Monthly Archives: July 2013

Beehives and a Jolly with Joules

Joules coat and Topshop trousers and ballet pumps

Do you ever get seduced by a brand for their packaging? Perhaps I’m just overly susceptible to advertising, but it’s happened to me with kitch Benefit make-up, burnt orange Penguin classic covers and now Joules.

When Mr Ship-Shape and I got hitched two years ago we received a gift that arrived in a Joules carrier bag – a primrose yellow base covered in the brand’s distinctive bold floral pattern. Somehow all our wedding cards ended up in the bag and I kept it in the flat for months afterwards as the pattern was so cheerful. Since then I’ve been quite taken with their colourful, eccentric designs.

Joules is British brand that deals in sensible clothes like wellington boots and this quilted jacket, but each design comes with a quirky twist, such as comical mallard details, ditzy prints and fox buttons. On the outside this jacket may look sensible and to the point, but open it up and you’ll find a mustard linning with clashing magenta piping and lilac flowers.

I know a jacket in the middle of a heatwave might be an odd choice but since we got back from Italy the weather in Bristol has been mixed to say the least. Concealed in the jacket are an umbrella and a pair of sunglasses, you know, Just In Case, and yesterday it was all apocalyptic thunder and lightening…

This week I’m feeling the 60s vibe so I’ve teamed this outfit with an old pair of M&S ballet pumps and my best attempt at a beehive – note there are no photos of my hair side on! Any tips on boosting this bouffant beehive would be most appreciated, so link me to your favourite hair tutorials or pins!

Quilted black Moredale jacket – c/o Joules / Black boat neck top – M&S / Floral silk cropped trousers – Topshop / Black ballet pumps – M&S

Joules Moredale fox button detailJoules coat with Topshop trousers and M&S topJoules jacket and Topshop floral trousersA 50s inspired outfit with Joules coat and Topshop trousersM&S black ballet pumps



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Rock The Week

Fashion related (and totally non-fashion related) things that have made my world go round over the last seven days…

Rock The Week - Colosseum

  • Holidays and house stuffs. I always feel guilty when two RTW posts are back-to-back but there is a good excuse for my absence, mainly that I was on holiday in Italy for the first half of the week (winning) and when we got back on Wednesday it transpired that half our kitchen ceiling had fallen down (definitely not winning). It’s only been a few days but I miss Italy already – what’s with all the rain!? – my proposed cure is to put a post together and trade my desktop background for one of the rolling Italian hills *sigh*
  • Tidying. I know, I know, dull right? But our home hasn’t had a decent spring clean since before Glastonbury, so the weekend has been spent cleaning and tidying almost every room in the house. It feels so darn good getting out of bed without stepping on a floordrobe, knowing exactly where the TV remote is and having somewhere to sit down without a column of paper (lists, magazines, bills) cascading down the sofa on to you. Now I just need to keep it tidy for longer than a few days…
  • Exercise. Holidays and hot weather have pushed the desire to keep fit out the window, so today Mr Ship-Shape got back on our bikes for a 14.5 mile cycle ride and it was bloomin’ brilliant. We were both exhausted by the time we made it home – eating our body weight in pizza and pasta for the last week might have something to do with it – but it was good to get back in the saddle. Now I just need to motivate myself to go out for a run…

What’s been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below…


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Rock The Week

Fashion related (and totally non-fashion related) things that have made my world go round over the last seven days…

Rock The Week - Italian breakfast

  • Ciao, ciao! Ok so I’m being a bit naughty with this RTW post as this was actually written on Friday and scheduled, as I’m actually on holiday in Italy right now. I’m planning on eating my body weight in pizza and gelato, so expect a slightly rounder version of me in outfit posts when I get back 😉 This photo was taken last year and you can expect more of the same when I get back next week, if you can’t wait you can see some holiday snaps on Instagram.
  • British Summer Time. I may be in another country but as a Brit I can’t take my mind off the weather. It’s been so brilliant across the country, I think everyone is still a bit in shock. This week I’ve enjoyed bare legs with skirts, more ice cream than I care to mention, and meeting up with friends for drinks in Quakers Friars – the closest thing we have to a piazza in Bristol.
  • Zara. The Zara sale gets me every darn time! This week I posted about the sale bargains I found a couple of weeks ago, some of which have made it to Italy with me. I also shared the post I wrote for Oxfam Fashion which is all about the benefits of festival charity shops. Festivals are a surprisingly great place to hunt for vintage bargains and found a couple of beauts that I’ll be sharing on the blog once I’m back in Bristol.

What’s been rocking your world this week? Are you having a summer holiday this year? Let me know by commenting below…


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Oxfam Fashion: 10 Reasons to Visit a Festival Charity Shop

Oxfam Fashion Blog homepage

Happy Friday! This post is a short and sweet one to say that my latest post for Oxfam is now live, and it’s all about why you should visit festival charity shops.

I know, I know, you might be questioning if a festival is really the place to go on a shopping spree but trust me, you can find so much more than clothes in a festival charity shop. For starters the staff are always cheerful, you can pick up blankets and knitted hats to keep you warm in your tents, and kit yourself out with a festival fancy dress outfit with change from a tenner – what’s not to love, eh?

At Glastonbury, Oxfam alone had three different festival shops spread out across the site, catering for knitwear and blankets, classic festival vintage and an animal-themed stall with leopard print and sequins, and there were also several other charities there too. So if it’s Latitude today or WOMAD next weekend, don’t forget to pop along and pick up a bargain.

Have a great weekend!



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A Summer Sale Haul from Zara

Zara summer sale outfit of shorts, grey marl top and heavy cotton scarf

I’m not sure I like using the term ‘haul’ as it isn’t technically accurate, but I guess you could say I and my friend Lou needed to haul ourselves out of Zara a couple of weeks ago, as we were there until the Cabot Circus shop was beginning to close!

Zara is one of my favourite places to source sale bargains as there is so much choice, from basic organic cotton t-shirts (£5.99) to more conceptual pieces such as digital print dresses and trousers (starting at £17.99). This time around I unwittingly found a complete outfit, where the colours, textures and silhouettes all go together – an unusual feat for me as I tend to veer towards mismatched impulse buys when it comes to sales shopping.

I was immediately taken with these high waisted balloon style shorts – perfect for this glorious summer weather – as they remind me of the pair of trousers a teddy bear wore in an old television show, the name of which I can’t recall. I feel like he was called Little Ted and possibly lived in a toy box…

Moving on, the grey marl top is ridiculously comfortable, with turned up sleeves and a faux blue and white striped shirt poking out from under the hem. It’s the kind of top one could pair with skinny jeans or wear lounging around the house with leggings, and the stripes remind me of the summer dresses I wore as part of my school uniform.

I have Lou to thank for the scarf – at £49.99 it was waaaay out of my price range but I was so taken with it that she persuaded me to take it to the till incase it had been mislabeled. I don’t know about you but that moment when you take a label-less item to the till is always a bit nerve-wracking, but I needn’t have worried as it was only £19.99, a bargain given how often I wear scarves, even in summer!

What’s your favourite place to shop during the sales?

Grey marl top, Blue and cream striped shorts and Cotton scarf – Zara / Plimsoles – c/o Toast / Silk headscarf – Grandma Ship-Shape / Sunglasses – Primark

Zara heavy cotton scarfZara striped linen shortsZara sale haul outfit


Filed under Cabot Circus, outfits, shopping

Rock The Week

Fashion related (and totally non-fashion related) things that have made my world go round over the last seven days…

Rock The Week ping pong

  • Ping pong and Pimms. July is  busy month for birthdays – including Mr Ship-Shape’s – so this weekend we celebrated by going camping for the weekend with 25 other friends. We played ping pong, cooked up a feast on the BBQ and made the most of the brilliant weather by sitting in the sun and cooling off in a giant paddling pool. It was so much fun and I loved spending time with some of my favourite people all in one place.
  • St Pauls Carnival. After last Saturday’s carnival I wrote a post on St Pauls style spotting and shared a few photos from the parade. It was another hot weekend (two in a row, who’d have thought it possible!?) and an annual Bristol event that I look forward to, even though I could never pull off neon crop tops and tropical print body con dresses!
  • Heartfelt. This week I finally got around to posting about Heartfelt, a vintage boutique in Clifton that I first visited in June and have since fallen head over heels for. It’s part of a new series, Local Love, which I’ve been working on for a while now behind the scenes, with the aim of sharing ome of Bristol and Bath’s most exciting independent shops. Watch this space for more of the same!

What’s been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below…

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Local Love: Heartfelt Bristol

Vintage camisoles and cotton nightdresses

Bristol constantly surprises me with the vintage shopping opportunities that lie within. Heartfelt is one such destination, a true vintage gem which I only had the pleasure of discovering a few weeks ago. Located on Clifton’s Alma Vale Road, a stone’s throw from Whiteladies Road, Heartfelt is a vintage boutique-cum-tea room where the focus is the overall experience of shopping for vintage clothing, which owner Mandy Hawkins is keen to create with an afternoon tea service and 50s music playing in the background.

I first heard of Heartfelt when I got chatting to a couple of bargain hunters in the queue for the recent Bristol Vintage Fair near Temple Meads, but it wasn’t until a friend told me about a one day flash sale in June that I finally discovered Heartfelt for myself. I fell in love with a 1950s circle skirt with white and blue stripes and a fruit print around the hem (trust me, it’s amazing!) and Mandy was kind enough to put it by for me.

Once the shop was back to normal – beautiful rails of colour-coded clothes and a cluster of art deco chairs and tables at the front of the shop – I popped back to pay for my skirt and chat to Mandy over a glass of elderflower fizz.

“I grew up with a mother and grandmother who constantly went to auctions and jumble sales so wherever I go, I’m always looking for new stock”

The key to Heartfelt working so well is that the customer really does come first – Mandy has dressed débutantes and actresses on the red carpet and her customers are loyal to her, following her from Somerset to Bristol where she set up shop two years ago. With over twenty years of experience in the rag trade, Mandy knows her stuff and is warm and friendly but not afraid to give her opinion if she thinks a garment you’re trying on could be improved somehow.

The vintage that has become a common sight on the high street isn’t what you’ll find at Heartfelt. 80s sportswear and batwing jumpers have no place here – the decade du jour is strictly 50s or earlier, with some ball gowns dating back 70 years and costing upwards of £300. But the boutique and tearoom are just the tip of the iceberg – Heartfelt is in fact a collective made up of milliners,  make-up artists, florists, photographers and stylists. If you want a button moved or adress taken in, a seamstress is just a phone call away, and vintage tea parties for adults (and children) can be arranged without a fuss.

“I like making people feel special”

Any items that are too precious to sell can be hired out – while I was at Heartfelt a couple of young women came in enquiring about floral headdresses to take to Glastonbury – and if you just want to capture a vintage moment then Mandy and her team can put together a photo shoot for you.

The atmosphere of the shop is relaxed and friendly, not a vibe I always get from vintage boutiques, making it a delight to shop in, as if you’re not in a shop at all but in the dressing room of a glamorous Hollywood actress, or a child playing dress-up in your Grandmother’s wardrobe. While ballgowns may be out of reach for most budgets, there is affordable vintage to be found for around £30-£100, each piece with a distinct tale to tell.

Have you been to Heartfelt yet? What other vintage gems have you discovered in your neck of the woods recently?

Heartfelt, 32 Alma Vale Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2HY. Open 9.30am – 5.30pm Tuesday to Saturday.

Vintage children's straw rabbit handbagHeartfelt Alma Vale Road, BristolVintage stockings at Hearlfet1920s vintage at Heartfelt BristolTaking photos in Heartfelt on Alma Vale RoadHand-painted vintage dress from HeartfeltHeartfelt's resident pup


Filed under shopping, vintage

Style Spotting at St Pauls Carnival

St Pauls Carnival City Road

St Pauls Carnival is a huge event for Bristol that takes place every summer, bringing one day of African and Caribbean music, dancing and a large dose of cider to the streets of St Pauls and the surrounding areas. On Saturday the streets filled up with Bristolians eager to soak up the festival spirit after the carnival took a break last year.

Somehow, despite this country’s penchant for wet weather, this annual street party always seems to be a hot, sunny affair and with good weather brings the opportunity to dress like we’re in Rio, rather than the South West. Adults and children taking part in the parade danced past the crowds in a whirl of satin, sequins and feathers, but the crowds were equally colourful in their choice of outfits.

Body con jersy dresses, strappless maxis, pleated chiffon midi skirts, tropical prints and cropped tops showing off waists that had been honed and tanned for the occasion all made an appearance this year, as did flowers – pinned to ponytails or taking the form of dainty garlands (a bit like this one) sold alongside wannabe vuvuzalas and neon ‘wiggly worms’ on sticks.

I loved seeing the city soaked in colour and couldn’t resist taking my DSLR along to the parade to capture some of the costumes in action. Perhaps next year I’ll go as a cancan dancer…

Can can dancers at St Pauls CarnivalFloral hair bands at St Pauls CarnivalSt Pauls Carnival costumesSt Pauls Carnival parade kidsRed white and blue costumes at St Pauls Carnival


Filed under festivals, St Paul's Carnival

Rock The Week

Fashion related (and totally non-fashion related) things that have made my world go round over the last seven days…

Rock The Week Gromet Unleashed in Clifton

  • Bending it like Beckham. On Tuesday I played football for the first time in my life. It was for a five aside work thing and I’m pleasantly surprised to say I absolutely loved it, despite getting hit by the ball several times. I’m used to more solitary exercise like running and yoga, so team sport was a change but it was hilarious (though laughing while wearing a sports bra is no mean feat) and definitely provided a challenging workout – my muscles were aching for days afterwards.
  • Networking. On Wednesday S and I wandered up to Clifton for the first Fashion Tweetup, meeting some of Bristol’s designers, shop owners, bloggers and photographers in the stunning Clifton Club. Organiser Jo is hoping the networking event will become a regular evening so keep an eye on her Twitter feed for more info about the next one.
  • Sales and sushi. This week I met up with my good friend Lou for an evening of girl time at Cabot Circus, sitting in the giant deckchairs in Quakers Friars before spending far too long in Zara and celebrating our sale finds with dinner at YO! Sushi. It was a lovely way to spend the evening and we both found some great bargains.
  • St Pauls. As if football, schmoozing and sales (plus a cheeky post-work BBQ with friends on Friday) weren’t enough to pack into one week, St Pauls Carnival aslo took place yesterday. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for watching the parade and drinking cider in Portland Square. The mood of the crowds was great and it really did feel like summer had arrived in Bristol.

What’s been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below…


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Ship-Shape and Glastonbury Style

Festival fashion at Glastonbury

For the last few Glastonbury Festivals, I’ve been lucky enough to work on site. I won’t say much but it involves tweeting, running around the festival site clutching a camera, and working with some of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

Corny as it sounds, going back to the festival is like going back to a family – we eat together, laugh together and work together for eight days a year and have a blast while doing so. As a result I was so busy there aren’t that many photos of me in my festival outfits, but needless to say the kimono I found during the Cabot Circus Style Challenge was with me most days and fitted the relaxed festival vibe perfectly.

Glastonbury Hollywood signFeminism: The Unfinished Revolution at Leftfield, Glastonbury

Glastonbury is so big, covering so many different genres of music, not to mention comedy, politic, poetry and circus acts, that it’s a very individual experience for each ticket holder. Mine included seeing The Rolling Stones (a band my father got me into), teaching friends and co-workers how to apply glitter to their faces with hilarious results, and a rather liberating talk on feminism in the Leftfield tent.

Before the talk I was lucky enough to meet Lucy Holmes, founder of the No More Page Three campaign which was wonderful – the way she spoke with so much passion, energy and common sense really resonated with me. I’m not sure that Ship-Shape is the right place to start talking politics, media and feminism, but it certainly got me thinking a lot about what topics I’d like to cover in the future.

I was on Instagram quite a lot whilst at the festival so head over there if you want to see what I got up to, and if you attended Glastonbury – or watched at home – tell me what your favourite festival moment was!


Filed under festivals, Glastonbury