Paisley Love


Scarf – Oxfam
Top – second hand from a friend
Skirt – Gringo
Necklace – Swarvoski Crystallized

I love most patterns and prints but paisley is one that I have had a long standing love for. It was definitely a favourite during my teenage years. I was pleased to see that paisley is on trend for SS12 (not that I wouldn’t wear it either way) but current trends often inspire me to wear something that I already have in my wardrobe. I loved the paisley prints at Jil Sander, Emilio Pucci, Stella McCartney, Matthew Williamson and Paul & Joe but they are all way out of my price range (and I only buy ethical!)

The great thing about paisley though is that it has been around for years making it prime for hunting out in charity shops. Paisley is the term used to describe the twisted teardrop pattern that is Iranian and Indian in origin. The patterned fabric also has associations with the summer of Love in 1967 when it became associated with the psychedelic style of the hippie movement and there was an increased interest in Indian spirituality in the West.

The skirt I am wearing isn’t actually paisley but reminds me of it. The scarf is. Here are some more great Paisley pieces that I found on Oxfam.

Oscar B Paisley Jacket

Paisley Pattern Silk Top

Paisley Viscose Next Top

Handmade Blue Paisley Dress

Boden Paisley Dress

There are loads more amazing paisley pieces on Oxfam   here. Will you be wearing Paisley this spring?

I hope you have a lovely weekend. I have just got on PInterest so will be spending the weekend pinning  away like a crazy women. If you are on PInterest, please let me know so that I can follow you.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

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Charity Shop Outfit and a Night Out in Cardiff

Top, cardigan and handbag – charity shops
Organic cotton jeans – M&S
Ring – a high street retailer
Shoes – Dream in Green

On the weekend, I went to Cardiff for a night out with my sister.I took the opportunity to get dressed up and wore an outfit that I have been wanting to wear out for ages, a pencil skirt and bustier top from a second hand shop and jumble sale. I also did my hair in rollers for a kind of fifties style. I did of course take photographs, but annoyingly they seem to have disappeared somewhere between the camera and laptop! Perhaps I will have to do a rerun of the whole night again, which involved a show bar , several jugs of cocktails and plenty of dancing to the likes of Diana Ross, just so I can get some outfit photos.

So instead today I am posting an outfit that I wore last week featuring some of my charity shop finds. Nothing special but plenty of bright colours to cheer up a cold dull day.  I have been dying to make an outfit with my new bright yellow handbag! 

I am currently reading the book, To Die For by Lucy Siegle. I have only got a chapter or two in but I am already finding it hugely thought provoking and eye opening, even though I spend most of my time working time reading and writing about ethics and sustainability in the fashion industry. Franca at Oranges and Apples has written a great review of the book. Have you read it yet, what do you think of it? or are you planning on reading it? I a considering offering it as a giveaway on the blog once I have finished reading it.

I hope that you are having a fantastic week.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Ethical Outfit Challenge – Winter Warmers

Jumper – given to me by a friend who was having a clear out
Vintage dress – Marthas Closet
Faux fur jacket – local Oxfam shop
Shoes – Dream in Green
Vintage Necklace/ locket – a present
Handmade bangle – a christmas present from my mum

This months ethical outfit challenge on Ethical Fashion Bloggers is on the theme of winter warmers. I will have to admit, I have been struggling a little lately in the cold weather with what to wear.

I work from home and tend to get really cold sat at the computer all day so to avoid having to turn up the heating extra high, I tend to wear really thick cardigans. Being really short I tend to get swamped by big knitwear and look a bit silly apart from when I wear leggings. I also struggle with motivating myself to wear something nice as when I go outside, I only throw a big coat over the top anyway. I am afraid I have definitely fallen into the trap of comfort dressing over the last few weeks so this challenge was the perfect opportunity to kick myself into action and make a bit of an effort.

Layering seems to be the perfect option as it allows me to wear one of my favourite vintage floral dresses (I have been suffering from severe floral withdrawal symptoms) but still keep cosy and warm by layering up with a jumper, tights and faux fur jacket. And, I am pleased to say that the whole outfit is ethical/sustainable except the tights. I have in the past struggled with finding ethical tights in the past, but there are more options becoming available so next time I need to replace them perhaps I will be able to find something suitable. Actually I have been thinking about running a series on where to buy affordable ethical fashion staples like tights and leggings. Do you think this is something that might be of interest to you?

If you are interested in joining us at Ethical Fashion Bloggers and having a go at one of our ethical outfit challenges, you can find out more here.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

What do you think about charity shop pricing?

Laura Ashley cord shift dress bought in local charity shop for £6.50

Retro handbag bought in local charity shop for £3.99

Faux fur coat bought in local charity shop for about £15

Charity shop haul including French Connection and linea dress and Coast cardigan for £21

I would definitely class myself as something of a charity shop addict. I find it very difficult to pass one by without popping in to see if I can find myself a bargain. Lately I have also discovered online charity shopping which has put even more temptation in my way, now I can even charity shop from my desk when I am supposed to be working!

I have noticed quite a few fashion bloggers who also love charity shopping, actually there are loads of us. It is a fantastic way to constantly refresh your wardrobe and find unique and individual pieces to style whilst helping a good cause and without having much of an impact on the environment or spending too much money, what’s not to love?

But there has been a bit of an ongoing debate as to the pricing of charity shops and whether they are getting too expensive. Following the Mary Queen of Charity Shops series a few years back, Gemma at Retro Chic wrote an interesting post summing up some  of the changes that were going on back then. Since then I think things have moved on significantly, prices are definitely on the up and I am struggling to get much change from a tenner when buying something from my local charity shops recently. You can check out one of the  previous debates on the subject at Vintage Brighton.

I thought it was about time I added my two peneth to the subject of pricing in charity shops and would also love to know what you think too.

In some ways I am glad that the prices in charity shops has gone up and can definitely see justification for why even though it is costing me more money. This is why…

 Although a charity shops are run with very little financial cost (compared to conventional retailers) because they sell donated items and rely on the goodwill of volunteers, these things are not without value. They are given to people wanting to help the charity not give shoppers something for nothing. I regularly donate clothing to charity shops but would not feel happy about donating good stuff if I knew they were going to sell it at ridiculously low prices.

The increased prices of charity shops has caused me pause and think slightly more about what I buy in instead of filling my arms with loads of stuff that I will never end up wearing. As I said before charity shop clothing has a value and should be priced accordingly to encourage recycling and avoid it being wasted. There is also often a perception that because something costs more, it is more desirable. Can charity shops be blamed for hiking their prices to make their products more sought after, luxury brands have being doing for years ?

Charity shops must be governed to a certain extent by supply and demand. It seems like there is quite a lot of demand for quality second hand clothing at the moment, particularly with the current economic climate. With so much poor quality fast fashion around the supply of good quality charity shop pieces must be getting more difficult. Charities seem to be investing in more innovative ways of getting donations including bag collections and schemes with retailers. This is all great news as it keeps the shops stocked with goodies for us to buy but also must increase costs which will need to be passed on.

On the other hand I can see that for those that have very little money and have relied on charity shops as a low cost option, this price increases make life more difficult. Not sure I really know the answer to this but many charity shops have some lower cost alternatives and some shops clearly have higher prices than others so if you want a bargain, it is worth shopping around.

There are also  plenty of times when I have seen charity shop pieces that have been ridiculously overpriced. £30 for a Next dress which would probably not have cost much more than £40 or £50 when new, seems a bit much! But we have to bear in mind that those that price items are volunteers and not neccesarily experts so might not always get it right and some times when they get it wrong it could work in our favour.

My personal opinion is that on the whole most charity shops are asking a fair price for most of the items that they are selling. Some of the cheaper fast fashion pieces are disproportionately priced considering how much they cost new but as I rarely look to buy this sort of clothing from charity shops, it doesn’t really bother me. But I do think that if prices continue rise to much above what they are now, I would have to consider very carefully whether to shop in charity shops anymore. Whilst I want to support charities, if I can buy second hand much cheaper on Ebay or elsewhere then I may have to do so.

So over to you, what do you think, are the charity shops pricing themselves out of the market or asking a fair price?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Ethical Outfit Competition – The Winners!

I have been absolutely amazed by the response to my ethical outfit competition. Not only did we have some amazing outfits but it was also great to see how much discussion there was about ethical outfits and sustainable fashion along the way. I really didn’t realise quite how many bloggers were already wearing ethical and sustainable fashion in their own unique way and it is also great to see those who aren’t making a special effort for the competition. A massive thank you to all those who have entered. It has been so difficult to pick just 8 winners and I wish I could have given prizes to everyone.

There are 8 prizes which I have listed at the bottom of the post and the winners each get to choose their prize with the first choosing first followed by each subsequent winner. I will be contacting you all individually in turn so it may take a little time, don’t worry if I don’t get in touch today, I will be in touch asap and I haven’t forgotton you!

1. Vicky of #GollyGosh – I loved the thrifted jacket and the way Vicky has styled blouse and DIY cutoffs.

2. Second prize goes to Vintage Passions Just Like Mine– Such a bold and colourful outfit, I am definitely inspired by the leopard skin/ floral pattern mix.


3. Sophie of Story of My Life – A very pretty orange dress (secondhand from ebay) and the vintage handbag and scarf are the perfect finishing touch to the outfit.

4. Franca of Oranges and Apples – an amazing effort with a 100% thrifted outfit including shoes! I love the skirt and the pretty accessories.

5. Rachel of Cold Knees – another completely thrifted outfit. I love the jumper for adding a bit of sparkle to a cold winters day.

6. Nicole of –  I am a big fan of thrifted pencil skirts and this one looks fabulous on Nicole.

7. Vix of Vintage Vixen – another 100% vintage and thrifted outfit, The skirt is so beautiful and unique and the Vix has some fabulous accessories. Even her make up is second hand and nail varnish cruelty free!

8. Cait of Sailing to Nowhere – if you read my blog, you will know I am partial to a bit of floral print. This dress is so pretty and I love the way that Cait has shortened it so it is just right and contrasted it with a neutral coat – all thrifted!


If you would like to see further photographs and close ups of accessories for each of the outfits, I would definitely recommend that you follow the links to each of the blogs.

The Prizes

£100 of Spartoo Vouchers

£50 People Tree Vouchers

Lilygrace Originals Earrings

£50 voucher for Daisy Hill (when you spend £100)

A pair of Simple Shoes

3 X Posh Swaps goody bags

Please check out the original competition post here for further details of each of the prizes and the competition sponsors.Once again a massive thank you to all those that have entered and helped to promote this competition and the companies that have donated such fabulous prizes.

Tomorrow, I will be launching a new series for December – 30 Days of Ethical Fashion, I will be showcasing a different ethical or sustainable fashion brand every day in December except for Christmas day when I will be far too busy opening pressies and eating turkey.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X


Tuesday Treats – Ethical Knitwear

Yesterday it was so cold I had to give in and put the heating on. I usually try and last as long as possible by layering as many knits as I can. Mr Style Eyes likes to have a good laugh at me wrapped up in my scruffy old Grandad cardigan and has suggested perhaps I ought to get something a little more stylish. So here are just a few of the most stylish pieces of ethical knitwear that I have spotted recently that also look like they would keep me extra toasty warm.

Fair trade ethical cardigan

 Fair Trade Shaggy Cardigan Coat by Gringo

 Pixel Fairtrade Wool Stripe Dress by Komodo

ethical bamboo draped front sweater

Bamboo Cashmere Silk Drape Front Sweater by Viridis Luxe


Fair Trade Multi Coloured Grandad Style Cardigan By  Natural Collection

Rekindle Jumper by Seasalt

Monsoon Vanilla Soft Lambswool Blended Knitted Jumper at Oxfam

People Tree also have some amazing Fair Trade knitwear like this pretty flower cardigan with up to 40% off knitwear until midnight Friday.

What do you think? do you like any of these ethical knitwear pieces?

Tommorrow I will be announcing the winners of my ethical outfit competition – I have some very tough decisions choosing the winners.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

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Ethical Fashion Updates and a Sparkly Vintage Maxi Dress

I keep hearing about new ethical and sustainable fashion developments, collections and labels and I wanted to share them with you. There seems to be so much happening with ethical fashion at the moment, it is difficult to keep up so if you like this kind of post (?), I might make Friday a regular spot for a quick catch up.

Firstly, if you haven’t already done so, you can still enter my ethical outfit competition (closes Monday). There are some great prizes including £100 of shoe vouchers. All you need to do is put together an outfit including at least one ethical piece which could include anything vintage, second hand or upcycled as well as by an ethical brand. You can find out more details of prizes and how to enter here.

It really is now cool to be eco fabulous. The latest designer to get in on the act (in case you haven’t heard) is Manolo Blahnik. His first foray into the world of sustainable shoes with Marcia Patmos will be a collection made from discarded tilapia skins(I think that’s a fish, isn’t it? and a by product of the food industry), cork and raffia. The 2 styles  a double strap, open-toe flat and a strappy, high-heeled sandal will be available in electric blue, black, nude and yellow and will be available from Manolo Blahnik stores in the spring.

Also from the Spring, we will be seeing more eco fashion on the high street in the form of sustainable fashion brand Seasalt at John Lewis. The collection, which is inspired by spired by the artists and potters of St. Ives and exclusively designed for John Lewis, will be available in the Spring. If you can’t wait until then, you can always pop over to the Seasalt website for some of their signature west Country style in sustainable textiles including organic cotton and bamboo. They have some great knitwear and accessories which would make lovely Christmas pressies.

Henrietta Ludgate, eco designer and favourite of Livia Firth has just opened a new shop which will also double as her London studio. Her collections which are shown at the LFW Estethica exhibition are architectural and minimal but with a vibrant palette. Henrietta who is Scottish, commits aims to showcase  Scottish craftsmanship. She also helps to provide skills, training and employment for local communities and uses fabrics that are upcycled from British fabric mills. She will also be running fashion Illustration  and  ‘How to make a dress in a day.’courses and offering customised clothes with personalised linings with inscriptions. The shop is at Whitleley’s in London’s Queensway. If you do stop by I would love to know what you think. You can also buy Henrietta Ludgate from Yoox.

I have always loved the designs by sustainable fashion label Tara Starlet and was really interested to hear that they have now launched a lingerie collection. I was disappointed to miss out on the launch party last night which sounded like great fun, but think the collection is great, definitely one for the Christmas list!

The photograph above shows my latest charity shop find a sparkly seventies maxi dress. I deliberately haven’t shortened it because as much as I love it, my wardrobe is just getting too full and I have decided to use it as the first piece for a vintage fashion online store that I have decided to open. I am not really sure where I am going to sell yet but am considering ASOS marketplace. I would be really grateful any tips or advice from those with experience of selling vintage.

I have a fun packed weekend with the family planned, are you doing anything fun?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X


A Frugal Girl’s Guide to Sustainable Fashion

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Since deciding to try and be more sustainable with my fashion and style choices, surprisingly I have managed to save loads of money. This has the added bonus of meaning that I can afford to work less and spend more time with family and friends, making my life much happier for me. I used to avoid ethical fashion on the basis that it was going to cost me more but ethical and sustainable clothing has come on in leaps and bounds over the last year and I now firmly believe that it is possible to look stylish whilst wearing sustainable fashion and sticking to a budget. Here are my tips on how (some maybe a bit obvious, but sometimes a little reminder/ refresher is a good thing):

Buy Less

Very obvious really, if you buy less, you will spend less and you will be having less of an impact on the environment. But buying less doesn’t mean that you have to miss out. You can still look on trend, stylish, elegant, whatever you like. Just consider your purchases carefully.

If you develop your own style (rather than being a slave to fashion), there will be no need to keep replacing your wardrobe as your clothes won’t ever go out of fashion. By buying less you can afford to invest in something high quality perhaps from an ethical brand. In the long run this will pay off as the clothes will last better and many ethical brands design timeless styles. If you are unsure of where to look check out my post on 50 places to buy affordable ethical fashion online.

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Also think about how you store your clothes. The easier it is for you to see what you already have, the more likely you will be to wear it and the less likely to buy more of the same. I like to hang my necklaces on hooks on the wall, keep rings and brooches in a teacup on my dressing table and hand scarves on a scarf hanger.

Sometime buying less can force you to be more creative with your wardrobe with the end result being a unique and very stylish you. If you don’t believe me, check out The Uniform Project for proof of how many ways (365 to be precise) you can wear a black dress. There are countless other challenges where fashion bloggers have created a variety of different outfits from a limited wardrobe. Trust me, this really works, why not start with a 2 month shopping ban – just seeing how much money you save!

It is worth thinking about why you shop. If you are just looking for the feel good factor of buying something new, find another way to get this feeling perhaps coffee with friends, a DIY pamper session or baking cakes.

Look after your clothes well

If you are investing in  high quality well made clothes, it is worth looking after them as they will last you for years. Valuing what you have is the easiest way to buy less and the best way to save money and be more sustainable. Always read the labels before you wash your clothes. Handwash delicate items and store them carefully. My biggest problem is tights getting laddered. I tuck them inside a sock to wash so that they don’t get damaged. You can also wash delicate clothing inside an old pillow case. Polish and reheel your shoes regularly and store in boxes to keep them in good as new condition. I also like to keep my handbags in dust bags which you can run up from old clothes and pieces of fabric.

Watch out for moths especially with cashmere. I once had a £200 cashmere jumper ruined when one ate a great big hole right in the middle. I now scatter lots of cedar wood balls in my knitwear drawer. There are countless articles on the internet on how to care for your clothes, if you have any great tips, please share them in the comments below.

Choose carefully

How many times have you made a mistake buy buying something that you never wear or only wear once? These mistakes are costly to you and  the environment so choose carefully to avoid them. Some say that most people only wear 20% of their wardrobe for 80% of the time, you should try and make sure that any new purchases increase that 20% not the 80%, this will mean you will need to buy less clothes in the future.  Common mistakes are buying clothes that don’t fit properly, don’t suit you body shape or colouring or which are another version of something you already have lots of or are just not right for your life style. Do a wardrobe check before you go shopping and think about what clothes suit you and your lifestyle. No good buying yet more party dresses, if you never go to any parties!


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There are lots of ways that recycling can  save you money. Firstly, you can upcycle clothes to give them a new lease of life. So you are really bored with that maxi dress,  why not shorten it and make a mini dress? Plain tops can be customised in countless ways including by bleaching, dying, shredding, cropping, applique and embroidery. Upcycling is a huge trend at the moment and there is certainly no shortage of places to go for inspiration. Try Threadbanger, Ethical Fashion Bloggers and

Sell or swap your clothes

Even with the best will in the world, you will sometimes have clothes that you no longer want or need. A frugal girl will make the most of these clothes by selling or swapping them. Ebay is the usual port of call for those wanting to sell something but you can also list and swap or sell them for free on If you have clothing of a high value, you could try selling through a local dress agency. Check our for swap parties in your area. I also have a sort of informal arrangement with my friends that we let each other have a look through any unwanted clothes before they go in the charity bag.

Cash your clothes in

Some brands and retailers now collect old clothes and give you a voucher to spend in exchange. With M & S, you can recycle your old clothes at Oxfam in exchange for a voucher. Monsoon have a similar scheme clothes for life where you get £10 off a new item.   

Buy second hand

Buying second hand is a great way to get more for your money. Charity shops, ebay and carboot sales are packed with bargains often that have hardly or never been worn. I actually tend to wear my second hand charity shop clothes more often than some of the new clothes that I have bought, perhaps because when you take away the marketing, trends etc that persuade you to buy new clothes, it is much easier to focus on what you want and what will look good on you. if you don’t have time to trawl charity shops Oxfam have a great selection including vintage and Cancer Research have some great designer finds.

Look out for ethical bargains

Even with all of the affordable ethical brands out there, you may still find ethical fashion a bit more expensive than the really low priced fast fashion retailers. If you wait until the sales though you can get yourself something amazing for a great price. Many ethical brands and retailers run year round promotions and sales, you can follow me on Twitter to keep up with them. People Tree and Fashion Conscience always have great offers and sales.

What do you think? is it easy to be frugal and sustainable with your style?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X


Charity Shop Faux Fur Outfits

I can’t seem to get enough of faux fur at the moment. Here the outfits that I wore this weekend including some of my faux fur charity shop finds. The funny thing is when I wear faux fur my girls just want to cuddle up to me and stroke the fur all the time, they have nicknamed the coat my teddy bear coat.

Faux fur jacket – Oxfam
skirt – ASOS Africa
Boots – Dream on Green
Necklace and bracelet – Swarovski Crystallised
Bag – Spartoo

On Saturday, I popped into Bath for a little bit of shopping and lunch in ASK with the girls. I had some Tesco vouchers that needed using up so naturally we had to use them all up with plenty of icecream.

Coat – Blue Cross charity shop
Tunic/ dress – Blue cross charity shop (originally Linea)
Leggings – People Tree
Shoes – given to me by a friend as she didn’t want them!
Belt- Next

Saturday night, Mr Style Eyes and I went for food at the pub followed by a beer or two. I love this fur coat for a night out it is really warm and also a size too big so I can fit an extra cardigan underneath if needed.

Dress – over 15 years old,  upcycled
Jacket and necklace – as above
Shoes – Nine West

This dress is the DIY project that I have been working on this weekend. You can read more about it on my recycled fashion post for Oxfam fashion to be published soon.

Check out Oxfam for Cancer Research for some great charity shop faux fur and  fur trimmed coats. 

Do you have any faux fur? how do you wear yours?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Tuesday Treats – Vintage Christmas Party Dresses

I can’t wait until Christmas and have already got a vintage dress to wear to the one and only Christmas party that I will be going to this year. But I have seen so many other beautiful dresses and I thought that I would share some with you. The great thing about these dresses is that they make a change to the standard little black dress or long black evening dress but as so many of these vintage styles are on trend, you won’t look out of place. I also love the idea of wearing bright colours at Christmas.

vintage seventies red linen dress

Vintage Seventies Red Linen Dress – Oxfam

vintage mod dress

Vintage sixties mod dress– Rock  My Vintage

Vintage seventies lavender blue dress – Oxfam Vintage yellow shift dress

Vintage seventies yellow satin shift dress – Oxfam

vintage sixties shift dress

Sixties Vintage Shift Dress – Rock My Vintage

Vintage Fifties Dress – Posh Swaps


Laura Ashley – Prom Style Dress – Oxfam

vintage sixties prom dress

Vintage Sixties Prom Dress – Rock My Vintage

vintage green leather

 Vintage Sixties Green Leather Dress – Oxfam

Vintage Ruby Red Taffeta Prom Dress – Oxfam

Vintage Seventies Beige Evening Dress – Oxfam

vintage maxi dress

Vintage Seventies Maxi – Oxfam

If you are feeling a bit fed up with blogging or struggling to get motivated at the moment, please check out my post for IFB on 10 tips for  maintaining your blogger mojo.

If you love upcycling or DIY, you might be interested in joining in the monthly post round up on Ethical Fashion Bloggers. You can find out more here.

Have a good week!

With warmest wishes

Ceri X