I was scrolling through my phone and I found these photos from back in November of my birthday….so muchos apologies for the photo quality… it is entirely due to it being shot on my phone at Clapham Junction and not the fact that it was cheaper to buy posh fizz by the bottle than gin….
I was whisked to London by my wonderful husband and our friends to a burlesque club in the City. It was truly marvellous and of course, the actor in me wanted to feel like I fitted in…
I was most proud of this outfit because I wore the dress backwards…. and before you look at me like I’m a mental case…I do this quite often.
Sometimes I really don’t like the drop of a neckline or it’s too revealing for my taste and this particular dress that I bought in my first year of university has a SERIOUSLY low v neckline…so low that even in my uni days (*cough* 10 years ago) I used to safety pin it together else my lady front would actually be out on full view….and not even in a tasteful way.
I unpicked the stratchy label and also folded under the pointless little sleeves to make them a more pronounced cap sleeve. I quickly secured them with a few stitches by hand to ensure they didn’t come unfolded during the evening. This actually changed the whole feel of the outfit and meant I hadn’t had to buy something new.
I also got to wear my super towering high heels and feel glorious about it!
Have you ever tried wearing something the wrong way round? Intentionally of course!
Fashion has become so fickle. And it’s boring the pants off me. Quite literally.
It’s looping and looping around, and age-old ‘staples’ that I claim as fashion have slid back into the ‘popular’ stream, meaning that all the lumberjack shirts and leggings I’ve been wearing since…well since I pinched a couple of Papa Pigeon’s old shirts aged 14… are finally back ‘in’. I’m not saying the most fashionable bird around…far from it…I know that some of my clothing choices are down right ridiculous, but I like how they make me feel…and that my friends is what clothes are for. They are meant to work for you…not the other way round.
I’m not saying that fashion is a bad thing, but we need to see this beast for what it is. A money-making churning machine. I am appreciative that disco pants came back in…I’ve been aching for a pair of skin tights shinys since I saw Sandy in that last scene from Grease as a little girl….I know…issues…but I’m not willing to buy plastic ‘futuristic’ see through high heels, when we all know that tweed and english heritage will be back in this winter… just you mark my words (EVERY YEAR!).
So to help myself step away from this big churny machine and to save pennies…I’m not buying any new clothes for 365 days. Don’t fret clothing hoarders… I will get some new-to-me clobber, but you’ll find me making it a mission this WHOLE year to only buy from carboot sales, charity shops, clothing swaps and to upcycle things I already have lurking in the back of my wardrobe. Women on average have over 3,000 items in their wardrobe (I think mine is about that…glup) and 60% of us whine about having nothing to wear for a night out…. that is insanity.
We also throw out soooo much fabric in this country and it drives me batty. NO fabric leaves this house in a binbag. All my old clothes are either shredded and used as stuffing for a multiple of things or the fabric picked apart at the seams and turned into housewares or items for my shop. I don’t actually think we have even thrown out so much as an old dishcloth… (they get boil washed multiple times and reused before I shred them and put them in the composter)… since we moved here….
So I’ll also be trying to show you what I do with all my old stuff that is honestly long past dead.
My biggest fear is basics and jeans. I already know that my black ballet pumps have had it and that I need another white vest, so they are going to be hard to find second-hand. Jeans for me are my holy grail. They have to be long enough and fit me both around the waist and the bottom…a seriously tall order that only Uniqlo has been able to fill recently…argh! My biggest weakness is going to be when all the jumpers come back into the high street….oh gawd I love a jumper. I’m however excited about trying out new shapes and things out of my comfort zone as I will have less choice.
Wish me luck!
I will be instagramming and tweeting with the hashtag #dontthrowawaythreads if you want to follow or join in! 😀
It is very rare I actually get dressed on a Sunday….well….it was rare pre-woof. Now I do the early morning walks on the weekend, but I always wear my sloppiest jazz pants and my cosiest hoodie.
I unfortunately had to wear actual clothes last Sunday to go out for lunch with P…when did that start being a thing? I am so sure that everything is closed and jammies are law on a Sunday.
It is still pretty chuffing cold…I am wearing a undervest…yes that’s right…a VEST, so I have also substituted tights for leggings….sometimes denier is just not suitable.
I love my Pixie boots. They are just like pair I had when I was about 13. I thought I was far too cool for school when I rocked them. That now proves to be fact.
Cardigan (New Look), Shirt (Primark), Skirt (Thrifted), Leggings (Primark), Boots (New Look), Belt (Thrifted), Coat (80’s Vintage – commandeered from Mama Pigeon)
We all have had a rogue sock problem….you have searched high and low for it’s mate, but it has disappeared…..so instead of chucking it in the bin… use that RSP to your advantage.
Use it to stuff something
My homemade draught excluder is made from scraps of old clothes and stuffed full of more!
Use it as a duster glove
I love me a sock duster glove… I often pop a safety pin on them so I know they have been rehoused to dusters when they go through the wash (you don’t wash your dusters!? Ewwwwww). I have been known to use barely worn socks (the ones you have just put on for an hour before bed and they aren’t crawling to the washbasket themselves) as duster gloves before popping them in the wash. HURRAH for sock duster gloves!
Send to the rag bag
Growing up with Papa Pigeon for a father, no clothes went to an early grave. They sometimes went to a particularly late oily and mucky grave, but only after every inch had been covered in grot. My father loves a good rag bag, as does the HTB. A bag (or a box…we don’t discriminate) full of hanging-together-by-the-seams clothes that can be used to polish up a bit of metal work on the bike, plug a hole for a bit or just to wipe your grotty hands on.
Pop it in your composter
I am in love with my composter. Any fabric that doesn’t get recycled in our house (which is VERY little) gets cut up and chucked in our composter…. it loves socks. Nom Nom Nom.
Make a sock puppet
Feeling whimiscal? Use your sock to make a puppet. Such a great activity for younger and older kids to do…younger ones can use glue and the older ones can sew….
Make an dog toy
My newest and absolute favourite place to rehouse old socks. Tie your socks together in knots and let your dog go wild. Socks smell of you (your feet REALLY smell of you…that’s why dogs love to chew shoes), so having a big knotted ball of sock to play with is dog heaven. Make sure they play with it supervised though, just in case.
I love slouchy clothes. This grey slouchy jumper is one of my faves.
Pulled from a charity shop for £3, this jumper has been worn a myriad of different ways. I also like chucking the bottom hem over the back of my neck, whilst keeping my arms in the sleeves and wearing it like a bolero. so cosy.
My fringey boots are a size too big, but I fell in love with a pair that my friend had and I had to buy a pair ASAP from eBay! May look into buying myself a decent pair one day.
This outfit just cries out for curling up with a book…. too bad I wore it to work.
Today, Making It in the Nest, I have the lovely Ali from Age of Reason.
I met Ali at a My Swish event last month, and I have been aching to get this post out there, just been waiting for Ali’s fabulous new collection to be ready!
Age of Reason is a UK accessories label, who pride themselves on making beautiful silk scarves in England. Using playful prints and gorgeous fabrics, they take influence from punk, cinema, literature, music and the streets of Britain.
Why and when did you first decide to open a shop/start a business?
I grew up in a passionately creative family so I don’ t think there was ever any question of me doing some sort of design one day. I also know how hard it is to survive the creative industries, which might have put me off, but seeing your own intentions translated into material things is very rewarding.
Why did you choose the name of your shop/business?
Age of Reason implies a genesis, a new beginning, a calm within chaos, the eye of the storm. A creative culmination of my many past lives, it represents a way of sharing visual ideas and experiences, in a way that people can enjoy and wear.
Where did you first decide to start selling your products/service, and why did you decide on that method?
I decided to go the wholesale route first selling to shops like Coco de Mer, Whistles, Start London and Matches. I chose retailers with fantastic reputations for excellence so that my brand would grow up in a good environment. Shifting to my own online retail arm of the business is easier too now that I’ve made the costings work for wholesale.
Where do you find that most of your buyers hear about you?
Most people hear about us online or by word of mouth.
What do you enjoy most about running your own shop/business?
I enjoy the whole thing from designing to dealing with customers and seeing them wear the scarves. The best thing is seeing the scarves go out into the world and take on a life as part of someone else’s look. Seeing hard work pay off is very satisfying.
What is the least enjoyable thing?
Once a supplier asked me if this was my hobby and if I was doing it for “pin money” that really got on my nerves. Women have been in business for centuries and it’s jut incredible to me that someone would ask anyone that.
What is your favourite item that you have in your shop right now?
Difficult to say, but I’m very excited about our Jubilee pug scarf. It says GOD SAVE THE QUEEN, and features a pug dog in a crown on a Union Jack backdrop. I’m also really excited about the Londoners Scarf for the Tate, which was a collaboration with illustrator Badaude.
Is there anything you would do differently if you started the whole process again?
I don’t have any regrets. I might not have started the business when my daughter was 9 months old if I’d thought about it more!
Do you have any advice for those following in your footsteps?
I think the best way to start a business is feel your way and trust your instincts.
Fabulous advice from a lady who has created a gorgeous business. Take heed!
PS: If you fancy being involved on my Making It feature, drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org. Would love to hear from you!
This is the outfit I wore Swishing last weekend. Despite the shorts making me look like I have a baggy lady front (I don’t BTW, they aere just twisted from my leggings…honest!) I really liked this outfit. The jumper is one my grandma bought me from Per Una (posh eh?) when we were out on a shopping trip. It feels so expensive (plus it is shiny!) and I love wearing it. It just snags so easily that I try to be super careful when I wear it.
This is how I rocked it for the outside. I love my New Look pleather jacket and my vintage table-sized scarf! I was totally cosy warm (bar my little bare feet of course!).
It is starting to be that horrible time of year when I am bored to death of my Snow Boots! Anyone else find that they cling to one item all winter?