Author Archives: Katie

About Katie

Recently graduated from UMass Amherst, writing my first YA novel

East Side Fairytale


I am fairly certain I had dreams about this skirt. After my boyfriend pointed it out to me in And Other Stories’ Regent Street store I went through every emotion from dismissal to infatuation. Regardless of what I was feeling at a certain moment, it was clear I was pretty obsessed. Anything that originates in a Parisian atelier is going to slip into my brain and settle in. I know, quelle surprise. Needless to say, I deliberated for weeks and weeks, finally adding it to my cart when I was back in Massachusetts. I really adore it even though I’m generally very wary of skirts. In theory I think they are a classic, but whenever I find myself wearing them I’m constantly tugging them down in fear of flashing the general public. BUT as you can see, this baby falls nearly to my ankles. It would have to be a very strong Monroe-like updraft to cause any damage. Of course I didn’t want to look too much like a milkmaid so I paired the skirt with a tee courtesy of my dad’s hometown pizza place. Finally, I like to wear heals with longer pieces like this because I think it gives me excellent length and we all know that I generously claim to be 5’7. Somedays I like that to be true. Adieu.

And Other Stories skirt | East Side Café tee | Shop Ruche heals

Photos by J


Joie de vivre


No matter how hot it gets, I still pull out my Mom jeans. Something about the wider fit makes them the only pair I can bear during the summer. Plus, I don’t like wearing heels with anything above the knee. It’s all about balance. The same goes for accent colors. I was always wary of red in my clothing, thinking it brought out red tones in my skin that I used to dislike, but it’s grown on me. The pops of red in an otherwise all navy outfit make me feel more put together. The pieces are linking up more naturally through their common denominator.


Topshop bodysuit | Topshop jeans | Nasty Gal shoes (similar) | Primark bag 

Photography by J

My Summer Reading Picks


Hey everyone! I can’t believe how far we are into July. I’ve been doing so much prep for exciting things to come as well, as finding time to do quite a bit of reading. I wanted to share with you all some of my top beach reads for this summer. I’ve got some classic YA love stories, a YA thriller, a beautiful memoir and a spectacular why-done-it mystery that I’m sure you will all love.


The Day Tripper: My first two picks are for quick jaunts to the beach for some flash-tanning and relaxation. The first is The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (she wrote Everything, Everything, which recently became a movie!). In this story, two characters battle fate and reasoning to try and divine what the universe is up to. Natasha is a Jamaican-born science lover desperately trying to keep her family from being deported and Daniel is wondering if he should risk following his dreams and completely shattering his parents’ expectations of him. The universe decides they should cross paths, changing both their lives.

The second pick is The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr. This one is an adorable adventure that follows Flora Banks as she braves the real world, despite her severe memory loss. She is spurned to leave home after a significant event sticks in her mind, for the first time in seven years. Flora is a little blundering, but brave and exciting and inspiring.


The Long Weekend: My pick for a good book to pack into your weekender as you cut the work-week short is Cristin Terrill’s second novel Here Lies Daniel Tate. This recent publication is a thriller that follows a lying teen who impersonates a former missing child and gets roped into trying to solve the murder of that same child, while trying to convince the family he is their long-lost brother. The narration is complex and the plot moves swiftly, complete with many twists and turns. Perfect for a weekend away.



The Week-Long Rental: If you’re going away for a week or more to the seaside (like I will be in August!) these books are perfect companions. The House on Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper is a brilliant memoir of a childhood spent in Liberia and an adulthood in the US. Helene’s family was at the top of the food chain before revolution overtook Liberia, causing her family to flee to the US, leaving behind her adoptive sister. Years later, Helene faces the choice of going back to her sister, and back to her former home.

The second mystery you can settle in with this summer is The Secret History. I read Donna Tartt’s novel during my capstone course at UMass and it instantly became one of my all-time favorites. Right off the bat the reader knows who is dead and who has done it, but the mystery is why? What did he do? Told in retrospect, the main character finds himself working his way into an elite group of Greek scholars at a Vermont University. The journey to discover why a murder took place is fascinating, complicated and sure to keep you enthralled. (Just don’t get too sucked in and forget to reapply sunblock.)


The Case for Quality


I think this dress is one of the best things I’ve purchased in a long time. Even though it was more expensive than I usually go for on an average day, I’m really glad I went for it. It’s very quickly become my favorite piece for summer, and given that it’s in navy, it can work for other seasons too. Excellent. It’s from a store I recently discovered called & Other Stories. They have a few stores in the US, but mostly in big cities. I got lucky that they have three in London. The store is beautiful and sings to the tune of a minimalistic dream. Designed in Paris, you know the clothing is going to be right for me.

Sometimes making a bigger purchase is good for the soul. When you know you’re getting something whose quality will be as much a part of the piece as the actual design itself, you feel even better in it. Now this isn’t couture, but it is a step up from the usual high street stores that I frequent. I have one dress that works for multiple occasions day and night, and what’s more, I want to wear it for all those occasions. I’m excited to wear and rewear it. In this day and age of needing more and more because of our media-sharing tendencies (of which I’m guilty, I know), we tend to forget what it’s like to purchase something that we actually plan on wearing a lot. It’s okay to repeat something if you know you can wear it many ways. Now, I know you may be thinking, it’s a dress, you wear it one way, but that’s not true. Here, I’m wearing this dress with Adidas sneakers, perfect for going around my day-to-day business in London, but I can easily change into white mules for a daytime party, or court heels for the evening. The height of the heel can change the dress in a subtle yet effective way.


& Other Stories dress

Usual | Unusual


I know posting on a Thursday is a bit random, but I didn’t want to wait until next week for this one. Yesterday I had been feeling (once again) a serious lack of motivation, especially in my writing. I was groggy and out of it, which led to guilt, which led to more grogginess, which in turn led to me mentally yelling at myself to snap out of it. What better way to find motivation again than to seek out places that inspire you? This time, it happened to be the house where the fictional Elizabeth James lived with her daughter Annie. Yes, that’s right. The house featured in these photos is from the 1998 version of “The Parent Trap.” Admittedly one of my favorite movies (mostly thanks to Natasha Richardson and the character of Elizabeth), it had an odd way of cheering me up. Something about a woman owning a successful business and reaping the rewards in the most classy way possible makes you feel hopeful. I mean, look at this house!

Another decision I made that day was to don these new embroidered pink boots from Topshop that I scooped up during their sale. Everyone has their favorite hoodie and jeans combo, but why stop there? Add something unexpected and bright, something very you, and what was before something usual becomes unusual in the best possible way. Reminding myself that I’m the only one of me was a good way to get myself back on track. Even though around this house I should have been wearing a co-ord tweed jacket and skirt. Next time.


Topshop boots | Topshop hoodie | Topshop jeans

Social Media:

Instagram: thekatiecollect

Twitter: KxtieMxrie

Snapchat: kiggins800

Youtube: Katie Higgins

The Boiling Tourist


So today I’m here to talk a bit about how I’m dressing during the very hot weather. While today’s look doesn’t appear too jazzy, it has all the elements I need: cute details with little fabric. Now while I’m normally a girl for a sports bra and Soffee shorts combo when it’s over 90, I didn’t pack those. Working with what I did pack, however, brought me to this. I don’t currently have any high-waisted shorts because for some reason all the ones I’ve tried don’t leave anything to the imagination (including wedgie-removal — pass). So here I am in what I dubbed my “mom shorts.” Not like the mom jean style, but more like the fact that are a proper 4-inch hemline. They are also low-waisted, which I thought I would hate but I’m actually coming to like. I think they hit at a rather flattering part of the thigh, and being in the city and not on the beach, that’s a perk. I’ve also mostly been wearing t-shirts, so the low-waist hasn’t caused any unflattering muffin-top displays.

Something I have to be wary of in a city setting is footwear. I don’t like to opt for anything open-toed, as the thought of whatever is all over the city ground touching my feet makes me want to curl up in my boyfriend’s flat and not leave again. Therefore I’m wearing sneakers (trainers). My adidas don’t get too hot and they’re perfect if you’re like me and never tire of a city’s sights (or always need to hit 10,000 steps on your Fitbit). Even in 90 degree weather, I like to pop by places like Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Getting awesome backgrounds for photos is just a bonus.

Another detail to this outfit is the bag. I’m usually lugging a ten pound tote around, especially when being a semi-tourist. How else can I carry a 1L water bottle, a map, my wallet, three lipsticks, and an umbrella JUST IN CASE? Well, I shelved those things (Alex carried the water) and got a little over-the-shoulder bag in my current favorite accent color: red. It has one main compartment that’s perfect for my oyster, bank cards, camera and other little things like lip balm or sunglasses. It doesn’t threaten the health of my back or whack anyone as I’m walking by.

On me:

Asos t-shirt | Hollister shorts | Primark bag | Free People sunnies

Social Media:

Instagram: thekatiecollect

Twitter: KxtieMxrie

Snapchat: kiggins800

Youtube: Katie Higgins

Re-Learning Self Motivation

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Hello everyone! Happy Summer! (Almost.) I’m back in London for a few weeks and I wanted to start doing something a little different on my blog. Well, not so much different as more. I wanted to start branching out on the types of things I blog about. I’ll still do traditional outfit posts, but I might started adding some other categories as well. For today, I’ll catch you up a little on what’s going on. The photo set is a little jumbled because I just wanted to post some images of my first week here. For more, you can even check out my first London vlog of the season.

Now, as you may or may not know, this May I graduated from college! Yes, yes, I got my bachelor’s degree in English and I am fully an adult now. I went back home, where I’ll be for a bit, and to be honest it doesn’t quite feel real yet. I think it will once September rolls around and for the first time ever, I’m not going back to school. That’s why changing my mindset about life and “what now?” has been a bit difficult. I’m still working on a novel and blogging and working and all those fun things, but getting into a new routine that is healthy and effective has been quite the learning process. I realized that for the first time in nearly 18 years, I’m not accountable to someone else’s deadlines. 18 YEARS?! That’s nearly my entire life. From homework and projects to essays and exams, I’ve always been on the clock for school. Now, I’m not. No one is telling me, “Katie, finish your novel or you’ll get a bad grade.” I have to finish this novel on my own and bring it out into the world and then hope. It’s not a guarantee that it’ll “pass” (aka be published). But I still have to do it. It’s still my dream and I will never give up. The problem is not letting myself say, “I’ll start tomorrow.” Waking up in the morning to sit on my laptop just doesn’t scream the same sort of urgency getting to class once did.

Organization is key. I hate clutter; it jumbles my mind as well as my surroundings. So the first thing I did upon realizing my summer-laziness cannot turn into life-laziness was clean out my bedroom. I had lugged everything from my apartment back into my childhood bedroom and it was madness. There was simply too much. So I spent a few solid days cleaning out nooks and crannies, donating clothing and books and toys and dusted places that haven’t seen the light of day in a while (I’m still not done yet and will probably continue when I’m home).

Once my physical space was organized, I started crafting a routine. Having a schedule, while seemingly daunting, is actually more calming to me than endless hours of nothing. While hard work can make a day or two like that appreciative, no one can live like that. I certainly can’t. Fortunately I already had a habit of schedule- and list-making, I just had to fine-tune it. I use this journal to plan out the days. What’s great about it is that the dates aren’t pre-marked, so if you know you have a day where you’ll be with family or having a well-earned lazy day, you don’t waste the page. I list out the things I want to do, mark what will happen when and remind myself of long-term or ongoing projects. There’s also a handy note-section that you can fill out as the day goes, to report to yourself how you handled the amount you gave yourself, if you need to adjust, or to just doodle or have space to do some extra thinking. Having everything written down (in pencil, my favorite) is really great to help make yourself accountable. You’re making a record of what you should be doing, one you can track and look back on.

Exercise is essential to my productivity. It wakes me up in the morning, makes me feel more positive and energetic and has overall healthy benefits. I do Pop Pilates with Cassey Ho (her blog is here). It’s great because it’s at home and completely free. After having free access to an amazing rec center at school, I didn’t have the heart to start paying for one. I do prefer group fitness to being alone, but I’ll take what I can get right now. Besides, I can take Cassey with me via my laptop whether I’m in Amherst, at home, or in London. My routine doesn’t have to be put on pause.

I’ve been following these principles for a few weeks now and I feel a lot better than when I was just lounging around before and after work, not doing much besides reading. Reading is still a part of my daily routine — something I completely recommend — but I only read for up to an hour (not a lot for someone like me). As little as ten minutes before bed is equally effective. Much better than having the last thing you see before sleep be a screen.

Well, I think that’s all from me for today! If you got through all of this, give the post a like! And comment to let me know what you thought, or if you have any tips for self-motivation. There will be a style post up on Wednesday. See you then! x.