Buying more ethically and sustainably: my journey to cut down on high street fashion

Hi everyone! So if you’re new here I thought I better start this post of by explaining that recently (the last few months) I’ve really been trying hard to be more conscious with my fashion choices, with the aim of transitioning to buying almost exclusively second hand, vintage or ethical and sustainable clothing.

Since I’ve been a lover of vintage fashion from a young age this always felt like an achievable aim for me as I already knew my way around buying vintage clothing, as well as sourcing second hand clothing in general. I’ve even wrote a handy guide, which I’d recommend reading if you’re new to vintage or buying secondhand clothing online.

However, I also love new trends in fashion and unique and independent designers so I knew resisting the high street would be hard for me. Especially, since some of my favourite memories with friends have been shopping with them.

And that’s why I wanted to come on here and be honest about the struggles and slip-ups I’ve had, not only to try and re-commit myself but also to highlight that you don’t need to be perfect (and trust me I feel the pressure to get it 100% right).

Also, I may also want to get out a confession that I just bought a pair of new espadrilles because although I had tried looking for them second hand and for vintage ones I hadn’t found any as perfect. They were also that dreaded thing shops do to sucker you in … on sale.

So I caved and I bought them but only because I had wanted them for a long time (months, hence why they were on sale) and with a promise that I would wear them and could envision at least 5 different outfits (that I already owned) that they would go with. And I guess that is the message I’d like to spread, instead of making yourself feel guilty, make the most of your purchase (and make the most of your old high street purchases too).

Dress: Charity shop (from Monsoon originally)

Shoes: Warehouse x Shrimps

It’s not always possible due to different circumstances to buy new and as ethically as you possibly can (money, time and convenience are all valid factors) but try to reduce these events as much as possible. And when they do happen, make sure you wear the item till death (and then repair when possible). Digital Writer for Elle and vintage Instagram seller, Daisy Murray wrote a great Instagram post about how she thinks strategic high street buys can be still be a part of slow fashion, which I would seriously suggest checking out.

And if buying a particular item turns out to be a mistake and you can’t return it, sell it on Depop or on Ebay (donating to charity shops is also a good alternative for good quality items but a lot of items donated are sent overseas, so where possible try donating to friends as a better alternative instead). As much as I really try to consider my purchases now, I still make mistakes (especially with online vintage where you can’t try a piece on beforehand) and I really want to ensure I get better at making sure such pieces are being worn and loved so expect to see those pieces hit my Depop (@aprilrain3) shop more often.

Another example of something I bought new in the last few months is trousers for a job. I honestly tried looking for them on Ebay, Depop and charity shops (and succeeded at first because I thought I needed black trousers, turns out I needed a different colour) but was unsuccessful. So I got some on Asos instead because I’ll be honest it was convenient and both pairs were part of their eco-edit (to cut a long story short I got two different pairs of trousers because in the UK khaki means green but in the US it means beige, so when I saw khaki/ beige I thought I could mix it up a bit at work and have both but they just meant beige only, ha, ha) and they had a petite leg so I didn’t need to alter them.

Luckily, in this scenario I was able to donate the trousers I got to colleagues who needed them for work (and in the spirit of a full disclosure, I also got some back up pairs from other high street stores, when I realised I only had one pair of work trousers, which I also donated). I did not however donate the khaki pair (the pre mentioned green pair) but I found some ways to rock them with items I already owned and if I ever don’t have a place for them in my wardrobe anymore I will sell them (at the point I realised the error it was too late to return them).

Maison cleo blouse

Top: Maison Cleo

Trousers: Asos (Eco-edit)

Shoes: H & M

I also bought a few items while I was in China because honestly I didn’t realise how hot it was going to be and I was suffering so I bought some espadrille trainers (yes, I know I have a problem) which I wear all the time and love from H & M. Unfortunately, all the items I bought were from fast fashion sources because there were no vintage or second shops available where I was staying. However, all the items I did get are all items I see myself keeping for a long time but this is not something I want to repeat in the future and I know deep down that I did take advantage of the fact that I didn’t have other options a little bit to justify the items I did get.

On my blog, going forward if I’m wearing the item I will mention where they are from and link back to this post for explanation. Other than that if you see items that are from fast fashion brands it will say ‘old’ or ‘secondhand’ in brackets because it will be items I already own or purchased secondhand. On Instagram, I currently only tag brands that I like the ethics of and will explain the origins of any pieces I am wearing if asked.

Shirt: Stolen from Martin

Tank top: (old)

Trousers: No Me (bought in China)

Belt: Charity shop

Shoes: Vegan Dr Martens

Looking forward

Now I’ve got all my confessions out of the way I thought I better set out my path going forward and also just reiterate that I don’t feel guilty about fast fashion purchases I have bought in the past and love (I’ve got pieces I literally wear almost every day) and I am trying not to feel guilty for tripping up (as that will just make me want to give up completely). It’s going to be hard, and it can definitely be difficult on a budget, which is why in the future I definitely want to focus on some budget-friendly sustainable and ethical clothing posts, as well as trickier items (work out clothes and swimsuits for one).

As I’ve mentioned in this post, clothes shopping with a friends can be a challenge if you are trying not to buy new. Luckily, my friends let me drag them along to vintage shops and I also feel comfortable still going to high street stores with them. I’d rather help them to make a decision and buy a piece they really like and I generally try not to impose my beliefs on others (as I find people are more likely to want to talk to you about something if it’s just a fact about you rather than something you’re constantly preaching about).

So instead of not talking about the difficulties I’m going to embrace them and rant about them on here (sorry about that) but also start exploring helpful topics, such as how to make the most of your clothes (such as how to get your clothes altered/ how to repair and wash clothes).

My commitment then is to transparency, even if I make mistakes. I’m going to start small and aim for nothing ‘new’/ obtained from an unsustainable source for a month but that doesn’t mean you probably won’t be hearing about my vintage clothing finds. Also, I’d like to mention something that clicked for me recently as a fashion lover/ collector, trying to be more sustainable doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a tiny wardrobe, you just need to have more thought about what goes into it.

Denim vest: Charity shop

Skirt: Charity shop

Shoes: Shrimps x Warehouse

Dress: Vintage from Depop

Shoes: Shrimps x Warehouse

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

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My trip to Window of the World in Shenzhen, China

I haven’t managed to get around Shenzhen as much as I would like but I have definitely managed to hit some of the most famous tourist areas while I’ve been here, one of those being Window of the World! For those not familiar, Window of the World is a tourist spot in Shenzhen where you can walk around and view miniature (though some of the exhibitions are quite large) landmarks from around the world.

At first, I wasn’t sure if the concept was something I’d enjoy, especially for the landmarks that I have actually visited but in fact it was really fun. Not only is it a good walk around the place but if you interested in architecture it is a great way to put together a list of potential places you want to visit while being able to compare architecture across the globe! Also, what monuments are included and how many shows what countries Chinese people are interested in visiting, which I think is really interesting.

Though I should be clear if you are a tourist visiting Shenzhen I don’t know if I’d recommend this, but if you have quite a bit of time in Shenzhen and want a fun half day out then this is it! I would though recommend taking an umbrella for the heat, especially in the summer (though it’s essentially summer all year round here, also always carry an umbrella in South China, as it’s useful for both rain and shine).

The experience

Essentially, Window of the World is kind of a big theme park where instead of rides you walk around and look at different cultural monuments across the globe. There are however rides and extra experiences available along the way (along with plenty of restaurants) but these are at an extra cost.

From what I could see there were also golf carts to hire if you didn’t want to/ are not able to walk around the exhibits.

The exhibits are divided by country/ geographical location but there are some sections, such as a garden with lots of renditions of famous statues (which, was really cool) that contain replicas from lots of different cultures. There is also a dinosaur section randomly enough, partly I think because the experience also focuses on history, but also to appeal to children.

A lot of the exhibitions are really impressive and honestly stunning, I was particularly enthused about the Chinese, Korean and Japanese architecture, as they featured places I have not visited but hope to visit in the future.

Price

££ – While the price of the ticket is about average to cheap for a similar experience in the UK for China it is quite expensive. A day ticket worked out at 220 RMB each for Martin and I.

Day ticket cost: 220 RMB

Rating

3.5 out of 5

Metro stop

Window of the World (lines 1 and 2) – While in Shenzhen I’d definitely recommend downloading the Metro Shenzhen app (it’s in English and really helpful for planning out metro journeys).

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

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Fashion inspired by musicians: Dodie

I’ve been wanting to do a series for a while now where I recreate outfits inspired by my favourite musicians (as well as my favourite films, TV shows, etc.) but I’ve always hesitated. What’s the line between inspiration and just completely recreating an outfit? Not that there is anything wrong with recreating your favourite outfits but I’ve been trying to find a middle ground, which also incorporates my own style.

This was definitely something I struggled when putting these looks together, especially since Dodie’s fashion is contemporary (compared to other inspirations I have, such as 90s TV shows like Friends), it’s easier to source some of the pieces she was wearing. In the end I’ve come to a nice hybrid where if I’d already sourced the item/ happened to own the item I’ve included it but for everything else I’ve bought second hand (in fact, the items I ‘sourced’ where all bought on either Depop/ Ebay) or are items I’ve already worn.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts I am trying to be more environmentally conscious with my fashion choices and shop second hand wherever possible. I also am conscious when picking looks for these lookbooks that I only want to pick up items that I know I would wear. Since, my body has changed recently I’m also in need of some new clothes so doing this series also works out that way.

Dodie’s style  

I’ve been a fan of Dodie’s style for a while now and I would definitely count her as one of my style inspirations. Palette wise, Dodie tends to keep to neutral colours, often with black and grey as accent colours, which means that her wardrobe is easily interchangeable. One thing I really like about her style is that she often wears the same thing over and over again but varies the matching top or accessories so she really gets great mileage out of her wardrobe.

Silhouette wise, she tends to wear a floaty or an oversized silhouette, with her waist often accented (with high waisted trousers and crop tops for example), which is quite similar to the silhouette I tend to favour!

For the looks I chose, I first of all obviously picked looks I liked and matched pieces I already had, but I also tried to choose a variety of looks and ones for different occasions (i.e. I’ve chosen one look from her latest music video, casual and Halloween looks).

Human music video look

When I saw these dungarees, I knew I had to have them. As a general rule I’ve been trying to keep my colour palette to either neutrals or pink and green (in an effort to get more mileage out of my wardrobe) so when I was browsing second hand dungarees on Ebay and I spotted what I thought was the same pair, still with tags, I knew I had to have them.

Fit wise, they could probably do with a little adjusting due to my height (i.e. the straps being adjusted so they sit higher on me because as you may notice in one of the pictures the crotch sometimes ends up hanging low, resulting in a unflattering fit) but they are really comfy and have fast become one of my favourite pieces. I usually wear them with a green stripey top but for this look I wanted to get a bit closer to Dodie’s look in the music video so I teamed them with a white frill shirt I picked up from a charity shop a while ago (which, is from Zara – coincidentally so are the dungarees!).

Accessories wise I kept it simple with small silver hoop earrings and simple eye makeup inspired by the music video (a little shadow on the lids along with lashings of mascara and a pink lip). Dodie’s brows were also really defined in the video but I don’t own any brow makeup so I was just hoping that mine stand out enough on their own! She also wears a beautiful pony tail but I chose the look where her hair is down, as I don’t have enough hair to pull that off!

I finished the look off with my trusty vegan Dr Martens (which, are from Depop!).

View this post on Instagram

when I wrote Human, I was so excited to get to know someone deeply. I wanted to be the special, emotional human to break their shell and share the gooey real shit underneath together. And it was perfect for that time and it can still exist there, as a song about deep connection and fascination, a capsule of something beautiful. But obviously life is complex, and time moves on. Looking back on this song, the lyrics mean something different to me now. I see desperation, obsession, codependency. “this night just can’t end”, and “tell me you can’t bear a room that I’m not in”. And yet; the two have a deep message that connects them so strongly; it’s just human. Human to want, to love, to lose. To know that it is human is to forgive. (It’s fun to develop old art, recraft into something new, a scrapbook of feelings. It forever reminds me that every feeling, good or bad, has a purpose.)

A post shared by dodie (@doddleoddle) on

Dodie Human 7

Dodie Human 3

Dodie Human 4

 

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Outfit: 

Blouse: Zara (from charity shop)

Dungarees: Zara (from eBay)

Shoes: Vegan Dr Martens (from Depop)

Dodie Human edited

Halloween look 

Anyone who follows me on Instagram may already have seen this next look, as I posted it on my stories a while ago. I’m not sure if this is the exact dress but I spotted it when looking for secondhand Urban Outfitters on Ebay (my top tip for second hand clothes buying is to type the names of brands you like on Ebay/ Depop, as it means you’re guaranteed to find some items you like) and thought it was definitely very similar, if not an exact match.

I paired my dress with a 3/4 sleeve black skater dress underneath (as the lace dress is completely sheer). I think in the future I’d like to pair this with a strappy or strapless dress so you can see more of the dress’s details (in fact, I’ll try to put something together and post some pictures of that too as well).

Although, I love the lace tights Dodie rocked; I tend to wear patterned tights only a few times and then always end up reverting back to black tights so I didn’t want to pick some up and not get a lot of use out of them.

Overall, I kept my look very simple and although I rocked a Dodie bun; I kept my makeup muted and accessorised differently to try to get a look that was a bit more my natural style.

View this post on Instagram

my Halloween costume is … tired??? Lol

A post shared by dodie (@doddleoddle) on

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Outfit: 

Dress 1 (skater dress underneath): Borrowed my mother – originally from H and M

Dress 2: (lace dress on top): Urban Outfitters (second hand from Depop) 

Necklace: Present from my boyfriend (vintage) 

Shoes: Vegan Dr Martens (from Depop)

I also decided to put together a little bit more of a ‘going out’ look by editing the makeup I wore with the look (I went with a dark red accent on the eyes and a neutral lip) and trying a bun that was a bit less messy. I also paired the dress with a strappy one underneath with a lower neckline so the lace detail on the top was a bit more prominent.

Dodie black dress look

I wanted to take a picture with a coat I would pair with this look as well, so I also got a quick shot of the dress with my favourite green coat.

Dodie black dress

Outfit:

Dress 1 (underneath): Urban Outfitters (from Ebay) 

Dress 2 (over): Urban Outfitters (from Depop) 

Coat: House of Vintage London 

Necklace: Present from my boyfriend (vintage) 

Boots: Koi Footwear 

Monster Live look

Not only did Dodie rock this this performance but her outfit was the perfect blend of casual-cute while doing so. I’m a big fan of an oversized dress (and anything in green) and socks with boots so I absolutely loved this outfit. Luckily, I already had some cute oversized vintage 80s glasses (that freaked my mum out because she’s got so used to me wearing contact lenses) and a baggy green dress. Putting the look together really reminded me that I need some black chelsea boots but I was able to make do with a heeled pair that I bought a while ago from Koi Footwear (vegan and affordable footwear!) instead. They also came in handy for the above look as well!

Human Live

 

Human Live 2

Outfit:

Dress: Topshop (from charity shop) 

Jacket: Little Viking Vintage 

Glasses: Vintage 

Boots: Koi Footwear 

Necklace: Present from my boyfriend (vintage) 

Dungaree look

This next look is quite simple but it’s in fact one of my favourites. Sometimes, you just got to keep to your staples and rock a white t-shirt and black dungarees. However, I actually discovered when putting this outfit together that I don’t in fact own a plain white t-shirt (I really need to update the staples in my wardrobe) so I had to steal one of Martin’s.

Luckily, I did have some black dungarees, courtesy of Lucy and Yak and some brown boots from Will’s Vegan Shoes that I’d got second hand from Depop (though they do give me blisters so I can’t wear them for long – I really need to wear them in properly!).

I also attempted to rock a pony tail but I really don’t think I can pull them off (I usually either wear my hair loose or in a bun) but I tried! Maybe, they’ll look a bit nicer once my hair grows out a bit.

Dodie dungaree look

Dodie dungaree2

Outfit:

Top: Martin’s (thieved) 

Dungarees: Lucy and Yak (bought from their Depop and dyed black) 

Boots: Will’s Vegan Shoes (from Depop) 

Bonus funny image (because if you can’t laugh at yourself, how the hell can you laugh at someone else?)

Bonus funny Dodie look

I hope you enjoyed these looks and please do let me know in the comments or on any of my social channels what musicians, or TV shows, or films you’d like me to take inspiration from next!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

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This post is entirely my own opinion.  

I’m on a journey to make my wardrobe more ethical and sustainable (luckily a lot of what I buy is vintage which helps) but I’m not all the way there yet so the clothes I mention will reflect this. 

Ethical clothing: Lucy and Yak review

I’ve been a big fan of Lucy and Yak for a while now and I have actually talked about their dungarees that I got discounted on their Depop in a previous blog post (any samples/ items with a slight fault go on their Depop; it’s definitely a great place for some bargains). In fact, after doing some digging on their website I actually found out that Lucy and Yak started their company on Depop first before they got their website!

Winnie the Pooh

For those who aren’t familiar with the brand, Lucy and Yak describe themselves as an ethical company, which to them means that their employees and manufacturers receive a fair, living wage. The company is also working towards being sustainable and have started off with their packaging. When you receive their dungarees they come in a super stylish material bag, which is actually all recycled material and their mailing bags are 100% biodegradable. They kindly link to the website they buy their mailing bags from on their website (which, I’ve just linked to) and from what I can see these bags should be able to decompose in industrial compost deposits (i.e. if you live in a UK and have a compost/ garden waste bin from my knowledge of this subject they should be able to go in that bin). They are hoping to be 100% plastic free in the future.

Lucy and Yak clothing is made in North India and on their website they highlight how their tailors are paid four times the state’s minimum wage. The living wage for India according to the not for profit Labour Behind the Label is 18,727 rupees a month (this figure is from 2015 however so it might be slightly out of date).

The link Lucy and Yak provide to map their employees wages against is in line with the current rate for the minimum wage in Rajasthan, India. I couldn’t find a living wage specifically for Rajasthan, however, I did find a chart that showed that minimum wage in 2018 was 4,162 rupees a month but the living wage varied from 7,170 rupees for a single adult to up to 19,700 rupees for a large family.

For an unskilled worker in the garment industry in which the minimum wage is 5,538 rupees a month their Lucy and Yak wage would then be 22,152 rupees. Lucy and Yak emphasise on their website however that their workers are highly skilled so I would assume they are earning more than this.

The figure I gave though is the absolute minimum their workers could earn and is more than the living wage for the country according to all the statistics I could find.

The company also stress on their website that in their tailor, Ismail’s factory, some of the tailors ‘live comfortably working part-time”. They also highlight how they were able to help build a brand new factory that is more spacious, clean and with air conditioning.

I am aware at this point that this post probably sounds sponsored but I can assure you it is not. I just really love the time and effort that goes into this company, especially in their pages on their website (it’s refreshing for these pages to actually be helpful and transparent) and I know personally I will be buying for them again in the future. I honestly went a lot more in detail about what actually goes on behind a brand in this post than I ever have done and I was pleased with what I found (hopefully I will have this same result with brands I review in the future).

However, without further ado let’s discuss what I got. I’ve wanted this coat for a while and initially couldn’t decide whether to pick it up in pink or brown, but after deciding via Instagram poll, I decided to go with the rose pink. This coat was £60, which is cheaper  price than I have seen from other ethical companies on average and I have seen similar coats priced at that amount in for example Topshop. Places like Primark and New Look however are likely to be a fair bit cheaper.

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What really sold me on this jacket apart from my desire to be a pink fluffy sheep is that it is made out of 100% recycled bottles. I don’t know about you but to me that was such a cool concept; the idea that you could wear a jacket made out of bottles.

Environmentally, there are advantages and disadvantages of using recycled polyester, which Lucy and Yak detail on their blog. Essentially it allows items like plastic bottles to be reused and repurposed, however, it doesn’t stop the problem of what happens to the item in the end. Also, every time you wash an item made of polyester it sheds microfibres that make their way into the ocean. This reason is why Lucy and Yak thought outwear would be a better use for this material, as generally coats needs to be washed less often. They also highlight a company that sell a bag which catches the microfibres released in the wash. It doesn’t solve the problem of what to do with the fibres afterwards but it is definitely a potentially helpful solution (I for one will definitely look into buying one when I need to wash the coat).

The jacket itself is super cosy; it has no lining which means it’s more of a lighter jacket than a full on winter coat but that also makes it feel like a blanket. It came in a beautiful fabric bag, which I’m obsessed with. I also love how it’s pink to match the coat!

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The rose pink of the coat is absolutely perfect and stunning in person. Overall, this is definitely a great autumn jacket and I think layered with other light jackets or cardigans underneath would work for the cold as well. It fits oversized so that means you can definitely fit a cardigan or light denim jacket under there. However, it’s not too oversized if you get what I mean.

Sizing wise I would say this coat fits true to size for an oversized (but not too oversized fit). If you’re at the top end of the size you’re looking to buy I’d probably advise sizing up if you’re really after that oversized look.

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Beret: Gift from a friend 

Jacket: Lucy and Yak 

Top: Olive Clothing 

Trousers: Topshop 

Shoes: Vegan Dr Martens 

Packaging wise, as mentioned before it came in recyclable plastic wrapping, then a fabric bag and then more plastic wrapping (I think this may be in case the coat sheds but I’m not entirely sure why it was there). However, when I looked this was biodegradable as well.

I do though have some problems with this coat that I wanted to talk about as well. For one, the coat sheds quite a bit and since it’s shedding plastic I don’t feel good shedding down the street (this has calmed down the longer I’ve had it though). Also, as mentioned although the lack of lining makes the jacket cosy; I think with a lining it could work better for colder temperatures and it would stop some of the jacket shedding on your clothes when you first wear it. I’ve been wearing this jacket non stop for a week or two now to really test it out and in that process one of the buttons has fallen off. I’d understand if it’d been a few months of heavy use/ to a year but for a week, I think the buttons may need to be secured better.

Overall, this is a super cosy jacket (in a really unique rose pink) and I really like the innovative nature of how it’s made. If this is a better sustainable option, I’m not sure just yet but it is a ethical one from a brand I really admire. I think a few tweaks to the design would make it absolutely perfect!

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you’d be interested in a review of other Lucy and Yak styles in the future (I’ve definitely been eyeing some more of their dungarees) or maybe even an interview with the company about their brand (I think this definitely would be really interesting) then let me know in the comments!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

YouTube: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

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This post is entirely my own opinion. The jacket was purchased with my own money along with the clothing mentioned in this post. 

Any brands in the background of my photographs are entirely coincidental (the only time I had to take photographs was in London with my friend on Oxford Street). I understand the irony of having a very capitalist background to a ethical/ sustainable fashion post but hey, that’s the world we live in! 

I’m on a journey to make my wardrobe more ethical and sustainable (luckily a lot of what I buy is vintage which helps) but I’m not all the way there yet so the clothes I mention will reflect this. 

My thoughts on the new Irregular Choice x Dumbo and Bambi collection

I love, love, love Dumbo (and Bambi for that matter) but Dumbo has always had the power to make me more emotional. The film though does have its flaws – i.e the racist undertones (which aren’t subtle enough to be undertones really) of the crows. It’s Dumbo’s story though that I think resonates with a lot of people, a lonely, shy outsider who is ridiculed for his appearance and just wants to be loved. This post however isn’t an examination of Dumbo so I’ll stop there but I just wanted to explain a little why the figure of Dumbo is one that has always had strong connotations for me.

So when I saw that my favourite shoe brand, Irregular Choice, were going to be revealing a Dumbo collection I was over the moon. When I saw Bambi there too I was doubly over the moon! The collection is of course absolutely stunning. But before I go into each individual item I first wanted to discuss both collections as a whole. Also although, I very much want to buy something from the collection, it is going to have to be something I save up for and for those wondering the two items I would personally buy are the Sweet Little Dumbo boots and the Let Your Dreams Soar bag.

Dumbo

Bambi

In regards to the pricing I noticed that the pricing was slightly higher than usual for this collection but I want to make clear this is not something I’m critical of. These are unique, bespoke shoes – I’ve always known why the price tag is there but wanted to mention as I’ve seen a lot of feedback about this on the Irregular Choice groups I follow. What I will say though is that I can definitely see customer feedback present in this collection with several different heel options as well as trainers (I especially like how there is two different heel height options for the same design). I don’t know if this feedback also played into the decision not to have a character heel (which, is one of my favourite Irregular Choice trademarks). I also think the Bambi collection, especially the Sweet as Can Be collection, is going to look stunning come spring – it’s a shame they couldn’t have had the release then (though a bonus for us!).

Irregular Choice x Dumbo

Little Star (bag, purse and shoes)

If the massive Irregular Choice bags aren’t your style then this one is for you. This style is based off an infamous scene of Dumbo performing at the circus. I love the glitter detail of the flames and the 3D dumbo on the side of the bag. If you like to have a matching set as well this is a cute little set and probably the least expensive of the options (which makes sense as the bag is smaller).

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Image: Irregular Choice

Dumbo Lifestyle-11
Image: Irregular Choice

I Give You Dumbo

I love, love love that these boots combine Dumbo and Timothy alongside an explosion of different colours. This style of boots reminds me of something an old eccentric librarian would rock (don’t ask me why) alongside a midi skirt and they are so Irregular Choice it’s insane! Unfortunately, this style of boot has just never appealed to me but if they’re your style I think they would look amazing.

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Image: Irregular Choice

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Image: Irregular Choice

The Big Act

When I saw this style come out in the teaser on Thursday (before the big drop with everything!) I had to admit that it was pretty darn cute. I love the unique square bag and think it would look amazing with the matching shoes with a bright red dress. For some reason all the glitter makes me think this style would look great at Christmas parties!

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Image: Irregular Choice

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Image: Irregular Choice

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Image: Irregular Choice

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Image: Irregular Choice

You’re Flyin Tights

Pastel lovers rejoice, I think these bold tights would look so cute in a pastel co-ord and I definitely want to ask for them Christmas (hint, hint to anyone reading). I’m a sucker for cloud print so I was always doomed to be besotted with these, especially as they have a subdued colour palette, which I think make them a bit easier to balance in an outfit if you find patterned tights a bit tricky.

Dumbos Big Top

I’ll admit in my heady excitement for the other items in the collection, I glanced over this pair but I am upset with myself for doing so. Not only do they have a gorgeous cloud print on the side (and would of course match the You’re Flyin Tights perfectly) but they have a cute little Dumbo on the side. The heel in fact matches the heel of the Sweet Little Dumbo boots so I think they are a companion to them. I also love that the heel is shorter (great for all those who are in the small heel camp). The front with the little pictures from the film reminds me a lot of their Alice in Wonderland collection and I love that reoccurring element of their style. They’re unfortunately out of stock in my size of these at the moment but if they ever go back in stock I’d be very tempted to pick these up!

Sweet Little Dumbo

So these boots are what me first made me fall in love with this collection. I love everything about them from the style of boot to the cloud print and the daring to put metallic purple, lime green and white and red star print on the same shoe. My favourite part has to be Dumbo’s ears sticking boldly off the side and the inclusion of Dumbo both in and out of his clown makeup. It’s the little details of the frill around Dumbo’s neck to the little pom pom on clown face Dumbo’s hat that are just so Irregular Choice! The little love hearts coming from Dumbo’s trunk just about send me over the edge.

I am very determined to save up and own these one day.

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Image: Irregular Choice

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Image: Irregular Choice

Precious Boy Bag

First of all, I have to say that the straps of this bag are to die for. I have been really loving metallics recently, I’ve always been nervous of them but after being inspired by seeing some fashion icons absolutely rocking them; I’ve been more and more tempted to give them a go. That along with more outfits rocking a single colour.

This bag would have course look beautiful with the Sweet Little Dumbo and Dumbo’s Big Top shoes and I squealed when I saw the little pom pom. The scene with Dumbo and his mum at the back though would almost send me to tears on a daily basis, however, the bag does have two pockets, which is incredibly useful and would be worth the tears! The strap also looks like it’s removable so you can either rock it as a shoulder bag (which, I’m useless at doing) or a cross body bag (which, I’m much better at).

Makin History Tights

This is another one to add to the Christmas wishlist and one I’d love to rock with the Sweet Little Dumbo boots. They are definitely not for the wallflower though (to be fair though neither is Irregular Choice) but I absolutely adore them.

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Image: Irregular Choice

Little Sleepy Head

Don’t get me wrong these are still absolutely beautiful, but personally these appeal to me the least out of the Dumbo collection simply because of personal preference. I don’t often wear gold so they wouldn’t compliment a lot of what I own, however, I love the sleepy time Dumbo theme. The sleeping dumbo on the side is positively adorable.

Let Your Dreams Soar Bag

This bag lights up. I repeat this bag lights up. This is hands down my favourite of the Dumbo bags (closely followed by the Precious Boy bag). Forget what I just said about gold, I don’t care. One, this bag is the size of me basically. Two, this bag as mentioned lights up. Three, it features an absolutely adorable sleeping baby Dumbo on the front and on the back light blue baby fur with gold stars on it! I love, love, love when Irregular Choice incorporate faux fur on their bags and this is no exception. This bag also features glitter; what more could you want?! Also, as I’ve mentioned before you can either carry it  or put it round you!

Sheer Dumbo perfection.

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Image: Irregular Choice

Sleepy Head Purse

This is of course a perfect companion to the bag and even features faux purple fur on the back (a touch of genius). The blue metallic inside is also dreamy perfection. Another one to add to the Christmas list!

Big Things Start Small

These are a bit manic even for me but I love that Irregular Choice now has trainer options and I could see Luna Lovegood rocking these. They also become more and more appealing the more I look at them for some reason! I’m not sure though if they have the patented Irregular Choice sole but I love all the textural details from the burgundy velvet trim to the fluffy faux fur. If you want some trainers that are more than a bit different, these are for you!

Irregular Choice x Bambi

I can definitely see that a lot of excitement for this collection has been centered on Bambi and I can see why the collection is stunning! I love Flower and Thumper so was guaranteed to be obsessed with this collection and will definitely be rocking it come Spring next year.

Woodland Playtime

I can see why this is already sold out, a matching boots and handbag set, yes please! This boots for me aren’t my personal preference style wise (as mentioned before with the Dumbo boots), which is a shame because I love the Bambi and Flower on the side and the beautiful flower detailing. I also adore that the texture of the ‘grass’ part of the shoe is fluffy to initiate real grass! The soles for the bambi shoes are of course absolutely stunning and adorable with Bambi on one shoe and Thumper on the other.

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Image: Irregular Choice

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Image: Irregular Choice

The purple fluff on the Woodland Playtime bag reminds me a lot of the bag from the Toy Story collection, which I really like as a reoccurring theme throughout the collections. I personally would get the Toy Story one just because I like things to match and would get upset if I didn’t have the matching shoes for the Bambi one (plus I love TOY STORY!). I do absolutely adore the metallic strap and inside lining of this bag, as well as the print on the back of the bag.

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Image: Irregular Choice

Sweet As Can Be

I am absolutely in love with this three piece set and am determined to buy it for Easter next year to rock with some pastels. I love that the shoes have Thumper and Miss Bunny on (and that Miss Bunny was included!) and the little pom pom to look like a rabbit tail on the back just about throws me over the edge. Once again this collection features that stunning metallic pink along with a beautiful heart on each side of the shoe – one for Thumper and Miss Bunny. These shoes are a delight and I can already think of about ten different outfits to wear them with.

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Image: Irregular Choice

The bag is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Once again, I love the metallic pink, the fact that you can either have it go around you or hold it on your shoulder. Thumper’s flower crown tops it all off and makes this my brand of amazing. I also love that the bag has two compartments and features the same detailing as the shoes on the side (the rosette).

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Image: Irregular Choice

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Image: Irregular Choice

The metallic blue on the little purse is absolutely gorgeous! And I love the little sassy Thumper and Miss Bunny on the front. Honestly, I think this is my favourite complete set from the collection.

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Image: Irregular Choice

Sweet Little Prince

The next few items all make up the same mini collection but have different names so I’ll discuss them separately. This pair of flats is actually my favourite of this mini collection and I think this items are the best for someone who loves Irregular Choice but doesn’t feel as comfortable in some of the more ‘out there’ styles. These are beautiful shoes for autumn (the colours!) complete with cute Bambi detailing on the side. I think these would look adorable with some tights and a cute Autumn dress.

A Woodland Tale Bag

This is one of Martin’s (my boyfriend) favourites from the collection because he prefers all the black items (ha, ha). I will admit this is adorable and would make a great travelling or makeup bag (if you’re fancy). It also features Thumper and Miss Bunny on the back!

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Image: Irregular Choice

Prince Of The Forest

This is another one of Martin’s favourites and essentially the heeled version of Prince of the Forest for those who like some heel with their shoe!

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Image: Irregular Choice

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Image: Irregular Choice

Darling Deer Purse

I don’t have much to same about this other than if you love this mini collection than this purse is a delightful accompaniment!

Bashful Skunk

I very nearly bought these shoes but stopped myself only because I can’t afford to buy Irregular Choice often and already own a pair of sparkly flats so decided that for my next pair I needed something slightly different. I absolutely love Flower however and all the floral details, the frill on the back in black and white and the little Flower rosette on these shoes. These are an absolute dream.

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Image: Irregular Choice

Bashful Skunk purse

If you are a Flower lover than this one if for you. It features the same flower motif from the shoes (with plenty of glitter) and I love the love heart with Flower on, on the back of the purse.

Forest Friends 

The tights and the shoes share the same name so I’ll talk about them together. This is the collection for you if you want Bambi and Thumper on your shoes and a delightful bow at the front (featuring a rabbit tail and a beautiful flower). They’d look stunning with the tights, which also feature Flower who is nodded to on the shoe.

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Image: Irregular Choice

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Image: Irregular Choice

I’m Thumpin

If you cover something with a frill around the edge, I’m there. I love this heeled tribute to Thumper and Miss Bunny (they’d make such a great Valentines shoe if you want to go for something out of the pink-red colour combo). The flowers around the portrait of Miss Bunny and Thumper are so cute and if I wasn’t in love with the frill already it had to be a beautiful shade of blue! The purple glitter heel is also spectacular – I can’t tell what the white pattern is on it but to me it looks like a butterfly.

Hyah Bambi

The next shoe is also part of a three part set but because they have different names I’ll talk about them separately. These heels are absolutely stunning and I love that there is a smaller heel as well for those like me who would struggle with a large heel (I’ll make an exception for character heels!). I love that the whole heel is made to look like Bambi and the floral detailing and butterfly makes these adorable.

I’m All Twitterpatted Bag

I’m not going to lie, I was very excited when I saw this was a backpack (I am definitely a backpack lover). Also, it’s round (I love it when bags are round or square and less of the traditional bag shape) and that this bag has ears! The metallic pink inside makes my heart sing! This is definitely my second favourite of the Bambi bags, edging on being my favourite because it’s a backpack. This also happens to my friend Callie’s pick for me.

Darling Deer

This is my friend Callie’s second pick for me and I definitely agree that these are my favourite over the higher heels because I love the glitter heel and I would definitely fall over in the other pair. These once again feature that cute grass detailing and flowers. I would love to rock these in an outfit.

Meadow Playtime Tights

These are my favourite of the Bambi tights because they feature not only pink and dark pink/red which I love as colour combination but because they feature love hearts and I’m a sucker for heart print. Definitely one to invest in if you’re a lover of pink and need more adorable tights in your life!

For anyone interest although I love everything Irregular Choice does this is what I would buy (in desirability order):

  • Sweet Little Dumbo
  • Let Your Dreams Soar Bag (and Sleepy Head purse)
  • All the Dumbo tights
  • Darling Deer (this originally was lower down the list before seeing the shoes in person)
  • Dumbos Big Top
  • Precious Boy Bag
  • Sweet As Can Be Bag and shoes
  • Bashful Skunk shoes (I love Flower!!!)
  • Im Thumpin shoes
  • Meadow Playtime tights

So essentially about 90% of the collection. Realistically, I hope to save up and own the Sweet Little Dumbo and Let Your Dreams Soar Bag because after seeing them in person I am completely besotted.

If you’ve bought something from this collection or have a stand out favourite let me know in the comments below!

For anyone interested in the collection it’s available here. Also, I just want to note that none of the shoes or bags contain leather.

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

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Sunshine by Hester beret haul (Halloween and Drag Race inspired berets!)

Ever since I first laid eyes on Sunshine by Hester’s berets I knew I had to have some. For those who aren’t as obsessed with berets as I am Sunshine by Hester is a company run by fashion designer Hester Sunshine and is a hand-made US based fantastical fashion line. Her designs are bold, colourful and feel like cartoons come to life. So essentially everything I love.

Hester’s personal style also reflects this and I love every outfit she puts together and when looking through her Instagram to give examples of her style I realised how much I subconsciously was influenced by her when I saw that we both own the same ‘Little Devil’ beret. I really admire how she has such a distinctive bold, primary colour inspired kitch style and I hope one day my own style will be as defined as hers.

While Hester is also known for her newly launched bandanas and halloween special bonnets (I’ve also seen Easter ones too!), as well as custom fashion creations; it’s Hester’s berets that have always caught my eye. Quite simply, because as anyone who follows me on Instagram knows I am beret lover and honestly now I think this may have transcended to collector.

When I saw on her brand’s Instagram that she was re-stocking her Halloween berets that I missed out on last year I knew I had to have some. As in I set my alarm for 2 in the morning to make sure I had some. In my sleepy haze, I made a snap decision between the purple and black version of the ‘Feeling Witchy’ beret that part of me regrets but as you’ll see the berets I got are absolutely gorgeous.

Now, Hester’s berets are custom made so do cost more but honestly they were one of the products where I could sense the extra quality right from unpacking them from the little details to how the berets were lined to their structure. Shipping is also the same flat rate no matter how many berets you order as well, which is a real bonus for international customers.

I limited myself to one Halloween beret (I just couldn’t afford to pick up the Trick or Treat one) and I also picked up one of her newly released Ru Paul’s Drag Race berets because of my love for the show and also because I’ve been needing a pink beret to add to my collection.

The berets actually arrived fairly quickly and were packaged in an adorable Halloween parcel bag, which I can’t bear to throw away.

Feeling Witchy beret – in Black 

So this beret really appealed to me not only because I love Halloween and I find comfort in things associated with witches (who doesn’t love powerful women?!); but because of the embroidery on the top of the beret. Since I’m short I thought that people would at least notice it (ha, ha) but also I don’t have a beret like it yet and I really like it as a extra touch. At first, on the website I didn’t understand what the letters where on the top of the beret but in person I realised they stood for ‘SbH’ i.e. Sunshine By Hester and I really like how each beret is ‘signed off’ in this way.

The text and detail on the top of the beret is also silver and glittery, which I really love and is definitely one of the details where you can see where the extra craftsmanship has gone in. I also love the extra lining that both berets have on the inside not only, as it helps protect the shape of the beret but also shows that every detail in the making of this beret didn’t go unnoticed. Sunshine by Hester in this way reminds me a lot of Irregular Choice, as both brands pay attention to all the little details.

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Shashay Shantay Berets – in light pink

When I saw this beret I fell in love but wasn’t originally going to purchase it because the dark pink option wasn’t for me. When I saw there was a black option I became more tempted and when ordering day came and I saw the light pink option I knew I needed to get it. On one side of the beret in white glitter writing it reads ‘Shantay you Stay’ and the other side it reads ‘Sashay Away’ just like the two declarations that Ru Paul famously tells contestants who are in the bottom two.

This beret like the other one looks great on, the only thing I’ve been struggling with which I think may be due to my head shape is sitting the beret on my head so that you can see both the writing at the front and back. This mostly matters to me because I want to tell people who look at me from behind to ‘Sashay Away’! I have a feeling this might be user error though so I’m definitely going to have a play with the beret.

Sunshine by Hester sashay away beret

Shantay you stay beret

Sashay Away beret

Sunshine by Hester drag race beret

In conclusion, I love these berets and definitely recommend them to anyone who is a collector of alternative, distinctive fashion pieces. I can’t wait till Hester gets back off holiday as I definitely may have to order some of the berets from her classic collection!

Hester is currently on holiday till December 7th so you won’t be able to pick up her berets until then, however her berets will be stocked in Planet Cute Shop in Brooklyn, New York. 

Website: https://www.sunshinebyhester.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sunshinebyhester/

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

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My favourite things I ate in Amsterdam: Vegetarian/ Vegan

Hi everyone, I’ve just been on a short trip to Amsterdam and managed to vlog a little for the first time while travelling there. However, I developed a cold on holiday so I filmed a lot of segments when I returned home, and I was also too nervous to vlog in public. I did manage to record some footage of me speaking in my accommodation but I’m still not sure if that will see the light of day!

If you want to see the video I’ve inserted it below. However, if you prefer reading my content to watching it all the information I mention is down below and the photographs are probably a bit clearer too!

But first I’ll just quickly introduce the video and talk a little about the clips you’re going to see. I’ll start by saying that I’ve been to Amsterdam before and one of the things I really missed out on was the food due to my budget. I wanted to focus on the museums at that point but although I did revisit two on this trip because Martin hadn’t seen them; I also wanted to try some more of the food treats I missed.

Most of the meals I had equalled about 5-8 euros. I took two water bottles with me and refilled these at our hostel so Ididn’t pay for drinks unless I was eating in. The exception was when I went to the Vegan Junk Food Bar as that was more of a sit down experience and less quick ‘fast’ food.

Despite, getting to try more options while on this trip I still didn’t have the time to go everywhere I wanted to go but I was very happy with the places I got to try! Also, this isn’t EVERYTHING I ate on the trip but just the things I think deserved a shout out.

Without further ado let’s get started and apologises in advance if my pronunciation is terrible (I tried to look everything up but it will still likely be awful). I will have everything linked below and please do correct me on any mistakes I’ve made. Also, if you have any Amsterdam food recommendations do let everyone know in the comments below. I’d love to go back to The Netherlands in the future and see The Hague and Rotterdam so all recommendations are appreciated.

Also, the person in some of the footage is my boyfriend Martin who I went on the trip with who very patiently (well sort of) waited for me to film or take pictures of the food we bought for this vlog. I’d also like to mention apologises if the footage is a bit shaky, I need to invest in a steady cam and couldn’t take my tripod with me due to space. I hope you enjoy this video regardless! But if you’re rather just read continue with reading this post (though you’ll miss out on my mad video skills, ha, ha).

The Happy Pig Pancake shop

The first place I ate at while in Amsterdam was The Happy Pig Pancake shop. I had their vegan pancake with vegan chocolate hazelnut sauce and strawberries. For a vegan pancake it tasted really eggy, which was strange but it was really nice. My only complaint was that after our twelve hour coach ride the portion size wasn’t big enough but if you were a normal amount of hungry it would be!

Happy Pig Pancakes 1

Happy Pig Pancakes 2

Martin had their Gouda pancake with chopped up vegetables as he usually prefers savoury pancakes and he said it was really nice as well.

Amsterdam pancakes

Although, I do like savoury breakfast options I have to say when it comes to pancakes I’ll always go for the sweet option. If I could choose again from the menu I would definitely try the option with Tony’s Chocolate on, which you need to try if you’re vegetarian in Amsterdam, as it’s amazing and incredibly moreish. Martin and I are definitely upset that we polished off our stash on the way home.

If you’re vegan though this place has lot of great options so I’d definitely recommend it!

McDonald’s

So don’t laugh when I say this but one of the places we really enjoyed was McDonalds. I’m always fascinated by how the menu changes across the world so make a point to at least check out the differences when I travel. I was not expecting though to find a vegetarian McChicken sandwich! From what I can tell this is fairly new but it took me right back to eating these growing up. The only thing different is the texture of the chicken but because the McDonald’s burger always never tasted as ‘meaty’ to me as say Burger King I don’t notice a massive difference.

I had the a veggie McChicken sandwich and Martin had the McCrispy which the only major difference was that you get cheese, Batavia lettuce instead of iceberg, red onion and a spicy sauce and onion compote.

Veggie mcchicken

Crispy McChicken
The McCrisy – sorry I didn’t get there fast enough to get a picture were he hadn’t already taken a bite!

If you’re a vegetarian who loves fast food definitely check them out. Unforunately for vegans when I looked the burger up the meat substitute is made with dairy so isn’t suitable for a vegan diet.

Also the fritesauce at McDonalds is very good, pay the extra 50 cents and buy it.

Manneken Pis fries

Last time I visited Amsterdam I always saw this place and was jealous of the people walking around holding giant cones of fries. I knew this time I had to try them and they were SO good.

We had ours with ketchup, fritesauce and onion on top. I thought there was an option for curry ketchup but unfortunately it was either ketchup or curry and in a panic we choose ketchup when we should have tried curry! They were still delicious though especially the fritesauce and I actually enjoyed raw onion for once as it balanced against the creaminess of the fritesauce nicely.

We made the mistake (or win depending how you look at it) in ordering a large as we didn’t realize how large it would be! From what we could see, we think a lot of people made this mistake. After just having a burger and sharing half a medium fries at McDonalds, I only managed a quarter and even Martin (who is notoriously an eating machine) had to pause and save some for later. Next time, I think a medium would be more than enough to share between the two of us.

If I tried them again I would also definitely pick up the peanut sauce, mayonnaise and onion option.

I also noticed that they know have vegan mayo too! And I’m sure if you asked you could see what other toppings are vegan (i.e. the curry sauce and ketchup is likely to be!).

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Amsterdam fries

The Vegan Junk Food Bar

There’s several branches of this restaurant in Amsterdam but we visited the ones that was closest to Museumplein for us which was the Marie Heinekenplein location. I also choose this one because I believe it serves the whole menu where some other locations do not but please correct me if I’m wrong!

This place was nestled in a ring of restaurants but stood out because of its bold, neon design. We had drawn out cash for the trip so we wouldn’t need to use our cards so we were disappointed to see it was card only there. However, we were hungry and this had been one of the places I really wanted to visit so we took the plunge.

We ordered the Unicorn Bread to start which was blue bread (everyone when they see the picture always assumes its cake!) with pink aioli.

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Unicorn bread copy

Then, for mains I had the Kapsalon loaded fries, which had vegan cheese, shawarma, jalapeños and loads of great sauces. Martin went with the original VJFB burger and some fries on the side, which he scoffed down in precisely two seconds. He let me try a bit of the burger and it was delicious and a nice chunky burger which you sometimes don’t get with vegan or veggie burgers – I’ve had a lot of very flat burgers in my time.

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As you’ve guessed everything on the menu here is completely vegan, and also very delicious. We’d definitely visit again next time we went to Amsterdam. This was also the most expensive of any meal we had as it was more of a sit down experience and came to about 15 euros each.

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Maoz Vegetarian

We actually walked right by this next option because we wasn’t sure at first if it was worth it. I’ve had lots of good (and bad!) falafel in my time so falafel as an option didn’t incite a lot of excitement for me. However, when we was waiting in line for some chips, a couple recommended it to us – so of course we had to try it after their glowing review.

Essentially, what you get is a pitta with some falafel in (I got a regular) and hummus and lettuce in and you get to choose your toppings from a wide range. There was even cous cous and I think for just the pitta it was about 5 euros so you could really pad it out and make it a filling meal with just the falafel wrap.

Martin also tried their fries but he said they don’t compare with the others we tried. The pitta and all the sauces were delicious.

They also had lots of signs with what was vegan there too so I don’t think it’d be hard to make your pitta vegan!

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Groceries

I also want to give a quick shop out to the supermarkets we visited. Albert Heijn appeared to be the most prominent chain when we visited and their location near the Van Gogh museum had a massive vegetarian/ vegan aisle, which I’ll insert a clip of with rows and rows of things like veggie bratwurst to mince and schnitzel.

We also tried the Lays Paprika crisps, which were delicious. I don’t usually venture much out into different flavours of crisps because I’m pretty stubborn but these were delicious.

Another thing we had to try is Hagel-slag which the Dutch put on their toast and essentially it’s just chocolate sprinkles on toast. My friend said that the best way is to let them melt a bit and then spread them on your toast. Definitely a Sunday morning indulgent treat!

Hagel Slag

The bread and pastries are also on a different level and Martin appreciated the vast variety of Fanta on offer.

fanta elderflower and lemon

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you some ideas if you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam!

I’ve got another video hopefully coming up soon about my trip to Amsterdam and that’s will be a bit more about my trip in general and my accommodation so if you happened to catch the video to this blog post too be sure to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss it. If you prefer reading my content don’t worry as they’ll be a blog post to accompany that video as well.

Also, thank you to everyone who has supported this blog and my YouTube channel in the past. I know I took a bit of a hiatus with my channel for a bit but I’m back and raring to go with some great autumn (and Halloween content).

Goodbye and hopefully see you next time!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

-Blog post and video once a week – 

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