Oxfam Fashion Picks For Summer 2012

My wardrobe is jam packed full at the moment, hence why I am on a shopping ban. There is no harm in a little window shopping though and as I have completely forbidden myself to buy a single piece of clothing, I really don’t mind sharing my favourite Oxfam Fashion Picks for Summer 2012. Summer is definitely my favourite season and also my favourite time for charity shopping as there are usually so many fantastic summer dresses to choose from. Not only are these dresses a great price but charity shopping is also better for the environment than buying something new and the charity get to benefit too. Yes it is guilt free shopping!

beige halter neck dress

This beige halter neckdress is so elegant. I love the colour, the chiffon fabric and the pretty detail. It would be so perfect for a summer wedding or garden party. It is size 8 and £17.99.

green dress - Oxfam Fashion

This green dress is brand new with tags and from the M&S Limited Collection- size 8, £14.99. What a fantastic colour! the perfect dress for a really hot summer’s day.

Bold Prints are really on trend for this summer but I love them all of the time. This beautiful leaf print dress really caught my eye. Size 10, £24.99.

Actually I love all prints not just the bold ones. The scarf print on this Karen Millen Halter Neck Top and skirt is really cute. 12/14, £19.99.

This floral coral skirt by Gap (size 6, £9.99) is just waiting to be worn with a printed top perhaps a fantastic black and white print like this…

Black and white Next top, (Brand new with tags), £9.99 size 12.

I can’t help loving this amazing denim tapestry waistcoat. How amazing would it look with some denim cutoffs? (size small £7.99)

Last but not least this Vintage Boutique Sequin Blazer has severely tested my will power. It would go with most of my little dresses for a great evening outfit- size 12 £27.99.

What would be your summer picks from Oxfam Fashion.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Ps just to let you know this post contains affiliate links

Lace Detail


Annie Greenabelle dress

melissa shoes

Dress – Annie Greenabelle
Leggings – People Tree
Cardigan – Braintree Hemp
Shoes – Melissa
Necklace -Swarovksi Crystalized

I seem to go through phases with what I wear, one week it is ridiculously bright floral prints and another I can’t get enough of charity shop faux fur. This week has most definitely been all about lace detail for me. From my new Melissa shoes which have some very recycled plastic lace detail on them to my Annie Greenabelle dress with a lace print on it and my new Braintree hemp cardigan (one of my birthday buys) that has a kind of lacey crochet panel at the front.

I wore this outfit last weekend when Mr Style Eyes and I went camping in our camper van near Bath. Yet more exciting plans for this weekend, how will you be enjoying the sunshine?

BTW – I can’t remember if I shared my latest blog post for Oxfam Fashion about Charity Shopping for Your Best Colours. I have now anyway.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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Swapping, Selling and Giving at Friendly Fashion

clothes swapping denim jacket

Denim jacket – swapped
Necklace – Made
Dress – Oxfam
Shoes – Dkode

We are all kind of guilty to a certain extent of buying clothes that we need or just getting bored with what we already have and fancying a change. Swapping, selling and buying preloved clothes is a fantastic way to refresh your wardrobe and it is better for your purse and the environment than buying new. I also think it is really fun and a great way of trying something new that you might not usually buy in the shops. I am so passionate about swapping that I set up my own clothes swapping website Posh Swaps a few years back to encourage people to get swapping. Since then there has been an explosion of Swishing (swapping) parties and clothes swapping websites which gives everyone plenty of opportunity for everyone to recycle their old stuff and get something amazing in return. The denim jacket in the image is the result of a swap I did and I wear it all of the time.

I recently recieved an email Friendly Fashion, a great new swapping site. They have some fantastic stuff listed on the site and I would definitely recommend checking it out if your wardrobe needs a little refresh. The site is free to use, allows you to swap, buy, sell and give away itmes and has a fantastic widget which can be customised and adding to your blog to help promote any items that you list.

Spring is the perfect time to have a good clear out. You can make yourself some extra cash or get something lovely and new in return for the clothes that you don’t wear. Here are some of my favourite items listed on the site.

NWT Summer dress

flowery dress

aztec top

summer jumpsuit

I definitely have plenty of pieces of clothing I would love to swap. How about you? Have you every tried swapping?

With warmest wishes

Ceri x


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Birthday Week

Apart from the fact that it marks me getting another year older, I really love birthdays. I don’t have much time to myself most of the time so on my birthday like to indulge myself. This year I have managed to spread it out over a whole week of doing pretty much exactly what I want. I had some lovely pressies including delicious smelling Lush goodies from my sister, a beautiful mirrored jewellery box and a necklace from my neighbours and a vintage book from my friend but mostly I got money which I  have used to treat myself to a few goodies (clothes of course!).

paisley scarf

Monsoon Ramirez Dress

On Monday, I spent a very wet day wandering around the shops and researching my Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath, I did also manage to squeeze in some shopping and got this beautiful scarf from the Black and White Shop for just £10. I also got this amazing printed dress from Monsoon and a Monsoon cardigan from the Oxfam Boutique. I can’t wait until the weather warms up so I can wear the dress perhaps with the scarf for a really printastic outfit!

My actual birthday was really all about eating cake. I ordered up this beauty from Patisserie Valerie, it was delicious- sponge, cream, fruit and white chocolate.  I did manage to fit in 2 hours of excercise classes which hopefully went some way to offsetting some of those calories.

Noorin Khamisani Outsider

On Thursday, I had a cup of tea and chat with the lovely Noorin Khamisani of Outsider, a fantastic label that is all about classic, wearable and beautiful clothes (that just happen to be ethical too) . I really love her latest collection which features some very lovely dresses, one of which she happens to be wearing in this photo.

Antiform top

It was yet another horrible and wet day so I resorted to wearing jeans (organic cotton from M&S) and boots (Dream in Green) with my new Antiform top that I got from Mr Style Eyes and the girls. I did give them a little help in deciding what to get me. Well actually I just bought it ,myself from Think Boutique. Antiform is another label which I really love and well worth checking out if you love unusual pieces. They use reclaimed fabrics and mix fashion forward shapes with heritage crafts.

zakee shariff paisley t shirt

I also got this People Tree top from the Zakee Shariff Collection.

And this dress by Frank and Faith (another amazing and very afforable brand) from Ethical Superstore which I wore out to dinner with my friends on Friday with leggings and necklace by People Tree, swapped denim jacket and shoes by Simple.

I have also ordered myself a few more goodies in the Ethical Superstore 20% off sale and some Melissa shoes (to keep my feet dry) which I will share once they arrive.

So that is it birthday week is over, back to reality, sensible, healthy eating and a complete shopping ban until at least the autumn, I definitely don’t need any new clothes now.

I hope you have had a lovely weekend, despite the rain!

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

This post contains some affiliate links

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A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath

I feel very lucky to live near to Bath. It has so many shops and cafes, I could spend hours just wandering around the back streets discovering new places. In particular, it has some amazing places to shop for vintage and second hand clothes. So on one very wet and rainy day (Monday), I decided to take my camera and do a bit of research for the Second Hand and Vintage Guide to Bath that I have been promising for quite some time.

If you don’t live near Bath and fancied visiting for a weekend or short break there are also plenty of other things to do, my favourites being the Bath Costume Museum, the Roman Baths and Thermae Spa where you can enjoy a post shopping spa session.

View Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath in a larger map

Oxfam Boutique

Oxfam Boutique Bath

Oxfam Boutique Charity Shop Bath

This shop really doesn’t look anything like a charity shop. It is well lit and airey with a contemporary feel. The clothing and accessories have been carefully selected for their quality and timeless apeal and are in excellent condition. They are creatively displayed by colours and even have their own Oxfam Boutique tag making it feel like you are buying something brand new. Prices are very slightly higher than you might normally pay in a charity shop but still a fantastic bargain. I managed to get myself a beautiful Monsoon cardigan for £12.

Black and White

Black and white shop Bath

Black and white shop

I really loved this shop which is jam packed with an eclectic selection of second hand and vintage clothing ranging from high street to designer. I can’t believe I never wven knew it was there, it is definitely now on my must visit list when I am in Bath. Allow plenty of time to look around if you are visiting as their is just so much to see and accessories every where, there is even some retro homeware and a staircase with pairs of shoes on each step. I loved all of the beautiful colours and patterns and came away with an amazing brightly coloured pom pom adorned paisley scarf for £10.

Scarlet Vintage

Scarlet Vintage BathScarlet Vintage Shop Bath

Scarlet Vintage is a gem of a shop hidden away down a back street where you probably wouldn’t think of looking. It has a great selection of colourful vintage and second hand designer clothes. The clothing is really wearable and affordable. They had plenty of maxi dresses and summer dresses. I tried on a really lovely Diane Von Furstenburg dress which cost £30. If you live locally, they also run a Private Vintage Club running events for the chance to get dressed up in your finest vintage wear.

Vintage to Vogue

Vintage to Vogue Bath

Vintage shops in Bath

Down a little alley way and away from the hustle and bustle of Bath, Vintage to Vogue is a place for the serious vintage and designer enthusiast to shop. It has a beautiful and top quality collection of both mens and womens wear from the forties and fifties onwards but also some more modern pieces from iconic labels like Chanel. I spotted a lovely fifties shift dress for £60 that I would have loved to have bought. 


Mint Designer clothes Bath

Mint Dress Agency Bath

Just a stone’s throw away from the railway station, Mint feels just like a designer boutique. The only difference being that it is filled with preloved designer clothes. The clothes are all in top condition and are by a wide range of designers from D&G to Chloe, Missoni, Joseph, Alice Temperley and Paul & Joe. Everything in the shop has classic appeal and you certainly wouldn’t guess that it was from a previous season. Prices ranged from about £60 upwards. I spotted a nice pair of what looked like nearly new Etoile Isabel Marant jeans for £95. Definitely the place to visit if you want designer clothing at a fraction of its new price.

The Frock Exchange (now Gracie & Ted)

The Frock Exchange Bath

Another fantastic place to shop for designer wear that looks as good as new. The Frock Exchange is a dress agency selling beautiful designer ball dresses, cocktail dresses, shoes, bags and accessories. If you want something to wear for a special occasion, this is the place for you. You will get the rare opportunity to wear something from recent collections by labels like Yves St Laurent but without bankrupting yourself in the process.

Apart from all of these amazing shops, Bath has a good selection of charity shops and regular vintage fairs and markets including The Bath Vintage and Antiques Market at Green Park Station on the last Sunday of every month and the Bath Flea and Vintage Market which is held up on the race course.

If you live nearby, I hope I have tempted you to take a second hand and vintage shopping trip around Bath and if you live a little further afield to visit Bath for a weekend to check out these fantastic shops. I have had an amazing time researching and visiting these shops (and doing a little shopping on the way), I hope you enjoy them too.

If you do happen to know of anywhere else that I have missed please leave a comment below.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x


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Stonehenge Inspired DIY Printed Dress

This months DIY challenge at Ethical Fashion Bloggers was to create or upcycle a piece of clothing using your local area as inspiration. There is plenty of amazing stuff quite near to where I live but I finally decided to use Stonehenge.

Image credit

Incase you didn’t already know, Stone Henge is a world heritage site with some ancient stone creations. Whilst nobody really knows the meaning behind them, they are pretty awe inspiring. I decided to use them as inspiration for a printed design on a denim dress which I bought from the Oxfam Boutique in Bath.

I picked up some fabric paints from the bargain bucket in an art shop in Bath (orange and yellow being the only colours left). I borrowed some lego pieces from my daughter to use for the printing.

I marked out with French chalk where I wanted the prints to go.

I then used the end of the lego to print the Stonehenge shapes and outlined in black fabric paint with a paint brush. The orange paint was far easier to put on than the yellow which just seemed to sink into the fabric.

In hindsight I should have put something between the front and back layers of the dress as a little did sink through but luckily not enough to be too noticable!

So there we have it, my Stone Henge inspired dress! If you fancy joining in with some DIY or Ethical Outfit Challenges then why not join us at Ethical Fashion Bloggers.

Sorry if things have been a little quiet over here on the blogging front lately. It was my birthday this week so I have been far too busy relaxing and indulging myself (more on that soon!)

I hope that you are having a good week!

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Spring 2012 – Patterned Trousers

I love patterns and prints.For spring and summer patterned trousers seem to be big news and I can’t wait. Here are just a few that  have spotted. They are great for wearing with a plain top or if you are really brave can be mixed up with a patterned top.

Sahara Printed Trousers – Monsoon

Fesfehani Trousers – Monsoon

Komodo trousers

Hugo Trousers by Komodo

Vintage Paul Costelloe Trousers

 Paul Costelloe Printed Trousers – Oxfam

Pianura Studio newspaper print bootcut jeans – Oxfam

Kenneth Cole New York black patterned trousers – Oxfam

 Trussardi Jeans – Oxfam

Vintage Lilly Pulitzer capri pants

Vintage Lilly Pulitzer Capri Pants – ASOS Marketplace

Aztec print ethical leggings

Aztec Print Leggings by Antiform

neon patterned vintage trousers

Neon Patterned Vintage Trousers – Rokit Vintage

So there we have it! If you don’t fancy pretty pastel colours for spring, there are plenty of alternatives! Having taken some advice from @couturecoco5 on Twitter, even short people (like me) can wear patterned trousers as long as they stick to the close fitting capri styles and wear with heels. Excellent, that is just what I wanted to hear!

What do you think of these ethical and sustainable patterned trousers. Will you be wearing any of them for spring?

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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Crazy Yellow Print Dress

Dress – Oxfam Online
Necklace – People Tree
Jacket – Swapped on Posh-swaps.com
Belt – Swapped at Swap in the City
Boots – Dream in Green

The slightest whiff of spring weather and  get the urge to wear the brightest and craziest prints I can find!

Today I decided to venture outside to take my photos and try some different settings on my camera. I got varying results but overall you can clearly see that the outside photos with natural light have turned out better. I was trying to achieve the kind of unfocused background but it didn’t quite work as well as I hoped perhaps partly because I was limited in how far I could get from the camera because I don’t have a tripod so was limited to where I could rest the camera and didn’t want to get my feet muddy by going on the grass. Will have to try again on a drier day!

In case you are interested, I recently wrote a post on Oxfam Fashion, My Top Ten Charity Shopping Tips, probably pretty obvious stuff for any seasoned charity shoppers, but maybe useful for those who don’t buy from charity shops and would like to give it a go. I promise you, it is great fun and you can find some amazing stuff!

I have also launched a new ethical fashion blog shop featuring some of my favourite brands. I would love to know what you think.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying the sunshine.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X


Kuyichi Top Review – I Have Wings!

Happy Leap Day, I am not really going to be doing much leaping today, perhaps more a bit of flying due to my new wings!

Kuyichi top

Top Kuyichi
Vest top – M&S
Organic cotton jeans – M&S
Bag – Oxfam
Jewellery – Made UK

I was recently contacted to see if I would like to review a product from one of the ethical brands on the Zalando online shop. I was instantly charmed by this top by this top by Kuyichi with beautifully delicate wings printed on the back.

The top is made from Tencel, sustainable fabric that is made from recycled paper. It is quite a thin fabric and lends itself perfectly to this draped kind of top. It is also soft and incredibly comfortable to wear. I really love the style of the top as it is loose fitting and long enough to be a dress, so quite flattering for someone of my height. As it is very slightly see through and cut away at the back, I decided it would look best worn over a close fitting vest top and a fairly extensive rummage through my wardrobe resulted in me finding a peach coloured top which was the perfect match.

The draped neckline was the perfect place to show off my new necklace from Made UK (which you can read more about in my post on Ethical Jewellery) and the colours worked so well with my new (old) bag from the Oxfam Boutique, (which you can read more about in my post about The Good Fashion Show)

Despite the weather being unusually warm, I think this outfit is probably more suited to proper spring (rather than the freaky not supposed to be) early spring that we are experiencing at the moment. I am afraid I chickened out of wearing peep toe shoes and changed into my boots before taking the children to school. I also added a short jacket. I wonder if anyone noticed there was a pair of wings poking out under the botton of it?

Kuyichi are one of the pioneers of sustainable fashion, being the first brand to introduce organic jeans. They continue to be at the forefront of innovation in sustainable textiles with their collections being dominated by organic and recycled fabrics. Their clothes have a relaxed but contemporary vibe. Their website describes them as style with a soul and explains how they care about the product, the people and the planet and how their fabrics are grown and sewn with love and crafted with a conscience.

If you are love on trend ethical fashion, you should check out Zalando, not only do they have some great ethical brands including Kuyichi and Hemp Hoodlamb, but they also stock ethical shoes including Toms, Green Comfort and Grand step shoes and beauty brands like Burts Bees and Cowshed.

I hope you are having a lovely week.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

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The Good Fashion Show

On Saturday I went up to London to go to The Good Fashion Show, the largest off schedule event of London Fashion week. It was  a pretty fun packed day and apart from catching up with some of the girls from Oxfam Fashion and the Ethical Fashion Forum, it was great to see some fantastic fashion brands, some of which I was familiar with and others I was not. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the evening fashion show due to the timings, train and wanting to get home my lovely girls. I am still waiting on images from the show but will post them as soon as they are available.

You may have read Christine de León’s critique of the event in her post for the Huffington Post and to some extent I can agree with what she is saying, but on the other hand this was the first year of the show (there is always room for improvement) and it was a consumer event, which I (as a consumer) really enjoyed it. I felt the market kind of atmosphere gave it a much more relaxed feel than perhaps something like the the LFW exhibition but would prefer if it concentrated just on fashion perhaps with vintage, upcycled and ethical brands separated into different areas with a bit more space.  

I arrived just in time to attend the first key note speech for which speakers included Professor Frances Corner, Head of the London College of Fashion, Lucy Shea of Futerra and Lord Anthony Young, Co Chair of the Ethical Trading initiative. There were some really interesting conversations about the answer to sustainability in fashion. The general consensus was that there is no one simple answer and an integrated approach is needed including:

Positive communication – sustainable and ethical fashion needs to have status, social proof and ‘sizzle’. Rather than communicating doom and gloom and guilt, we need to create a positive image using visuals, emotions and branding. (OK I am going to try and more ‘sizzle on this blog, from now on)

Education – informing and teaching those that will be working in the industry in the future about sustainability. Currently this is focussed through the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at LCF.

Working with brands for change – through initiatives like the Ethical Trading Initiative, companies can work towards more ethical and sustainable supply chains. Involving customers and making improvements from the top of companies.  

I don’t have time to tell you about every single brand that was at The Good Fashion show so thought I would just pick out a few of my favourites. I also attended the clothes swap, which was a real highlight for me but will tell more about that in another post.

beaded bag from Oxfam boutique

Oxfam Fashion attended with a fantastic selection of clothes and accessories from their boutique. I treated myself to a beautiful beaded bag and was very tempted to get more, but had to save my cash for a taxi home!

upcycled bags by Nina Bloom

I really loved the pinup prints on these pin up bags by Nina Bloom, made from old bill board posters.

Tara Starlet Dresses

For some time now I have admired Tara Starlet dresses from afar on the website, so it was fantastic to see some of their clothes in real life. The ladies on the Tara Starlet stand also had the most amazing retro hair and make up.  

Tell Us Fashion - Retrose

Tell Us Fashion have just launched an Ethical Fashion Boutique dedicated to supporting emerging talent. I would definitely recommend checking it out as it has some fantastic pieces on it. I particularly love the REtrose as modelled in the image above!

Ethical bags - Fashion Compassion

ethical bags - Fashion Compassion

Fashion ComPassion work with ethically responsible brands from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Their display included some pretty amazing hand embroidered bags.

I took my old moth eaten cashmere jumper to Love Turtle Doves and they exchanged it for a cute pair of cashmere gloves/ arm warmers which I am wearing as I write this post.

Last but not least, I loved the handpainted t shirts by Indigreen and decided to get one for Mr Style Eyes, he virtually never buys clothes so I thought he could do with something new. The t shirts are made from organic cotton and hand painted in India by artists that used to paint the Bollywood billboards before digital media arrived. What I really love is that each of the designs has its own story.

So what do you think, does it sound like good fun? would you consider attending if it runs next year?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X