared the hell out of me. In truth maybe just 8-10 people in my circle knew about it (helps to have a large family), and I pestered them to come online and check it out. Needless to say, I survived the first year and right glad I am, that I took that step, stayed the course and we are here celebrating that journey!

 

How it all started

I started the Meruti blog whilst I was recovering from major surgery in 2015. The timing was weirdly perfect. I had been thinking about starting a blog for over a year and I just never seemed to have time for it. The surgery sort of made that possible. Because I was not able to do much physically, this was a perfect time. For me, being able to ‘do something’ even though I was horizontal for about 6 weeks was a great boost. My mind was occupied and so engaged, with the ins and outs of starting a blog, I didn’t have to dwell too much on what my body was going through.

I have to say though, that I could not have done it without the love and support of my husband B. He cooked, cleaned, cared and coded for me. He is a genius-in my opinion, when it comes to computers and this helped me a great deal when I could not understand what was going on and there were and continue to be many times like these. I am eternally grateful. So this ‘blogiversary’ is more than just one year of Meruti, but it is an appreciation of the immense support from my spouse and family, as well as the healing that has happened in the last year and I couldn’t have imagined this would be the outcome.

I’d would like to share with you some of the lessons I learnt during this amazing journey. Though they are lessons, it does not mean it’s over once the ‘test’ is done. I continue to make mistakes and apply these truths through trial and error. It has been well worth it. Read on for what I learnt in this process.

Blogging is no joke. This is hard work

Let no one fool you. While it is great to know that you want to blog and write about what is precious and dear to you, it takes work to do it and keep doing it. I keep reading how some people are able to churn out posts in a few hours, and I envy them. This doesn’t happen for me and I have to come accept that it’s alright. However I need to adjust accordingly to maintain the momentum. If I need more than a day to organize my thoughts and ideas then I need to plan for it.

I also have to factor in editing which is very very important and check and check again that my message is clear and resonated with whoever will come across the blog. Thereafter there is the component of sharing or promoting your blog and your message on the all the platforms that need to be targeted if you want to grow. This is an interesting landscape and you ought to jump in. It has taken me time and I am still learning this whole thing. I confess that I haven’t jumped into Snapchat yet. I think my issue is, just don’t know how I would use it at the moment so I am on the other fence, but I am not against it altogether. It’s time will come.

I work full time and so the blog and the Meruti store is a side hustle. However, I imagine that the day it will become a full time gig means, I will have to put in much more than I am doing now in order to get the kind of results that will be sustainable. That means thinking about the blog strategically and putting in the work, just like any other job or undertaking. Only when I started blogging, did I really appreciate what the successful bloggers have had to grapple with. I realize I have only scratched the surface, but I am looking forward to giving it more and more. I have learnt and continue to learn from many wonderful bloggers on how to work on my blog such as Darren Rowse of Problogger, Andrew Youderian with a podcast called E-commercefuel if running an online store, Fizzle team and Sonia from Sonia Styling. The first 3 form part of my daily podcast routine as I walk to work and these sessions have been life changing, inspiring and very insightful. They have been a great resource.

Tip: If you haven’t yet already, start listening to podcasts in your area of interest. There are many who have gone before you, tried and tested the waters which you won’t have to, if you listen to them. If you want to start blogging, Darren Rowse has a great podcast on the first 30 days of blogging where he takes you step by step on how and even what to blog about it. I finished it and still going back to it for revision. That whole site is a gem for sure. I would just spend my learning time there. Find it here.

Change is the only constant.

When I started the Meruti blog it was about a concept store that dealt with Tall style, Home storage and Decor. These are my loves. I am glad I came across the term ‘multi-passionate’ because it describes me to a tee. If there is one thing that I grappled with the whole year was whether or not I needed to change from concept store idea( multiple niches) or stick to one niche. The blog experts all tell you to niche-down and there is a reason for that because you are able to concentrate on your craft and what your voice is when you are clear about what you want and why your blog exists. You can target a particular market and it resonates with them.

My problem was that, I felt almost equal parts about talking about tall fashion as I did about Home decor. Being tall is something I lived with all my life. Home decor is something that has grown over the years and I feel really strongly about it. ‘Niching’ aside, I also learnt that if you do your job well and craft your message your market can be people who traverse both aspects that you may want to express and this brings us into the ‘lifestyle’ category of blogging. I grappled with this to and fro. Some weeks I was like, ‘yes we stay with both’, other weeks I was like, ‘let go of one, concentrate on it and then start the other’. It took a while and there were great arguments for both sides. The podcasts also helped me deal with this indecision.

I finally decided to pivot and change the Meruti blog to focus on Tall style and slowly by slowly changing the outlook. It’s been about 3 months with this change and I am monitoring what effect this will have. It’s possible that I may have lost some readers due to this change, and it’s also possible that I gained some. It’s also possible that my indecision hurt my congruence and how I was communicating on the blog. Did people really know what I was about when they came to my blog? Probably not. I am not sure I can wholly attribute it to that. I’m not even sure I can figure that out.

The point I am making is this, change will always be constant when blogging and you need to give yourself time to make that change. Finding a niche takes time-you need that time so that you can find your voice. Don’t force the niche in the beginning, let it come to you naturally. Blog about something you know or are passionate about and it will fall into place.

Secondly, that change can only happen because you are going through it. Re-branding is ok and its normal. Work through the paces of why you need to change.When someone else changes their style or direction, don’t just change yours too. Feel the desire or sense of indecision welling up inside you, face it, argue for or against and finally weigh your options to change or not to change. I will say though, that because I decided to change, I concentrate fully on Tall style in Meruti for now and the Home Decor component is slowly being stewed in thought. At the appointed time it too will have a location/ home. Watch this space.

Your 1st year is a lab of sorts. There is freedom to experiment. Nothing will be perfect.

 

This point is closely linked to the one above about change. Because it’s your own spot you can experiment lost and find out what works or doesn’t. Know this too, it will not always be perfect. How do you want to communicate? What style do you want to be known for? What colours, pictures elements do you like or don’t like? To know what works or doesn’t you have to try and make mistakes and try again. This year has been great for that reason and it continues to be great as I learn and align myself closer to what I want Meruti to stand for. Blogging is a journey of mistakes and this is what’s amazing. You also need to be ok with ‘good enough’ If I’d waited to have the perfect blog (I wouldn’t even know what that looked like at this stage) there would be no ‘Meruti’ to talk about, let alone celebrating this blogiversary.

In a sense this freedom means that I don’t need permission from others to make changes because it’s my blog, but in a critical way the readers somehow wield the influence on what makes it on the blog, content and style-wise through the response and interaction that comes when I post. So it’s double-edged this freedom thing. But in order to grow, I think you need to have your ears on both sides of ‘divide’ so-to speak. Mistakes are a great teacher, embrace them, they are on your terms.

Be true to yourself. You can’t be like him/her (insert famous blogger)

How you operate, your processes and what makes you tick. You may have the ideals that most people starting a new website or activity have, as well as the best intentions. But, if these are not aligned to your truth then you will waste a lot of time doing actions that seem to be targeted to your overall goal but in essence are of no consequence. I struggled with this and I still do on some days. Yes I know myself and this has become even more critical as I put out content. This is also closely linked with this next point.

 

Imposter Syndrome is real

I also had to grapple with Imposter syndrome. This is the feeling that you are not adequate enough or even at times down playing your accomplishments and feeling like a fraud. What would I have to say that others would want to hear my point of view?

When I looked deep down I knew that indeed my journey wasn’t any more special than another person’s journey, but the unique thing about it-which was my story, was just that. It was my story. No one else knew it but me. The experiences I had and which in one or another would help others who I had the pleasure of interacting with were particular to me. I focused on what I was learning in the blogging journey rather than how competent I was to run a blog. In truth in the first year you will never be great! Some say it takes 2-3 year blogging to get there. So just chill and do what you need to do. Every. Single. Day. Don’t focus on the failure or the low numbers, no comments, no engagement. This was easy to do in the first year, because it was my reality. But it’s not the whole story. There was more to Meruti than the low numbers, engagement etc. My story. It is just going to take time to get there and now…..I am ok with that. It was also a good outlet for my thoughts and ideas and I am glad I took that step.

The beauty with blogging I have come to realize, we all can weave our own tale of our experiences and how we want to be perceived. It’s in our fingers and up to us to dictate what we want out there or how we want it said of our brands and platforms. That is my power as I blog on Meruti and talk about Tall style for women in Kenya and beyond. Question is what was I going to do about it? And the same question is posed to you if you are just starting out. Meruti is not there yet. To borrow a line from the Bible in Phillipians 3:12 ‘Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on toward the mark of the high calling’. Keep at it. Step onto that stage and own it. Tell your story, the only way you can. If you don’t believe you can do it, how else will you convince another person to come along with you for the journey? Lessons to self that I relive day by day.

Tip: To know more about Imposter Syndrome read this piece by  Andy Molinsky, as well as both the TED talk and article  by Amy Cuddy. Quite insightful.

Get out of the comfort zone.

In another life-which I thoroughly enjoyed, I worked in retail. It was a great experience and allowed me to understand customer psychology and even glean insights from there into how I interact with potential customers on the Meruti online store. In a physical store, people come in to your shop because they want something and even if they don’t, they get to know more about your products. They will either buy then, or an idea is implanted in their minds to know what you stock for their own future knowledge. You put it out there they buy it. That used to be the expectation. I say used because the way business was done back then is changing. The basic elements are the same, but nowadays with a discerning customer there is much more that business owners have to do to win their attention.

I had this same mentality with the blog and store because I have always thought that if you needed something you will find it. The advice to get away from the mentality of ‘you build it and they will come’ is so true. I had to learn something that I was always comfortable with- promoting the blog. Selling or promoting someone else’s stuff, I have no problem. But when it comes to my stuff?  I have struggled with this during this 1st year and continue to grapple with it. However, I am not giving up and I am still learning because I am seeing that it has results. I am working to figure out why this is so difficult for me, but I also need to get over it so that I can see the results I desire.

Promotion can be ‘salesy’ or sleazy and maybe that’s why I struggled with this aspect. But, I have also learnt that promotion is very important if I want Meruti and tall style to be successful. I need to find a balance so that I am not what I dislike in other blogs that I have come across. It’s almost the same as growing older-you know what you don’t want. I am working to be more proactive and get the word out there, of the existence of a tall style store and blog in Kenya and beyond.

Take bite-sized chunks off of to-do lists.

When I started blogging, I have to say it was quite overwhelming. I had so many to-do lists. I think I even lost some. The hundred and one things you need to do to keep things going from technical point not mentioning the write-ups, keeping up with updates, making sure there is no spam on the site, monitoring the traffic (did I even have traffic?). Add on to that, all the bits and pieces of advice given by experts in the field. Some are really good, and some are just ripping off what others have done and trying to get you on their gravy train.

Seriously, it was and sometimes is still daunting. It was easy to think …nay believe, I could do it all, but this was so far from my reality. There was never going to be a time when I’d say I’ve done it all and checked all the boxes, thinking now we are at par with the best of them. My concession and pick-me-up after I fell from the high horse, was to do what I could in small manageable doses.

You conquer the mountain or the elephant by chewing it off in small pieces. There is Swahili saying ‘Haba na haba hujaza kibaba’ which translated sates ‘little by little fills the measure’. That has continued to be the way I have maintained some balance and sanity as I juggled all that needed to be done. We are not there yet, but I can see the benefits of small changes I make and achievements to the overall goal of Meruti. I continue to chew in small bits.

 

Do something every day. No matter the size, just do it.

This next tip is somehow connected to the one above and I heard it from a 19 year old entrepreneur during one of the podcasts that I listen(ed) to. He said, no matter how huge the task is, always try and do one thing every day. It can be as simple as clearing your inbox or making sure your widgets are working, always try and do something every day. It’s a simple decision to make and you may feel you don’t always have to adhere to it, but when you make a habit of it, there is a great outcome in the long run. Try it and pat yourself on the back when you see how much you managed to achieve.

Develop a blogging routine/work schedule and keep to it.

In the beginning I started with about 8 blog post drafts before the site went live (a great tip by the way if you are starting). I figured I could do 2 per week and felt the drive and excitement could sustain me throughout the whole blogging experience. But…Something just happened. I never did really drill down to find out what exactly caused this shift. I couldn’t keep up with my promise to myself. I started doing one a week and pretty soon it was almost one every 2 weeks or at one point, once a month. It’s better to be regular with once a month than have bursts of 4 a month and none the next month.

Now I try to plan at least 1 week’s content in advance and I am working towards 2 weeks in advance. I do this in bits and pieces over the course of the week prior to posting week. I take photos if need be over the weekend. I check emails daily and spread over morning, midday and evening.  Because I am also working full time, evenings is when I settle into doing the work for the blog. I also have to make sure I utilize the time efficiently which can be difficult especially when I am not able to concentrate for one reason or another, or I am having a hard time switching between the day’s events and into Meruti-mode. The Medal box  was an undertaking that I was able to realize by committing to doing something everyday. I am very happy how it turned out.

Networking. It’s a great community!

I am still working on this one because of my prior point, but slowly by slowly I am chipping away at it. There is a great blogging community out there. Find your niche and get engaged. There is so much to learn from those who have gone before you and others who are like yourself in your blogging journey. Bloggers are some of the kindest people I have come across and it amazing to find those who are successful reaching down to pull others up. They pay it forward and it seems to come back to them. Don’t forget when you get up there yourself (because you will) do the same for another in that journey.

Learn, learn, learn!

I have learnt so much from blogging it’s surprising. To think that one year ago I did not know what a plug-in or a widget or SEO was, is just mind boggling. I am learning about what my readers like or don’t like. It’s interesting how this actually influences your knowledge of your readers and how you tailor your posts-of course staying true to your message and who you are.

I am also surprised at my capacity to take on something totally new, different and dive head first in. It is very closely linked to doing something that you love and enjoy doing. I knew I had a ‘message to preach’ but I did not know the ins and outs of making that happen. I am also appreciating that the brain really is a muscle that can be trained. My late father used to say ‘there is no end to learning’, and I find this truth being played out day by day, as I navigate the blogging and e-commerce waters. My penchant for knowledge in this totally new arena is crazy. I sometimes wonder where my energy comes from. I actually look forward to my morning walks because I get to hear new stuff. I look forward to the weekend because that’s when I write content besides ofcourse resting. I have had to put a cap on how much ‘reading’ ‘inspiration’ I gather. Sometimes it leads to inaction and this needs o be managed so that I am not so ‘informed that I am paralysed by what I need to do next.

Tip: Pace yourself with regards to how much you read for learning/ inspiration in comparison to getting the work done. If you feel that all you do when you start is read on this and that (which is all good), identify one resource that you feel resonates with your learning pace, learn and apply the concepts. Over time you can add others as you see fit and as is reasonable to handle. Don’t let analysis paralysis be your excuse.

I grew. Personally.

In this year I also grew on a personal level. Maybe in part because I had to examine what my truth was/is. Why do I feel the need to have a site about Tall style and especially here in Kenya? What do I want to communicate? Am I helping someone in the process? When I shared of myself I realised I was also very careful that what I shared was something I could be held accountable for. I could stand by it and this was strengthened by what I had experienced growing up. All of which I am truly grateful for and glad to share with others. It was also important to me not to take my audience’s visits to my site for granted the fact that they came by was something I truly appreciate(d) because they could have gone to any other site at that particular time. My response to that is to make sure that the visit is worth their while. I have learnt to be patient. It’s easy o get discouraged and down when you put out your work and no one seems to read any of it. Like many others say, you hear nothing. Only crickets. But I determined to keep going and if not for anything else, I have seen the change on personal level and a capacity to stay this course which I chose very carefully. I will continue to do it even for the one person who comes by.

I have learnt to be flexible and let go of things which I thought would work but alas failed royally! There was no response to it. Not even a negative one-that is still needed feedback. The biggest mindset shift ? Understanding that it was not even personal!  Why I would even think that in the first place is because, this was so precious to me and I assumed everyone would find it precious enough to flock to the site. Wrong! It’s a lesson because I now manage my expectations. But I also know when I can expect some reaction. It’s when I have worked hard at something and put something of value to my audience. My response has been to get back to the drawing board tweak it here and there and put it out. Again and again. The Lean Start Up  was a great read and I continue to refer to it often. Putting something of value to the audience also helps me deal with feelings of inadequacy and imposter syndrome when it rears it’s head. I know I can weight what I am feeling against what I have given.

 

Last but certainly not least……

Make time for your relationships.

With the consuming nature of blogging- and I haven’t even scratched the surface  yet, I have learnt that I need to make time for my relationships. It’s very easy to slip into the mode of work while the relationships suffer silently. There have been times when I felt guilty for wanting to do this so much at the expense of chill time. What has helped is prioritizing and setting aside solid blocks of time for what needs to be done when, having non-negotiables in terms of spending time with my husband and family and friends. I also know I need to do this in the early days so that it’s not a consistent aspect in years to come. Suffice it to say the challenges in the early days are different from those in the growth and expansion phase but hopefully by that time I will have carved out a proper system of dealing with that pressure.

 

There you have it!

That pretty much sums it up for this first year. It’s been an amazing journey of ups and downs and I have loved every moment of it. Going forward what do I hope to do in the second year?

What’s in store for Meruti in the 2nd year?

  • Learning some more about coding-in bite sized chunks. I have been fortunate to have my husband help me in this but I know I need to get some basic understanding for myself. This is something I never thought I would say I want to learn, but look what blogging does! I have learnt so much and look forward to much more.
  • Sticking to my schedule. I already set it out, I just need to keep to it.
  • Growing the community and traffic to the site. No pressure.
  • Interacting more with other bloggers and influencers, and especially locally.

I have had a wonderful year and I look forward to another great year. As the adage goes, ‘there’s more where that came from’. Starting a blog and writing about tall lifestyle is something I had mused about for a while, but never really made a concrete step towards, mostly because I didn’t know how. There still so much I am looking forward to sharing with you all as well as many changes coming up and I am super excited to share them with you as they unfold. I am looking forward to interacting with you right here on any other topics.

Last but not least thank you for your readership.

Thanks for coming by the Meruti Blog

Writing for you keeps me on my toes and that’s a good thing(even on health side of things). But to add on to that, it’s been a great pleasure and I would still push that publish button-perhaps even earlier.

 

On that note, what’s a celebration without goodies huh?? not memorable. So look out for some offers that will be coming out as we celebrate this milestone.

 

Here’s to many more!

 

With love, hugs and appreciation.

 

Mercy

 

PS: As usual, if you found this helpful like it, leave a comment here and share it on your platforms. It will go a long way in helping a tall girl who is yet to know Meruti and helps us get the word out there.

Everyday Tall Style: The Ladies’ Shirt (Part 2)

Everyday Tall Style (Part 2)

Welcome back to the everyday tall style segment for the ladies shirt. If you didn’t get it, the first part of this post-shared here, showcased 2 looks. Today, we continue to show you other fun ways to pair this versatile shirt with other items in your wardrobe or other items from the Meruti Store.

Meruti Everyday tall style Ladies' Shirt
Ladies Shirt

 

Thank you for the feedback on these looks we will continue to share them as much as we can and we very much welcome your views, ideas and suggestions so please don’t hesitate to comment below.Without further ado, here are a few more looks.

What to wear with the Ladies’ shirt :

Style 3: With a Long skirt with prints-Ankara Skirt.

For this look the shirt has been paired with an Ankara skirt which is long and has a wide cut. Ankara is a popular fabric worn by many Africans. According to the site All Things Ankara‘ it is ‘commonly known as “African Prints”,”African Wax Prints” “Holland Wax” and “Dutch Wax” ,  is a 100% cotton fabric with vibrant patterns.
It is usually a colorful cloth and is primarily associated with Africa because of its tribal-like patterns and motifs’.

 

Everyday tall style-Ladies shirt with Ankara skirt
Ladies shirt with Ankara skirt

The skirt here has a beautiful print against a yellow-mustard coloured palette. These 2 colours from the shirt and the skirt have an interesting contrast and based on the diverse array of prints and colours in Ankara fabrics, there is quite a minefield to explore. A belt has been added for some definition at the waist but it can also be worn without the belt.

Meruti Everyday tall style-Ladies shirt with Ankara skirt bv
Ladies’ shirt with Ankara skirt bv
Everyday tall style-Ladies shirt with Ankara skirt
Ladies shirt with Ankara skirt fv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This look is great for weekends as its easy, less formal and incorporates bright colours for a relaxed vibe.

NB: Ankara is one of those items that is found in many Kenyan, and indeed African women’s wardrobes, so this is not too difficult to source. Locally it has been known as  ‘Kitenge’, and this is still how it is known amongst the older generation in Kenya.

 

Other variations of the shirt and jeans look:

 

Everyday Tall style
Jeans with flats

 

 

 

Everyday Tall styleEveryday Tall Style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there you have it. Different fun ways of pairing the Ladies Blue shirt from the Meruti Store with other items in your closet. Depending on the occasion or activity for the day it can be dressed up or down to suit your needs.

 

Let me know on the comments section below, how you would style it or which is your favourite option.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Cheers!

 

Mercy.

PS: If you like this content and want to receive more tips on tall fashion, sign up for the newsletter and follow us on facebook. Don’t forget to tell a friend, they’ll love you for it #helpatallsisterout.

 

 

Everyday Tall Style: The Ladies’ Shirt

Tall Style: The Ladies’ Shirt

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and looking forward to the rest of the year, seeing as we are already half way through the year. When did that happen??!!!

I am really excited with today’s post where we are going to share with you the first of many ideas of styling what we have in the Meruti Store under the series ‘Everyday Tall Style’. This series will fall into a new lookbook category for the online store products.

The item we will showcase is the Ladies Shirt with ¾ length sleeves. A plain coloured shirt should be a staple in every woman’s wardrobe. It helps balance put all the print that is found in pants, skirts, shorts, leggings. If you are yet to purchase a plain shirt or looking for ideas to wear one, this post and others that follow will show you how to work it out.

Everyday Tall Style: The Ladies’ Shirt.

Tall style Ladies' Shirt
Ladies’ Shirt

This ladies’ shirt has pop buttons and beautiful stitching detail and the cotton fabric is soft against the skin. The sleeves can be rolled up to make a 3/4 length sleeve which is perfect for the tall lady’s style as shared on this post. The buttons have a pearlised look and complement the colour of the shirt beautifully. Looks great with jeans, leggings and  skirts either opened as a top shirt or buttoned up.

 

What to wear with the Ladies’ shirt :

Style 1: Dark coloured jean skirt, heels and a belt.

 

Everyday Tall Style: Ladies shirt jean skirt and heels
Everyday Tall Style: Ladies shirt jean skirt and heels

 

This is a great look to take the otherwise casual look of the shirt a notch higher because of pairing it with heels and a belt.

The bright blue colour of the shirt plays of well against dark colours and it’s a great combination. Don’t forget other accessories like necklaces and a great bag to round of the look beautifully.

Where would I wear this look? This look can be worn to work or other similar engagements.

 

Everyday Tall style: Ladies shirt, Jean skirt and heels
Everyday Tall style: with Jean skirt and heels

 

STYLE 2:  With Jeans and heels.

This is another everyday tall style look that can be put together very easily. It’s a go-to look for many women and the ladies’ shirt is once again off-set beautifully against the dark coloured jeans.

Every day tall style: with flared jeans and heels
Everyday tall style: with flared jeans and heels

 

Here the shirt is paired up with a pair of flare jeans and heels. The heels can be switched down to flats and ofcourse this depends on how comfortable you want to be for the day.

Once again, complete the look with some fun accessories and you are good to go!

 

Ladies shirt, flared jeans and heels
Everyday tall style: with flared jeans and heels

 

NB: When wearing flats with jeans, its better to wear the flats with slim fitting or skinny jeans so that the look is clean.

 

Love a casual shirt for your wardrobe? Head on over to the store and grab one for yourself. And your sister. And your friend…you get the drill.

 

How would you style this shirt for an every day tall style look?

 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

 

PS: Don’t forget to look out for the next post on other styling tips for this shirt.

 

Mercy

What to Wear on Rainy Days

The rain and cold is upon us.

I know I wondered if July was already knocking on the door before it’s time, but now I am convinced it is just sneaking up on us undercover. Be that as it may, the rain should not leave you feeling distressed about what you can wear either to work, college, errands and whatever else you need to do for the day.

Getting wet is guaranteed, but for the sake of your health it’s best to keep the wetness and cold at bay. I say this because sometimes I see people soaking wet from the rain wearing only shirts, no jacket or other layer on top of the shirt and I wonder how they will be in a few hours?

What to wear on rainy days
Standing in the rain puddle

There are ofcourse those moments when the rain just surprises us from out of nowhere and indeed we are not prepared for it. But when you can, make sure you are appropriately covered. Then again. maybe some of us want to grow taller that’s why we don’t mind being rained on (some of you will not get this joke-that’s ok)

 

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN IT RAINS

A basic guide

My non-negotiable is not wearing sandals or any open-toed footwear during the rain. I am one of those people who feels the cold from my feet so I always make sure that my feet are well covered. If this is covered then I am a happy camper-no matter the weather surprises. I will wear sneakers, knee high boots or even boots like these ones from Bata

 

Bata Safari boots-Blue
Photo:  Bata Safari Boot

 

As mentioned in a previous post, in order to combat cold, layering is great way of dealing with the ever-changing temperatures that come with rain.

Here is a simple guide I put together inorder to know how to dress during the rainy season. There will be a follow up post where I will share some outfit inspiration to show how you can pull this together.

1. Right fabric and colour

Whatever you wear, choose clothes with strong fabric like wool and with long sleeves where possible. Light fabrics will not keep you warm and light colours can be a challenge especially in trying to keep them clean. This is especially due to splashing from puddles of water if you are walking or from cars. It is also likely you don’t have to deal with potholes and being splashed on by rude drivers, in which case you don’t have to worry about this, but that’s a story for another day.

These tops can be like sweaters or long sleeved shirts like the ones below:

 

 

Rainy Day Dressing - Tops

 

For pants, I’d wear slim pants in a lightweight, quick dry fabric. Don’t wear bulky trousers that will clutter your look and also likely get easily wet at the ankles. Choose a dark colour as this hides any spots, splashes of mud and wetness.

Rainy Day Dressing - Pants

 

A Warm, Waterproof Top Layer

 For the top layer, try and get a long coat which ensures more coverage of your clothes, as well as protection from the elements. If you can’t get a long coat, at least wear that hits the hips. This way you still have some coverage and your chest area is protected, keeping you snug and warm. Though, if it is raining heavily, be prepared for cold thighs as a result fo wetness due to not being fully covered.

It might also not be easy to get water proof warm coat, so any layer that prevents the cold from getting to your skin is better than nothing. Add a scarf for extra caution.

 

Rainy Day Dressing - Jackets
Locally, you can find these at Tusky’s or shop the second hand stalls and independent shops. For tall ladies the challenge is always the sleeves but you may get lucky. If anyone knows where jackets are sold with long enough sleeves please share in the comments below and #helpasisterout.

Dry Feet

Choose comfortable footwear like boots which will protect your feet while keeping your feet warm and dry. Whether you choose to wear rain boots or leather boots, remember rubber does not breathe well and might therefore make you uncomfortable if you will have the boots on for long. Leather or mixed materials on the other hand, may not handle wet conditions very well. Once again this will also be determined by how long you will be in the wet conditions . Choose wisely.

Rainy Day Dressing - Boots

 

 

Finally make sure you have the necessary accessories for the rainy day.

A sturdy umbrella which will not be whipped up by the wind or weighed down by a heavy downpour.

A marvin/ beanie if you like wearing them and as mentioned before a scarf.These keep you warm and add a layer of style.

 

How about you?

How are you dressing for the rain and cold season?

It’s also likely that some of you are not ‘freezing’ with us this side of the world. That’s fine. I’m still interested in knowing what normally works for you. Let’s hear it in the comments section below.

Also, don’t forget to look out for inspiration outfits which will be coming up next time.

 

For now, wherever this weather finds you, remember to…

 

Stay safe. Stay warm. Stay dry.

 

Cheers

Mercy

Your Style Take

Hi ladies and gents!

Style take

I am really excited to introduce a new series to Meruti. I know for a fact that I don’t know everything when it comes to dressing my body. While I am definitely enjoying the journey of trying new things out and sharing them with you, I very much want to engage you and find out you opinions on various issues that no doubt come up in our day to day lives-tall or not.

Introducing: ‘Your Style Take’

There is an African proverb that says ‘if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together’ .We will all help each other on this exciting journey by learning from each other, both from our mistakes as well as successes. This will no doubt help a number of us and provide some pool of knowledge that we can all draw from.

How did I get here?

I don’t have all the answers and I know many of you have either grappled with some of these issues or it was just a breeze, it came easy and you could figure it out. Lucky you.

I am very analytical. I like comparing pieces of information and after careful consideration (read: ages) I make my decision. Needless to say it takes a lot of unnecessary time sometimes or I procrastinate to a point of it being illegal, at which point I’m just too embarrassed to have an unfinished task. This forces me to make the decision. Suffice it to say, even then it can be hasty, but I am always left wondering what if I had chosen another option? While it’s true second guessing your every decision is not healthy-it’s better to make a decision on issues, than none at all (that’s a whole other topic).

But, there are things I do wonder about. Things that I and I’m sure many of us in this space would appreciate hearing your opinions.  These can be on a host of many different areas, but especially fashion. Because, like I said, I don’t claim to know a lot about style, but I have lived the ‘tall life’. I have had to understand my body and adapt accordingly as far as dressing was concerned and I know many of us have had to do the same. I am also a good learner and I love getting not just the meat and bones, but the sauce, spices, cooking pot etc. You get what I mean.

So, to have a place where we can gauge other’s take on an issue we will have ‘Your Style Take’.

It is my hope that through this series we will all learn that there is no one way/method to get things right. That all views will be welcome-regardless how outlandish they are. There may be opinions, looks, views that are not acceptable to you-and that’s alright. We welcome them and I ask for your mercy.

There’s something to be said for diversity and uniqueness-it makes for exciting  experiences no doubt. Besides,  it may not be much fun if everything/everyone was the same and followed the same rules.

Your Style Take is just that. Your opinion on an issue that we will periodically raise and welcome views from you our readers. We will no doubt adapt  what we feel works for us individually, get rid of what  doesn’t make sense and look forward to experiencing/learning from others who have gone ahead of us, or are able to shed light on dilemmas we face.

How it works

Well we will periodically publish a style dilemma that we are facing (I welcome ideas that you would want discussed on here) I will give my take and at the end of it ask your style take on the issue. Please feel free to do so in the comments section.

So look forward to this series and if there is anything you would want discussed, drop me a line or just leave a comment below.

 

Cheers and hope to hear from you.

 

xoxo

Mercy

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