Category: Uncategorized

Outfit: Red Cashmere Jumper

So this post is mostly going to be about a simple red jumper. I bought this in the Age UK shop in Orpington for £4.99. It was a little worn, but crucially, it’s 50% cashmere, 50% silk, so it feels lovely. I thought it would be a great addition to my red, white and blue holiday wardrobe for my trip.

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All I did with this was to gently remove some bobbles and it was good to go.

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Epic Yale

Hi folks! OK, I just got back from a well-deserved holiday, so I hope you are ready for a trillion posts with a gazillion pictures telling you all about it. Sorry, not sorry.

My trip to New England this autumn started with a visit to New Haven, home of Yale University. I was extremely excited to visit this great ivy league institution. But what does one wear around campus, bearing in mind one’s wish to remain stylish while including a nod to one’s academic surroundings?

Of course, I studied all the available cultural references.

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Natürlich blond! / Legally Blonde

Yes, I know Elle Woods went to Harvard, but it’s realising the reason behind a newly engaged Vanderbilt is ‘first year, Yale law’ that made me think to include her here.

Both Blair and Elle have picked up on the wearing a tie thing, but I’m more enamoured with Serena’s incredible blazer. I believe this is the ‘Goodman’ crested blazer from Ralph Lauren, which I found out courtesy of the lovely Devra over at Puu’s Door of Time. Devra made a beautiful blazer based on this a while back, which I’d encourage you to check out here and here.

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Anyway, I’m going to follow Ms Van Der Woodsen’s lead with a blazer, but combine it with a tie as a twist on the Blair/Elle look.

Here are the blazer and tie I picked up on a trip to Orpington. The blazer was £7.99 from Oxfam while the tie was around £1 from Save the Children, if I remember correctly (ties were half price). The tie is 100% silk and not covered in food stains, which I counted as a win. The blazer was in reasonable condition although it didn’t fit at all.

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Silver Screen Chic: Pretty in Pink

First of all, thanks everyone for all your support on my last post! I’m overwhelmed :-)

Today I’m very happy to be launching a new occasional series in collaboration with my friend, film writer Hannah who blogs over at I Watched This on Purpose. In case you haven’t seen her blog, Hannah is taking us through an analysis of her favourite movies in a bid to discover what makes them great. It’s well worth a read, especially if you’re into obscure and not-so-obscure movies from the 80s and 90s.

This collaborative series is going to be about refashions and fashion transformations in the movies. Hannah will be writing about the role each movie refashion takes in the plot, while I’ll be creating refashioning projects inspired by the same movies. Our first project together is on the classic thrift store fashion and refashioning movie, Pretty in Pink; I’ll be remaking this pink bridesmaid dress into something a lot more wearable.

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Swedish Blouse from England

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Hello Refashioners!

I bought this white blouse on my recent trip to north Sweden, in the Red Cross shop in Jörn, to be precise. There are very few shops in this small town but amongst them were several second-hand shops (“loppis” – I got some great stuff there too, more of which, later) and a rather fun charity shop run by the Swedish Red Cross (Röda Korset). I had a good browse and bought several pieces there. If you’re in the area, I recommend it. They have free coffee and everything.

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I came across this 1980s white blouse in approximately my size. It has ruffles. I mean, a lot of ruffles. There are ruffles at the neck, ruffles at the shoulder, ruffles at the cuffs and even two big ruffles down the front. I love ruffles but this was a little much even for me.

I paid SEK 30:- which is about £2.60.

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So anyway, I was looking for something especially Swedish to remake. I was delighted to see that the blouse had originally been sold by Swedish department store Åhléns. Thinking that nothing could be more Swedish I happily carried this home to England to be remade.

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On closer inspection…..

D’oh!

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Kenya safari skirt

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You can’t beat a bargain like this – £2 reduced from £3.95 from the Hospices of Hope shop in Orpington.

I have had this silk skirt in stash for a while now, but it only ever had one destiny: to be part of my safari wardrobe. The khaki green colour, which I’m generously calling ‘olive’, conjures up safari and jungle images for me. It’s a colour I’d otherwise never wear, and you know I am fond of a challenge, so I set to work.

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Outfit: African print

I’m sure you remember this dress in African style fabric that I bought from Thrift Town in San Francisco a couple of years ago. This project was top of the list when packing for my holiday as I really wanted the chance to wear this in Africa (Kenya to be precise). Sadly this little African inspired number didn’t make the cut.

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I doubled my money with this by turning it into a skirt and top.

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Explorer outfit (Kenya ft. Budapest and Middlesbrough)

Happy New Year, Refashioners!

I’m going to start the year off with an extended series of posts showing the holiday wardrobe I made/acquired for my trip to Kenya last month. Spoiler alert: there are trillions of pictures #sorrynotsorry

First off is an outfit that was invaluable when exploring this beautiful country. I started with this vintage blouse that I picked up on a trip to Budapest last year. It has broderie anglaise style lace around the neck and arms and down the button placket, so pretty. Unfortunately it was a bit too big.

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I bought this in a vintage shop (below), not a charity shop, so prices were a little more than I am used to. I paid 3500 Hungarian Forints for it, and left feeling a little ripped off (I did not haggle; I’m British). On actually checking my mental arithmetic using a calculator, it turned out to be only £9.50 so not really a big deal. The shop was quite cute with lots of unusual vintage gear, including loads of bags and hats. Unfortunately my luggage space was limited!

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Turns out that Hungarians love second hand clothes shops and I spotted several of them on my travels. I was a little disappointed to realise that most were full of clothes from the British high street, but still enjoyed having a rummage. I did memorise the Hungarian for ‘second-hand clothes’ before I went over (in case you wondered, it’s ‘használt ruha’) to help me find suitable shops.

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Anyway… I digress. To complete the outfit, I selected this vintage Benetton skirt in the Age UK shop in Middlesbrough (from the sublime to the ridiculous…)

There isn’t a before pic of the skirt (sorry) as I didn’t really alter it much, you get the idea from the pictures below. It’s made from this incredible 100% cotton fabric printed with vintage French maps. Over the maps are palm leaves and tropical flowers. It fit the retro Africa vibe of my holiday wardrobe perfectly.

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The overall look I’m aiming for is “Dirty Dancing Baby in slightly more grown-up vintage outfit”.

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Mint condition

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I bought this ‘lovely’ coat from the Sense shop in Deptford for £9.95. It was only on getting it home that I started to feel buyers’ remorse. The buttons, the size, the style, all that can be fixed. The only real problem with it is… it’s mint. And by that I mean… it’s green. When I bought this I thought it was blue. How wrong I was. The mint green pastel shade has left it looking even more early noughties than it otherwise would.

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On the plus side, it’s a wool/angora/cashmere mix, and is well-made, from the now-defunct label Ronit Zilkha which closed in 2007.

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In terms of what to do with it… I decided to go a bit left-field and make a sleeveless coat. Believe it or not, sleeveless coats are in fashion now…. (L-R) Lanvin, Etro, Antonio Berardi, Marni, 3.1 Philip Lim…

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…and the queen of the sleeveless coat, Victoria Beckham.

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I had slight doubts about the practicality of such garments but the internet convinced me that sleeveless coats are perfectly fine with a thick jumper underneath. At least, they are if you live in Southern California. Sadly, this is London…

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