Lindy Bop Bletchley Dress :: Christmas
Planning what to wear each Christmas day has become one of my favourite festive traditions: each year choosing my outfit by mid-November. This year was different. I left everything to the last minute; decorating, wrapping, card writing, you name it- deciding what to wear seemed like one more thing to add to the list. Fuelled by Bucks Fizz and the promise of a hearty Christmas dinner, I decided on Christmas morning for a fail-safe option: my Lindy Bop Bletchley dress. (more…)
Top 5 Tips for Finding a Bargain Christmas Party Dress
With my inbox inundated with special offers, Christmas sales about to go live, this has really encouraged me to think about how to make Christmas affordable. It’s been a while since I posted a ‘Top 5 Tips’ style post, but after finding a couple of bargain dresses this week, I wanted to share how I did it and how you can bag a bargain Christmas party dress. For first hand shoppers and lovers of second hand alike, I’ve compiled five top tips to help you find a bargain dress this party season.
1. Find the best of the Black Friday offers
I get it. Not everyone wants to shop second hand, or has time to be rummaging for that diamond in the rough. We all know there are times when you need a dress quick, like yesterday, and as great as second hand shops can be at moving with the seasons, charity shopping is a pot-luck gamble. Although, tread carefully. Last week, a report by Which? found that half of Black Friday deals were cheaper in the months before and after. Here are my picks of the sale.
For my fellow curvaceous vixens out there, Lovedrobe are not only offering 50% off but are offering free postage too. Dresses start at £7.50 and feature a range of styles. They’ve got you covered for all festive events, from casual after-work drinks to Belle of the ball chic.
Fun fashion brand, Yumi, are also currently offering 50% off all dresses. If you’re looking for a party dress with added quirk, this brush stroke print skater dress is my favourite choice. It mightn’t seem like the obvious festive choice, but its versatile style means it will see you into the new year
Retro fashion brand, Lindy Bop are well-known for their budget prices and is usually one of the first places that I check for a bargain Christmas party dress. Their Black Friday sale sees popular styles such as Audrey alongside newer pieces. If cocktails are on your mind, then ‘Lita‘ will make sure everyone knows about it. Reduced from £30 to £19, it’s my favourite dress in the sale. Stay up to date as more sale items are due to be released.
2. Check for further discounts and bigger bargains
I know that most people are already wise to running a discount code or voucher search when buying online. Serious bargain hunters will also know to sign up to reputable cashback sites. In the heat of the moment, it can be so easy to forget this. Finally, don’t neglect the ‘Sale’ section of a site, if they have one. Sometimes, you can find last season’s stock for bargain prices.
3. Visit your favourite charity shopping area
Just like the season, there’s been a distinct changing of colours on the charity shop rails. Primary colours have been replaced for seasonal neutrals of black, grey, green and plum. Charity shop retailers are increasingly revolving their stock to mirror consumer shopping habits. If you’re serious about making a sustainable choice, block time out to visit your favourite charity shopping area. Whilst you’d be lucky to find exactly what you’re looking for in one shop, visit more than a handful and your odds are seriously increased.
4. Manipulate an eBay search
Master eBay’s search feature to unlock a potential party dress. Years ago, we’d try to manipulate eBay by purposefully misspelling our search terms. To find the perfect bargain Christmas party dress, ditch the Christmas keywords. Sellers try to take advantage of this Think about the type of dress you want: what colour? What size? What fit? Once you’ve hit search, narrow the search functions down to include a specific price, for example selecting no more than five pounds. Then hit ‘ending soonest’. You’ll be able to see what’s ending soon and a realistic price.
5. Waste not, want not! Get customising!
When it comes to changing our clothing, there’s so much on offer. Tons of dresses hanging in the wardrobe but nothing that’s just quite right? If it fits, add gems, add studs, add embroidery: want to see how? Check our Paige Joanna’s YouTube, especially this video, which sees her transform a simple denim dress with embellishments. If it can be taken in, consider visiting your local tailor. You’d be surprised how little it costs to have a dress hemmed, or taken in.
Happy Halloween! Hell Bunny Miss Muffet Blouse
Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, you have to agree that, aesthetically, this time of year is pretty pleasing. Throughout the month of October, I have taken pleasure in seeing things slowly transform ready for the season: driving under the boughs of autumnal trees and watching the leaves gracefully dance through the air, seeing carved pumpkins appear in the windows of my neighbours’ houses and of course, fashion drops of quirky, Halloween inspired clothes.
48 HOURS IN THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
As a perfectionist, I can sometimes find it hard to be spontaneous especially when it comes to travelling. So when John suggested we spend 48 hours in the Scottish Highlands with less than 48 notice, I really took a leap of faith and said YES. (Wild. I know.) Whilst the thought of packing an overnight bag and hitting the open road may sound exciting, even romantic to some, to me it just isn’t logical. When travelling, I like to be well prepared, usually packing a capsule wardrobe of mix n’ match pieces well in advance. Turns out, last minute adventures are a whole lot of fun and packing needn’t be stressful!
Over the years, I have learned that the best way to pack for a trip away is to simply take your favourite clothes. (Naturally, checking the weather forecast before you travel is a no-brainer.) I’ve written posts before on how to travel light or how to pack for city breaks, you name it. This is not one of those post. This post features my favourite pieces I have bought and thrifted over the past few weeks, true classics that I know will be with me until they’re worn to threads.
Do you remember my trip to Blackpool a few weeks ago? Whilst John was finding an elusive piece of street art, curiosity got the best of me and I popped into Primark to look at their autumn arrivals. I was so impressed that I took to Twitter to proclaim my pleasant surprise at their autumn range! To me, Primark isn’t a place that I shop at regularly- their sizes are irregular and the quality is hit and miss, however even I cannot ignore the fact that occasionally they have some amazing pieces and because of that, I buy the odd Primark piece. Last month, that odd piece was this bee print shirt for £7, yes £7! I dreamed of layering it under winter knits but the quality was so impressive, I added a neck tie!
Recently Newgate watches got in touch to ask if I’d like to try a watch from their range .Can you believe I didn’t own a watch until I hit 30? With mobile phones and classroom clocks, I never saw the need for one. These day I can’t be without a watch, I have a sense of feeling out of place, out of time. I’d been trying to break out of my Olivia Burton rut, so I said yes please and chose The Electric.
You might think I chose a unisex watch so I could share it with John, that’s partly true. But, I loved the classic and retro design of The Electric. I love the stainless steel against Newgate’s classic and iconic typography, no matter your style it’s a classic design that will compliment all outfits. If you haven’t heard of Newgate, the brand has been known for their iconic clocks for decades so it seems only natural that husband and wife duo, Jim and Chloe Read, decided to translate their clock designs into bold and contemporary wrist wear for men and women.
The benefit of growing older is understanding, developing and fine-tuning your own personal style. As you know, I search for and seek out clothes that are high quality, made to last and come with a price tag that I’m comfortable with. I tend to find that I invest my money in my accessories because these transcend fashion trends and stand the test of time. That’s why I’m happy to wear bargain finds alongside accessories that cost £100+ for. It’s all about price per wear.
I’m so happy that we’re now truly in autumn. Even though the days are flooded with sunlight, there’s a welcome chill in the morning air and it won’t be long until we start our descent into winter. I’m so pleased to have purchased my winter coat in September, brand new with tags from a Roy Castle charity shop. Whilst it may have been the most I have ever spent on a single charity shop purchase, this £20 Topshop coat is a steal. You know when you slip a new coat on and it feels perfectly snug and cosy you never want to take it off? Despite it being 19 degrees at the time, that’s how I felt. It’s a sample coat, which means it may be imperfect in certain places but I’ve yet to find any faults with it. I’m sure you’ll be seeing lots of it in the upcoming months. It was perfect for 48 hours in the Scottish Highlands.
// Bee shirt :: Primark //
// Khaki fur coat :: Topshop sample via Roy Castle //
// Mustard tights :: Tu //
// Polka dot skirt :: New Look //
// Leather satchel :: Cambridge Satchel Company //
As a Manchester fashion blogger, the bohemian, hip Northern Quarter of the city has been my playground for many years: notably, for its photogenic urban backdrops and abundance of street art. With paste ups proudly sat aside hand-finished stencils, it’s an area that’s flourished alongside its creative counterpart: music. In fact, it was through music that I discovered the Northern Quarter existed (back in the early 2000s).
You’d be forgiven for thinking the photos in this blog post were taken in the Northern Quarter, they’re not. It’s Blackpool. Just like Manchester, Blackpool has also seen a resurgence of culture in the form of street art thanks to Sand, Sea and Spray: a festival that showcases international street artists. Gloriously transforming dozens of walls in the town from bleak to chic, Sand, Sea and Spray has attracted household names in the street art world such as: D7606, Nomad Clan, My Dog Sighs and C3, to name but a few.
The paste ups of D7606 are well-known across the UK and as far-fetched as Europe and the USA, you’ve seen his worked featured in an outfit post here, three years ago. His work is familiar and maintains the inseparable mix of art and music. Pasted alongside C3’s feminine pieces, it’s a winning combination that I simply couldn’t resist for an outfit post backdrop. Same style, same art. Different town.
I can’t say I was overjoyed when John suggested that we visit Blackpool: it was an uncharacteristically warm September’s Sunday afternoon and I wasn’t welcoming the thought of spending an hour in the car. Had I seen these works before I’m sure I would have been more encouraged. Part of my reluctance was not knowing what to wear- I’d packed up my summer dresses just days before, but this ASOS pinafore dress (a July purchase) sat hanging on my dress rail waiting to be worn.
I’m never far away from a polka dot print I’ve yet to discover and love, it’s a weakness (or strength, depending on your perspective) and I fear it’s become my signature style. Slowly, I’m starting to rotate my wardrobe. In preparation for autumn, I’ve vacuum packed away my spring/summer clothes, tried on 90% of my winter clothes and have created a large pile of clothes to sell on and donate to charity. Selling my clothes means I can buy more, guilt free.
// Polka dot pinafore :: ASOS //
// Collared shirt :: Vero Moda //
// Red satchel :: Cambridge Satchel Company //
// Pom pom loafers :: Primark //
As it turned out, the majority of Blackpool’s charity shops are open on a Sunday. It’s remarkable: not once have I visited a place with shops that open on a Sunday. It was a happy chance, because whilst John was striving for the perfect shot taken in the perfect light, I could happily browse what Blackpool had to offer. (In a twist of fate, I didn’t find anything and haven’t since and that’s no mean feat because I’ve estimated that I’ve visited approximately 30 charity shops within the last week or two.) Am I disappointed? Not really, maybe a little but the fruit of summer’s charity shop trawling has brought me over 50% of my autumn wardrobe. Who can be down about that?
Are you thrifting for your autumn wardrobe? I’d love for you to share your thrifty finds using the hashtag #ShowMeTheThrift. Alternatively, if you’ve been to see Blackpool’s Sand, Sea and Spray festival, I want to know your thoughts! ❤