Spotlight on vintage fashion brands: Gunne Sax

If you’re a lover of vintage fashion, especially 1970’s fashion, then you have probably heard of Gunne Sax dresses. Known for being romantic, often with medieval and renaissance inspired designs, Gunne Sax, a clothing label owned by Jessica McClintock, is commonly associated with the ‘prairie dresses’ trend.

For the uninitiated prairie dresses are a trend that was originally popular in the 1970’s (their original roots however are in rural 19th century America) and are often characterised as (usually) long, flowing dresses, often incorporating high necklines, lace and florals and often inspired historically by the Victorian and Edwardian periods of fashion. They recently were revived in 2017/2018 due to the popularity of modern designers like Batsheva and the Vampire’s Wife but there was glimmers of the popularity that was to come in the earlier 2000’s. For example prairie dresses are referenced in the Netflix show Girlboss (set around 2008), as Britt Robertson, acting as Nasty Gal‘s original owner Sophia Amorusa, discusses the trend (if I remember correctly she predicts that prairie dresses will be in, which ends up being a misstep).

Prairie dresses therefore are often associated with a more traditionally feminised way of dressing and because of their reference to the past, fairytale way of dressing. When I put on a prairie dress I often feel like I could be a character in a fairytale myself, perhaps it’s the flowing skirts that make me instantly think of a Austen heroine hiking through a field to visit their sick sister against the conventional norms of their time, whatever it is Gunne Sax dresses definitely fit that brief for me!

I’m not surprised that the dresses were popular as wedding dresses, and in fact Hillary Rodham famously wore a Gunne Sax dress when she married Bill Clinton. According to this article, she bought her dress from the local mall for $53 dollars the night before the wedding!

For many Gunne Sax, was at its peak during the 1970s, which was the height of the maxi, flowing dress trend and are often associated with the British equivalent, Laura Ashley (who I will cover in another post because I am a big fan!). Fans of the brand often talk of the rare black label dresses, which indicate that the dress is one of the very first of Jessica McClintock’s designs.

There have been numerous copies of Gunne Sax dresses however, as one issue with the dresses is their limited size range. The large sizes are often coveted because the maximum size the dresses go up to is 31 inches on the waist, which is about equivalent to about a UK size 12-14. You can find a handy reference to what size Gunne Sax dresses usually equate to here.

Dress: Vintage Gunne Sax (unfortunately with the inside tag mostly ripped off, as well as the size tag). I think the seller unfortunately mis-measured this, as after measuring it myself I got different measurements than the one listed but I luckily squeezed into it.

Bow: Henriette Von Grünberg (I emailed to check and Henriette sources her silks from left over silks from bigger brands in the season).

Nowadays, I have definitely noticed a revival for the dresses, especially on Instagram with hashtag #gunnesax, #gunnesaxdress and #gunnesaxobsessed getting a lot of love and there are whole vintage accounts dedicated to appreciating and selling the dresses, so I reached out to some of my favourites to see if they could give some more insight into why people love and collect ‘Gunnes’ as they’re often lovingly dubbed.

One of my favourite Gunne Sax Instagram accounts is @babygypsyeyes run by the lovely Samantha, who kindly answered some of my questions about all things Gunne Sax, revealing that she has a collection of over 100 dresses (I can only dream of such an achievement!) and that she wears Gunne Sax dresses almost everyday.

First, I asked what it is about Gunne Sax that draws her in – if you wear Gunne Sax almost every day there must be a reason!

“For me, Gunne Sax is an imperative piece in the prairie puzzle I have in my head.  Let me explain, I grew up watching ‘Little House on the Prairie’ re-runs.  I remember being quite young and really relating to that old frontier lifestyle of simpler times and full ruffled calico dresses.  Decades later I am living my dream life on a 150 acre farm that is truly in the middle of nowhere.  I named my son ‘Wilder’ (Laura Ingalls Wilder is the author of ‘Little House on the prairie).  I wear Gunne Sax dresses nearly everyday and have put together a collection of over 100 dresses that I am very proud of.  We are living a clean life that is far removed from anything urban!  We grow vegetables, have animals and some days we don’t see a single vehicle go down our road.  Gunne Sax feels like home and fits into this simple life we are living.  A life that is innocent, safe and clean in a world that can be very frightening.”

@babygypsyeyes
Image credit: @babygypsyeyes

I was also keen to get into the ‘nitty-gritty’ of why Samantha thinks Gunne Sax dresses continue to appeal and she mentioned how even in the 1970s the dresses, “were expensive and desirable” and when you think about it $53 dollars in the 1970s would have been an expensive dress! She also highlighted how Gunne Sax dresses are on trend right now.

“They are high quality and expressive, the number of Gunne Sax designs is ASTOUNDING.  This makes them fun to collect.”

@babygypsyeyes
Image credit: @babygypsyeyes

Samantha also revealed to me a group on Facebook, which I am definitely going to go join, called ‘Gunne Sax Addicts’ , which she describes as a, “community of lovely people who all have one thing in common, a love for the label”.

“Many people who encounter Gunne Sax quickly become passionate collectors.  But what is it about these dresses?  Many of the designs hearken to history, Renaissance & Medieval, Edwardian and Victorian, Hippies & Gypsies.  Musicians make IG posts wearing these dresses, ‘The Love Witch’ wears several Gunne Sax during the course of the film.  They are flattering to wear, romantic and feminine, they stir emotions and can help a gal fill any of a number of fantasy roles!  And like I said, with so many designs there is likely a Gunne Sax for everyone out there!”

@babygypsyeyes
Image credit: @babygypsyeyes

Due to Gunne Sax’s increased popularity, I have heard talk that there is a greater need to check for authenticity, as a number of popular brands took inspiration from Gunne Sax dresses. Samantha recommends joining the Facebook group for checking authenticity, as well as making sure to look for the all-important Gunne Sax label. She also suggests looking on Pinterest before purchasing to check the dress exists: “Every dress I have tried to look up has been on Pinterest I swear”.

The one problem I personally have with recommending Gunne Sax is of course the sizing, as it’s not size friendly. Samantha definitely agreeds and said, “size seems to be the Gunne Sax downfall”. She suggested getting a vintage Gunne Sax sewing pattern and tweaking it to fit and also has heard mention of people willing to custom make Gunne Sax copies!

Lastly, I had to ask what her favourite ‘Gunnes’ are and she gave the perfect answer: “I love the folkloric, autumnal, rich colors.  I want to feel like a 1970’s babe living her authentic prairie lifestyle….but I know that’s not how everyone feels.” Well, I’m not going to lie that’s how I want my autumn to be!

You can find Samantha on Instagram as @babygypsyeyes, be sure to check out her gorgeous Etsy shop if you now find yourself in desperate need of a Gunne Sax dress!

Image credit: @babygypsyeyes

Another of my favourite Gunne Sax sellers has to be AuburnFoxVintage on Etsy, who has posted some truly stunning Gunnes in her shop. For her, Gunne Sax is all about the: “Eternal romance. Wearing a Gunne Sax dress is like slipping into a fantasy. It’s pure femininity!”. I definitely understand what she means, the materials and the way the dresses are constructed alone, definitely harks back to a different way of dressing.

“These women that buy Gunne Sax dresses want to escape into a romantic world and not look like anyone else. These dresses, skirts and blouses let us slip back into time, when things were simpler.”

Karen at AuburnFoxVintage
One of Karens favourite Gunne Sax dresses that she owns. Image credit: Karen at AuburnFoxVintage

She did have some good news about fakes though, as she personally has never come across any and some possible positive sizing news. She says Gunne Sax dresses can go up to a size 15 (I’d suspect this would be about a 33 inch waist so a 14, small 16 in UK sizes) , however, she has never personally got her hands on any size larger than a size 13. Karen wasn’t familiar with any designers that have reproduced the Gunne Sax style, but did mention that there are seamstresses who can make dresses in the Gunne Sax style for you. She also highlighted Modcloth, for having a great range of sizes and a “vintage inspired” section.

One of Karens favourite Gunne Sax dresses that she owns – she said it made her feel like Maeve from Westworld! Image credit: Karen at AuburnFoxVintage

Be sure to check out Karen’s Etsy shop, AuburnFoxVintage , she has some of my all-time favourites Gunne Sax dresses in her shop as well as other gorgeous vintage dresses.

“Nothing makes me happier, than when these Gunne Goddesses receive their dresses and tell me how happy they are. Those dresses are fairytales, and we all want a happy ending.”

Karen at AuburnFoxVintage

I’ve mentioned Worthless Vintage on my blog before and Cat Stones who runs the shop was nice enough to talk to me about all things Gunne Sax, as I noticed she was a fan and had sold a few herself!

Image credit: Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage

“I love that they’re all unique but they’re also part of a brand, it makes for a community of brand lovers who all trade between each other and is so loving and appreciative! I personally love the whole 70s aesthetic, and I love maxi dresses as I’m the perfect height for them and they’re so flattering – they make me feel amazing!”

Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage
Image credit: Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage
Image credit: Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage

For Cat, the appeal of Gunne is simply that they are characteristic of the 1970s in such a special way. The sheer range of the brand was something that also stood out (and I can certainly see why this is brought up again and again!), “there’s literally a Gunne for every taste – mine personally are the bold prints, the browns and the velvets”.

Image credit: Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage
Image credit: Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage

Cat also had some words of wisdom in regards to possible fakes, she stressed to: “always check the label”, and to always, “check for any possible alternations as this can deteriorate the value”. She did however mention: “If there’s no label it’s not always a bad sign, but before buying you should always ask the seller for a picture of the label (if there isn’t one posted).”

Image credit: Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage
Image credit: Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage

“Most Gunnes have a gold fleur de lis label and have a specific size tag, but some variations include the 1969 specific black label, rare white label/ heart label and early on J.G. Saxe label!”

Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage
Image credit: Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage
Image credit: Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage
Image credit: Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage

Cat gave some great recommendations for brands similar in style to Gunne Sax including Laura Ashley (I know that the 1980s designs definitely vary in size much more than Gunne Sax dresses, but the 1970s style tend to be on the smaller size), young Edwardian by Arpeja and Jody T.

“In vintage terms, it’s difficult as the sizes were so much smaller back then … In my experience plus size prairie vintage is mostly unbranded except Laura Ashley, you just have to be vigilant enough to have a dig!”

Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage
Image credit: Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage

You can find Cat on her personal Instagram @catellystones and her shop Worthless Vintage @worthless.vintage.

Image credit: Cat Stones, Worthless Vintage

So to conclude I am newly obsessed and yet to properly start my collection though I have started a Gunne Sax wishlist with all my dream dresses on (if this is you, I’d definitely recommend joining the Facebook group because all the interactions I have seen on there have been lovely)!

Although, I am definitely feeling all the autumnal coloured dresses at the moment because I can feel the weather start to turn towards autumn here; I also have a soft spot for any of the peach dresses and any with a peplum or hood! However, the beauty of Gunne Sax is that there is a style to suit every taste, I’ve even seen some fabulous Gothic ones!

I leave you with the comment that I am still new to this fabulous brand so if I have left anything out or written anything incorrectly, please let me know!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

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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 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

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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.

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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).

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

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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!

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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. 

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)

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. 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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-

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90s Witch Fashion Haul

I feel like this could also be titled ‘I got paid and spent money on clothes’ but since I noticed that a lot of my purchases could make outfits that I’d define as ’90s Witch fashion’ (and by this I mean as depicted in TV shows, i.e. Willow in Buffy, The Craft, etc.); I thought it would be nice to collect those purchases together and do a little bit of a show and tell.

I also want to try out a little something different this time so am going to show my purchases through outfits. I lack the skill and patience for cute flat lay posts so am going to showcase my outfits instead through what I will dub ‘hanger lay’ (which will never be a thing).

Outfit 1: Forever pretending its Autumn 

Autumn 1

Brown Beret: Primark

Jumper: New Look (in the sale- couldn’t find link)

Dress: Asos

Boots: Topshop (old)- would look amazing with some vegan Dr Martens

Autumn 2Autumn 3Autumn 4

Outfit 2: Trying my hardest to be ‘Tumblr’ 

Tumblr 1
The cardigan is not laying exactly right in this photograph, which annoys me, but not enough to muster the effort to take the photograph again.

Beret: Topshop

Top: Little Viking Vintage

Dress: Asos

Cardigan: H and M

Necklace: A gift I’ve had a while, you can find an official one here

Tumblr 2

Tumblr 3

Tumblr 4

Outfit 3: 90s film witches need a bit more pink 

Pink 3

Jacket: Topshop (from the Christmas sales)

Dress: H and M (couldn’t find exact online)

Boots: Primark

Pink Outift 2

Pink Outfit 1

Pink boots 4

So there it is a short and sweet post where I try something a bit new! If I manage to have the time and or can muster the effort I’ll try to post some pictures of me wearing some of these outfits on my Instagram (so be sure to follow me there, wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Ethics and sustainability of the clothes featured:

This section is not to shame anyone (including myself) but just because I think its good to remind ourselves where our things come from. Although I try in little ways to be more ‘ethical’ and sustainable; I am very far from perfect in this regard so please don’t feel guilty from this section.

The top from Little Viking Vintage is vintage, which is therefore very environmentally friendly!

Topshop, H and M and Primark are known for being ‘fast fashion’ brands that range in affordability but are all what are considered ‘high street’ brands. They then tend to be problematic generally in terms of ethics, with all facing accusations of ‘sweat shop labour’. Personally, the items I buy from here I keep and mend for many years (with the exceptions of jeans- as they just wear down very quickly on the thighs for me) so I try my best to keep the ‘fast fashion’ element out of the things I buy.

Asos’s private label is generally considered to be ‘middle ground‘ in terms of ethics and sustainability. They do however have a section on their website labelled ‘Eco Brands’ which shines the light on environmentally friendly brands.

Wool: The beret and cardigan are likely to be a wool blend. The ethics of wool can be supsect but it is possible to buy more ethical wool- you can read more on this here. If this is something you feel passionately about your best bet is to check to see if you can find the credentials for where the wool in your clothes has come from (buying vintage wool is also a good bet)- something I need to get better at, though I’ll be honest sometimes this can make shopping a bit of an expensive minefield (and I don’t think there is anything wrong with admitting that).

 April

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Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth (main account)

@aprilisthecruellestmonthblog (miscellaneous account- which I’ve not uploaded to in ages because I’m a horrible human being)

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

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January Favourites

It’s been a little bit of a ‘dry’ January for me so this list might be a little bit short on purchases. However, I’ve done a lot of watching of things this month because of my lack of money, so expect to see a lot of suggestions for ways to occupy your time instead of a lot of clothes (though I suspect next month this list will probably contain a lot of clothes).

I’m going to start by talking about something that I’ve not actually bought anything from but I think is super cute and that is the Lazy Oaf x Betty Boop collection. I always loved Betty Boop as a child because of her stint in Roger Rabbit and because I  always saw her in vintage and alternative shops meaning that for me she always stood as a symbol for someone who liked to dress alternatively. And as someone who has always admired (even if they were at times too scared to dabble in) alternative fashion; Betty Boop always seemed pretty darn cool to me.

The showstopping piece from the collection (just to be clear I’m referring to the ‘Women’s’ collection because I’m not a fan of anything in the ‘Men’s’ collection) has to be the white double denim set, which I’d love to attempt to pull off- with the red beret and top as below- maybe with some red converse as well. However, the pieces are about standard for Lazy Oaf collaboration collections and would set me back £120 for the jacket, and £79 for the jeans. So, these pieces are definitely going to have to go on the back burner of things I like at the moment- plus there is no guarantee I would be able to find a pair of the jeans that would fit because of my waist to hip ratio.

I also wish I could style the pieces anywhere near as cute as @skumbagg_ did on Instagram. 

Also, @skumbagg_ highlights probably my favourite piece from the collection the red sheer heart jacket. And this is not only because I really love hearts but because this would look amazing in a Valentines day lookbook (which, I hope to do but don’t think I’ve got another outfits to pull it off- maybe then it will be a Valentines Outfit Of The Day).

My other favourite pieces are the stripe boatneck top (the top pictured below is actually a bodysuit, you can find it here) which would look so cute tucked into a skirt or high waisted trousers or of course the cute pin up jeans they have with the collection (see below- click to the next image to see the amazing bow detail). There is also an adorable crop top, which I love but also have no idea how I would style.

The crop top!

The one piece from the collection I do know how I’d style is the dress, which is the cut of my favourite Lazy Oaf dress pieces, which is referred to as a ‘Sally Sack dress’ (see below to see how one of my favourite Lazy Oaf wearers @reina_roo on Instagram styles it). This is the one piece I’m super tempted to get from the collection, as I know I wouldn’t regret it -I’m hoping it will still be available in March (but I know that’s a long shot with Lazy Oaf pieces- if you like a Lazy Oaf piece I very much recommend buying it then and there whenever possible because they only stock limited runs and finding the item after that can be hard and pricey).

So basically the one piece of the collection I am definitely going to invest in is the cute Betty Boop pin, as I like to try to have something from every Lazy Oaf collection (though that’s not being going well recently) and I love and am trying to collect more pins.

Little Viking Vintage

Now that I’ve sufficiently obsessed over the new Lazy Oaf collection let me talk about things I’ve actually bought. All of these are from the lovely Little Viking Vintage, so are unique to me, which I love, and as always were purchases I’ve been wearing again and again.

My favourite purchase was a beautiful silver and black onyx necklace. I got this because I’ve been noticing more and more how terrible I am at accessorising and wanted to change this. This looks amazing with a playsuit and crop top combo I bought recently (and basically is the only outfit I ever post about).

Ginger Hair Don't Care

I also got this pale yellow blouse for £9! It’s see through so I’ll wear a tank top underneath it but would look totally lovely I think with a nice long flowing skirt for when spring arrives.

Yellow blouse

The final thing I got is this bucket bag. It can’t hold a lot of items or weight because of its design but it makes me look a lot more fashionable than I actually am, and I love it. Also, I’d rather it get reused personally than waste it- see this post if you a bit confused about what I’m referring to.

Bucket Bag

Grace and Frankie Season 4 

I’ve been a fan of Grace and Frankie since the start. First of all, I love anything with Jane Fonda in, and second of all the show itself is hilarious and beautifully written. It’s not often (or more like barely at all) you see shows targeted at or featuring people over 50 on TV, and although I know why, it’s really a shame. I might be a while until I feel some of the problems of ageing but doesn’t mean I don’t want to know what they are or that I find them any less engaging than other problems I can’t relate to. I mean the majority of shows targeted to my age group would have me confronting someone at a masked ball, which I think somehow is unlikely to happen!

The show keeps up its momentum this season though I hope the show talks about it the way in which the children of Grace and Frankie approached the main issue of the season in a way that was not completely fair, next season.

Tofu scramble

Most of my attempts at cooking tofu at home have been fine, acceptable, but not as nice as the tofu I have eaten out. This recipe though I really enjoyed, though I only followed it loosely. For one thing my scramble isn’t yellow because I didn’t have any turmeric and instead of shallots I simmered garlic instead, and just had chilli powder, salt and pepper to flavour mine- it was however delicious (I also used soy milk as my milk substitute and it’s was great- soy milk is definitely my favourite milk substitute I’ve tried).

 

Tofu Scramble

I had mine with dairy free butter and spicy sriracha (a spicier version- I’m not saying Sriracha is spicy in itself). 

Turtles All the Way Down 

I have already wrote a review on this, however, I wanted to mention it briefly here, as I really enjoyed this book. I would also definitely recommend it for people both suffering with mental health issues or those who are not- it does a very good job at showing how both people cope with situations that arise in the life of someone who has mental health issues.

Turtles all the way down

Hamilton soundtrack 

This has been my favourite for more than a few months now and I keep forgetting to proclaim my underlying love for this soundtrack. Seriously, I probably listen to it at least once daily. I am very eagerly waiting for the day when I can finally get tickets to go see it in London.

The Women’s March 2018

I just want to give a shout out to everyone who attended the Women’s March both this year and last year. I couldn’t spare the money to attend this year (for the train ticket to London) but I very appreciative to everyone who took the time out of their day to make sure the important issues the march stands for were heard. Next year, I will be part of that crowd.

So there it is- my January. It’s been a bit of a long and cold one. Both mentally and literally. Here’s hoping there will be some more warmth coming up (though not too much as I am not ready for full on summer sun yet or ever- I’m thinking more Spring weather would be nice).

April

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