Vintage Spots: Little Viking Vintage (St Albans)

While I used to be an avid vintage collector; I have to admit over the last few years, my passion dwindled a bit. I think this was because despite being close to London where there are loads of amazing vintage clothes shops; I had lost the connection that I had with my favourite vintage shops in Lincoln. On that note if you ever find yourself in Lincoln I recommend visiting Tasty Vintage.

I also did not find a place I enjoyed that was in close proximity (and not as expensive to travel to as London). I did visit The Vintage Emporium in St Albans and found a few bits every so often, but the focus of the store (lots of different vendors make up the store so its quite eclectic) was not quite my aesthetic. I also think being a vegetarian in a vintage shop can be a little odd at times, as generally there will be real fur coats, as well as leather (I’ve discussed my stance on this a bit more in this post but generally I have no personal problem if you’re a vegetarian/ vegan and want to wear vintage items with animal products, but personally for me I just don’t feel comfortable doing so).

I however recently found myself visiting Little Viking Vintage, which is hidden away in the town centre of St Albans. And ever since going there I have found myself falling back in love with vintage again. The place may be small, but its a little treasure trove and because of the location I’ve never been in there with more than another person looking at the same time. You can tell that its more like someone selling curated pieces of a collection rather than all the stock they could possibly get their hands on (which some vintage shops I have visited have given me the impression of) by the specialness of the stock. There’s so many beautiful and unique pieces that I could spend hours there- and I’ve never once felt by any staff member that I couldn’t, as they just let you look as you please. Though on that note the owner of the shop is genuinely lovely, and a pleasure to talk with. She very kindly reserved a gorgeous top for me, as well as bought from me a faux fur leopard vintage coat I owned and loved (but sadly was just never going to wear).

Mustard 70s top(I hope to do a proper Autumn fashion lookbook soon, which will hopefully feature this top.)

Butterfly Bag

Vintage Straw Bag

Vintage(I ;ove these but they’re not my size and I feel like they are most likely leather.) 

Printed shirt

Apologises for the lack of photographs, there was someone else in the shop when I took these and although they were lovely (and I asked the owner if i could take photographs and she very graciously said I could); I still felt too nervous to do a proper job.

Let me know if you’re interested in vintage fashion and would like to see more of these kinds of posts. I also would love to do an interview with the owner of the shop so if you have any questions you’d like answering, comment below! As it will also give me an opportunity to revisit the shop and take some proper photographs of some of the gorgeous treasures they have.

🍂April🍂

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Lazy Oaf Sample Sale Haul

So I went to my first ever sample sale yesterday! All in all it was definitely crazy. I also had no sleep before so was basically a walking zombie (along with my significant other, Martin, who I dragged along). We got a 4am train into London, that’s how committed I was. I was not however first in the queue! I am though determined to be next time. For reference I got there at 6am, and so I suspect the people who got there before me had been there from about 5am. Though I couldn’t physically get there any earlier, as I left on the earliest train from where I live, so am not sure what to do for sales in the future.

However, I managed to pick up some amazing bits with the help of my new friend Ellen, and my friend Caroline (who you may know from illustrating my feminist reading journey blog posts). It was though quite terrifying. When the doors open everyone literally rushed in and by the time we got in (we were in about the first 20 people I think) half the stuff I wanted was already gone. This unfortunately included the two items I really wanted, which was the Hello Kitty denim jacket that I’d tried on in store (but had been waiting to buy, as I was hoping it would be at the sample sale because I can’t really afford it full price), and the Esther Loves You Bunny Backpack. Though I have a bit of gossip for you, apparently some of the backpacks might be restocked on the website soon!!! As for the denim jacket that’s going to take a bit of saving up for!

Hello Kitty JacketThe denim jacket of my dreams!

Image: @lazyoafs/ Instagram 

By the time I got in literally 70% of that view had already disappeared. 

There was also a few other pieces I missed out on like the rainbow cardigan (Ellen and I was glaring at everyone who had one!), as well as some of the other Hello Kitty and Esther Loves You pieces. I did however get some pieces that I kind of bought in the frenzy of the moment, or didn’t fit me when I got home so I’ve already sold them on.

For those of you who are worried about going to sample sales because they are violent and people get mean; I wanted to also share my experience in that regard. Personally while there was a lot of people (which I know can be overwhelming); the venue of the sale had quite wide walkways, which really helped. No one physically pushed or snatched anything out of my hands. If someone knocked into me they apologised. Also, for example someone grabbed a pair of the Hello Kitty jeans I wanted and said they’d give it to me if it wasn’t there size, but unfortunately for me it was, but I hope they love and enjoy them (to be honest they’d probably rock them better than me!). However, they still offered, which was still super nice.

The only thing that happened that many people might not like is that people will grab a lot of items. There was a few people who grabbed what to be honest looked like it could be 50 items, and considering that there is a 15 item limit I will admit it felt a little unfair. As obviously they weren’t able to get everything they grabbed so had to put things back, but the only way to tell would be to awkwardly hover near them. I don’t mind that people might want to decide what they want, but I will admit it was a bit excessive. However, I acknowledge that at the end of the day they got there first so I can’t really be too upset about it.

Other than that my only other complaint is that the air conditioner was not turned on until we were in the queue and already all sweaty and gross. Also, there was not that much stock. I felt sorry for the people behind me in the queue, as they only had out what was on the racks so by the time the first group had picked their stuff; there really was not a lot left.

However, enough about all the drama, let’s get to what I bought!

Lazy Oaf x Disney Cinderella Dress 

Price I paid £35.00.

Original price: £80.00 (though according to the website it do go on sale for £50.00 at one point).

My new friend Ellen very kindly grabbed this for me and I love it so much. Mainly because it’d be such a good item to wear next time I go to Disneyland (which, I’m planning to go to next year, and I can’t wait till it’s finalised so I can talk more about where in the world I’m planning to go!).

I really love the collar detail of the dress and although the fit is VERY oversized, I’m not going to lie it’s very comfy. It’s worth it for the adorable birds on the collar at the front (see the second picture) and the collar at the back (see the third picture). I think it’s also quite a good dress for walking around all day too just because it’s not restrictive in any way. I do understand how the fit wouldn’t be for everyone though, especially as the one I’m wearing is the smallest size they do.

Altogether, I personally love this dress even though Cinderella isn’t usually my go to princess at all.

Lazy Oaf Haul

Cinderella collar

Cinderella

Lazy Oaf x Disney Marie Top 

Price I paid: £20.00

Original price: £42.00

This is another purchase that Ellen secured for me (I am determined that I will make sure I get something she wants next time). I love stripe-y tops anyway but this is made even better because it has one of my Disney favourites, Marie on it. This would look so cute with some skinny jeans for a low key Disney inspired everyday look though I’m planning to wear it with some pink denim dungarees for Disney. Who knows I might even put it with my Marie denim jacket and go completely full blown with it!

The fit is also perfect for me, as it is not too long. However, I’m quite short (about 5ft 2) so for anyone tall this might be a problem. It’s also one size only so obviously it’s going to fit different sizes more oversized and less. In comparison, to the new Hello Kitty oversized black t-shirt (which, I managed to scoop up) it’s a lot shorter and a lot less oversized.

Marie top sale

Lazy Oaf x Disney Marie Cap 

Price I paid: £10.00

Original price: £28.00

So I now basically have every Marie piece bar two, which makes me very happy. Also, the reason I was so happy when I saw they had this cap (they had lots of them by the way) is because I get way too hot in the sun too easily (there’s a reason most people think I’m a natural ginger), so I like to always have a hat for hot days. And this is a lot more adorable than your usual dad cap (well it was but these kind of caps are in trend right now so I have seen some pretty cute one admittedly).

I thought this also would be a cute alternative to ears for Disneyland if it’s a bit too hot when I go! Especially, when you look at the cute ribbon detailing at the back, which just makes the hat for me (and you can use to adjust the size). The only thing I don’t like about the hat is that if you look too closely Marie looks a bit demonic, and I’m not sure if that is my hat, or if all the hats look like that.

Marie Top and Cap

Marie Trash

Being full on Lazy Oaf Marie trash and I love it. 

Marie Hat Ribbon Detailing

Lazy Oaf x Esther Loves You Crop Top 

Price I paid: £20.00

Original price: £42.00

So I just noticed that the bunny is smoking, which puts me off a tiny bit, as I’m really not a fan of smoking, but I still love this top and I didn’t notice until I noticed the item description on the original listing. Fit wise it’s about what I’d expect, but I didn’t think it’d be as super soft as it was and I think it is such a cute top for under dungarees and pinafores. Although it would also look great with a high waisted skirt or jeans too.

I’m not sure if I would have bought this if I was not just going for whatever Esther Loves You stuff that was left; but after trying it on I do quite like it so it’s still a win for me. The top is also worth it for the little Esther Loves You sticker that comes on the tag, which I’m going to spend hours debating where to stick!

Smoking bunny

Eshter Loves You Crop

Esther Loves You Sticker

Personally, I wish this was the bunny on the top, but I guess at least with the other one I’m slightly more sassy (because of it’s expression, not because of the smoking). 

Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf Cap 

Price I paid: £15.00

Original price: £25.00

I don’t know why I really need two caps, but since I have a lot of the Hello Kitty pieces for it to go with I thought I’d get it. Plus, it was one of the few Hello Kitty items left and I really wanted to come out of the sale with some Hello Kitty bits. I actually do prefer this to the Marie one though because Hello Kitty doesn’t look sinister.

Lazy Oaf x Hello Kitty Black Oversized Top 

Price I paid: £20.00

Original price: £40.00

I have to admit this is a bit too oversized for me, and I would sell it but I think it could still look cute underneath things and I might just purposely try and shrink it in the wash a bit. I do wish it was a bit shorter because I’m a short fry as well (as it’s definitely longer than the Marie oversized top). The sizing is also confusing as mine says OS on the label which usually indicates one size but on the Lazy Oaf website they said it came in either S/M or M/L so it might just be a manufacturing error (and hence why it was in the sale).

Hello Kitty Black Top

Lazy Oaf x Disney 101 Dalmatians socks 

Price I paid: £7.00

Original price: £10.00

To be honest, this is the only thing where I feel like there should have been a bit more of a discount. I know £7.00 is a lot to pay for socks, but I’ve always wanted a pair of their socks because they’re super cute and thought this might be my only chance at a discounted rate.

Lazy Oaf Alien Tops 

Price: Free

The lovely lady at the till also put two of these alien slightly cropped tops in my bag, which although are not really my style; but are loose and comfortable and will work well for bed time. I don’t know if these were put in everyone’s bags though as my boyfriend said he didn’t see her put them in the person before or being served next to me.

Alien Top

 

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Hello Kitty Topshop Pop Up Shop Mini Haul

As you have all probably realised by now I have a serious weakness for Hello Kitty. If you are new welcome, my name is April, and be prepared for a lot of Hello Kitty. So this haul all started because I was scrolling my Instagram and saw on the official Hello Kitty Instagram that they had a pop up shop in Topshop till the 1st July.

Knowing that I had missed out on this last year from watching videos from a Youtuber called Princess Fancypants (if you love Lazy Oaf or Hello Kitty she is the Youtuber for you and has posted some really useful videos like what it is like going to a Lazy Oaf sample sale) I decided I couldn’t miss it this year. Especially as the theme this year was Hello Kitty gang themed (and I like to pretend I am sassier than I am).

Despite wanting pretty much everything they had there I was able to restrain myself and only got 3 items, and in my defence for one of them I actually needed it!

The first thing I got was this adorable customised Hello Kitty phone case (and the only thing I actually needed). They had two different designs to chose from and you could choose whether you wanted a white or black ring around the edge. I went for white just because I thought it would match my phone better.

For a Iphone 6S phone case customised it was £18.00, and took about 10 minutes to complete. You are able to have your first name (or whatever name or word you want to be fair) at the top and then at the bottom above the words ‘Hello Kitty Gang’ you can have up to three initials.  I ended up having three initials so I could include my middle name, as I think it looks classier somehow (don’t lie you can totally see those initials on a satchel bag looking swanky).

Apri Hello Kitty Phone Case

Here’s a picture of all the other options, and if I hadn’t chosen the one I did I would have definitely gone for the one of the Hello Kitty with her hands on her hips and a ‘Milk’ sweatshirt (which if they sold I would have definitely bought not going to lie).

Hello Kitty Phone Case Options

The only other clothing I got was the pink oversized hoodie, which was a debacle in itself. As basically I wanted the biggest size so a size large because I wanted it to be super big and comfy so I could just live in it essentially but all I could see was mediums. So I went to the till and I paid for my medium and my phone case.

This was an event in itself because I went to one of the tills, and kept being told I could buy the hoodie there and then getting told I couldn’t because that particular till (the jewellery counter on Topshop Oxford Street on the ground floor) didn’t process clothing. However, because it was part of the pop up they eventually let it go through. I then went back to the Hello Kitty stand to show I’d paid for the phone case so she could get to work, and then noticed that there was in fact a large hoodie. Unfortunately, I couldn’t refund it at the till I just paid at but had to go to the bottom floor (-2) to get a refund, though they also let me buy the pin badge that I forget to get the first time. By the way quick side note I’ve started collecting pins so be sure to watch this space!

So by then Martin who had graciously went with me was probably dying as he hates clothes shops because he hates large crowds of people, which I totally sympathise with but my love of clothes usually wins out. Also, I’m not recalling this story to call out the Topshop staff, as they were totally lovely the entire way through- I just wanted to share my stress with you all!

Anyway, getting back on point the hoodie was £28.00, which while not cheap I didn’t think was too bad for a hoodie, and it is super cute and comfy. I know that screen printing might not be a lot of people’s preference, and its definitely not as well made as the Lazy Oaf collection but I needed an oversized hoodie that was not stolen from my boyfriend, and for some reason that shade of pink really suits me.

Hello Kitty Hoodie

Hello Kitty Hoodie 2

Here’s what it looks like on. I will get better pictures soon I promise but wanted to get this post up as soon as possible so people would still have a chance to visit the pop up before it leaves. I had the hoodie on because it was pouring it down with rain and for the first time in forever (yes that is a Frozen reference) I was cold.

My final purchase as already mentioned was the Hello Kitty pin, which basically proclaims you as a member of Hello Kitty’s gang. This was £5.00, which is not bad and I highly recommend that everyone gets one so we can all identify each other as fellow gang members.

Hello Kitty Pins

I’ve taken pictures of all the other things they have on sale so you can see if there is anything else you prefer. If I’d have had the money I would have totally got one of the white t-shirts. Since I am a terrible blogger (and socially awkward) I was too nervous and forget to note down the prices for everything but hopefully the prices of the other items give you a good indication of what everything was priced at.

The other warmer option available is a grey sweatshirt with the same logo that is on the hoodie. I actually do know the price of this as it’s visible in the picture I took, so for those wondering as far as I can see this item is £25.00.

Hello Kitty Sweatshirt

Here’s a better picture from the Hello Kitty Instagram so you can see what it looks like on.

Have you joined #HELLOKITTYGANG yet? #hellokitty #topshop

A post shared by Hello Kitty (@wearehellokitty) on

Image: @wearehellokitty/ Instagram 

Looking at it now I kind of wish I had bought this shirt (below) but you know having money is also nice. It would look super cute with the gingham trousers from the Hello Kitty Lazy Oaf Collection though. I unfortunately don’t know how much this is priced at because I am a horrible blogger and didn’t look.

Hello Kitty T-shirt

Another thing I wished I would have been able to pick up is one of the caps because I suspect the heat is probably going to come back and hats really help me to well not melt in the heat and this would have been a super cute option.

Hello Kitty Gang Hats

They also had Hello Kitty bum bags but unless I am selling stuff at a car boot (which, I have done many times I’ll have you know) then bum bags are not my friend. Also, please no one call them a fanny pack around me.

Hello Kitty Bum Bags

There was also a super cute tote bag available but I have way too many of those already so had to pass but the logo did look particularly adorable on them.

Hello Kitty Tote Bag

Other merchandise included what I think are keychains (though they are massive but customisable) and mugs (which you could customise and were super cute and I wanted one but I actually needed a phone case and I don’t need a mug), as well as notebooks (which I don’t think you could customise).

Hello Kitty Key Chains

Hello Kitty Girl Gang Main Image

The collection is only available till the 1st July so if you want something I’d pick it up soon, as it’s a cute way to add a bit of Hello Kitty into your life without it being too ‘childish’ if that is not your style (though I personally don’t care at all about that). The pop up is located at the Oxford Street Topshop on the ground floor just in front of the Lola’s Cupcakes stand.

If you get a pin and want to join my gang send me a picture of you wearing it by tagging me on Instagram or on Twitter. My username for Instagram is @aprilisthecruellestmonth and for Twitter is @aprilcruelmonth.

Overall though this is a super cute collection for those who want some Hello Kitty merchandise but can’t afford anything from the Lazy Oaf collection.

Primark Haul (London): June 2017

Martin (my boyfriend) and I went out for a spontaneous day trip to London the other week and I picked up a few bits from the Primark in Oxford Street so thought I’d do a little mini haul of what I got because some of it is super cute if I do say so myself.

As always, I’m going to attach some links about the ethics and sustainability of Primark. I found this page that had all the pros and cons of shopping at Primark in terms of sustainability and ethics useful, especially as they had links for all the information they provided. Personally, I think because of the amount of attacks that Primark has faced, they actually have become more aware and careful with their practices.

I personally go for Primark not only because they are cheap but because they have a lot of good Disney and Harry Potter merchandise that I love, which is why I wanted to visit the Oxford Street Primark.

Either way as I’ve mentioned before I include this information not to guilt trip anyone (as I’d be guilt tripping myself too) but just so everyone stays aware and has the information available if they need it. Also, I personally am trying to pay more attention to what I buy and where it comes from (especially in regards to makeup).

Anyway, onto the haul. As I’ve mentioned all of what I purchased was from the Oxford Street Primark though I am sure a lot if not most of what I purchased is available in other Primark’s across the country.

Ravenclaw T-shirt

Price: £6.00

So recently I’ve been going through a little bit of internal crisis with what Hogwarts house I am in. Before now, I’ve always identified as Ravenclaw and have a well loved Hogwarts scarf to prove it.

Convent GardenImage credit: Holly Campbell (my scarf is from the films later in the series)

However, I recently took the Pottermore quiz again to see if maybe that had changed. And I got Ravenclaw. Since this was in the middle of a pretty heavy deadline period for me I thought that might have triggered it. But low and behold I did the quiz again and once again received Ravenclaw. So slowly and surely I’ve started identifying as a Ravenclaw more and more. I think I will always be stuck between a Gryffindor and a Ravenclaw, as it literally depends how brave I’m feeling on the day. Also, Hermione Granger is my spirit animal so that probably explains why I’m torn between the two.

Either way I have to admit that the Ravenclaw colours are beautiful and out of all the colour schemes probably suit me the most so I least I have that as a plus.

Internal self crisis aside the top itself from Primark is so comfy and soft. I also think the designs they did for each house looked amazing, and they have a slight faded effect, which added so much to the design in my opinion. Basically, if you’re into Harry Potter and want to show your allegiance I think these tops are a great option for doing so without full on dressing up like you’re going to Hogwarts (not that there is anything wrong with that).

I also think it’d be interesting to see what the Illvermorny house t-shirts would like look like (do they sell them in the US?), as according to the google there are Primark stores in the US, which is something I didn’t know (I thought Primark was a Europe/ UK phenonemon). I’ve not really seen a lot of merchandise for the Illvermorny houses but then again I live in the UK but I’d be interested in seeing more. I need to do the quiz for my Illvermorny house actually on my Pottermore, as well all the other quizzes since I’ve only done the Hogwarts House quiz (maybe I’ll do a blog post with all my results if anyone is interested).

Ravenclaw

The shirt is currently in the wash so I couldn’t get a photograph of it just lying flat but I found a Ebay listing of the shirt if you want a better look though I wouldn’t recommend buying it there as it’s more expensive on the listing than in store.

Princess Peach Make Up Bag 

Price: £5.00

I’ve been on the hunt for some bigger makeup/ toiletry bags, as since I’ve started to get into makeup a lot more, my collection is getting bigger. I also didn’t have anything that was particularly big in the first place so always struggled a little when going anywhere as I tend to like to pack everything I own!

This Princess Peach bag has plenty of room, a zip pocket on the inside, which I’m very fond of as a feature of bags (I usually like to put sanitary towels in there, before that was to keep them hidden, now I just think it’s a good idea to put them in any zip pouch you have to make sure you always have one available). I also love that the little zipper has a mini Princess Peach on it.

Princess Peach Makeup Bag Front(Front of the bag) 

Princess Peach Makeup Back(Back of the bag) 

Zip Pocket(Zip pocket) 

Mini Princess Peach(Mini Princess Peach on the zip) 

Rugrats Angelica Large Make Up Holder 

Price: £6.00

I also picked up an even larger makeup/ toiletries bag because I really love the inside, which allows you to separate what you have. I thought this would be particularly good for travelling as you could have makeup one side and then toiletries the other side. The fact that this is Rugrats themed is just an added bonus.

Rugrats Makeup Case(Front) 

Rugrats Back of the Case(Back) 

Rugrats Inside the Case(Inside- as you can see you seal it with velcro) 

Imitation Vans Shoes

Price: £8.00

So I’ve managed to wear through a lot of my shoes recently so was in desperate need of some new shoes. When I saw these in Primark and noticed that they were only £8, I was like why not? Generally, I don’t like to buy imitations of things, as I feel bad when a company has gone to a lot of effort in creating their own unique design but I don’t have the money for the real thing. Also, when I bought them I was not that big a fan of the design to warrant spending a lot of money on them. However, since buying them I have become more and more fond of them and find myself wearing them everywhere. Definitely my favourite purchase of my shop!

If you are interested in buying the original version of this design you can buy them here. On the original version the line on the side goes up on the middle, which does not appear on the Primark design (it just remains one smooth curve).

Primark Vans

Disney Mickey Mouse ‘Oh Boy!’ Necklace 

Price: £2.00

Anyone who knows me knows that I am more than a little Disney mad so couldn’t help but fall in love with this Mickey Mouse themed necklace. I’m personally a fan of more delicate jewellery (with silver being my preference) so this was exactly my style and I loved the little Mickey Mouse ears detail. It would also look perfect with a Minnie Mouse Disneybound I am planning (for those who don’t know a Disneybound is an outfit inspired by a Disney character rather than a direct cosplay of that character).

Disney Necklace

Marie T-shirt 

Price: £6.00

I actually bought two Marie t-shirts  but I’m only able to show you one of them because the other one is in the wash, and is more of a bedtime oversized t-shirt anyway. However, if you’re interested this is that t-shirt and it was £5.00 in store.

The other t-shirt I got has a cute little Marie pocking up above the pocket and on the pocket there is her famous quote, ‘Because I’m a Lady! That’s Why.’ I’m not the world biggest fan of the quote but I love anything Marie. I also bought this t-shirt as I’m trying to get as much Marie stuff as possible in order to build up loads of options for my Marie Disneybound (for a trip I’m planning). This particular top I think would look so adorable with some pink dungaree shorts.

I’ve took a picture of it with my Disney x Lazy Oaf Marie jacket so you also get a feel of what the two would look like together if I decide to just go full on Marie with my Disneybound.

Marie Top 2

Marie Disneybound(Apologises for the towel in the background of this photograph- I promise once my Disneybound is complete I’ll get some nice, better photographs!)

So that’s my small Primark haul! Let me know if you enjoy this type of post and I will do more in the future though I do have some more exciting haul content (though not Primark) coming soon!

 

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Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf ‘Photoshoot’

Or as I like to deem it the chronicles of April eating an apple (which FYI I did actually eat afterwards). Though I think after seeing this Lazy Oaf are definitely going to regret not making me the face of the collection (they really won’t).

So after seeing Lazy Oaf post pictures of just generally cool people wearing the new Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf collection I decided I wanted to do that too with the piece I bought. So I started to contemplate what would look good with the super cute red turtleneck I purchased from the collection. And settled on a apple. Yes, a apple because Hello Kitty reminds me of school and my childhood, and I thought it would be cute. In fairness, it could have been on anyone other than me.

However, I am not cool so ended up channelling this aesthetic more:

“You’re trying to be cool but you look like a fool to me.” 

Yes, I am quoting Avril Lavigne. Do I believe she has been replaced by a body double? How knows? You tell me.

I’ve already posted the main image for this blog post on Instagram but thought I’d post some more of the pictures Martin took for me here so you can sympathise with how much I try to make my outfit look good but ruin it with my face. However, since I want to start posting more ‘outfit of the day’ type posts in the future I guess I’m just going to have to suck it up and keep practicing.

Also, for anyone who follows me on Instagram (if you don’t please consider following for more silly pictures of my face and food) you might have seen me say this already, but the background of these pictures and a lot of my pictures is the same because I still have not got over my shyness of having my picture taken outside yet! So apologises for all the spam you will be getting on here or on Instagram while I try to get more comfortable with the art of posing.

I’m also going to start by showing you the images of what fashionable and cool people look like wearing this collection so you can actually get some inspiration!

Image: @lazyoafs/ Instagram 

Staying in this position all weekend…💤 #HelloKittyxLazyOaf

A post shared by Lazy Oaf (@lazyoafs) on

Image: @lazyoafs/ Instagram 

Hello Kitty Queen @charliexbarker in our pink denim jacket 💕👸🏼💕#HelloKittyxLazyOaf

A post shared by Lazy Oaf (@lazyoafs) on

Image: @lazyoafs/ Instagram 

Image: @lazyoafs/ Instagram 

So now to the photos. If anyone is interested I’m wearing just a plain black cami dress (t’s from H and M but I don’t think they sell it anymore) with my Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf turtleneck, black tights, and Primark black ‘Vans’ like shoes (which, I’m going to be talking about in another post soon).

Lazy Oaf Hello Kitty Photoshoot 2

The contemplating my apple and life choices pose (that was purely done by accident FYI).

Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf 3

The I would just like the apple and it’s really annoying my lipstick is not in that one spot pose. Also, apologises for my dirty fingernails, they had been thoroughly washed but I had to change a hoover bag that day (yes me life is that glamorous) and it took a few goings over before they got completely clean again.

Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf Photo 2

The I am April and this is my apple pose. I look weirdly proud in this photograph lol, but at least my top is cute!

So there it is. Lazy Oaf I think we both know who you want your model to be for your next collection. I am not ashamed that I would work for clothes.

I am really hoping to get some more of the Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf collection but it is selling out fast (and I am broke)! If I do expect photoshoot part 2 to come your way.

Comment with your favourite ridiculous face below! I know this seems like a bit of a weird blog post but I kind of wanted to make sure I occasionally share my fails along with my successes.

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The Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf Collection is here

Image: Caroline from The Kawaii Kollective 

I am beyond excited that the Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf collection is finally here. I’ve been waiting for it to come out ever since I saw a teaser for the collection on Lazy Oaf’s Instagram.

1 month Hello Kitty countdown starts now… #HelloKittyxLazyOaf

A post shared by Lazy Oaf (@lazyoafs) on

Image: Instagram/ @lazyoafs 

I mean just look at that skirt! It’s anyone who is obsessed with Hello Kitty dream! So you can bet I was over the moon when I heard that Lazy Oaf would be opening their shop on the 15th June to debut the collection, and that the first 50 people would receive an exclusive Hello Kitty bag. Now, I was not able to go to the shop myself, as I was not able to afford something from the collection and train fare to London, but my friend Caroline was able to go so I have an exclusive look at what the bag looked like!

Lazy Oaf Hello Kitty bagImage: Caroline from The Kawaii Kollective 

Isn’t it cute? But just look at the queue she had to wait in to get it!

Lazy Oaf QueueImage: Caroline from The Kawaii Kollective 

Also, Caroline was lovely enough to take some snaps of the store for me! And unsurprisingly it was the giant Hello Kitty plush in the store that excited me the most.

Hello Kitty PlushImage: Caroline from The Kawaii Kollective 

The collection itself also is just so cute, and I wish I could have seen the skirt that started the obsession for me in person but alas I’m going to have to earn some more money before that ever becomes a reality.

Hello Kitty Lazy Oaf SkirtImage: Caroline from The Kawaii Kollective 

She also got a cute snap of the pyjama style Hello Kitty top they are selling that I have to admit is not my favourite piece from the collection but looks adorable in the snap Caroline got.

Lazy Oaf Pyjama topImage: Caroline from The Kawaii Kollective 

Also, just look at the jacket!!! Before I realised that financially it was not going to happen this was the piece I was going to buy from the collection!

😍💗 😭 I want you!!!!

A post shared by TheKawaiiKollective (@carolinehorimoto) on

Image: Instagram/ @thekawaiikollective 

However, let’s get down to the collection and what I think of each piece. Starting with the Hello Kitty face skirt. I don’t really know what to say about this piece other than I love it so much though I will admit it was a struggle at first to figure out what to pair it with because it is such a statement piece. In the end I think a simple black crop top is probably the best choice.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

£65.00 (and is already sold out on the Lazy Oaf website 😦 here’s hoping they restock soon!) 

Next up is this long sleeve number that makes great use of the primary colours that are often featured in Hello Kitty merchandise (when pink isn’t). I think this would look great tucked into a red skirt or just worn with some jeans on lazy days. While I love the blue collar and red sleeve details this is not one of my favourite pieces from the collection just because some of the other pieces just stand out that little bit more to me.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth

Priced at £50.00.  

Next up is the piece I wanted to buy so much but is also the most expensive piece in the collection coming in at £120.00. I wanted this jacket because I am just such a fan of Lazy Oaf’s denim jackets and this jacket just ticks all the boxes of what my aesthetic is at the moment, which is pastel colours and a cute cartoon character involved in some way basically.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

Priced at £120.00.

Lazy Oaf MarieImage: Instagram/ aprilisthecruellestmonth

As you can see I already own a Lazy Oaf x Disney Marie jacket, which is one of the softest and most comfortable things I own! 

Next up is probably my least favourite item from the collection not that I hate it or wouldn’t totally wear it if someone bought it for me it just doesn’t stand out to me as much as some of the other pieces!

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth

Priced at £75.00. 

I was so tempted to make this next top my pick from the collection. As not only is it adorable, but it has a lovely frilly neckline, which I’ve been loving on tops at the moment. However, after seeing the blogger Mariza (who was sent some items from the collection) rock a different item from the collection I changed my mind.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

Priced at £38.00. 

Ok, so recently I’ve warmed to the idea of MOM jeans but have yet to actually go down the rabbit hole of buying them. One because it’s ridiculously hot at the moment. And two because they look like they have no stretch. My butt requires jeans that stretch. If I ever do finally go for the trend these jeans with cute tiny embroidered Hello Kitty’s on them are first on my list.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

Priced at £75.00. 

Next up is the item I did actually end up buying from the collection (pictures to come as soon as it arrives!). I just fell in love with the statement turtleneck (despite the heat) and I miss having red tops in my collection so thought this would the perfect piece. Plus, it will look great with my denim pinafore from Topshop.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

Priced at £40.00.

So this is the piece I actually want the most next because it just compliments the red turtleneck perfectly! Also, I love the uniqueness of the straps as a way to incorporate Hello Kitty into the design.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

Priced at £78.60 on the Lazy Oaf website but for some reason is £75.00 on Asos.

If you want a bit more adult chic to your Hello Kitty clothing the black keyhole dress is the piece for you. It’s definitely got the style of something I’d wear on a night out but the little Hello Kitty can serve as a reminder not to do anything too ridiculous (which, for me is just wanting to dance- that’s literally all I want to do when drunk).

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

Priced at £65.00. 

If you just want something cute and Hello Kitty themed to lounge around in the next piece is probably for you. As not only is this hoodie covered in loads of little Hello Kitty details it looks ridiculously comfy too.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

Priced at £75.00. 

So this next piece is probably my personal least favourite item from the collection though I suspect a lot of people will love the bow back detail to the shirt. For me personally I just don’t know how I’d wear it and it just doesn’t fit my own personal style. I suspect though like most pieces that have even a little element of cool to them, someone a lot more fashionable than me could probably rock it.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth (front of shirt) 

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth (back of shirt) 

Priced at £72.00. 

For anyone who loves Hello Kitty but doesn’t want a piece that grabs too much attention this cute simple black t-shirt with Hello Kitty surrounded by two roses is perfect! It definitely goes on my list of pieces I want to buy once I have the money, as sometimes going simple just is best.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

Priced at £40.00. 

I don’t know about anyone else but I am pale and freckly and definitely feeling the effects of the heat right now. That’s why investing in this adorable Hello Kitty baseball cap is most definitely a good idea. After all, anyone who reads my posts knows I can deal with baseball caps, as long as it is not a visor!

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth

Priced at £25.00.

Anyone who has read any of my fashion posts before knows that I am OBSESSED with gingham so when I saw these adorable trousers I fell in love. I also think that incorporating Hello Kitty just by including her signature bow is such an ingenious tribute and makes it a wearable piece for Hello Kitty lovers and non-lovers alike.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

Priced at £70.00. 

Also, this isn’t a pairing that I’d of automatically made myself but they actually look super cute with yellow!

Bags smiling so you don't have to 🏁☹️🏁via @iamkareno sneak peeking #HelloKittyxLazyOaf

A post shared by Lazy Oaf (@lazyoafs) on

Image: Instagram/ @lazyoafs

The next piece is something that I’d totally rock for bedtime but I have to admit I’m not into the whole nightwear for daytime look. Especially, as by looking at the description this is made of a pyjama friendly material. To be honest I’d probably end up just falling asleep in the middle of the day if I wore it.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

Priced at £55.00. 

I was so happy when I saw that this cute little heart shaped bag was not made out of real leather! Now, it can definitely go on my must buy list. Especially as I need some more bags for when I want to just take my phone and purse out (not that happens often but still!).

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth

Priced at £38.00.  

SOCKS! If you haven’t guessed already last but not least are some frankly quite adorable socks. At £18.00 for 2 pairs I’m not going to lie they are some pretty pricey socks but if you are as obsessed with this collection as I am you could probably be convinced to part with that money.

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

Image: Lazy Oaf on Pinterest/ aprilisthecruellestmonth 

Priced at £18.00 respectively. 

Overall, I am in love with this collection and definitely hope that all the pieces don’t sell out before I can buy them! I also really love the way the collection used some really inventive ways to incorporate Hello Kitty as a brand and aesthetic into some very Lazy Oaf-esque pieces. It’s not surprising to me at all that some of the pieces are already sold out and that is flying off the shelves. Lazy Oaf has definitely got it right again!

The collection is available in sizes UK 6-14 (as far as I could tell), which to be honest is a little disappointing, and my only real criticism of Lazy Oaf is that I wish they were more inclusive and would offer a larger size range. Especially as looking at their measurements their clothes tend to occasionally run quite small. Also, can Lazy Oaf please expand to shoes?!

Just think about what Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf shoes would like…

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Childhood fashion staples that shouldn’t be the latest trend

Image: Pexels 

Before I start this (short) blog post I have to say that I love some of the pieces that have emerged from the 90s and early 2000’s revival that is occurring at the moment. Like, for example choker necklaces. But some of the pieces I’ve seen recently, although they’ve give me a glowing bit of nostalgia when I see them, have no place in my (semi) adult life.

  1. The hairbands of doom

I LOVED these when I was little. Though, I also loved a hairstyle that basically consisted of my mum putting my hair into several small ponytails, which I had poking out from every direction out of my head (which, I’ve recreated below). However, these hairbands also caused some serious injuries. Yes, those little rainbow ball hairbands from Topshop look cute but I remember the damage that those balls can do (not a sentence I thought I’d be writing anytime soon).

Image: Topshop on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest

Childhood HairImage: April is the Cruellest Month 

2. Double Denim

For those who are cooler than me and can pull this off I salute you. However, double denim has no place in my life. I think it’s because I still get horrible flashbacks to some of the truly awful combinations that came out of the trend in the early 2000’s.

3. Neon

Neon enthusiasts please do not take offence! First of all, neon now is a lot less all over, but despite this neon will not be having a place in my life anytime soon. Just because I definitely prefer a much more muted palette (ok, so basically I’m just obsessed with pastel colours). Saying that if I could pull them off I’d probably wear these.

Image: Topshop on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

This is more 80s than 90s but I’m not sure why this is allowed to exist in the world!

4. Visors

Just no. Maybe I’m just not cool enough for this but still no. Either wear a cap or don’t. Like the one in the Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf collection that is coming soon (on a side note if someone can just buy that whole collection for me it will be much appreciated).

Image: Topshop on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

However, I will forever thankful for the return of velvet (every Buffy fangirl’s dream).

If you like this post let me know and I’ll do a post with my favourite pieces that have come out of the 90s/ early 2000’s revival! Also, comment with your favourite childhood fashion staple of the childhood. Mine has to be the jelly sandals (which, are on sale at the moment FYI!!!). 

Image: Office on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

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Living out my embroidery dreams

Well, now I’ve gotten over my fear about talking about fashion, I see no reason not to continue onwards and upwards and talk about another trend that has been gracing the high street this spring: floral embroidery (well, embroidery in general but I’m going to focus on pieces with floral motifs).

For those of you who did not read my previous post whenever I mention a retailer I will mention a little bit about their ethics and sustainability, not to be judgemental or anything like that, but just so you know more about the retailer you are buying from. Now, before I even started this I knew that this list of my favourite embroidery pieces was going to be dominated by Topshop and Zara. However, I tried to scour the internet for some other retailers, especially retailers with a good track record for ethics and sustainability.

As always however let’s start with my favourite:

Topshop (I think my love for Topshop is partly fuelled by that I longed after their pieces for years but they were way out of my price range so now that I can sometimes actually afford some of their stuff I get way too excited).

7/20 on the Ethical shopping guide. 

For a list of pro’s and con’s for Topshop click on this link. To summarise, Topshop is committed to the Sustainable Clothing Plan and its targets, but the brand does not publicly share the detailers of its suppliers.

First of all, I’m going to talk about this beautiful dress (£29.00) I picked up from them, purely because of the sleeve details. However, I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed to realise that it’s a bit too transparent for my tastes to wear without a white cami dress underneath. However, it would perfect for the beach (not that I am a frequent beach visitor- I’m much more of a autumn/winter person) with a swimsuit or bikini underneath. I wouldn’t have minded if it was advertised as see through or it looked see through in the pictures on the website, but it was not so I have to admit it was a little bit disappointing. Especially, as it means I have to purchase another item to make it wearable.

18362622_2248264658732685_1528254569_o        Image: April is the Cruellest Month 

As for my other picks from Topshop, they’re numerous so I thought they’d be best summed up in a Polyvore set.

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 20.11.16 Full set available on my Polyvore!

Top left shirt: £29.00 (clothes will now be described as seen from left to right).

I love, love, love this shirt- it’d be such a good piece for when you want to dress up an outfit (maybe a black skirt) a bit more but aren’t feeling like going ‘all out’ that day.

Cream jacket with blue embroidery: £55

At first I was not sure about this piece but I have been feeling the pastels recently, and this totally fits that vibe. It makes me wish I had pastel pink hair again to match.

White blouse with floral shoulder detail: £36 (currently sold out online but still available at time of writing in some stores).

Ok, so I am very upset that this is basically almost sold out because I only managed to discover this the other day on the Topshop website. Especially, as I’m really loving all the floral embroidery pieces with detailing around the shoulders at the moment and this blouse so perfectly fits that bill.

Black moto western borg jacket with rose embroidery detail: £85 (Petite) Available here in standard sizing (same price).

So this is quite expensive (please, please go on sale) and maybe a little out of season that is if we ever actually start to warm up here in the UK (which I’m hoping we don’t as I am not a child of the sun) but I just adore borg jackets.

Denim flatform trainers with rose embroidery: £29

I don’t know why but I’m really feeling denim trainers in all forms at the moment so these for me are a must (that is if I didn’t need to invest in some solid shoes that will work for all day everyday since all my other pairs have holes in).

White studded shoulder bag with floral embroidery and a gold strap: £25.00

I’m not going to lie I am not a fan of the gold strap but other than that I love this bag and it would look lovely with some denim.

Denim pinafore with floral embroidery on the pockets: £45

Ok, so I cannot decide between this denim pinafore or the other one shown- I love them both. I’m slightly more inclined to the other one however as I’d rather not draw too much attention to my hip area just because the way I am proportioned means it might not neccessarily flatter me.

Floral embroidered MOM jeans: £59.00

Confession time. I have yet to venture into the world of MOM jeans though they’ve grown on me over the last year, especially when they feature floral patterns like the one on this pair.

Black denim jacket with summery floral embroidery details: £65.00

I don’t know if it’s just me but I feel like these have a slight fruity vibe in terms of the colours of the florals, making this a jacket that I think (as long as the weather is not too hot) could make the transition into summer.

Denim pinafore with floral detailing at the top: £45.00

I think this pinafore just beats the other one for me, however, I’m not sure what the fit would be like for me, whereas I know what the other dress fits like (as I have a plain denim version).

White embroidered ‘Jamie’ jeans: £59.00

I saw someone wearing these, or at least a similar pair the other day and once again I started dreaming of white denim. I don’t know why but I always loved white denim especially when I was a teenager and these jeans kind of rekindled that love in me.

Black platforms with floral embroidery detail: £34.00

These are so pretty that I might actually attempt to wear heals for once just so I can strut my stuff in these.

Zara 

I could not find a rating on the Ethical Sustainability guide for Zara. However, I found some information about their ethics here, which talks about how the company is committed to a living wage for all workers, however, the brand has been implicated in the appalling working conditions of workers in Bangalore, India.  

Ah Zara, home of embroidery. I went on the website in search of treasures, and treasures I found. Since Zara is refusing to clip onto my Polyvore for some reason I had to pin the pieces I liked to my Pinterest board. On the plus side it’s encouraged me to start using my Pinterest board alongside this blog.

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

This dress combines a lot of things I love. Sheer polka dot details, floral embroidery and the fact that it is a jumpsuit underneath so you do not have to worry about the perils of wearing a dress. I love it so much it’s making me wish I was going to my university’s Summer Ball this year simply so I would have an excuse to buy it.

Price: £29.99

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

So you know what this would go well with? Gingham! For those who are confused why I sound so excited about this it’s because in my last post I came to the realisation of how much I loved gingham and daisies together. These shorts would also look great with the gingham crop shirt from Topshop that I wore in that post.

Price: £25.99

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

So this shirt basically ticks all the boxes for things I love right now. Especially since I have been meaning to get a top with a built in choker neckline. I think this definitely needs to go on my birthday list.

Price: £17.99

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

Unsure if you love or hate this? Me too. But I figure there must be something that keeps drawing me in. I think it definitely will look amazing when its unzipped. Either way, it’s a must have statement piece for anyone looking to jazz up a normal parka.

Price: £99.99

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest

There’s some definite flapper vibes going on with this dress and I love it. It also looks like it will be super comfortable on hot days due to its flowy feel.

Price: £59.99

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

This is another dress that looks like a dress but is in fact actually a jumpsuit. You can’t see it on the pin but the dress has a beautiful tie up detail to the back and from the pictures on the Zara site I am pretty sure it has pockets. That’s right, pockets.

Price: £29.99

Rokit (vintage) 

Rokit is a UK based vintage clothing retailer that according to their website has recycled over a million tonnes of discarded clothing and accessories over the last three decades. In terms of sustainability vintage clothing is always a plus, as it ensures clothes are not being wasted and given a new life. 

My love affair with vintage clothing started in my teenage years. It was as I begun my vintage journey that Rokit came on my radar, despite that they specialised in denim and I was more a fan of the ‘classic’ vintage styles. While places like Rokit are great for sustainability they can be irritating in terms of sizing, as since they stock individual, unique options they might not always have your size.

The piece that I am going to showcase from Rokit will only fit the size indicated on the listing, so I chose the piece based on whether they fit the trend/ aesthetic I was looking for rather than whether they’d fit me personally or not.

The piece I am talking about is this amazing 80s blue denim sleeveless dress (perfect for nailing that Rachel from Friends aesthetic) for £40.00, which would look amazing with this long sleeve crop top from Topshop (in burgundy) for £20.00, some black tights and the pair of vegan dr. martens I am forever lusting over (£100.00).

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/Pinterest 

So those are my embroidery picks! I also spotted some pieces I liked at New Look so I would definitely take a look there too but there was nothing that stood out to me enough to make this list. As always if you know a good sustainable retailer I should check out please let me know!

Crazy about Gingham

Image: Wizard of Oz/ Warner Bros. 

I’ve not written about fashion before on this blog. In fact, I’ve always been nervous about talking about fashion fullstop. For the longest time I was afraid that feminism and fashion could not align. I always kind of felt that too many people considered fashion too frivolous and that it concentrated too much on looks. As I got older I realised that this does not have to be the case. Fashion can be liberating. It can help people break away from the gender identity imposed on them by society (although it can often make us want to conform to it too). Fashion can (mind the pun) make a statement.

Fashion is also problematic. Sweatshops are a real reality, which we seem to ignore until it’s brought up occasionally. I along with others justify it because well every clothes retailer is doing it. Some of the brands you think are the worst also are not. The highest scoring brands according to the Ethical shopping guide by the Ethical Consumer include H and M (probably due to their Conscious range) with Asos and Topshop scoring just above average. While difficult at times I try as much as possible to avoid the brands with the lower scores.

Fashion can also be difficult as a vegetarian (for those who don’t know I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 16). For the first few years being vegetarian I just made choices based on food, not remembering that the clothes we wear can contain animal products too. Consequently, I still own things that are leather that I now feel uncomfortable wearing. Though, I of course feel it would be worse to throw these items away. Currently, my plan is to sell them on my Depop shop so they can be used by people who don’t feel the same as I do (as it makes me feel worse they are not being used), and hopefully I can raise myself the funds to get some vegan Dr. Martens.

So as you can see I find it difficult to talk about fashion, especially fashion trends. As it is the demand for fast fashion that has helped create the need for mass, cheap labour. However, I do not see the trend market as something that is going to change. That’s capitalism. What I feel we can change is the pressure we put on companies to be ethical and transparent about what they are selling. We can also ensure we support local, ethical and sustainable businesses where possible (I am aware these companies are often more expensive, which is problematic if you are on a low income). Another fantastic option for sustainability is vintage clothing.

To help everyone make informed decision when shopping when outlining my favourite pieces from one of Spring’s current trends, gingham. I have to admit when I saw the flurry of gingham hit the shops I was super excited, probably because Wizard of Oz was my favourite film growing up so this was my moment to live out my gingham dreams.

Topshop 

7/20 on the Ethical shopping guide. 

For a list of pro’s and con’s for Topshop click on this link. To summarise, Topshop is committed to the Sustainable Clothing Plan and its targets, but the brand does not publicly share the detailers of its suppliers. 

One thing I have seen combined a lot is pink with gingham (usually a pink top with gingham trousers). And although she does not wear gingham in the video the vibe I am talking of reminds me of Hayley Williams look in Paramore’s Playing God music video.

screen-shot-2017-05-01-at-19-56-49.png
Image: Paramore Playing God Music Video/ Fueled by Ramen 

I’ve also seen the look pop up a few times on my Instagram feed.

gingham + pink 🍦🍦🍦 http://liketk.it/2rbzr #liketkit

A post shared by kayla hadlington (@kaylahadlington) on

Image: @kaylahaddington/ Instagram 

Image: @asos/ Instagram 

Therefore, these trousers from Topshop that combine both pink and gingham are definitely on my to buy list. At £45.00 they are going to have to wait a while however!

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 18.10.58How I’d style the trousers. Full set available on my Polyvore!

Items featured

Look 1:

Top: Topshop £26.00

Sandals: Asos £46.00 (Brand however is River Island so they should be available on the River Island website also)

Look 2:

Top: Topshop £22.00

Shoes: Topshop £28.00

Look 3:

Top: Monki  £8.00

Jacket: Topshop £49.00

Ring: Asos £11.00

Bag: Matt and Nat (vegan)- No Longer Available. You can find similar backpacks here. Average price is around £98.00-£110.00. There are also some Matt and Nat backpacks available from Asos, which offer a student discount.

Shoes: Vegan Dr Martens £100.00

The next piece I love featuring gingham from Topshop is this beautiful, oversized gingham crop top showcasing another trend I’m loving at the moment, embroidery. This piece retails from £29.00, but I bought mine when Topshop were offering a 20% off student discount. I paired mine with a denim pinafore (£36.00) from Topshop that I bought the same time as the crop top.

Just you know ignore the mess in the background… 😂and my bleach stained towel. And focus on the gingham 💙

A post shared by April Wilson (@aprilisthecruellestmonth) on

Image: @aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Instagram

My other favourites from Topshop include this cropped jacket with frill sleeves (£49.00); this off the shoulder dress with tie straps (£36.00)- the version I have linked is for Petites but there is a pink version available (£30.00) on their website that is not Petite (I also looked on the Glamorous website for the dress but could not find it); these adorable  wedges (£39.00) and finally this pinafore (£39.00) that basically combines the look I created with my gingham top and dungarees.

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 18.45.53Full set available on my Polyvore

On another note all these pieces would look amazing with some form of daisy accessory (daisy earrings, perhaps?)!

Another thing to remember with Topshop, along with Asos is that they also stock brands that are not their own that have different manufacturing processes so remember to look up any brand that is not their own brand, as their ethics and sustainability might differ. 

Asos 

7.5 on the Ethical shopping guide. 

More about Asos and sustainability can be found here. On the Asos website they have a ‘Eco Edit’ section featuring brands that fit Asos’s criteria for sustainability. 

First of all, I want to talk about a top that I recently bought from Asos which is also part of their eco-edit from the Scandinavian brand Monki. It’s a off the shoulder, bardot blue gingham top with ruffle sleeves. Overall, it’s generally very lovely but is quite tight on the shoulders and chest area (despite me buying a size that should have been fine in that respect so bear that in mind when buying). It retails for £25.00.

April GinghamImage: Aprilisthecruellestmonth. My choker is also from Asos as part of a set of 2. I gave the choker featuring the Hamsa symbol to my sister, as I did not feel comfortable wearing such a spiritual symbol. 

A lot of the rest of my picks are also from Monki including this red gingham cami dress (£30.00) and this black and white gingham shirt with massive ruffle detail (£20.00). The pieces I loved not from Monki included a yellow gingham halter neck dress (there needs to be more yellow gingham pieces- I love the combination!) retailing for £30.00; this jumpsuit that I wish I had the height to wear (£38.00); this gingham sundress by a brand called QED London with adorable daisies embroidered all over it (which made me so happy considering I not just ranting about how daisies and gingham were a match made in heaven) that is on sale for £15.00 and finally this high waisted gingham skirt for £35.00 (because I have seen long gingham skirts everywhere and I have to admit they look ridiculously pretty).

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 19.13.29Full set available on my Polyvore

Zara 

I could not find a rating on the Ethical Sustainability guide for Zara. However, I found some information about their ethics here, which talks about how the company is committed to a living wage for all workers, however, the brand has been implicated in the appalling working conditions of workers in Bangalore, India.  

There are many beautiful gingham pieces at Zara right now with many featuring embroidery, my favourite however has to be this yellow gingham crop top and skirt set (though I only really want the skirt- it’s a shame they don’t sell them separately) for £29.99. The skirt would go amazing with a 60s style wicker basket bag (I’ve seen some at vintage stores and always wished I picked one up).

Image: @orangwanita/ Instagram 

The bag closest to the left had side is the kind of bag I mean.

New Look

5.5 on the Ethical shopping guide. However, it has also been commended for its approach to ethics by the ediTRACK blog

Another trend that is everywhere this season is mules. Although, I was resistant at first as they are just not the style of shoe I usually prefer; I have to admit they have grown on me. Though the fact that Betty Draper sports them in Mad Men might have something to do with that.

When I saw this embroidered pair in New Look (£25.99) I couldn’t help but fall in love. My other top pick from New Look is yet again another Gingham skirt (£24.99) but the ruffle detail at the bottom that adds just that bit of drama clinched it for me, and it would look amazing with a red lip or top, or both! My final pick from New Look is this midi dress that I just love for it simplicity and 90s music video vibes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my gingham picks. Comment with your favourites, and if you know of any places that stock any more ethical and sustainable options please let me know, as I know that it may seem a bit hypocritical that I talk about sustainable fashion and then show clothes from places that do not completely advocate those ideals. My point wasn’t that, and I don’t want to call out people for supporting these companies (one, because it would be hypocritical, and two, I know that’s not realistic); I just wanted to make sure people had the information there, so that if they liked a piece from two different companies, and couldn’t decide- maybe this would help.