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

 

 

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

My 100th blog post!

100th post

I can’t believe I’ve made it to 100 posts!

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog and given me feedback either on WordPress, Twitter or Facebook. You are the reason I do this and as long as you are interested in what I write I’ll keep doing it!

I did have a blog a few years ago but soon lost interest. I think having my weekly round ups have kept me on track as I know I’ll be posting at least once a week. It has also made me be more imaginative with my food as I know I’ll be sharing it at the end of the week.

Apart from food and veganism I’ve really enjoyed writing about my adventures in vintage clothing and I’m hoping to write more about my running as I get more into it.

Writing this blog has helped me be more reflective and the positive feedback I received for my post Exercise and Mental Health have given me the confidence to be more open about my anxiety. I think we all need to be more open about mental health issues to help remove the stigma and if my writings can help one person I’ll be happy.

So here’s to the next 100 posts!

celebration

Plumes x

My 100th blog post!

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

A Day Trip Out in Brighton

Yesterday I went spent the day out in Brighton with my cousin Katy. Technically I think we’re second cousins once removed. (Our Mums are first cousins and our Nans are sisters). I’m six years older than her and have always seen her as a little sister, especially as she is the eldest out of her first cousins. We haven’t seen a lot of eachother lately due to life getting in the way so it was lovely to spend the whole day with her doing fun things!

I started my day at my cousins’ Dan and Amanda’s house. They are always very accommodating and have dairy free milk in for me (and usually vegan cider!) I was impressed with my own vegan detection skills in the shower when I randomly picked out a vegan shower gel from their extensive range! I’m not sure where this one is from, I think it might be Superdrug. It was white chocolate based and smelled amazing!

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I met Katy at Eastbourne station. I saw a cafe I hadn’t noticed before inside the station so decided to grab a coffee while I was waiting. I’ve found independent cafes in Eastbourne lacking in dairy-free milks in the past but I was pleasantly surprised that Bella’s Secret offered both soya and almond milk. I went for a soya chain latte and thoroughly enjoyed it!

The weather wasn’t fantastic and it was a bit showery on the train ride over so we decided our first stop had to be a cafe for a hot drink. I wanted to try Black Mocha as I had met some friends there last time I was in Brighton but they had sold our of vegan cakes. We had a vegan snickers and an orange, raspberry and pistachio cashew cake with two of the signature black mochas. The snickers cake was really rich and sticky; I think it was a good idea to share both cakes as the pistachio one was really fresh and cut through the richness of the other. The coffee was quite strong but with the sweetness of the chocolate in it I didn’t need any extra sugar.

We then had a look around the shops in the North Laine area. I picked up some sausages from Brighton Sausage Co. It’s a bit of an odd place to be selling vegan sausages but if you head in the door (try not to look at the meat counter!) there’s a fridge on the left that houses the animal friendly ones. There was only one packet left and the guy working in there said they had two deliveries a week and often sell out within 20 minutes!

We had a look in a Chinese supermarket and I picked up some mock curry chicken, mock roasted duck and some red beancurd. I’ve never seen red beancurd before so I’m looking forward to trying it out.

I promised myself I wouldn’t spend a fortune in Infinity Foods but as we were thirsty we needed to pick up some drinks. I was blinkered again and tried not to get tempted so headed straight for the drinks cabinet. Katy got a Fentimans rose lemonade and I had their elderflower. I really like it as it’s not as sweet as some other elderflower drinks.

I picked up a lovely tea towel with a Highland Cow on it, but unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the shop. I also saw some lovely pictures and lampshades that I loved, but that will have to wait until I have enough space to put them in!

We had a great root around To be worn again. I tried on a couple of dresses which didn’t fit right. If I had a sewing machine (or space for a sewing machine!) and the skills I’m sure I could have done something with them, but they were a bit pricey to take a risk on. Katy found some stonewashed short dungarees that looked great on her so at least one of us left happy!

We headed to rootcandi for lunch. I had seen lots of photos on their instagram feed and from other vegans I follow who had been there. I’m going to write up a full review but here’s the pictures. We had a beetroot burger with courgette fries and a dhal with rice, naan and raita. It was all delish!

We skipped dessert as I had seen an ice-cream parlour offering vegan options and wanted to try it out. We usually go to Boho Gelato for our ice-cream needs but as we’ve been there multiple times we thought we’d give Gelato Gusto a try. Katy had blood orange and mojito which both tasted really fresh and citrusy. I went for lychee and rose and cherry cola. Lychee and rose are two of my fave flavours separately or together and this sorbet tasted really delicate. The cherry cola packed more of a punch so I tried to eat the scoops one at a time. Next time I think I’d try a blackcurrant and elderflower combo. They also had vegan brownies so it was nice to see multiple options.

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Our last stop before rushing back to the station to catch our respective trains was to Pearls for some bubble tea. They had a sign saying the milk option were dairy and lactose free but not vegan. I enquiried and the lady serving said it contained an egg derivative. Not great but at least it was clearly labelled. I went for black lemon tea with half sweetness (as we’d just had the ice-cream) and tapioca pearls. Katy had lychee tea with strawberry pearls.

I always love a day trip to Brighton  but with so many vegan friendly places it’s a tough decision between trying something new or going with old favourites!

What are your favourite places in Brighton? Let me know in the comments!

Plumes x

A Day Trip Out in Brighton

Review – Afternoon Tea by The Vegan Ronin

On Sunday I went for afternoon tea prepared by Jhenn, The Vegan Ronin. If you haven’t seen my review of her Japanese Supper Club you should check it out. When I saw the list of her upcoming events I knew I wanted to try out her afternoon tea.

I was supposed to be going with my Mum but unfortunately she had come down with a heavy cold. The good thing about supper clubs is that they are social events so it doesn’t matter if you go alone as you will be happily chatting aware to the other guests in no time!

To start we had a cashew nut ball with homemade kale and chili crackers. I really enjoyed the nut cheese and although I enjoyed the crackers as well, they were a little bit too spicy for me. I enjoy the taste of chili but unfortunately my body doesn’t handle it too well!

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Next course was the sandwiches. We were treated to queso blanco and watercress, Avocado creme with cucumber and spring onion slaw, Seitan with tarragon mustard and baby kale and Coronation mushroom with mango chutney. The queso blanco  (white cheese) was soft and creamy with a delicate flavour and went well with the watercress. I enjoyed the seitan and I am a massive mustard fan but like the chili in the crackers this was a bit strong for me. My favourite was the coronation  mushroom, the sauce was really tasty and creamy and went well with the mango chutney. I also enjoyed the different breads the sandwiches were served on.

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Next up we had the traditional scones with jam and cream. The scones were still warm from the oven and tasted lovely with the homemade strawberry jam and cream. They were so good I just had to have two although at this point I was starting to feel a bit full!

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Our final course was dessert. We had a mango crumble, chocolate torte with a caramel sauce and meringue nests with blueberries and pomegranate. The mango crumble was nicely spiced and the fruit was lovely and sweet. The chocolate torte was really rich and quite bitter but this went well with the sweet caramel sauce. It was my first time trying aquafaba meringues and they didn’t disappoint. They were crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle.

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I really enjoyed all the food, perhaps a little too much as I felt I would need rolling out of there by the end!

My advice would be to serve the sandwiches as fingers so you get to try all the different flavours of the filling without too much of the very filling bread. Also the desserts could have been smaller portions, although I didn’t complain about my doggy bag of chocolate torte and extra meringues!

I would really recommend attending a supper club if you get the chance to go to one and I’m already looking forward to the next time I get to sample some great food.

Plumes x

Review – Afternoon Tea by The Vegan Ronin

Shopping in Bournemouth

I went shopping this morning in Bournemouth with my friend Karen who I’m staying with this weekend.

First stop for me was Sunrise Organics which I had found online when I was looking up vegan options. They had a great selection of products, including fresh vegetables, perishables, dried foods, snacks and chocolate and beauty products.

First I picked up a breakfast sandwich from Amy’s Kitchen to have tomorrow before my long journey home. I love these and their great if your missing a “McBreakfast”.

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I then saw this blue cheese from Risella. I hadn’t seen it before and I really like their smoked mozzarella so thought I’d give it a go. The proprietor was also singing it’s praises so I’m looking forward to trying it.

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I then saw something I was really excited by! Vegan Egg from American company, Follow Your Heart. I have seem so rave reviews online about this product, previously unavailable in the UK. I have also tried their vegan mayonnaise which is so good! I know a couple of stores in London are stocking it, but I’m glad I’ve saved myself a trip as I expect they’ll sell out fast as the man in Sunrise Organics also said.

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After our lunch at Mad Cucumber (see my review here) we headed over to Molly’s Den to get our vintage shop on!

Molly’s Den is an emporium made up of lots of different stalls under one roof selling everything from furniture to crockery to toys to clothes.

The first thing I liked was this dress for £7. I love the colour and I really like this style of dress that ties up at the back.

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I then tried on this fabulous coat. It was a bit snug, but as my parka is on its last legs with a rip near the hood and a zip that pinged off when it caught in an escalator a couple of weeks ago I thought that would see me out until the spring and this could be my target coat for next winter.The tag inside says “made in Paris” and I don’t think I’d find a coat of this quality for £28 brand new.

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The last clothing item I picked up was this 60’s dress. It didn’t have a size on it but for £5 I thought you can’t go wrong! It just needs a bit of sewing on one side where the tie goes round.

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I also bought a couple of presents so won’t post them here. I’m glad I’m travelling home by train and could only buy what I can carry else I might have spent a lot more!

Plumes x

Shopping in Bournemouth

Pop up Vintage Fair at Old Spitalfields Market

Yesterday before the theatre and food, Mum and I went to the Pop up Vintage Fair at Old Spitalfields Market near Liverpool Street. The Vintage Fair is there on the third Saturday of every month. I was interested to see what was available as part of my no new clothes challenge.

I wasn’t planning on buying anything due to the other things we were doing in the day but it was great to have a look around. There were a few jewelry stalls which had some nice pieces including Roccabella who are a natural jewelry company. They had real leaves which had electroformed and finished with precious metals. There was a card stall, ipapyrus who had gorgeous handmade pop up cards. You really must check out their amazing work on the website where they have cards for every occasion and even pop up London landmarks. There were also a couple of stalls with some lovely vintage crockery. My Mum said most of it was similar to what she used to have.

There were quite a few “vintage style” stalls which had lovely new clothes but of it was unfortunately do not fit into my remit. I can’t remember the name of the one stall I did actually buy something from and I forgot to pick up a card! The stall owner had some great looking pieces and I’ll be sure to seek her out next time I go to fair. I can’t show you what I bought as it’s a present for someone, but will do after I’ve given it to them!

The last stall I went to wasn’t part of the vintage fair and is there every Saturday and Sunday. Enienay had some lovely upcycled pieces including dresses and tops. From the website –

NINA DAVIES (née Dewey) HAS WORKED UNDER THE LABEL Enienay since graduating from her MA in 2003. Enienay spells out the letters in her name; n-i-n-a becomes EN-I-EN-AY.

Everything she makes previously existed as a forgotten something. Taking unloved garments, she drapes them round a mannequin, to cut and pin, twist and sculpt. Each piece is approached and reconstructed by Nina individually.

Nina also via her Etsy Shop be sure to check her out.

Plumes x

Pop up Vintage Fair at Old Spitalfields Market