Yesterday, I shared with you my first purchase since the end of the 100 day spending ban. Whilst I’m still not prepared to give up my thrifty ways, I’m enjoying fast fashion once again. Being able to find and order exactly what my wardrobe lacks at the click of a button was once my financial downfall, but it’s making life so much easier. My Orla Kiely tops have now found a soul mate in my new denim pinafore dress. I’m hoping that finding a balance between thrift and the high street will mean I end up with kick-ass, awesome wardrobe and a healthier savings pot to boot.
Of course, it’s not just about the money. One of the best things about thrifting is not knowing what you’re going to find. Charity shops remove the buyer, the person who selects what will be stocked based on new season trends. In fact, you as the thrifter become the buyer and select what you will wear this season from an assortment of seasons passed. Liberating? Yes! I’m free to dip into the style I want, hello style chameleon!
I bought this dress from the British Red Cross shop in Burnley. They were having a dress event and the shop was flooded with high street brands and lesser known ones- their dresses were also buy one get one free. The Orla Kiely style of the floral print on this dress teamed with the monochrome instantly drew me to it.
// Outfit Details //
// Floral dress :: British Red Cross (Brand unknown) //
// Patent loafers :: c/o George at Asda //
// Denim jacket :: Topshop (old) //
// Green satchel :: Cambridge Satchel Company //
Working out at £2.50, even though it was brand new with tags, I placed it on my clothes rail and promptly forgot about it. Rediscovering it, I decided to let its 60’s feel take me on a journey teaming it with a pink lipstick and braiding my hair to look like a band. A few pops of colour with a layered blouse and it still remains me but with a twist.
I really wish there were more photographs to share, we quickly snapped these in the Northern Quarter last week after John’s memory card was full to the brim. It was only afterwards that I realised how awesome Billy & Alex’s artwork is as a backdrop for outfit shots! Why have I never realised this before? We decided to try out Common‘s new look, but weren’t impressed. You see, we liked it as it was. It’s very Scandanavian chic now, but just not for us anymore. Common has grown up! However, all is not lost, we are desperate to try Ziferblat the next time we are in town!
What have you thrifted any beauties lately?
Whilst in London last week, I managed to sneak in a very fleeting visit to Renegade Craft Fair, at the Old Truman Brewery. After hearing about Renegade annually through other peoples’ blogs, it’s somewhere I always wanted to go but was never in London for. So, it turned out that Boohoo’s spring style event at Drink Shop Do, Kings Cross, was timed perfectly well enabling me to travel two hops on the underground and arrive on the doorstep of Brick Lane. Hello, Renegade!
My first job was to say hello to Debbie, designer and mastermind behind Duck and Duffel. As one quarter of last year’s Frock Swap, we constantly chatted through email and I featured her amazing Sarah dress (named after the uber talented A Million Dresses) here. Looking every bit as gorgeous in real life as on her blog, it was lovely to meet Debbie and eye up her new season wares. Second job, treat myself to some amazing collar clips by Ladybird Likes. It wasn’t easy to pick, but I plumped for pink.
After making my two stops, I idly strolled around the stalls whilst waiting for John to meet me from Hackney Wick. That’s when fate intervened and I found the one. I’m a sucker for a beautiful collar, but teamed with a quirky print then there’s no hope. I believe this dress is a twin, one of two creations that some other lovely lady must be thrilled to own. Having read Debbie’s article ‘Pricing’ and the handmade business’, I felt £65 was a real bargain. Imagine my glee when I was offered the dress for £55. Deal! Who’s it by? Abi Jackson
. Describing herself as the girl who made shoes from wallpaper samples and stitched gnomes on hankies, you can see why I loved her range. It was great to chat to her and discover that we have similar views when it comes to buying clothes.
“Clothes are investment pieces.”
The words resonated within me. When I bought this dress, I made an investment. I’m planning to wear it for a close friend’s Irish wedding in July, but after the big event I want to be able to wear it for years to come. I imagine myself with a huge ice cream walking along Brighton’s sea front wearing this pastel dream.
Not one to over-analyse, it made me think about my wedding, or rather the dresses that I will buy for my bridesmaids. At the moment, I’m opting to dress them in different colours/dress styles. They are both so different! I want to choose something that they will love and wear again. How many times have I heard, ‘You can shorten it and wear it again!‘? The first place I intend to take them is to Monsoon. It’s always been my first stop for high street occasion dresses. (When I was 16, I bought my prom dress from there.) At over £100, this vintage inspired dress isn’t cheap but it would suit Katie’s colouring and I know she would wear it again. Anyway, who said dresses should match? They’re both so different, I could never imagine them wearing the same thing!
You might have spied over on Instagram that I’ve been getting busy in my dressing room recently. Countless trips to Ikea have resulted in a pretty white storage unit being purchased. It’s so much tidier in there now, my next step is to weed out some of my dresses and donate/sell/give them away. It’s a long way from perfect, but it’s getting there.
Do you see clothes as investment pieces?
Orla Kiely Homeware – Flamingo Gifts
Recently, Flamingo Gifts got in touch to ask if I’d like to try out any of their products, naturally I said yes. As a lover of all things quirky, their products certainly didn’t disappoint – retro style telephones, cute stationery but of course, Orla Kiely! (You know my obsession runs deep.) Sending a list the length of my arm, I looked forward to receiving any Orla item from the list. The very next day, a Saturday, I was greeted by a very chirpy postman holding a very large Orla parcel. Here’s what it contained:
I’m sure you’ll agree, Flamingo Gifts have been very generous. I am thrilled by their choices because I know these are key pieces that I will keep for years. They’re bright, stylish and go with everything in (and outside of) my home. Whilst the spending ban may have come and gone, the lessons it taught me still remain: ‘Look after the pennies, and the pounds look after themselves’. It’s an ancient adage, one that slightly grates on my nerves, but it’s true. Invest only in the things you love. I have few pieces of homeware from the Orla Kiely range, but what I have I use and enjoy.
Whilst sipping on a coffee shop cappuccino may be one of my favourite things to do, it’s something I rarely do now that I’m trying to save each and every penny. With Starbucks a short walk from my front door, (I know, temptation right there) it’s the ideal place to go when I want to escape the house. Most money saving posts I’ve read say that cutting out your posh coffee addiction can seriously help you to save the pennies. But where does that leave a coffee loving girl like me?
Enjoying a lazy Sunday in the garden. That’s where.
Outside, on my patio, is a right little sun trap. I barely spend any time outdoors when the warmer weather hits, but this year I’m determined it’ll be different. When I saw this wooden table for £15 in Ikea, I decided to invest. I’m so glad I did! Spending an hour in the garden this afternoon with a freshly brewed pot of coffee was the perfect way to keep my ‘back to school’ anxiety in check.
I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that these are herb planters yet I’ve planted Aloe Vera and two pretty succulents in them. You see, I have a nasty habit of killing plants, even herbs. At least succulents need little water! I’m sure you’ll agree, they look as good indoors at they do outdoors:
It’s official. My Orla obsession has reached a brand new high. If all this talk of Orla has you hankering after your own goodies, good news- Flamingo Gifts have 10% off everything and did I mention that First Class delivery is just 1p?
Are you a fan of Orla Kiely homeware?
*Orla Kiely items kindly sent for review by Flamingo Gifts. All Orla obsessions curated by myself*
Well, that was a longer than expected blogging break but, as they say, a change is as good as a rest and I’m back feeling rested, happy and excited about regular blogging once again. Working 60+ hours a week, mixed with a whirlwind of difficult decisions, just hasn’t left time for writing and like I always say, teaching has to come first. Whilst I’m glad to be on the other side, it’s not something I’m ready to share just yet- give it time. I mightn’t have been typing, but I’ve been mixing with other bloggers at events and snapping lots of pictures of my thrifts and adventures over on Instagram.
Of course, I’ve been thrifting (as if you doubted that) just not as much. The 100 day high street ban has well and truly ended yet I haven’t been tempted onto the high street since- apart from one ill-fated returned ASOS purchase using a gift card from the mustard girls (yep, still got it). During the 100 days, I bought so many items of clothing from charity shops. So many, I have a backlog of items waiting to be styled and worn. Am I ready to rush to the high street? No, not yet. Am I wanting to rush to the charity shops? Not yet, either. Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing with you my thoughts on the end of the spending ban, oh and the beautiful pastel dress I bought to end it with.
In the meantime, I’m sharing with you my thrifted Jessica Simpson red heels. Did I mention they were brand new? Now, as you know, good quality shoes are difficult to find in charity shops, almost mythical. Charlotte, from Charity Shop Gold, recently blogged about this issue even though she was lucky enough to find not one, not two, but three pairs of thrifted shoes. We’re in luck though, she shares her tips for finding good quality shoes here. These heels cost a mere £2. £2! (In the interest of good karma, I donated my good quality heels, Nine West and Miss Selfridge, to the same shop in the hope that someone else felt as excited about finding shoes as I did!)
You might have seen some of these snaps before if you’re a People Tree fan. More than a few weeks ago, they invited me to take part in issue 6 of their Eco edit as part of their ‘Bloggers do Spring’ feature. Naturally, as a fan of People Tree, I didn’t hesitate to say, ‘Yes, please!’ (Last summer, I reviewed their Zandra Rhodes ‘Stars, Cubes and Waves’ dress and back in February, I featured their Orla Kiely ‘wallflower dress’.) Along with another Orla Kiely dress, I chose to ask for their Billie striped tunic dress (it’s really a dress!) and the Vanessa jersey skirt. Breton for spring, I know, how original but my wardrobe was lacking and I knew it’d be a good investment. You can see how the feature turned out by clicking here.
// Breton stripe dress :: c/o People Tree //
// Midi skirt :: c/o People Tree //
// Red heels :: Jessica Simpson (Cats Protection) //
// Necklace :: H&M //
Over the past few days, I’ve been living in midi skirts. It’s been so warm in London! Well, it seems that the north didn’t get the memo because today, I’m back in boyfriend jeans and my trusty Seasalt yellow jacket. Rain, rain and the drudgery of the big shop. Whilst it’s always good to go away, it’s lovely to be back at home with endless cups of tea and tales to tell.
Have you ever thrifted a great pair of shoes?