23 November 2014

This Week // #20

chambray and curls{Doesn't this look like a blissful, cosy spot? Reminds me of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Click image for source}

Doing: a little bit of forward planning. The boy and I are headed to his family in Cyprus for Christmas this year and a little bit of sunshine and family time will be an absolute tonic. I keep remembering the lovely time we had last time I went for Christmas and feeling rather excited! I cannot wait to swim in the sea again. In the meantime though, we need to get all of our Christmas shopping done a little earlier and generally get a bit organised! We also realised we need a plant sitter- I've managed to keep those babies alive for nearly 4 months, I'm not failing now! Funny the things that start making you feel like more of a grown up

Loving: The Christmas lights up around town. If you've never been to Manchester in Winter before, I should tell you it gets made over big style. The markets take over the City and absolutely everywhere is lit up. I'm especially fond of the golden lights in all the trees and it makes these dark days much more bearable.

Wearing: Second hand of course! If you've popped over to the blog any time this week or follow me on twitter, you'll have seen about #secondhandfirst week. It has been great pulling out my favourite charity shop and eBay finds and a great reminder that not everything needs to be new.

Daydreaming: About my wedding dress. Very girly of me I know, but my mum was up last weekend for my birthday and we managed to make major progress with fitting and sewing my dress (turns out it is pretty hard to fit your own bodice... Thanks mum, couldn't have done it without you!). After about 5 months of picking a dress apart, adding in new fabrics, creating new shapes, altering necklines, sleeves and fits, I have something that is very close to a finished dress! I'm spending my evenings doing a lot of handsewing of the detailing and  feeling very excited about it being finished sometime soon.

Links of the week:
I am very much a fan of this scarf from Beaumont Organic. It looks very cosy!
With the Christmas Shopping underway, I've loved browsing through this list of ethical suppliers. So many great ideas and beautiful stores!
I've been getting that end of year itch to change up the design of this space. I want to give it all an overhaul and so I've bookmarked this article as a great guide to styling and branding your online space.
Miista's streetsyle shots are always such a source of inspiration. People are so cool, how do they do it?

Catch up with Chambray and Curls
// 5 Tips for Buying Second Hand Clothes // #Secondhandfirst Week // Boots and Knits //

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21 November 2014

Style Files // How to find great clothes in Charity shops

I love shopping second hand. I think charity shops are complete treasure troves- as this post can attest to! I always get comments where people say they can never find anything good in charity shops and so in honour of #secondhandfirst week, I thought I'd put together a few of my tips.
5 tips for charity shopping thrift shopping op shopping
1. Have a list of wants
Shopping for one thing in particular in charity shops pretty much always ends in disappointment- if you need it badly, you know that it will never be there. Sod's law dictates! However, I tend to make myself a general list of things I want in my wardrobe, whether those be based on trends or on items I have that have worn out. At the moment, black jeans, chunky polo knits, ankle boots, and minimal silky tops are all on there and every time I pop into a charity shop I think about those things whilst browsing. It helps you stop feeling overwhelmed by the options and be a little more focused.

2. Ignore sizes
Charity shops are often dreadful at sizing things correctly, even ignoring the differences in sizing between different brands and eras. A too big jumper could be the perfect slouchy knit or that pair of jeans from the random brand might actually be more forgiving than you realise. If you like the look of something, try it on.

3. Style it up
Lots of things can look completely different with a few styling alterations, and could be just what you were looking for, so think creatively. A long shirt dress could be a light duster coat if you wear it open over your jeans. Cuffing trousers and sleeves can make them look a thousand times better. A too short dress might actually work as a great tunic. Chopping trousers off into shorts or maxi skirts into minis can let you have the perfect fit and length. The possibilities are endless! If you know what style you are after, have a play around with things- it might turn junk into gold for your wardrobe.

4. Be persistent
Charity shops often have a fairly high turnover of stock, so it is always worth popping back, Just because one trip was fruitless, doesn't mean they won't have something great in next week. Often, you'll find that the staff are regular and you can make friends- they might put stock aside for you if you're nice enough! Be prepared to browse and that it might take you more than one visit to find what you were hoping for.

5. Go upmarket
Choosing where you charity shop makes a big difference to what you can find. In low income areas, charity shops tend to have more customers buying up the best stock, and fewer people are able to donate, so often there isn't much to be found. Head to the wealthy districts and you often can find true treasure! I will make an afternoon of it and trawl round some of the more upmarket districts around Manchester, like Didsbury, Altrincham and Chorlton. They offer a huge amount more than the busy city centre shops and if the locals have money, their seconds tend to be pretty nice. After a little bit of exploring you can usually find out which shops tend to get the best stock in.

Do you shop second hand? Have you got any fail-safe techniques for finding amazing second hand items? Where are your favourite charity shops and what is the best thing you've found? I am currently very pleased with a mohair and cashmere knit I got for £2.00- very Acne-esque and I want to live in it right now!


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17 November 2014

Talk // #secondhandfirst week

Do you buy second hand clothes? I've always loved a good charity shop, and since making my ethical fashion pledge, I've found myself trawling through them all the more regularly. I've always found buying second hand ticks a lot of good boxes for me- it is usually more affordable, often more unique, it saves waste, and the money often helps out a good cause. Those are a fair few reasons to feel good about your purchases!
TRAID Second Hand First Week ethical fashion campaign get involved
TRAID are a particularly exciting kind of charity shop I think, especially if you are interested in ethical fashion. Trust me, they are a bit cool. They have charity shops all across London, each with their own vibe and stock to go with it. From upmarket vintage, to East London quirkiness, it is all there. They also go way beyond just charity shop stores: For a start, they have their own ethical clothing brand TRAIDRemade which uses reclaimed textiles to create decidedly cool pieces of tailoring. The website is full of projects for using old clothes, ideas on how to make clothes last that bit longer, as well as workshops and events in London. Plus, their proceeds go to projects that help improve working conditions in the textile industry. Yup, these guys are taking second hand shopping to a great new level, and they're getting as many people involved as possible.
Anyway, to the point of this whole post! This week is #secondhandfirst week. TRAID want people to think about trying to buy things they want or need second hand, before buying new. It is about reducing waste and they have a whole host of ways to take part over on their website, but basically, get hunting out your second hand clothes.Whether they are from Ebay, charity shops, swapped from a friend, vintage, remade from something else, whatever it may be, wear them! Take some selfies, talk about it, and tag any tweets or photos with #secondhandfirst!
Seeing as I reckon at least half my wardrobe is second hand anyhow, I'm going to be putting together some outfits with my favourite items and merrily tweeting away. Plus, I think this is exactly the right time for me to finally get on and write some of my favourite tips for hunting out second hand treasures... Pop back this week and see! If you decide to take the #secondhandfirst pledge too, send me your twitter and instagram links- I'd love to see what you come up with too.

Get involved with TRAID:
website // twitter // facebook

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