Vintage Shopping Brick Lane June 2018

After my Sister-in-law Gemma and I had some fabulous food (which I wrote about here) we started our hunt for some fabulous vintage clothing.

I completed my year with “No New Clothes” in 2016 and you can see my various posts about that under the “No New Clothes” section of the blog. During that time and pretty much ever since I have only bought clothes that are second hand (from charity or vintage shops), new clothes for essentials where you can’t buy these items second hand (leggings, socks etc) or vegan slogan clothes (these I will look into to see where they are made, materials they are made out of and I am glad to say that nearly all the vegan clothes I have bought are carbon neutral).

Over the past few weeks I have noticed that two of my jersey work dresses have got a bit threadbare and started developing small holes. I have had these dresses for around 6 – 7 years and have worn them two to three times a month each since then. Both these dresses were bought in sales from Next and Monsoon so their price per wear must be minuscule!

I definitely needed some “new to me” clothes and Gemma and I had spoken about going to Brick Lane for a long time but never got around to it so we decided this was the weekend!

You have to have patience to go vintage shopping. Some shops are better than others (similar to charity shops). Most shops are sorted by item type (dresses/tops/trousers etc) few are sorted by size. You also cannot trust the sizing on the original label (unless it is in inches) as sizing has changed so much through the decades. Good vintage shops will have sized the garment on the price tag and also noted the era and the material.

Vintage shopping as a vegan has its own obstacles. There are a lot of animal products in vintage clothing. Fur is usually very obvious and easy to avoid (I didn’t see much fur on this shopping trip, although this may be due to the time of year). Silk and wool can be harder to spot but are usually highlighted on the label. Anything leather looking I would avoid. Most vintage shoes will be leather, so finding a vegan shoe in your size and a style you like is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Try clothes on! As said above you cannot trust the sizing and the cut may be different to what you are used to. Returns policies are usually quite strict if existing at all.

Do not be afraid to haggle! If you don’t ask you don’t get. If a button is missing, there is a small stain or you are buying multiple items ask for a discount! If something doesn’t fit perfectly judge the price of the item and how much work there would be altering it to make it fit you better. If it’s under £20 and just needs a bit of shortening here or an extra stitch there it may be worth it. Also assess your own sewing skills, whether you have friends or family who can help (hi Mum!) or if you would need to pay to have something professionally altered.

The first dress I bought was from Brick Lane Vintage. I love this 90’s Tommy Hilfiger stripey tennis dress, especially because it has pockets! This is a great casual dress and great when you’re going away as its a whole outfit and doesn’t take up much room in the luggage.

Next we went to Search and Destroy who have two shops on Cheshire Street just off Brick Lane. I bought three dresses here all in completely different styles. The owner told me these were all purchased on a recent trip to California. The first is a black and orange 70’s kaftan. I have wanted a kaftan for a while now and this is seriously the most comfortable thing I have ever worn, and will definitely get a lot of use this summer! My next dress is a 50’s red number, I love the bow details on the waist and at the neck, this dress is also light weight so I can wear it in the summer or pair it with thick tights and a cardigan in the winter.

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My last dress from Search and Destroy is a black 70’s dress with a large colour panel on the bodice. This dress also has a tie that goes around the back. This dress can easily slip into my work wardrobe and I know I’ll get a lot of use out of it.

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I have also been on the look out for jumpsuits so I was in heaven when we chanced upon Franklin Tree in the Vintage Market. They sell vintage, upcycled and hand-made clothes. They had a number of jumpsuits in a variety of styles and fabrics of which I tried on many, They are all one size so hang looser the smaller you are. The black halter neck is fixed with the tie at the front so this can be made tighter or looser as needed. Again you can wear a variety of shirts under these and I think they will see me through many seasons of the year.

Lastly we have this headscarf which I actually bought first but I can’t remember the name of the shop. I really loved the print on this one and as I can’t do much with my hair at its current length so I love wrapping a scarf around it.

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The most important thing I will say is look after your vintage clothes. Do not hang them on wire coat hangers. Wash them as little as possible, when you do wash them, hand wash is best or if you are going to machine wash them do so on 30 degrees. If they are particularly delicate place them inside a pillowcase before you put them in the machine.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and if you have some fave vintage shops in London let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

 

 

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Vintage Shopping Brick Lane June 2018

Retrospect London Haul

On Saturday my Sister-in-law and I went to a kilo sale hosted by Retrospect London in Islington.

There were a lot of fabulous clothes but they didn’t seem to be in any order at all (not item type, size or era!) But there was a staff member frantically moving things which was quite annoying while you were trying to look through the racks!

As it’s a kilo sale you pay by weight and I got four fab items for just £12!

There was a gazebo style tent in the middle so we could try on our clothes and although it was a bit dark in there is was a great addition rather than having to get changed in the toilets!

First up is this A-line skirt. It’s velvet in a dark teal colour with pink and green bursts. When I described this to my Mum I said they were a cross between fireworks and palm trees, and when she saw it in person she said that’s exactly what it’s like. The waist is a smidgen tight but I’m sure after another month of running it will be more comfortable.

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Next was this embroided brown linen shirt, I love the shape of this and the detailing. This felt a bit tight getting on as it has no fastenings but once it was on it was really comfortable.

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My Sister-in-law tried on this Disney t-shirt but it didn’t fit her nicely and she felt the colour washed her out. I really like this monochrome style as I haven’t really seen the before on Disney stuff and it’s rare that you see something with Scrooge on it (also found out on Friday Ducktales is coming back with David Tenant as the voice of Scrooge!)

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Lastly from the sale is this fabulous flower power dress! It is A-line which doesn’t suit my shape so I’m going to attempt to take the in and fashion a waist into it. For the moment a belt will have to do!

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After the sale we popped into the lovely FARA charity shop which I visit every time I am in the area. My cousin loves a garish jumper and I originally spotted this one for her but fell in love with it myself so decided to keep it for next Christmas. It was only a fiver too so a fab bargain!

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If you’re into vintage fashion I would definitely check out Retrospect London’s events. You never know what you might pick up!

Plumes x

Retrospect London Haul

Review – Oh My Goodness!

I first visited Oh My Goodness! in The Enterprise Shopping Centre when I last came down to Eastbourne in December and enjoyed a lovely couple of cakes with my Cousin Katy.

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We went for a chocolate orange cake and a lemon and poppy seed one and had half of each, they were both delicious!

This visit we decided to have some lunch as well. We chose the root vegetable pie which had just come straight out of the oven along with a sweet potato topped with houmous, falafel and salsa. Again we shared both dishes which were both satisfying, the only thing that could have made it better would be if the sweet potato was served warm.

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After our main course we decided to share a chocolate and pistachio brownie rather than get a cake each, (we’re going to Spain in April so thought we’d show willing!) This was very rich and I don’t think I would have managed a whole one (although I would have given it a good try!) It had cherries and raisins in too which helped it stay moist.

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I paired this with an Earl Grey tea with soya milk and Katy had a hot chocolate, Poppy the owner said hot chocolate wasn’t on the menu as they don’t have a steamer and it takes a bit of time but said she’d do one especially for us. It had raw cacao and agave and Katy thoroughly enjoyed it!

Oh My Goodness! also sell some groceries and goodies which you can stock up on when you go in for lunch or a cake and a drink and they offer a take away service too.

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I really enjoyed our visit and it’s great to support small independent businesses. As I visit Eastbourne fairly regularly I’ll be sure to return.

Have you been to Oh My Goodness? What did you think? Have you got any recommendations for eating vegan in Eastbourne and the surrounding area? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

Review – Oh My Goodness!

I’m back! And end of No New Clothes challenge

Sorry I haven’t posted for a few months. I was feeling really tired a lot of the time and had got into a rut with my eating so didn’t fancy doing my weekly updates on my food when I thought it was really boring and samey!

I think going forward I’ll only do food posts when I cook something special or different or if I’m eating out. I did find my weekly food posts a bit of a chore and that’s not what this blog is about!

So onto my clothes challenge. At the beginning of 2016 I decided to take on “No New Clothes for a Year”. I was inspired by Jen from My Make Do And Mend Life and joined her two Facebook groups (no new clothes and buy nothing new) to connect with others doing the same. You can set your own rules and mine were that I could only buy second-hand/vintage clothes and essentials.

At the beginning of the year I was buying a couple of second hand pieces a month but as the year went on I even cut down on that. I managed to go without buying any essentials thanks to my Mum donating me some of her tights as she doesn’t wear skirts/dresses very often, and as I started jogging in the summer I managed to get some second hand gym gear on ASOS marketplace and eBay. The only two new items I had in the year were T-shirts, one from my company for our London Pride event and one from St Francis Hospice when I took part in a charity walk. Both these have gone into my gym clothes which I use regulary.

So in a year I have bought 5 dresses, 2 tops, 1 gym outfit, 1 skirt, 1 coat and 1 pair of shoes – all second hand, which I don’t think is too bad. The only things I’m a bit unsure of were the pink t-shirt dress in the middle and the coat. I’ve still been wearing the dress but it doesn’t exactly “spark joy” which is a mantra of minimalist guru Marie Kondo. I will continue to wear it until I get bored and then it shall be re-donated to charity. I love the pattern of the coat but it didn’t fit perfectly so I bought it as a “target” item. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this but I did love it! Unfortunately I didn’t look at it carefully enough before I bought it as the lining needs a lot of stitching and the sleeve is moth-eaten so I think it will need to be recycled. A lesson learnt!

The only things I have really struggled with is tights and having a lack of options where I have gained weight. When I gain weight I don’t like to buy new clothes in a bigger size anyway so that hasn’t changed and am now back on a healthier lifestyle eating mindfully and doing exercise. I have already seen some rewards in having clothes fit more comfortably, my mental health is better and my skin is clearer!

So what does this mean going forward?

I plan to keep my clothes shopping to a minimum and buy vintage/second-hand where I can. I have asked for some vouchers for Christmas in order to buy some tights and bras and my Husband has bought me a new pair of everyday shoes as my current ones are falling apart. I don’t buy a lot of shoes and wear mine until they are completely worn out. I have struggled this year to find good quality, non-leather, second-hand shoes. I will continue my hunt but will buy new when I absolutely need to.

I had a clear out of my clothes throughout the year but I plan to do this again as I have some clothes I haven’t worn at all this year.

The only things I have really wanted to buy but have resisted are vegan/animal/charity/campaign t-shirts. I tend to wear dresses so I don’t have many bottoms to go with them. This is my logic for resisting temptation! Although I have bought a few slogan tote bags throughout the year (which I don’t count as clothes) although I do now need to cut down on these too!

I want to extend my reduced shopping to the rest of my life and have a good declutter. I live in a one bedroom flat with my Husband so I don’t have much space. I already minimise what I buy and I don’t like having too many things but I think there’s still room for improvement.

The area I think I can make the most impact in is my kitchen. I have a lot of cookbooks only a handful of which I use and I put myself on cookbook ban a long time ago, but I can clear out those I don’t use. I also need to clear out my cupboards of unused out of date food and use up what I do have in there. As my flat is small things just get bundled in the kitchen cupboards and I can’t actually see what I have to use. My fridge broke a few weeks ago and we had to get a new one which was a great opportunity to get rid of all the old jars in there. I also need to clear appliances. I have a dehydrator and an ice-cream maker boxed up in my living room for months that I still haven’t put on ebay/freecycle.

I’m hoping that decluttering the flat will also improve my mental health as I always feel happier when it is clearer and tidier. With less things I’ll have less to clean and will be less tired from chores and have more time for fun stuff!

I don’t think my Husband will be looking forward to this as he can be a bit of a collector. Our hallway is wall to wall shelving with games, books and films and the top of the shelves house his collection of video game memorabilia. I won’t insist on him decluttering but by getting rid of some of my things there will be more room for his so it will generally look tidier. We are also hoping to move in the not too distant future so decluttering will help when we need to get a few jobs done in the flat. It is so difficult in a small place as you don’t have any space to move anything if you need to do some plastering or decorating!

What is your style? Are you a minimalist or a hoarder? Do you have any plans to make any changes?

Let me know in the comments

Plumes x

 

 

I’m back! And end of No New Clothes challenge

Half way through No New Clothes!

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So as it’s 1st July I have successfully completed the first half of my No New Clothes for a Year challenge!

I have only bought second hand or vintage clothes. I thought it would be difficult to source items when I needed something in particular but I had no hassle when I looked for vintage running gear and I think I came out with items I love more than what I would be able to find new.

The biggest challenge I have had is tights. My Mum came to the rescue and gave me a bundle as she rarely wears skirts and dresses. Since I have been running I have been wearing socks more so I will see how I go, I may try to learn how to darn them although I think it’s quite difficult!

I have recently joined Vegan Runners and I’m itching to buy some merchandise to run in but I’ll just have to wait. Or I could buy some patches and attach them to my current running gear!

I’m already starting to look ahead to when my challenge is over. I plan on starting a sewing course in September so hopefully that will give me some skills to mend and alter either clothes I already have or second-hand/vintage clothes I could completely re-imagine!

I hope to always investigate the second-hand market first and only then in the unlikely event I can’t find something suitable will I go for brand new, preferably from an ethical, sustainable company.

How do you think you’d fair if you couldn’t shop for new clothes?

Plumes x

Half way through No New Clothes!

Clothing Cravings and Latest Buys

I have completed 5 months of my “No New Clothes for a Year” challenge! This is where I am buying no brand new clothes for 2016, however I am allowing myself to buy second hand clothes. I have found this quite easy up until now and have really enjoyed my vintage shopping trips as more of “events” than just browsing when I’m in town etc. I walk past some lovely shops from the station to my office everyday and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I think by buying more/only vintage clothes I’m developing a bit of a style and I’m really loving a 70s vibe!

I have started getting cravings for some vegan themed tees. I follow a few ethical brands on Instagram/twitter and am really tempted when I see something really cool! I also saw so many cool things to wear at London Animal Frew Festival on Saturday! I won an Amazon voucher at work last week and I had a look at some stuff and debating whether it counted within my rules as I wasn’t paying for it. I decided it definitely didn’t count and I’m going to have to hold out until the new year!

My Sister-in-law Gemma and I went to the East London Vintage Fair a few weeks ago. There was so many stalls and items it took a while getting round everything. They had changing rooms which is great when a lot of the clothes don’t come with sizes and sizing has changed over the years anyway! Some stalls had items priced and those that didn’t had a more sort of haggle/negotiation vibe going on which I’m not too keen on. There was also a little bit of fur and quite a lot of silk going on. When the stall holders tell you something is silk saying what a real bargain it is, most people would be impressed, but my Sister-in-law and I both recoiled in horror!

I bought this dress for £20 I love the colour, pattern, cut and length. I have been complimented when I’ve worn it, even if my Mum thought it was frumpy!

I also love this top I bought for £15. The material is really soft and I like the colours. I love the cut on the sleeves and feel like a butterfly fluttering around when I wear it!

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I have started doing a bit more exercise and needed a some more gym gear to save me doing washing nearly everyday. East End Thrift Store who are located in Whitechapel now have an ASOS marketplace boutique so I picked up these Adidas tracksuit bottoms and cut off top. I usually run with small bag to keep my keys and phone in but these are my only joggers to have pockets in! I love the colours and they are lined and feel really cosy. They are a bit long for me but the elasticated ankles mean I’m not tripping over them. This picture doesn’t really do them justice as they’re much brighter. (I’ve cut my head out as my hair was doing crazy things!)

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The only thing I think I’m going to have to buy new soon is tights as most of my black opaque ones are coming to the end of their lives. Hopefully they’ll hold out until the end of June so at least I can say I did 6 months!

Would you consider doing a new new clothes challenge? What do you think you would find the hardest? Let me know?

Plumes x

Clothing Cravings and Latest Buys

Spring cleaning out my closet

I am taking part in a No New Clothes challenge for 2016. I am not buying any brand new clothes but am allowing myself to buy second hand from charity and vintage shops.

I don’t buy a lot of clothes and am quite careful about the things I do buy. Where I have seen others taking part in the challenge cleaning out bundles and bundles of clothes I thought I really don’t have that much! My problem is that although I don’t buy much I also don’t throw anything anyway! I like to wear my clothes until they are literally falling apart. However throughout the years this has left me with some good quality clothes that I don’t wear for various reasons clogging up my wardrobe.

I have had a clear out and thought I’d show you some of my pieces and use this post as a cathartic exercise. All these clothes are heading for the charity shop so if you are based in the UK and see anything you might be interested in let me know. Most items are a UK size 12 and properly creased as they have been stored in bags in the bottom of my wardrobe.

First off are some clothes I bought in online sales. They never fitted me nicely but as they were sale items I didn’t want to return them for store credit. I thought they would do for target clothes as I was losing weight, but as I have lost and gained weight over the years I think these were more wishful thinking than achievable targets! Now its a few years since I bought them they aren’t clothes I think I would choose to wear now.

This is a dress from Next which I wore a couple of times for work. I really love the colours and detailing but as I have learnt, fitted Next dresses don’t work well with my figure and sitting down can sometimes be difficult!

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I really like this dress (yes it is a dress not a top!) I haven’t worn it many times as I haven’t had the occasions to and now I am in my 30’s feel it is definitely too short for me! Here I am wearing it on a night out for a friend’s birthday about 5 years ago.

This dress I haven’t owned too long, another online purchase. I like the colour, the detailing and the shape but the bodice is too tight and as I’m quite slim on top unless I get a couple of ribs removed I don’t think this will fit comfortably on me!

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I bought this dress from Oasis when I was on a trip to Dublin with my Mum in 2012. Again I like this dress but just feel its a bit too short now.

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I wore this dress to my eldest Goddaughter’s baptism, the only issue I have with it, is that is can create static when worn with tights so I have to wear a slip with it and even then it sometimes annoys me!

I have had this skirt longer than I have been with my Husband so its getting on for 10 years! We’ve been through a lot together I just don’t wear it anymore.

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Another couple of skirts. I really like the pattern on the left one but again just feel its too short for me now. I love the brocade pattern on the right one but as its puffball its more of a clubbing/party skirt and I don’t go to many of those nowadays!

A puffball dress this time, which I bought from my friend Michelle, so will be third hand now! This is a hell kitty dress with some lovely details, the straps are adjustable with buttons and there are darts throughout the skirt. This is another one from my party days where I just don’t have the right events for it anymore.

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I bought this puffball dress for a holiday to Greece in 2011 with my cousin. I love this for the memories but haven’t worn it in years.

These last two pieces as a couple of my favourites and the hardest to give away! This skirt I bought to wear at Christmas, I do like a Christmas day outfit! I have worn this at work Christmas parties too. I haven’t worn it in recent years due to the length (quite short again!) and as it is wool it doesn’t fit in with my vegan sensibilities. Here I am wearing it at my in-laws for Christmas day 2010.

Women of a certain age will instantly recognise the design on this corset top. Jane Norman was the shop of choice for many of us, even if it was just get our hands on their posh carrier bags to put our P.E. kits in! I used to shop for my Jane Norman fix in their concession in Debenhams rather than the Jane Norman shop as Debenhams tended to have bigger sizes (of which I mean 10 – 12!) I bought this top when I was about 20 and it has made me feel fabulous. I love the embroidery on it but it does look a bit 00’s to me now! The last time I wore it was in 2012 for my work Christmas meal.

What are your shopping habits with regards to clothes? Do you want to change them? Would you consider doing a no new clothes challenge?

Plumes x

Spring cleaning out my closet