Scaramanga Vintage Style Satchels

Believe it or not, I have been on the look out for an ethical satchel for some time. I really love the simple classic shape of these bags as well as their practical across the body style (great for being out and about with children).

The other day, I got an email about Scaramanga who amongst other things (wooden furniture), make beautiful satchels whilst ticking all of the boxes in terms of ethics, you can read their very comprehensive policy here.

Whilst these bags are not actually vintage the leather has been  tanned using traditional methods and finished with natural substances such as mustard seed oil. This gives the leather its characteristic look and natural variation in colour. Each of the bags is handmade using artisan methods. The range also includes messenger and travel bags for men and women.

I really love this brand. These vintage styles of bag are a real investment as they will go with so many different outfits and even though satchels are really on trend at the moment, they won’t ever go out of fashion. I will definitely be pointing Mr Style Eyes their way if he happens to be needing any birthday pressy ideas!

What do you think? do you prefer the satchels or flight bags.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

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Swap In The City

When I went to the Good Fashion Show on Saturday, I also participated in the Swap in the City clothes swap. Anyone that knows me will know how much I love a good clothes swap, I even have my own clothes swap website!

A clothes swap, or swishing party as they are also known, gives me even more of a feeling of excited anticipation than I used to get when I went on an occasional clothing shopping spree with the added bonus that it is completely guilt free. I am sure I don’t need to tell you, swapping is the new shopping!

I carefully lugged my heavy bag of clothes all the way to London on the train, the tube, the fifteen minute walk to London house and around the Good Fashion Show until it was time to hand my clothes in. I took along what I considered some really lovely pieces of clothing that I really loved but just didn’t suit my shape or colouring, a Burberry Prorsum safari jacket, a 1950’s heavily beaded floral pink knitted top, a 70’s midi dress with a pleated skirt, a printed chiffon By Malene Birger maxi dress, a People Tree jacket and a nearly new pair of Gap Jeans.

The clothes were hung on rails of either vintage and designer or high street clothes and we were given tickets with the number of vintage/ designer and high street pieces that we could pick. There were probably no more than 10 or 12 people swapping but a nice selection of clothes which suited me fine, as sometimes as too many clothes can make choosing something so much more difficult and too many people (as I have experienced at swaps in the past) a bit of a scrum . The swap commenced with the ring of a bell and it was no more than a minute or two before just about everything was gone.

Here is what I got:

 A Cacherel Top (I think from the Uniqlo collaboration), worn with necklace and ring by Made UK, old denim skirt and shoes by Irregular Choice.

If you look carefully, it has a tiny bird and flower print on it.

A knitted animal print tunic (labelled Lusa), worn here with a refashioned bleached jacket. I have been looking for the perfect top to wear with this jacket for ages.  I think I have now found it!The necklace is also by Made UK.

A fifties floral dress and red belt worn here with Irregular Choice shoes and a bag from Oxfam.

I also got an amazing double layered vintage white lace skirt. I haven’t quite worked out how I am going to wear it yet. I would either like a delicate and lacey sort of white camisole top which I don’t have at the moment, so will be keeping my eye out for in the charity shops or perhaps I should go for a complete contrast?

All in all I was really pleased with what I got. It all fitted me which is amazing. Despite it being a little questionable as to whether all of the pieces could be classified as vintage or designer and probably being worth less (in money) than the pieces I took along, I was completely happy to come home with something I would wear. The clothes that I  exchanged had been sat in my wardrobe unworn for ages and I probably would never have got around to listing on ebay.

There were a few people who seemed intent on grabbing everything in sight but I think everyone seemed to get a least a few things they wanted. Had I been a little more grabby I could possibly have got more but it is not really the way I am. I would definitely recommend a clothes swap or swish to anyone and Nicole of Total Renewal who organised the swap has lots of experience in organising such events. My advice would be to take lovely pieces of clothing that you are proud to enter in the swap but that you are completely happy to part with and to try and grab a few items that you like the look of quite quickly to ensure that you come home with at least a few items you love. The great thing about a clothes swap is that you quite often end up trying something new that you would not have neccaserily picked up in a shop.

I hope you are having a fantastic week and for those at London Fashion Week, I hope you aren’t too exhausted.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

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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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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

Red People Tree Dress and the Ethical Fashion Bloggers Forum

Dress – People Tree
Jeans – an old pair, upcycled myself with bleach
Boots – Dream in Green
Scarf – a Christmas present (from New Look)
Bangles – presents

I hope that you had a good weekend. Mine was pretty uneventful, most of it was spent washing, ironing and cleaning. I did have a break on Sunday to go to the park with Mr Style Eyes and the children. We took Roberta (our campervan) out for her first outing of 2012, unfortunately I forgot to take my camera. We parked up in the park car park so Mr S could cook up bacon sandwiches and cups of tea while the children played. The weather was amazing and it reminded me of what an amazing time we had camping last year, I definitely need to get on and get some stuff booked up for this year.

I have also been quite busy over the last week working on a forum for Ethical Fashion Bloggers. It is finally ready and I am really pleased that there is now a place for the group to discuss and share useful information, thoughts and ideas ranging from blogging tips to events and favourite ethical brands. 

The group is steadily growing and we now have over 30 members from around the world including general fashion bloggers with an interest in ethical fashion and those who only wear and blog about ethical fashion. We also have quite a few vintage, charity shopping and DIY enthusiasts. Each month we do an ethical outfit challenge and a DIY/ upcycling round up which is published on our blog.In 2012, I also want to arrange some UK meet ups and hope that we can help bloggers to work more closely with some of the amazing ethical brands out there. If you would like to join us you can find out how here.

For todays outfit, I am wearing the People Tree dress that Mr Style Eyes got me for Christmas in 2010. I love the bold colour and pattern on this dress. I think it is supposed to be a party dress, but as I have far more party clothes than parties to go to and it is quite short, I like to dress it down with leggings or jeans for the daytime. The jeans were a DIY project I did about a year ago with some old black jeans and some bleach.

People Tree have a fantastic sale on at the moment with up to 60%. They have some really beautiful dresses for both summer and winter. They also have a great new collection just in which includes spot and checks which would look great combined plus the Zakee Shariff collection which has some fabulous colourful prints.

Have a wonderful week!

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

ps just to let you know this post contains an affiliate link.

Christmas!

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas.

Despite the best intentions to be super organised in the run up to Christmas, everything went to pot and I ended up just abandoning everything in favour of a few days off. I realise I have hardly posted any outfits lately partly because of Christmas and also because I have been so busy with my 30 Days of Ethical Fashion Series. But I promise, I have not been wearing my PJs for the last week so here is a fairly long round up of outfits, pressies and other stuff from the last week.

I wore this outfit on a  really cold day when I was feeling in need of something cosy and comfy to wear
Vintage St Micheal Cardigan – local charity shop
Leggings- People Tree
Vintage locket – a present
Boots – Po-Zu
Bag – Spartoo
 

This outfit is made of some really old clothes that I have had for years.

Dress – Vintage
Belt – handmade
Wedge boots – Topshop

These marshmallow snowmen are one of many attempts to keep the children occupied in the run up to Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, I decided to wear something sparkly combined with jeans for practicality.

Organic cotton jeans – M&S
Beaded top – Charity shop
Boots – Dream in Green (Spartoo)

 These little mice gloves (my daughters) looked so cute peeping out of her pocket, I couldn’t help sharing them.

My outfit for Christmas day combined with my new favourite hairstyle, the top knot.

Lace dress – charity shop (originally Monsoon)
Vintage faux pearls – local vintage shop

Here I am wearing a Christmas pressy from my Mum and Dad, a red leather collar – I gave them a little help choosing this one.

Dress and cardigan – really, really old from Oasis and Topshop
Leggings – People Tree
Collar Rokit Recycled (from Offset Warehouse)

They also gave me this book about vintage hair styles. I can’t wait to try some out. It has some great photos and step by step instructions.

I also got  a beautiful eternity ring from Mr Style Eyes (no pics yet as it  has been returned for resizing) and my new Nikon camera, with which I took some of these pictures, I was really spoilt this year. My mum treated me to some other goodies including bath stuff, a New Look cardigan, which I will be featuring in an outfit soon  and mulled wine sachets, which I will be drinking very soon. I also got some money with which I have treated myself to a new dress from Annie Greenabelle and a dress and hand knitted socks from the People Tree sale. By far my biggest bargain in the sales though had to be my macaroon cookery book at only £3, yet more to keep me busy in the New Year.

After a fairly busy and fun packed Christmas, we will be having a fairly quiet new year. I am going to cook a nice meal including Jamie Olivers 5 hour lamb and Blackberry tart for Mr Style Eyes and the girls. I do have just a few more lunches out planned before returing to normality in the new year.

What did you do and get for Christmas and what will you be up to for new year?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

DIY Christmas Present

This year I had planned to make most of my Christmas pressies. Unfortunately with the demands of trying to run a business, look after 2 children and be the domestic goddess that I definitely am not, I kind of ran out of time for making all of my presents. Here is one of the presents that I did manage to make. You might recognise the fabric it was from the vintage dress that I shortened that I wore in this outfit for another an Ethical Fashion Bloggers outfit challenge. I got the chain from the local vintage shop.

I also featured this DIY project in my most recent post for Oxfam Fashion, How I am reclaiming Christmas. This post is also part of the Ethical Fashion Bloggers Christmas DIY Roundup, if you are interested in taking part in our round ups and outfit challenges, you can find out more about how to join here.

I hope that you are all ready for Christmas and also finding time to relax and enjoy yourself.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

30 Days of Ethical Fashion – Tara Starlet

 

Retro styles from forties and fifties are a huge trend at the moment. Along with stars like Dita Von Teese and Katie Perry, I am betting it is brands like Tara Starlet, who have been making reproduction dresses inspired by pin up girls and silver screen stars for some time, that are partly reponsible.

Tara Starlet dresses are perfect for ladies who like to look feminine and lady like. They are beautiful timeless pieces that should be bought and then treasured. It is not just the fact that they will not go out of fashion that makes them great for the environment. They are also made from end of roll fabrics with designs that encorporate original vintage buttons and trims for true authenticity. Because of the fabrics used, there are limited numbers of each style made so that you will be unlikely to see anyone else wearing the same dress.

I really love Tara Starlet dresses and would definitely love to own one.

You can buy them at www.tarastarlet.com along with a range of retro inspired tops, skirts, trousers and lingerie.

with warmest wishes

Ceri x

30 Days of Ethical Fashion – Nancy Dee

Day 10 of ethical fashion and I am loving finding out about even more sustainable and ethical fashion brands, I really hope that you are enjoying reading about them. One brand that I just had to feature is Nancy Dee.

I have always loved jersey because it is so easy and comfortable to wear but I have never realised quite how amazing it can look. Nancy Dee has some really lovely jersey pieces including dresses, tops and skirts. The fluid look of the jersey is perfect for the flattering draped look that is a feature of many of the designs. There is also definitely a bit of vintage inspiration there. They are incredibly versatile pieces many of which would work equally well for the office or for a night out.  They also have some lovely dresses featuring their own unique retro prints.

Nancy Dee is an ethical company and applies its philosophy throughout it operations from the sustainable fabrics used which include bamboo, organic cotton, soya bean fabric and Modal (an eco-friendly man-made material which originates from beech wood) to its timeless styles and clever pattern cutting to reduce waste. It also designs and manufactures all of its clothing in Britain helping to preserve and develop the specialist skills which have established this country’s reputation for quality manufacture.

What do you think? Do you love this brand as much as I do?

If you have missed any of my 30 days of ethical fashion series so far, you can check out the other posts here.

I hope you are having a fantastic weekend!

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

30 Days of Ethical Fashion – Junk Shop

 

Junk Shop was founded in 2005 with the aim of providing sustainable and affordable clothing.

To Quote their website:

Our clothes span a range of styles worn from sunrise to sunset by Ravers, Dreamers, Schemers, Urban Hippies, Eco-Warriors, Sci-Fi Queens and Vintage Vixens alike and are now Oxfams No.1 selling Sustainable Fashion Label.

I guess that pretty much covers us all then! They sell at retail fairs and tradeshows and also have a shop in Manchester and a small online shop. Their Manchester shop has been lovingly furnished completely using recycled or reclaimed materials from the suspended spindle shelving to a remoulded fairy liquid bottle counter and walk in wardrobe changing rooms.

Their current collection has a definite retro feel to it with cute Peter Pan collar necklaces and fifties style fit and flare dresses. There is also a great selection of jewellery including a pocket watch necklace and teapot necklace in antique brass. With prices for a dress starting at £28 and £14 for a necklace, this is probably one of the most affordable sustainable fashion brands I have come across.

If you want to have a go at making your own recycled fashion, they also run a number of courses including dressmaking and sustainable fashion.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X