This Summer has been so unbearably hot half of the time that I've resorted to purely wearing denim shorts, floaty trousers and baggy t-shirts for the majority of days. The weather has generally cooled down a bit, with the rain finally making a well-deserved appearance as well, and I've found myself being able to bring back some of my favourite wardrobe items, as well as some new-in pieces that I have acquired, so I decided to snap some photo's of some of my favourite outfits at the moment.
I have been so excited to be able to wear my favourite blazer again! I really love pairing tailored pieces with casual wear, and this checked blazer paired with vintage 501's, white adidas trainers and a leopard print vest has been one of my favourite combinations on cooler days. It'll be the perfect colour-palette for warm Autumn days, too. I randomly found this vest recently in my wardrobe, it used to belong to my sister, but she hasn't worn it in over seven years so I thought I'd give it a try to incorporate some leopard print into my outfits. It's flattering, comfortable, and I love how the pattern clashes with the blue and yellow thread in the blazer. It's one of those items I find myself reaching for on casual days and on dressier occasions (I wore it with a black Armani suit and I can't even describe to you the satisfaction I got from wearing this instead of a smart shirt). It's also a Dolce & Gabbana piece, so need I say more?
Blazer - Massimo Dutti (similar here)/ Vest - Dolce & Gabbana (old) / Jeans - Vintage Levi 501's via Asos Marketplace / Trainers - Adidas (via charity shop)
This blouse has been a huge love of mine this Summer due to it's incredible (and excessive) floatiness and thin material. I snapped it up in the Topshop sale a couple of weeks ago, and I'm pretty sure it's price has been reduced even further since then, so I would highly recommend going for it while it's still available. It's super comfy, albeit the shape of the shirt is a little odd, and as I am quite heavy chested, I've had to experiment a little bit styling wise to make sure it's flattering. I've loved wearing it super casually with denim shorts and trainers, but I've also loved wearing it with my Topshop straight leg jeans (although I cut mine so they're not very straight leg at all, I'll need to be repurchasing a pair soon) and my new beloved Topshop sandals. I've written an entire post dedicated to these shoes which I will be posting very soon, so as you can see, I'm a big fan. The subtle print on this shirt is definitely what makes it for me - the retro, clustered floral pattern is so beautiful in the slightly sheer material.
Blouse - Topshop (sale) / Jeans - Topshop / Sandals - Topshop (more sizes available in the wide fit) / Sunglasses - Rayban (round)
I think this denim jumpsuit from Leon & Harper has been the purchase of the year for me. It is probably one of the most unique items I have in my wardrobe, and it's something I've been lusting over for months now. I only managed to scrape enough money for this as it was heavily reduced in the sale, but it was still a hefty purchase. As a lover of retro and seventies style clothing (hence the name 'the modern retro'), a denim jumpsuit is high up on the list of things I have lusted over for years, and this one ticks all the boxes. I love the pale wash of the fabric, it's perfect for the Summer, and the softness of the denim makes it feel as if the jumpsuit has moulded specifically to your body without compromising the fit. It's been really easy to style with different shoes too, including heeled sandals, flat trainers, and even ankle boots, but on this occasion I chose to go for another seventies classic - creepers, for that extra bit of height, and a little colour match to the embroidered label on the waist - it's all about the details for me.
Jumpsuit - Leon & Harper (found in American Pie on Chiswick High Road, sourced on Smallable online) / Shoes - Underground /
Been really obsessed with floaty, viscose camisole tops in the overbearing heat, as they're the only kind of tops I've been finding super comfy when it's humid. This one I nabbed in the Topshop sale for a bloomin' fiver, and I can't lie to you, I feel a bit like a fruit salad sweet when I wear it, and I don't think it's the most flattering item for my shape, but my God is it comfortable, and fun! It's been another great piece to wear with 501's when it's not overly hot out, and with sandals. I love the bright pink and orange stripes, especially when combined with the bright red sandals - I definitely feel like I'm preparing myself for Notting Hill carnival in these colours!
Camisole - Topshop (sale) / Jeans - Levi 501's via Asos Marketplace / Sandals - Topshop (more sizes available in the wide fit) / Sunglasses - Rayban (round)
It had got to the point where I could no longer handle the sticky, sweaty heat of London, so last week, Alex and I decided to venture into the country lanes of Suffolk for a mid-week mini break. My aunt owns a cottage in the tiny village of Hinderclay, and it is always so nice to go there for a quick reboot. It was everything I needed, quiet, relaxing - I ended up sleeping much more than I expected! The one downside? It ended up being just as hot as London, which wasn't the best considering we were hoping to get away from the intense heat. We drove to the small town of Diss in Norfolk on the Friday morning and still didn't manage to escape the humidity. Luckily, the clean air and relaxed attitude of the country did rub off on us. I love going on long country walks, so on the Friday evening when the weather cooled down, we went for a lovely stroll through the fields around the village. It was really soothing, and the feeling of a gentle breeze lapping through your sleeves is the epitome of a Summer stroll for me. We also ventured to my favourite country restaurant, the Leaping Hare at Wyken Vineyards. I always make a point of going there first as it's on the way to the house. If you do ever find yourself there, I highly recommend having the homemade fishcake for lunch, and then the brownie for after. Wyken vineyards is also a great place to take a stroll - I would strongly suggest you wander through the maze too, and then head into the shop afterwards for some homemade Suffolk chocolates, or a browse through their selection of books and homeware.
Denim Jumpsuit - Leon & Harper via Smallable
Blue blouse - Topshop (sale)
Denim Shorts - Vintage Levi's (via Rokit)
Trainers - Adidas
all photographs were taken on my Pentax ME super with Lomography 400 ISO film
A while back, when I had just started my blog, I wrote a post about my wonderful friend Gaby and her knack for charity shopping and bargain hunting. Since then, I have always ummed-and-ahhed over the idea of writing a post about my own love affair with bargain shopping, but I'd never really got round to planning it fully. Well, I finally have.
People who know me well know that I can never pass on an opportunity to bargain hunt, whether that be in vintage or thrift shops, charity shops, car boot sales, or just the regular high-street sales in the New Year or Summer. London is obviously a very expensive city to live in or visit as a tourist, and shopping is often no exception to that rule... unless you know the best places to visit for that great bargain. So I thought I'd share with you all some of my top places to visit for that authentic, thrifted charity-shop experience in the places you probably wouldn't suspect in the big city.
my favourite charity shop pieces & where I found them
I grew up in West London, which is an amazing hub for versatile charity shops, particularly in places like Ealing, Chiswick and Hammersmith. There's pretty much something for everyone, whether you're looking for a discounted designer purchase, or for that cheap-as-chips statement piece, I'd say West London has some of the best to offer. The East End is amazing too, but I prefer to go there for proper vintage and thrift shopping rather than to charity shops, so I'll get to that later. Below are some of my personal favourite items that I have found in some of my favourite charity shops across the West side of the city.
My cow print ankle boots. Bought for £15 in Octavia foundation in Ealing. This is one of my favourite charity shops as prices are always reasonable, and their selection of clothing always makes me feel as though I am in a vintage shop. Everything is very colourful and unique - it's a shop I highly recommend if you find yourself in Ealing (which you should because Ealing is the best).
My yellow men's Gant jeans from Fara in Chiswick. I found this unworn pair of jeans for a tenner on a whim one rainy afternoon in Spring when I was meant to be helping my friend find some clothes for herself. I love the pastel, buttercup colour of the denim, the extremely oversized fit, and the embroidery on the pocket. Fara Chiswick is another one of my favourite charity shops in West London as they always stock loads of great denim at very low prices, and all the clothing in store is colour co-ordinated, which makes shopping for something specific that much easier.
My vintage style black shoulder bag from Mary's Living & Giving in Kew. This was a brilliant purchase, as the bag is 100% real leather from Topshop and had never been worn before. This was, however, one of my pricier purchases from a charity shop, coming in at a grand total of £20 (which is still a bargain, but when you're used to most things being £15 (at a push) and under, then you have to ask yourself whether £20 is really asking too much). Mary's Living & Giving is probably the most up-market chain of charity shops I have ever been to. The Kew branch is by far the most beautiful, having been designed by someone from Kew Gardens. It feels more like an independent boutique than a charity shop! A lot of the clothing is donated by designers themselves (I drooled over a pair of Victoria Beckham limited edition jeans for £60 for a good ten minutes...), and people of a high "calibre", so the clothing you will find in the chain, specifically this branch, is going to be unlike most charity shops. Most stores donate to Save the Children, which is a brilliant charity too, so if you're really looking for something a bit more luxurious, but at a fraction of the original cost, then this is the place to go. The branch in Ealing is also brilliant.
This blush pink silk shirt from RSPCA, Ealing. Found it on a whim for a grand total of £3.50. Was a total bargain, and an item I didn't expect to stumble upon. All the labels have been cut out so I have no idea where the shirt is from, but it has fast become one of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe. It is so relaxed, flattering, and versatile - it's the perfect shirt to take you from day to night seamlessly. I love it! RSPCA in Ealing is one of my favourite charity shops, it's like walking back in time. The prices are always extremely low, and it is so easy to find vintage gems like this on a regular basis. I love charity shops that feel like they have a history, and RSPCA feels as though it hasn't changed in twenty years!
And finally, my newest wardrobe steal, this unworn pair of white Adidas classics. Found in Oxfam on Chiswick High Street for an absolute bargain - ten quid! For an unworn pair of extremely popular trainers that probably would've originally cost up to seventy quid, this was an unbelievable find. They have fast become my staple trainers, as well, as their comfort certainly matches their versatility and effortless style. Oxfam is usually a great place to look in any location, but the one in Chiswick is by far one of the best I have ever been to. The stock is always well curated and the staff are always extremely helpful and kind. The prices are also really reasonable, especially with shoes, which is where I think they always have the best variety. I also happened to find my Matisse print in this Oxfam for a decent £15, so it's definitely a great place to check regularly for random, and wonderful, bits and bobs.
Other good places to check out...
1. Cancer Research, 392 Chiswick High Road. This is one of my favourite places to shop for proper vintage at reasonably good prices. They always have an extensive collection of beautiful and bespoke coats!
2. Octavia Foundation, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge. This must be one of the best charity shops I have ever walked into for designer clothing! Barely worn All Saints leather jackets for £100, YSL heels for £60... the list is endless. This is certainly the place to go if you like labels as well as vintage, and don't want to pay any particularly eye-watering prices.
3. Traid, Shepherds Bush. A really eclectic mix of vintage and pre-loved clothing and accessories. Great place for finding some really unique hidden gems, although prices are slightly steeper than in other stores.