My guide to buying secondhand/ vintage

When I was posting a photo on my Instagram recently, I realised I still hadn’t written a post on how I approach buying secondhand/ vintage, which I thought might be useful for those less obsessive to searching for secondhand treasures than I am.

While this will be a general guide focusing on women’s fashion (which you know does not have to just be for women – wear what you want!), as that is generally the area I tend to focus on; I will try to make this post as inclusive to different sizes as much as possible. I also think a lot of the points in this post are relevant for most people!

In regards to being inclusive to different sizes, I am generally going to focus on plus sized fashion as a point in this post. Although, finding good fitting clothes at any size is difficult, it can feel especially intimidating buying vintage as someone plus sized as the general rhetoric is that everyone was smaller in the past (which was not always the case). It’s for the reason I’ve pulled together some specific tips for plus sized vintage lovers.

But first some general tips.

Know your measurements – you don’t need to know the distance from your elbow to your wrist but generally knowing your bust, waist and hips measurement is useful. Leg length can be useful as well, which you should have encountered jean shopping before, especially if you are part of my petite brethren who need a 28inch leg or smaller.

I tend to focus on my waist measurement when looking for clothes as I tend to go for a silhouette that is looser everyone else but there. I think knowing these measurements are especially important on sites like Ebay for example, as some people may classify what they regard as a size 10 for example different to you, and can lead to things either fitting you when you might have disregarded them or an ill fitting purchase.

If you don’t have a tape measure handy, a general rule is that a size 6 is a 24/ 25 inch waist, size 8 a 26 inch waist, size 10 a 28 inch waist, size 12 a 30 inch waist, size 14 a 32 inch waist, and it carries on as such in 2 inch increments. However, not everyone will fit this blueprint – everyone’s body is different!

Another top tip is to measure a piece of clothing you think fits you very well and use that as a guide.

Tops tips for plus sized women – if you’re looking for vintage fashion, the 80s and 90s is great for plus sized women and when I look for clothes in that decade, I often see larger sizes represented. However, that does not mean you should discount other decades, as although rarer, there are pieces in other decades such as the 50s and 60s that will work (especially if you know your measurements!), you just have to dig a little more.

Charity shops tend to be more size inclusive because they rely on donations and they are definitely on of the places I have seen the largest size selection.

If you’re a size that is not well represented, looking for your favourite brands on Ebay is a good start, I know that Killstar (if you’re into a gothic look) caters for a variety of sizes and Lazy Oaf because of some of their cuts can work for plus sized women (though beware of price bump ups for some pieces as their larger sizes usually sell out fast).

I’d also check out vintage fashion bloggers who are plus sized, as although, I’ve included this information based on what I’ve personally seen, I’m not plus sized and someone who is will be able to advise much better than me.

The blogger Vintage Voluptuous has done some great posts on vintage fashion and has even done vintage plus size Etsy roundups. Her blog is so easy to follow and all her outfits are flawless – she’s definitely worth checking out.

Another great blog I found when researching this piece was Something Definitely Happened who crafts some ‘Practically Perfect’ looks (you’ll get it when you see her Mary Poppins look).

Although, both these blogs aren’t exclusively focused on vintage but reproduction items as well; they are great not only in terms of inspiration and creativity but also if you like a brand that they mention that caters to your size, you can look out for them on Ebay and Depop!

I wasn’t able to find any plus sized bloggers who focus on sustainable fashion (doesn’t mean they don’t exist – google can only do so much!), however I did find a list of sustainable fashion companies that cater to plus sized women, as well as ethical brands, as I have noticed that ethical and sustainable companies usually tend to have a limited sizing run.

Ebay

My first Ebay tip is to set up buying alerts for the items you are looking for. It saves you trawling the site every week and hopefully will guarantee you first dibs on the item. I really wish Depop had this feature (please correct me if I’m wrong about that but as far as I see it does not). I currently have two alerts set up for a rare pair of Irregular Choice (Petal Fever – in green of course – there’s currently a blue pair up in my size but I want the green!) and a vintage pair of Dr Martens.

The second tip involves knowing where to begin if you are not looking for a particular item but want to be inspired (/ replicate that ‘looking through a website for clothes’ feeling). My tip here is to look for brands that you usually like a lot of the pieces for, for example I generally like a lot of the items in Urban Outfitters and Zara but I am not willing to pay their prices (especially Urban Outfitters) and would rather buy second hand and help the planet out. I would even suggest looking for pieces you’ve seen in store (this is especially useful if you’ve tried the piece on in store and know your size) and searching for the piece (this is a useful tip for platforms like Depop too). I’ve found this is a really great way to get something new and stop the culture of a piece sitting in someone else’s wardrobe who’s bought it and changed their mind.

Ebay can also be great for some vintage fashion details but make sure you carefully read the description as you won’t get the opportunity to try it on like a vintage shop. A lot of the times, items may need some DIY, which can be difficult to judge whether it’s a big job or not without seeing the item so be careful unless you are a master seamstress.

However, I’ve found some lovely vintage 90s gems on Ebay in great condition, as well as some great pieces from Urban Outfitters and Zara.

Dodie Human 7

58079809_368268827115039_7356891911300317184_n

1st image: Dungarees originally from Zara. Bought on Ebay. 

2nd image: Dress originally from Urban Outfitters. Bought on Ebay. 

Depop

Although, I love Depop, I’d also like to start with a word of caution as it isn’t for everyone.   Depop can be more tricky as both a buyer and seller, as it can be harder to communicate (you are not allowed to send images as a private message, which I understand is useful to stop harassment but can be frustrating). I’ve also had issues with sellers not sending me an item, though I successfully got my money back through a Paypal claim but it wasn’t a short process. As a seller, it can be frustrating when you receive what I would describe as incredibly cheeky offers for items to the point where you’d be losing money selling the item to someone.

My advice to combat this is as a buyer always check feedback, make sensible offers and always read a seller’s profile details. As a seller, one thing that helped me is don’t feel like you have to respond to low offers. Also, buyers please be polite in your messages, sending ‘lowest?’ with nothing else does not make me inclined to want to offer you a good deal.

I have got some great deals on Depop though from my vegan Dr Martens to my Lucy and Yak dungarees (though I keep missing the denim dungarees when they come up on their Depop – I think I’m cursed!).

There are though some great sellers on Depop who source some truly stunning vintage pieces. My favourites are Worthless Vintage (where I got the trousers seen below and the necklace in the picture above), sisters Mathilda Mai and Liberty Mai (who now have a website called MaiBee) and Earth Nadia. People with Instagram followings also tend to sell their items on there so if there is a fashion blogger you like, it’s definitely worth checking out if they have a Depop – one of my favourites is Babyricecake.

If you like a seller’s style, it’s also worth checking out their likes on their profile for more sellers who probably have a similar style to follow.

I think Depop can also be a great place to source items from America if you’re from the UK while avoiding custom fees, etc.

In regards to searching for items, Depop can be a scary place to begin if you’re not looking for specific items. I would suggest looking up what Depop sellers are popular and following ones that suit your personal style, as well as like my advice with Ebay looking for brands you particular like – this is especially useful for more niche brands like Lazy Oaf and Killstar, as people who sell those items in my experience tend to sell lots of similar items from the same brand and others.

58381970_382106462644322_5216770056288993280_n

58679326_514854955713670_3802287019040702464_n

1st and 2nd image: Trousers from Worthless Vintage on Depop!

Vintage

For me, modern day vintage shops can be divided into two types. The more trendy, usually 80s and 90s focused (though fashion from other decades can be present), often reworked vintage shops and the classic shops, which focus on pristine pieces, usually from the 1970s and earlier. Of course there are shops that mesh between these two types but for me broadly most vintage shops are either one or other. The newer shops tend to fit the first category.

The reason these categories are important is because depending what vintage style you are after will depend what shop you want to go to. If you are interested in a fairly authentic vintage look and bespoke pieces, the second option is probably your best bet, but if you’re interested in blending in vintage pieces with modern pieces the first type is probably what you’d prefer.

Due to the fact that the first type of shop tends to have more recent or reworked pieces, they tend to have a larger size selection (this is also because they tend to have a larger amount of stock).

There’s not much advice I can give about shopping in brick and mortar vintage shops as they will be dependent on your area, except for know your measurements and bring a tape measure handy (this is especially useful if you struggle to estimate the size of clothing). This also helps if you have to take a gamble because the vintage shop doesn’t have a changing room (rare but it does happen) or you don’t feel comfortable trying it on and want to wing it (it depends where you go but sometimes the changing rooms can be a bit makeshift).

The best places I’ve been to for vintage shopping (both in vintage shops and the charity shops there) have been Nottingham and Sheffield. I do of course love London, especially Brick Lane but it tends to be more expensive. If you are ever in St Albans I’d recommend Little Viking Vintage, who I’ve wrote about before. You can also check out their Etsy, which often lists the crème de la crème of their stock.

Brick and mortar shops can sometimes be more expensive than online (it really depends)  but you do have the added bonus of the option of avoiding guessing whether something is going to fit/ suit you.

Another thing to pay attention for if you’re not as well versed in vintage is that some vintage shops also sell vintage style clothing, which is often sourced from fast fashion sources. The Ethical Unicorn has a great post on what to look out for here.

Dodie black dress

1st image: Vintage Pendleton coat from House of Vintage.

Charity shops

A lot of people are cautious of charity shops. I get it, they can be overwhelming and often filled with things that most people wouldn’t be interested in. However, they are definitely worth a look whether you’re interested in a vintage or modern look – I’ve seen plenty of dresses from Asos and Pretty Little Thing fill charity shop rails nowadays (especially as people are more conscious about where their unused clothing goes to).

When I’m in charity shops I tend to hunt for vintage and I’ve definitely found some gems from a beautiful green velvet blouse from Marks and Spencer’s old St Michaels range to numerous Laura Ashley dresses.

That does not mean though that I don’t sometimes have no idea where to start. The way I’ve combatted this is either through going in with a particular goal in mind, i.e. I’m looking for a pink coat or starting by just focusing on each individual section – I tend to always go straight to dresses.

A lot of charity shops have also clued into the fact that there’s been a switch around of opinion on charity shops and have seriously upgraded how they present items (so much that a charity shop I know in Lincoln even has a waitlist for items that appear on its mannequin) and will often have a ‘vintage’ section (this is usually a mixture of actual vintage clothing and clothing with a vintage twist – i.e. rockabilly dresses). This has meant though that the prices in charity shops have increased and I’ve witnessed many a item priced high enough to no longer be called a bargain, however, 90% of the time items you will find will be much cheaper than the standard high street fair (apart from maybe stores like Primark).

60358397_319957598684987_6005421924094574592_n

59941362_661836574255896_502975524021207040_n

60310282_1991384504305402_1942771036927819776_n

1st images: Vintage St Michaels by Marks and Spencer blouse, bought from a charity shop.

60132236_2272702516130526_7693970312014069760_n

2nd image: Vintage Harley Davidson motorcycle boots and Topshop dress, both bought from a charity shop.

DIY

You’re out vintage shopping or you’re browsing in the charity shop and you spot the perfect item but then you find it has a small hole and the zip is broken. What do you do? Well, if you have sewing know how the answer is probably simple but for those of us who are uninitiated or simply ridiculously bad at DIY, what do you do?

First, check the item’s price reflects the damage. If it doesn’t and you’re feeling brave, mention the issue to the shop manager, explaining that it will cost you to fix the issue. If you manage to successfully negotiate a price you’re happy with, I’d say go for it. Well, that of course depends on what the issue is. I recently encountered a dress that I LOVED but the zipper would not budge no matter how hard I tugged. I managed to get some money off the dress and have since took the dress to be fixed. In total, the dress cost me £6 (I think) discounted, £1.50 for the zip and £16 for a seamstress to fit the new dress. Overall, that brings the total to £23.50, which although might seem a bit steep at first, is about the price that a lot of people would spend on a dress for a night out.*

While, that was a success story*, I would say do not go for the repair if it is past your skill level or know how. I recently fell in love with a green, 1950s lace dress while vintage shopping but it had noticeable discolouration all down the dress. While the dress was priced accordingly, as it was a branded dress in good condition other than the discolouration, it was more than I was willing to pay for a faded dress that I didn’t know whether I would be able to fix.

Essentially, use what knowledge you have to determine whether something is worth a DIY. Remember simple dye jobs can be quite easy (washing machine dye is your friend) and can transform a item, as well as a simple cropping of a top, but stay within your skill level (and outsource when necessary) otherwise that item will just be sitting in your wardrobe!

*Update: Due to the zip issue I wasn’t able to properly try the dress on and it fits on the waist but is way too tight on the hips – you win some, you lose some!

Etsy

I have a confession. I have not bought any clothing from Etsy in a long time. I tend to use Etsy to buy items from independent artists, however there are some stunning vintage shops on there as well and I do have a few favourites I love to follow.

If you’re a 50s/ 60s queen I’d check out Sartorial Matters‘ shop – the pieces are usually very Chuck’s style in Pushing Daisies!

chuck-3

Another seller who sells on Etsy who is great for that vibe is Sweet Bee Finds, though my favourite of their pieces tends to be sold on their Instagram.

For sweet vintage pieces (that are usually Laura Ashley!) I’d recommend Duel at Dawn who also sells lots of adorable brooches.

For quirky accessories but also occasionally cute, alternative vintage pieces I’d recommend checking out KawaiiKave.

My top tip for Etsy is to make sure to set your shipping destination when searching, if you’d like to avoid costly international shipping costs.

Final thoughts

My general rule is I try to only buy new if I’ve exhausted looking for the item on the above list. I have slipped up on this a few times but compared to my spending habits before it’s a complete turn around. I will admit I was concerned about writing fashion posts where people couldn’t easily get the items if they liked it but the response I have had has been great!

I’d also suggest if you do need to buy something new and can afford it looking to companies that provide a living wage to their workers. Some of my favourites include Lucy and Yak and I love the ethos and transparency of Maison Cléo – if you’d like a future blog post on that, let me know!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

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. 

Advertisements

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

 

dodie-human-2.jpg

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

55925791_419513018812852_6219368259586621440_n

56894449_419529055476228_1939033805494943744_n

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)

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

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.

51054757_2181938708788168_8347338522541162496_n

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!

51360170_320550388816738_2727912241415323648_n

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.

51323364_146208596287251_5848411856921690112_n-2.jpg

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

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

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).

Dumbo Lifestyle-10.jpg
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.

Dumbo Lifestyle-4
Image: Irregular Choice
Dumbo Lifestyle-12
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!

Dumbo Lifestyle-14
Image: Irregular Choice
Dumbo Lifestyle-6
Image: Irregular Choice
Dumbo Lifestyle-9
Image: Irregular Choice
Dumbo Lifestyle-8
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.

Dumbo Lifestyle-15
Image: Irregular Choice
Dumbo Lifestyle-2
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.

Dumbo Lifestyle-2
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.

Dumbo Lifestyle-3
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.

Bambi lifestyle-4
Image: Irregular Choice
Bambi lifestyle-6
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.

Bambi lifestyle-5
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.

Bambi lifestyle-13
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).

Bambi lifestyle-8
Image: Irregular Choice
Bambi lifestyle-14
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.

Bambi lifestyle-12
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!

Bambi Lifestyle-3
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!

Bambi lifestyle-2
Image: Irregular Choice
Bambi lifestyle-1
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.

Bambi lifestyle-7
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.

Bambi lifestyle-9
Image: Irregular Choice
Bambi lifestyle-10
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)

YouTube: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

 

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.

IMG_0437

IMG_0439

IMG_0422

IMG_0410

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)

YouTube: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

July + August Favourites

I actually had written a draft of all the things I wanted to include for my July favourites but it unfortunately got lost (as, all great ideas do, ha, ha). So I’m going to try my best to remember everything in the post and separate these by the different months as much as as possible. Sorry, that there wasn’t a July favourites post last month – I actually had a lot of favourites to talk about but was struggling to get in the writing spirit. I considered not including them at all but knew I’d end up getting them mixed up with this months favourites so wanted to include them. Without further ado here’s some of the things I’ve been enjoying over the last two months.

July

What I’ve been wearing… 

Lucy and Yak

I was lucky enough to pick up a pair of Lucy and Yak dungarees from their Depop shop (where they sell all their samples for great prices!). After, seeing @porcelainnwitch on Instagram rock a purple pair I knew I needed my own. Feeling a particular kinship to Winnie the Pooh because the film Christopher Robin (which, at the time of writing I still haven’t seen) was coming out soon I knew I wanted a beige/ brown pair. Yes, I know he wears a red top but this is the association I have in my head!

I feel in love then with the Cappuccino colour so when I saw a pair for £12 on their Depop I knew I had to snap them up. I’d also like to mention that the description clearly stated the fault with the item and the brand kindly answered all the questions I had before buying! However, I honestly wouldn’t have noticed the fault without it being pointed out. They also arrived in a gorgeous bag with a lovely note so overall I can’t fault the customer service! Ever since I’ve got these I’ve been wearing them non-stop. They are incredibly comfortable and after I realised that I can just slip off the sleeves to go the toilet, practicable, in most situations.

I will definitely be purchasing from the brand in the future – I especially have my eye on some of their corduroy pairs!

Primark

When I did a big wardrobe sort out (Martin and I collectively donated about 4 bin bags to a local charity shop!); one thing I really noticed was how I had a lack of tops and skirts that would make great interchangeable outfits. I set out then to get some tops, particularly a mixture of longer ones that could be worn with leggings but also shorter ones for skirts.

I’m particularly pleased with the Winnie the Pooh top (sorry I don’t have a picture as is in the wash!) and sweatshirt I picked up, which are both adorable. The sweatshirt is a smaller size than what I’d usually get but that actually ended up being to my advantage as it meant I could wear it comfortably under my dungarees.

This is a bit of a basic but I’ve also been loving brown tops (which are surprisingly hard to find sometimes) so I loved this long floaty brown stripey top I picked up in Primark.

Winnie the Pooh.jpg

Although, this next set is not a top but a top and skirt combo; I think both pieces would work well with other pieces but also look ridiculously cute together. I know that plaid and check is going to be cliched this season with everyone going for those Clueless vibes but I just don’t care.

Two piece Primark set.jpg

What I’ve been cuddling…

I can’t quite remember if I bought these in July and August (I think it might be August actually) but I love them. Although, I wish I had enough money to pick up all the characters I’m definitely glad that I picked these two up (Winnie the Pooh and Piglet) as they are my favourites from what Disney have brought out. I’m also so happy in general to see how much Winnie the Pooh merchandise is out there at the moment because of the new film!

Winnie and Piglet.jpg

What I’ve been enjoying…

Odeon LUXE seating

I went with Martin to see Ant-Man and the Wasp and the showing we wanted to see just happened to be the one in the Odeon Luxe screen so we shelled out a bit extra. I have never felt so decadent in my life. I don’t think I can go back to uncomfortable cinema seats now!

I loved having somewhere to put my food and feeling all nice and comfy on the recliner seats. All I needed was a blanket and it would have been like I was at home (the ultimate goal!).

Odeon Luxe

What I’ve been watching…

Orange is the New Black 

I’ve loved Orange is the New Black since it started and although I was initially worried about this season because of the change in setting; it didn’t disappoint. I, like a lot of people did from what I’ve read, found Badison a bit difficult to watch at times but I think the person portraying her did an excellent job.

The ending although devastating for certain characters (I won’t say anymore than that), I will admit was a little lacklustre. However, I do think that the spark well and truly does remain for the show. I’m just hoping I see some more of my favourite characters next season.

G.L.O.W 

For me G.L.O.W Season 2 definitely took the show up another notch. Where a lot of shows stumble with character development; I think this show shone. I also liked how they showed (SPOILER ALERT!) one of the girls getting injured, especially as it showed how significant it is that wrestlers are on the same page in the ring.

I can’t wait to see what the show will bring next time in Season 3. I also am hoping that we start to see more and more cosplayers and fan art from this show because it’s definitely a gem.

I tuned in for the 80s nostalgia and stayed for the character development. Even writing about it has made me want to just go on an 80s movie bender. I might just have to rematch Stranger Things, especially as it’s coming up to the best time of the year, Halloween!

Over the Garden Wall

I’ve seen a few posts and comments about the show but it’s definitely not as talked about as a show like Steven Universe or Adventure Time. It may be because devastatingly its only one season but this is *hands down* now one of my favourite TV shows ever. I’ve even had to go and purchase some of the comic books afterwards because I needed more from the show.

I also need to do a Wirt and Greg cosplay with Martin … maybe I’ll try to sneak it into Halloween! If you’ve not seen this already and are a Cartoon Network or quirky cartoon fan, please do so – it’s on Netflix (UK!) if that helps.

August 

What I’ve been wearing…

Van Gogh vans 

I have already written an entire blog post dedicated to my saga in getting these Vans so I won’t bore you all with it again. Suffice to say I put some effort into getting these and I absolutely love them. I definitely think I made the right choice with the pair I decided to pick up!

Vegan Dr Martens 

I got these on Depop very recently and I am in love. They are of course a little preloved but I really don’t mind for the price. I’ve also been wanting some of these for ages so even if they don’t last as long, I know now based on how much I love these that I’ll just pick up another pair.

A lot of people still sell second hand pairs of these shoes on Depop and Ebay for not a lot less than the original price, as they’re harder to find so I’m glad to have picked mine up for a steal!

Now, just to pick up some of the boots for the winter…

Vegan Dr Martens.jpg

What I’ve been obsessed with…

Home decorating 

Despite, only managing to clear out my wardrobe; I’ve really got the bug this month to decorate our flat some more. Like always I’m keen to get some new bedding and can’t wait to get my hands on this Asda Wizard Bear bedding. I’d also love to have a world map in my room and map where I’ve been, as well as generally get some more furniture – I’m desperate for a Billy bookcase from Ikea, ha, ha.

Cooking

I’ve been trying to cook more from scratch this month and I’ve been really enjoying it. Not only have I felt healthy and better about what I’ve been eating, it’s been fun. I will admit I think I need to get into meal prep though as it can be a little tiring every night.

Some of my favourite places to go for recipes is Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen (try the Black Bean Brownies), Cheap Lazy Vegan and Caitlin Shoemaker.

I’ve been really enjoying especially experimenting with different breakfasts and even went full on food instagram influencer style with a smoothie bowl (mine was less snazzy). It was the first recipe I wrote for something I came up with though (so watch this space!).

Smoothie bowl.jpg

Oat and Raisin cookies

Adapted version of this recipe. Instead of apple sauce, I used peanut butter and instead of nuts I used raisins. I also added a tablespoon of vanilla extract.

Oat and Raisin breakfast

Vegan fish cakes

Adapted version of this recipe (I used chickpeas). I didn’t use hearts of palm and sautéed onions to go in with the chickpea mix (after blending). I also used nori sheets instead of the kelp. For seasoning I replaced the mix blend they suggested with a teaspoon of garlic powder, chilli powder and paprika. I also used soy sauce as an alternative for vegan Worcestershire sauce, which they suggest on the recipe page. It was super tasty but didn’t hold very well so went to try the recipe again with something to help bind it together.

What I’ve been watching…

Attack on Titan Season 3 

I’ve not caught up yet so please no spoilers but I was very happy to start a new season of Attack on Titan. I’ve not got a lot of opinions yet as it’s only just started and I don’t want to give a lot away but I like where the plot appears to be heading this season and can’t wait for hopefully more of the mysteries of the titans to be revealed.

Disenchantment 

Martin started watching this without me because he’s rude but I’ve caught up now so we watch it together. It’s got that perfect Simpsons/ Futurama vibe where you can just sit back and watch but the show isn’t brain dead at the same time. Speaking of The Simpsons I am so upset I missed out on the Asos drop – I didn’t realise it till it was too late and I desperately need that Patty and Selma jumper in my life.

What I’ve been reading…

Marceline Gone Adrift 

I’ve wanted to read some of the comics based on my favourite cartoons for a while now but have never got round to it. I finally had enough this month and decided to pick this gem up featuring two of my favourites Princess Bubblegum and Marceline. The artistry in this graphic novel was beautiful alongside the story. If you’ve ever felt like you’ve treated a friend badly or have felt uninspired this is a story for you.

Adventure Time at its finest.

Marceline Gone Adrift.jpg

Over the Garden Wall

I only picked up volume 1 and 2 of the comics but after speeding through the first two; I definitely need more. I also desperately want the art book for the show because it’s stunning and of course themed around my favourite season, Autumn and holiday, Halloween. I’d definitely recommend these tales to fans of the show (they fit into the main narrative of the show for anyone wondering).

What I’ve been listening to…

Ariana Grande, Sweetener 

There are some absolute bangers on this album and Ariana’s voice shines as ever. While, I will admit there a few songs that aren’t too my taste, what I do like, I love.

My favourites include: God is a Woman, Sweetener, No Tears Left to Cry and Raindrops (An Angel Cried).

The Carpool Karaoke was also great though I will admit I don’t enjoy these as much as I used to. I think they’ve succumbed to the need to get viral and have suffered a little with the connection between host and artist because of it.

Florence + the Machine – High as Hope 

Although, I’ve enjoyed Florence + the Machine;I never truly listened to them a lot just in the way I’m sure a lot of us do with certain artists. This album is beautiful though. Each song is brutal and honest in that way that makes you happy and want to cry at the same time. Hunger and South London Forever are particular highlights to me. I’d like to talk about the lyrics to them in more detail as well but I’m not in the right mood for that right now!

What I haven’t enjoyed…

I don’t usually do this but I just wanted to quickly write a note about one thing I had to discuss, which is Insatiable. I wanted to give the show a chance because although I understand the upset over the trailer; trailers often aren’t the whole picture of a TV show or film. I only managed to get 80% of the way through the first episode because quite honestly it was a trainwreck. It spent 90% of the time desperately trying to appeal to audiences with its edgy jokes that it didn’t stop to think about how the show was wildly out of control, insulting and just plain embarrassing to watch.

If anyone actually enjoyed the show, let me know, as like I said I couldn’t get further than the first episode, but what I saw made me cringe so much I just couldn’t watch anymore.

So there it is my favourites over the last two months. It’s been a rocky few months but I’m looking forward to the months to come. I’m also determined to get on a regular upload/ writing schedule again because for one thing I get fed up easily if I don’t have something specifically to do each week.

Here’s hoping this cold spell lasts (ha, ha) because I think the heat over the last few months has definitely contributed to me not feeling myself. I think I may have to buy myself a good winter coat a bit early than I though though so I don’t get caught unprepared!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

-Blog posts once a week – 

YouTube: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

Pastel Asos x Hello Kitty, Primark and Rokit Haul

For once in my life I have actually managed to one, go to London and actually stay in budget and two keep everything I bought to a particular theme. The theme being pastel, well, mainly different shades of pink. Maybe, this is because most of the items I got are from Primark but it still counts!

However, I did also happen to puruse Asos before I went to London and a certain Asos x Hello Kitty collection may have dropped. I did not go mad (for me) however so I only got two items and one I’m not sure if I’m going to keep (I need opinions).

I am happy with what else I got though (even if spoiler alert that is because it contains a lot of socks) even if I still need a white slip (to go under a purchase I bought and a sheer white vintage number I got before the trip and a dress that’s in the sale in New Look that I’ve been wanting for a while). Also, some plain black shoes that are also suitable for work (or brown!). I’m trying to hold off spending this month though, as I really want to focus on saving!

IMG_0320
The sheer white dress I mentioned. 

Also, apologises that I’m only posting once a week at the moment. I really wanted to try and coordinate my blog content to my YouTube content.

These posts will either be on Thursdays or Sundays so still fitting the schedule but for a little bit they are only going to be once a week while I catch up.

So, here’s the video to this blog post below – extra brownie points to anyone who reads this post and watches the video!

I’ll start with the Asos x Hello Kitty collection as I got this before my trip. For those who are new here I’m a big Hello Kitty fan and loved the Lazy Oaf x Hello Kitty collection as well as the Topshop pop up. Essentially, if it’s got Hello Kitty on, I’m there. So when I saw Asos we’re doing another drop I knew I had to investigate especially as I didn’t get anything last time. I further knew I needed this collection when I saw that the tones were  pastel focused.

Hello Kitty x Asos pastel jacket 

When I saw this denim jacket featuring pink, yellow (fun fact: I love yellow hence why La La was my favourite Teletubby) and denim; I knew I needed it. As the description on the jacket said no stretch despite the jacket looking slightly oversized on the pictures of the model; I still for some reason wasn’t expecting this to be oversized. However, it is. This isn’t a bad thing because I love a good oversized denim jacket but I just wanted to flag it – if you wanted a tighter fit I’d recommend going a size down.

Maybe, the searing heat taking place at the moment is scouring my judgment on this one but I’m not sure if this suits me. I’m also struggling to put this with outfits at the moment, especially as the heat doesn’t really make me prone to wanting to. I think another problem is that I need more denim/ white staple dresses in my wardrobe for layering, as I have lots of black pieces but I often don’t want to wear them with softer pastel looks. I’m considering investing in this white denim dress from Monki, as I think it will help a lot and the style of dress is very much in my comfort zone. However, like I said I’m also trying to save money (the eternal conundrum!) – if I can get to half way through the month without spending too much I might treat myself!

Price: I’d rather not discuss. 

Beret: Just Peachy 

Skirt: Lazy Oaf 

Socks and trainers: See below…

Hello Kitty x Asos socks 

Although, I hesitated a little between whether I should buy the pink or white with these I decided to go with the classic white, as I thought it would be cute with a few of my Lazy Oaf x Hello Kitty pieces. These are the kind of socks I’m scared to wear as I don’t want to ruin but I will because I personally think life is for living and socks are for wearing!

Price: £4.00

Primark pusheen top

Pusheen and a pink grid pattern? What’s there not to like?! The stitching on this isn’t perfect on the Pusheen but then it is Primark. This is also a little sheer and it is £8 (so not incredibly cheap) but it will look great tucked into skirts or high waisted jeans.

IMG_0298

Price: £8 

Beret: Just Peachy 

Cardigan: Lazy Oaf 

Skirt: Lazy Oaf 

Socks: Primark (see below)

Shoes: Primark (see below)

Pink fluffy top 

This is actually one of my favourite purchases from the day. It’s actually really good quality and I was worried it was going to be itchy but it’s actually very soft. I definitely want to go back and get another one of these tops and perhaps some more colours. I haven’t washed this yet so don’t know how that is going to go. This is a 90s dream and would look great with a A-line skirt. On the label it said this was part of Primark’s new improved sizing. Since it’s a top it’s hard for me to judge on that as I can fit a range of different sizes in tops usually but it did fit nice for what it’s worth.

Price: £8

Pink Frenchie socks 

It’s probably best if I do all the socks in one go (minus the Hello Kitty ones of course) because there’s quite a lot of them. The first pair are these adorable pink Frenchie socks and I love these as they come already ready to wear folded with shoes. Since I have little legs unless a sock is designed like this they are often go too high on my leg to be worn peaking out of shoes and look flattering. These however are perfect and I am determined to go back and buy every variation.

IMG_0279

Price: £1.50

Pink Strawberry socks 

These were the socks that I spotted before I picked up the Frenchie ones. They are the same style but a slightly darker pink and with a strawberry on. I LOVE pink and strawberries as a pattern combination so could not resist these when I saw them. I can’t wait too put them to good use!

Price: £1.50 

Pink glittery Marie socks

Glitter. Check. Marie. Check. Socks. Check. These are definitely then dream socks for me. The only thing that could make them better if they were pre-folded like the Frenchie and Strawberry socks. I definitely want to incorporate this into a Marie look with my other Marie pieces (it is way TOO HOT for the jacket at the moment though).

IMG_0289

Price: £2

Pastel Honeydukes Harry Potter socks

These are less to wear peaking out of shoes and more to bring some everyday pastel into my life. I am in awe of the Primark Honeydukes collection and wish I had bought more of it (next trip I just might have to pick up the makeup bag and pyjama set).

Price: £2.50

Pastel Honeydukes Jelly Bean Harry Potter trainers 

These are without a doubt my favourite purchase of the day. I am seriously considering buying another pair, as I don’t think I’ll be able to cope when this pair wear out. Not only do they have a bit of a platform which I am always in need of but they combine two of my favourite things: pastels and Harry Potter. I think I might of needed a size down in these as they are bit loose at the ankle but that might be aided by tying them up to the last available aglet (the reason I haven’t done already is because on one of the shoes the lace has a knot in preventing me from doing so).

Price: £10

Rokit Pink pastel vintage gingham dress

Based on the shoulder pads inserted in the shoulders alone I’m going to guess this is from the 80s (I may take these out but am undecided yet). This dress is about midi length on me and I’m going to need to wear a slip underneath it as it’s sheer (I’m going to pick some up on my next Primark trip as this is an issue with a few of my items now). I love the little details on the button and the cute circle detailing. Once I have something to wear underneath this will look great with my Harry Potter trainers and the Strawberry socks.

img_0270.jpg

IMG_0269

Price: £18

So there it is my for once on a theme haul. I know my content has been a lot of hauls recently so I’m going to try and mix it up. I want to do some personal posts again but those are hard to write and I’ve been facing a bit of a writers block recently. I’m hoping posting once a week for a while will help sort this out. As always let me know what your favourite content of mine is. I’m thinking of doing some more content with just more of my general likes and dislikes + facts about me in the upcoming weeks so watch out for that!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

-Blog posts once a week-

YouTube: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

Tumblr: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog