Sunday, 27 April 2014

Primark Neck Candy

I'm a huge fan of statement necklaces. I love the way that they can jazz up any outfit and fit perfectly with my favourite wardrobe staple - the collared shirt. I have a collection of around 20 chunky necklaces at the moment (which still doesn't seem enough!) and I have bought them from a number of high street stores. As much as I love pieces from Zara, Topshop and River Island, I'm particularly impressed with Primark's accessory ranges as they are so purse friendly.

As today's weather has been a bit rubbish, I decided to throw on a white shirt and show my favourite Primark necklaces from the last couple of months; I think most of these are still available in store.

I've layered two Primark necklaces here. I wore them on my graduation and got quite a few compliments throughout the day!

This pearl white, chandelier necklace is my favourite of them all. It's so pretty and will work with most outfits; it's a perfect accessory for the monochrome or pastel trend too.

Whether it's with a plain tee or a collared shirt, a bit of chunky jewellery never goes a miss and Primark definitely offers some good choices!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Paul Smith Exhibition: The Design Museum, London

I have never studied fashion officially, but I still love to learn about the history of fashion and to find out a bit more about the development of trends. As today was the last day of the bank holiday (boo!), my Mum and I decided to round off a lovely weekend with a London visit.

The Paul Smith Exhibition 'Hello, My Name is Paul Smith' at the Design Museum, London was pretty amazing. For those who don't know much about him, Paul Smith is a contemporary British designer, famous for his colourful designs and putting a twist on the traditional.

Paul Smith's exhibition is a journey through his career and an insight to his creative processes as well as a display of his work. It was truly inspiring, and focused on the notion of following dreams and making the most of every day. He started off in a small shop measuring 3 metres by 3 metres and had to do freelance work for financial support. His first official menswear collections were showcased in his bedroom or friends apartments and interest was built gradually. Now he's one of the most famous and successful British designers in the history of fashion - hard work definitely pays off! His designs are timeless, and especially appeal to me as a lover of the bright, bold and tailored.

This exhibition is definitely worth a visit. Even if you're not into fashion that much, the design and craftsmanship is excellent and it will leave you feeling motivated to achieve your goals (no matter how big or small.)

Aside from the exhibition, a visit to London calls for an 'outfit of the day' post. I didn't expect it to be as warm as it was in London today, but still dressed for smart Spring.

Shirt: Primark // Dress: Asos // Boots: Topshop // Bag: H&M // Necklace: Oxfam // Rings: Primark

I absolutely ADORE this sixties-esque Asos dress. These photos really do it no justice (I need to invest in a better camera soon!). It's beautifully embroidered and made from great quality, lightweight velvet material. It was bought in the sale recently with an extra discount code provided by Asos (I love it when they do that!) so was around £30.00 - an absolute steal for such a lovely item. I thought this dress would be a good choice for a sunny but mild day. These Topshop boots were also a brilliant investment and go with near enough anything. I've had them since October, and they've lasted me countless days out as well as a long weekend trekking around Paris. The design is fairly timeless; I saw a pair very similar to these in there only a few days ago, so hopefully they'll last me a while longer yet!

I feel naked without at least one ring on, although unfortunately, I don't have the most attractive hands (lol!). This still doesn't curb my obsession for chunky, statement rings to delicate, midi rings however, and the one above came from a great set of thin midi rings from Primark; they're some of my favourite accessories and I wear them a lot!

After a fabulous bank holiday weekend topped off with a day full of inspiration, I'll start the working week feeling a bit more determined to do different things and to think a bit more about what I'd like to achieve in the next few months.

Hope you've all had a lovely bank holiday and a chocolate filled Easter!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Hoorah for H&M!

With Spring well and truly on the way, this week I picked up a few bits for that 'in-between' sort of weather. I have been ogling bright jackets for a few weeks now but needed to find one that was the perfect colour as well as the perfect price - hello H&M...

 Shirt: Primark // Jeans: Topshop // Bag & Necklace: H&M

This gorgeous bright pink, boyfriend jacket was £34.99. As well as being amazing quality and a great fit, it can be dressed up or down and worn with a variety of outfits underneath.

I've been a bit under the weather this weekend. So unfortunately haven't had a chance to take my new jacket on it's first outing; however, this didn't stop me from going through my wardrobe to decide how I'll wear it first. So, I'll just pretend for now that this was my '#ootd'!

This brown and white, snakeskin textured clutch was also bought recently from H&M. Picked up in the sale for around £7. Again, it's fabulous quality and big enough to fit any essentials. It also has a long strap to transform it from a clutch to a cute shoulder bag.

I bought a pretty, vintage style, floral dress from H&M online last week too (arrived this week). Ordering things from H&M online can really pay off as they offer quite a few online discount codes (you can find them via Google or sign up to H&M's mailing list to be notified of new ones). Not all pieces you find in store will be available online, but is well worth a visit nonetheless.

Denim shirt: Primark // Satchel: Vintage

This dress was originally £14.99 (a fair price to start with) but ended up to be just under £10 including P&P after discount. Perfect! The codes tend to vary slightly month to month, but have been life savers, not just when I want to shop for myself, but also when buying presents for friends and family. Every little helps!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Thrift Shopping: Making the most of eBay

As an avid bargain hunter, I thought I'd share some tips on thrift shopping for my first post!

Shopping on eBay is one of the best ways to find a bargain whether you’re looking for a specific item or just browsing your favourite brands. Often, even items that are still on the shelves can end up on eBay for cheaper.

For those that aren’t familiar with eBay yet, there are a few tips that I feel make bargain hunting a lot easier.
  • Whatever you’re looking for, whether it be a certain brand, style or item, type it in on the search bar along with the size you need. When the list appears, I always refine the search so the ‘items ending soonest’ appear first. If there’s a product you fancy that ends soon, a quick bid at the last minute can increase your chances of winning it.

  • When bidding, think realistically about how much you’d be willing to spend on an item. For example, if an item is listed at £5 but you’d be willing to bid up to £10 then type that bid in. It doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll pay, it just means if someone puts a bid in of, say, £6 they’ll be automatically outbid by you until someone’s bid becomes higher than yours. The moment another bid reaches over £10 you’re out of the running. You can either bid again if you really want the item or accept that it’s not worth more than your original bid and move on to the next bargain hunt!

  • ‘Buy it now’ items are ones that give you the option of purchasing the item without having to worry about a bidding war. As long as the item is cheaper than it was originally then you’ll bag yourself a bargain without much hassle!

  • Always check the feedback of a seller to make sure the item you have your eye on is likely to be of good quality.
Here’s just a few examples of my eBay finds:

This beautifully detailed, beaded, monochrome vintage top only cost £7 including P&P. Was in perfect condition and was just what I wanted to go with skinny jeans and heels for drinks with friends.

This cute brooch for £2 (free P&P). I love a collared shirt; adding brooches can turn something plain into pretty. 

This Topshop camel coat was only £25 (free P&P). It was brand new, so one of my proudest purchases!

The eBay outlet or Fashion Gallery as it’s known now is fairly easy to navigate. It’s just like using a normal fashion website. You can refine a search or browse more broadly. The fashion gallery also always shows you what the item was originally and how much you’re saving which is really useful.

The other great thing about eBay is that you can also sell your unwanted clothing and make a profit. I always sell my old (but good quality) things on eBay to give me a bit of extra pocket money. I have a few tips for this too!
  • Unless you want to pay an insertion fee (a fee for listing your item), the bidding will start at 99p. This is worth doing sometimes as the low price can attract a lot of interest. People may end up in a bidding war for your item and you can make more money than you expected! On the other hand, there are some items that you really won’t want to let go for 99p if it ends up that there’s only one bidder. I always try and wait for ‘zero insertion fee’ weekends where eBay makes it free to list an item for a higher price than 99p. Keep the listing price realistic though if you do want it to sell.

  • Always use as many pictures as possible and describe the item accurately. You don’t want to sell something and feel elated only to then have to refund them if they’re not happy!

  • I remember reading in a newspaper article that items are more likely to gain higher bids if they end on a Sunday. This is because most people don’t work Sundays and have the time to sift through eBay listings. Funnily enough, for me, the items I have listed that have ended on Sundays do seem to sell for a slightly higher price than expected! Although that could be a coincidence!
So there you have it, my top eBaying tips! Hopefully now you can get started, but be warned – it’s VERY addictive!!