It’s just hours until the clock strikes midnight and the calendar flips to 2016: I’ve thought about the new year so much (with a slight anxious flutter: new year isn’t my favourite time) that it already feels like 2016! I couldn’t let the new year slip in without the obligatory retrospect post, a whirlwind round up of the outfits I wore. Polkadot Pink is a life and style blog, but this year, it’s personal style that’s led the way with my thrifty finds. I wished that I would have kept a tally of my charity shop spending but, let’s just say, I spent a lot more in charity shops than I’ve ever done and swapped my way to a new to me wardrobe.
January 2015 started with the 100 day high street spending ban, a promise to buy only in charity shops and the start of the ‘What I Thrifted’ blog series. Who could have predicted that this challenge would mean I’d naturally gravitate toward shopping second hand?
January was a slow month for charity shop finds, I seemed to find so little in so many shops. In February, I started to work out which charity shops were worth spending time in and frequented them regularly. I found this mustard knit cardigan in an independent, local charity shop then this gold top in Cancer Research. They were great additions to make new outfits with.
Oh, March. The high street ban was getting difficult. With less than a month to go, I upped my search and found Jigsaw flares for 50p, leather tan heels for £2 and pretty collared blouses. Whilst I pined for pinafore dresses and basic jersey tops, making new outfits from my thrifted finds kept me going until April.
In April, I was lucky enough to work with one of my favourite brands: People Tree. As part of their Eco Edit, I was asked to style two outfits from their new range. Unsurprisingly, I sneaked in a little thrift with these Jessica Simpson red heels that I’d found for £2 from my favourite local charity shop. Then there was that 60s floral dress from the British Red Cross, monochrome and flippy in style: need I say more?
It’s fair to say, May was a pretty tough month for me! Whilst blogging took a back seat, I started to save more in the run up to leaving my full time teaching job. Saving money meant that I no longer bought things new. I did, however, put aside a small budget to spend in charity shops and found my love of personal style was ignited once again. I found lots of great things in May, take a look at what i bought, here.
In the spirit of thrift, I started to sell some of my dresses over on Instagram after being inspired by Char’s selling page. Now, Char has an amazing wardrobe full of kitsch, quirky clothes, so it made sense for us to swap. In June, we swapped and I gained this gorgeous pop-floral multi-coloured dress.
July was a similar month to May, I continued to look in charity shops but I also visited a few car boots. Now, early mornings are not my thing, especially on a Sunday so it’s no surprise to discover that I only visited a few. See what I found in the month of July, here.
August was the month of Lindy Bop, working there meant that I was surrounded by those dresses and needless to say, more than a few dresses were bought! I think my current count in now at 24 (if we include the dresses that are on their way from the sale).
Audrey // Claudine
And then, September rolled around and it was warm, oh so warm! I finally featured my Abi Jackson dress that I bought in summer at Renegade and worked with George at Asda.
October was crunch time for me. I spent a couple of weeks ill and unable to blog, but it did give me some thinking time. I’d grown unhappy about my limited posts and vowed to record more outfits and post more of my thrifty finds. Thankfully, John was fully on board and helped me to snap more of my outfits.
Autumn was in full swing in my neighbourhood, so we took a walk around our local area and I finally got to wear the geeky cat jumper I found back in summer! The look was a little festive, but I’m not frightened of a red and green combination! I also scored a Friday on my Mind dress in TK Maxx for £9, I still love it. It’s the perfect go-to dress!
So, so many outfit posts to choose from in December! I still found lots in the charity shops, but I also started to discover quirky brands and buy new. Why? Well, charity shops are great for finding the unexpected but finding quirky clothes is difficult, so I decided to take a gamble on Pepa Loves with this outlet find: the monochrome sailor dress.
So, what can you expect in 2016? Lots of outfits posts with a sprinkle of life! I’ve already started the year as I mean to go on, starting with the sales!
Happy New Year folks!
For the past two years, I’ve started each year with a fashion themed challenge. Usually, this involves me changing my habits to reduce what I spend on clothes in a bid to live more frugally. However, in the second part of this year I’ve had to be thrifty so I’ve bought more clothes from charity shops, jumped on Instagram sales, rediscovered eBay and of course, swapped clothes! Because I’m already a thrifty miss, I’ll be starting 2016 with a pledge: a pledge to wear more of what I already own, in many different ways. In this post, I’m transitioning a Lindy Bop summer dress and to create a winter outfit.
When I was packing away my summer clothes, this monochrome check dress made me think twice about putting away every cotton dress for the winter. It seemed like a waste for it to gather dust, simply because it was made of cotton. So I put it back on my dress rail with good intentions for autumn and then promptly forget all about it. Until today.
I’ve been casually browsing the sales, not with the intention of buying new clothes but with a sense of curiosity: I like to see what’s in the sale, add it to my virtual wishlist and then deliberate over it, usually until it’s out of stock. High on my virtual list is a black check skirt (mainly this one), but I’m not about to drop almost £30 when I have something very similar. Oh yes, that cotton summer dress.
I know, I’m definitely being helped along with these practically tropical December temperatures but there’s something so satisfying about creating a whole, new outfit from well-loved clothes. Apart from the satchel (Christmas present from Santa John), everything you see in this outfit has been in my wardrobe for months or years! You first saw this jumper in 2013, here.
So, it’s got me thinking about all the summer dresses I packed away and more to the point, how I can wear them in winter. Here are my ideas:
1. Layer with knitwear: Whether it’s a cute cardigan, or jumper, adding knitwear not only adds warmth but makes it more suitable for the weather.
2. Create an illusion: turn a dress into a skirt: Add a blouse with a cute collar underneath your jumper to make it look like a skirt and jumper combination.
3. Choose dresses with subtle colours: Clearly a white summer sundress isn’t going to work in winter, but a floral dress with a hint of winter colour will.
4. Wear with coloured tights to add warmth: Dependent on the hem length, adding tights will keep you warm and give extra colour.
5. Layer, layer, layer: Continue to layer with a winter coat, add a fur collar for extra winter glamour (read: warmth).
See the how the amazing Nora Finds wears vintage summer dresses in winter, here.
And, here’s what I wore:
// Audrey Check Dress :: Lindy Bop (Their sale *just* went live) //
// Zebra jumper :: H! by Henry Holland at Debenhams //
// Scalloped blouse :: Primark //
// Black fedora :: Primark //
What are your tips for wearing summer clothes in winter?
Happy Christmas! I hope you had a great one!
I’m snuggled up on the couch watching films, so I’ve decided to relive Christmas through a rather festive outfit post. I know, I know, I already wrote about my outfit plans for Christmas Day but days before, I came down with a fierce cold which made me yearn for pyjamas something comfy to spend Christmas day in! Thankfully, on Christmas Eve, my yearning was answered when my Pepa Loves order arrived.
During December, I didn’t find myself shopping in charity shops. Nor, did I shop on the high street. I just didn’t have the time! Instead, I found myself searching online trying to find something a little different, something quirky. You see, I recently sold a few more of my dresses over on Instagram, so I simply decided to reinvest. Here’s what I bought: the Pepa Loves Nicole check dress.
You’ve probably heard of Pepa Loves before, I had, but as they are a Spanish company I’d never bought from them. I presumed I’d pay more in postal charges or I’d have to wait longer for shipping. How wrong I was! I decided to take the plunge. 3 Euros and less than a week later, my order arrived!
As you know, I have a bit of a sailor obsession. I can’t help it, I’m drawn to anything with a sailor collar! When I stumbled on the Nicole dress in the outlet, the monochrome check print and ribbon edging had me converting currency like a grade A maths student. Including shipping, I paid around £22.
And then, John bought me a Cambridge Satchel cloud bag! Can you imagine my face on Christmas morning? I just adore the scallop edge! Another fashion basic with a twist! Be prepared to see lots of outfits featuring this bag!
And of course, no festive outfit would be complete without my Noel shoes!
// Nicole Check Dress :: Pepa Loves //
// NOEL loafers :: New Look (at ASOS) //
What did you wear on Christmas day?
Can you believe it’s so close to Christmas, already? Considering I started this year’s Christmas shopping in December 2014, you’d presume I’d be organised by now? Present wise, yes: I’ve been drip-buying presents throughout the year. However, they’re still waiting to be wrapped alongside the tree that’s waiting for decorations! The one thing that I have managed to be organised about is my Christmas Day outfit.
It’s quickly becoming one of my favourite festive traditions: to plan a Christmas themed outfit using clothes and accessories already in my wardrobe. Last year, I wore this vintage dress with a thrifted Zara jacket. Whilst my ‘NOEL’ loafers are new, I did buy them in the January sales with a voucher for the bargain price of £7.
At Christmas, John and I usually split the day between Burnley and St Helens. Even though we spend the day at our families’ houses, I still like to make an effort. My mum still wonders why I ‘go through the stress of planning an outfit for Christmas day’ but I built a blog around capturing my favourite outfits, so why not?
Apart from the shoes, everything in this outfit was already in my wardrobe. With money being so tight at the moment, I’m not buying accessories, jewellery or handbags. I just can’t justify spending money on them but that doesn’t mean I don’t love wearing them, after all they can make an outfit! I have ideas bubbling in my head for an online blogger swishing party. Fancy it? The accessories in this outfit are hand-me-downs, sale buys and Christmas wrapping!
// Noel Shoes :: New Look (Available here) //
// Clutch Bag :: John Rocha at Debenhams (old) //
As I mentioned, my Christmas themed outfits are built around clothes I already have. During the summer that I worked at Lindy Bop, I picked up quite a collection. Although I do champion their dresses, my favourite piece has to be their ‘Rizo’ leather jacket. Since my last jacket wore out, I’d been searching for the perfect ‘leather’ jacket. Then Rizo waltzed into my life with all the sass you’d expect. She’s the perfect length for wearing with dresses and sits neatly on my waist! At almost £130, Rizo is definitely an investment piece but she fits perfectly and keeps me warm. What more could I ask for?
What are you wearing this Christmas?
Winter pastels? Trust me. There’s no one more surprised than me at this sudden fashion u-turn. If I told you it just happened by chance, would you believe me? Whilst organising and sorting out my dressing room on Saturday, I found a few hidden gems that I’d completely forgotten about and, without even trying, a new outfit was created.
I’ve never embraced pastels, choosing to wear bright, primary colours instead. However, a couple of summers ago, I bought this River Island lilac bag on impulse and started a pastel collection. I’m quite a traditional girl at heart when it comes to colour. Usually, I’d assign pale lilac, pinks and blue hues to summer but nestled in my coat collection was this Warehouse dress coat.
Funny thing is, I don’t wear pink and this coat was certainly an impulse buy. I bought it back in May from Claire’s House, one of my favourite charity shops on Allerton Road, Liverpool. The shop was brimming with designer and high street clothes, but as I’m not a lover of designer names, I came out with this pale pink Warehouse coat. Considering it was in immaculate condition, I bought it for the bargain price of £9.99.
As you may have seen on Instagram, I was lucky enough to visit York on Sunday to experience Afternoon Tea at Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms (blog post coming soon!) With Storm Desmond battering northern England, I put aside this People Tree dress as the sensible option. As chance would have it, I hung it next to my Warehouse coat and some serious outfit inspiration kicked in!
// Pink coat :: Claire’s House Charity (originally Warehouse) //
// Statement necklace :: c/o Balsamik //
// Lilac bag :: River Island //
//Pom pom loafers :: Primark //
I do love having a good sort out. It’s a great feeling when you rediscover something you’d forgotten about. Although it doesn’t beat the feeling of adding a new item to the collection, it can spark a sudden streak of creativity and a whole new outfit!
Are you a fan of winter pastels?
*Please be aware that this post contains gifted items*