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Friday, 30 March 2012

Scroll back through my outfit posts and you'll notice a pretty obvious trend - there's usually at least one, if not more, component of my outfit that's second-hand (whether that be ebay, vintage, charity shop or car boot sale).  This is partly because I am a cheapskate and shop less than most people I know, but mostly because I was brought up to value things and not treat them as disposable.

I don't think that buying something from an ethical manufacturer and only ever wearing it once is any more responsible than going mental in a charity shop and buying tons of stuff you'll never wear, just because it happens to be cheap and secondhand.  Admittedly both of those things are better than mindlessly hoovering up loads of tat just because a magazine tells you it's in fashion this year, but I still wouldn't recommend either of them, even if they do make you feel a bit more socially responsible than going on a spree in Primark.  Everything in my wardrobe has to earn its keep - it doesn't matter where it's come from.  I don't have the wardrobe space, the budget, or the conscience to wear things a few times and throw them away.

The boots are a perfect example of this.  They were third-hand when they came to me - I swapped them with another blogger (whilst at a car boot sale, no less!) and she'd picked them up from either a charity shop or another car boot sale.  Two years on and they're still going strong, with the benefit of one spot of TLC from my local cobbler when the heel snapped in half.  Some people might have turned their noses up at shoes that other people have worn, or gone "oh dear" and binned them when they broke.  I'm not getting rid of these beauties until there is actually no more wear left in them.

Top - ASOS via charity shop
Skirt - via Oxfam
Clutch - made from an offcut of the skirt
Boots - long and complicated history
Bracelets - shell necklace (had for donkey's years) and green bangle (present from Zoe)
Necklace - River Island sale

As I mentioned here, Oxfam is proving a fine source of vintage Welsh tweed skirts at the moment.  They are too long for me but this is a good thing - a little bit of cursing later (ok, a lot.  I am not talented at the crafty stuff.) and not only is the skirt a wearable length, the offcut is now a clutch bag!  Revamping something that's locally made and vintage and from a charity shop into two things that I'll get lots of use from, that is ethical fashion.

So although I didn't actually plan this outfit as such (I mostly just wanted to swank a bit about having made the clutch.  What?  I'm proud of myself!), I think this is a jolly suitable entry for the Blogger's Outfit Competition that Style Eyes is holding.  Here's hoping...


  1. Now that's cool. You SHOULD feel proud of yourself!

  2. Love your clutch bag - excellent work!
    I like your take on ethical fashion - wearing what you have is what my wardrobe challenges are all about. I have a lot of clothes and I do sometimes buy things that only get worn a few times, things that seem like a bargain but they only are if they get worn. I'm turning to eBay more and more and am waiting patiently for my charity shop mojo to kick in.
    Good luck in the competition!

  3. Wow fabby boots to be lasting so long! Loving your necklace :)

  4. Wow fabby boots to be lasting so long! Loving your necklace :)

  5. Wow fabby boots to be lasting so long! Loving your necklace :)

  6. Wow fabby boots to be lasting so long! Loving your necklace :)

  7. I am always trying to think up of a new use for things, and I'm with you all the way with the boots, they have so much wear left in them yet xxx

  8. Firstly Alex, what a great spot for taking photos! And secondly you look fab. Loving the bag, you cleaver soul you!

    Good luck with the competition.

    X x

  9. Oooh,love your clutch! There isn't a spare remnant is there?!! You look lovely and I salute your approach to clothing! I am so glad I gave up clothes shopping for Lent and beyond (originally inspired by the 100 days shopping ban) it's given me a chance to reflect on some bad habits I've got into over the last 2 years!!!

  10. That skirt is fabulous Alex! xo

  11. Definitely a good entry - so impressed with the home-made matchy clutch and skirt. Any tiny scraps left? You could make some covered buttons and turn them into hairslides or something. I've actually just entered ceri's comp too - I need a good incentive to willingly get in front of the camera!

  12. Ok so maybe not entirely in keeping with the recycled fashion theme - but if any of you are interested: I developed a website for an ethical fashion company last year - muddandwater. They're doing some really lovely stuff, using organic cotton, bamboo etc, and trying to deliver designer sustainable fashion at reasonable prices. Might be worth a visit? - - thanks, Andy


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