Category Archives: clothes swap

Clothes Swap Haul

Clothes swap goodies | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Regular readers might have noticed that I have a bit of a thing for clothes swaps. What’s not to love about getting rid of once-loved clothes, gaining some new ones and having a girly gossip at the same time? It’s environmentally friendly and allows everyone to walk home with a new outfit (or three) for free.

A few weeks ago, on a horribly dark and wet night, Amy hosted a clothes swap at her Christmassy flat, and I couldn’t wait to get rid of my wares and find some new ones. Since we moved house I’ve had a couple of bags of clothes that just don’t suit me anymore, and after a wardrobe consultation with Amy, I managed to get rid of even more clothes that I no longer wear.

After the obligatory gossiping, cooing over her Christmas decorations and eating plenty of nibbles, six of us got down to swapping! In a bid not to bring too much back with me, I restricted myself and only picked out items which I’ll get a lot of wear from, such as this brown felt trilby and quilted bag, below. The gathered denim Zara shorts will be perfect come summer (I know, I know – it’s not exactly on the horizon!) and the camel coloured top is an ideal base layer for winter outfits. For once I’ve actually managed to pick items that could form one outfit, which is rather unusual for me!

Have you ever been to a clothes swap? If so, what’s been your best find?

Clothes swap outfit | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionClothes swap quilted bag | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionClothes swap Zara shorts | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion


Filed under clothes swap, Zara

New shoes, new ‘do…

Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Going to the hairdressers is a little treat that comes twice a year for me. While getting a new do at my salon is relatively cheap compared to some venues, it’s still an expense that I can’t afford very often, and whenever I go, I always have that moment, sat in the chair, when I think my hair looks perfect just the way it is (it doesn’t) – does anyone else ever think that?

As a result, I always feel like I chicken out when it comes to changing my hair, but last Friday I took the plunge and went red. What do you reckon? I’m really happy with the colour and the ends of my hair have been left alone, to give a slight ombre effect.

The shoes are also new, bought when Office in Broadmead closed down a couple of months ago, for a ridiculously cheap £7. Fortunately Office has found a new home in Cabot Circus (opening this Thursday) and I hope they’re keeping the staff that they had in the Broadmead store, as they remained friendly and helpful dispute having to shut up shop and deal with panicked bargain hunters.

The trousers are from Topshop, as is the jumper, which I found at a clothes swap. The hat is from H&M – I was looking for a classic black bowler hat but I actually prefer this bottle green number. The socks are from H&M as well, and the belt is by Christopher Kane, which I picked up for £5 at a sample sale in London earlier this year.

It feels very festive to have red hair, though I don’t need much help in that department – tonight I’m going to start making our stockings and might even play some Christmas songs if I have the house to myself : )

New hair | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionTopshop outfit and H&M hat | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionChristopher Kane belt | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionOffice silver brogues | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionOffice silver brogues and Topshop trousers | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionOffice silver brogues and Topshop trousers | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionNew hair | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion


Filed under clothes swap, H and M, outfits, Topshop

Rock The Week

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

Picton Street

  • Bristol Harbour Festival. Yesterday I wore a new (old) blouse from Grandma Ship-Shape’s wardrobe, sat in the sunshine with friends in Queen’s Square, drank cider and attended a random street fair in Picton Street, above. It’s weekends like this that make me fall in love with Bristol every summer.
  • This week I finally got around to documenting the awesome clothes swap I went to a couple of weeks ago. The evening involved some tasty cakes and fantastic finds, all in the name of charity. I can’t wait to wear all my new threads, though I’m still not sure when I’ll be brave enough to wear the leopard print dress…

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Filed under clothes swap, Rock The Week

Kat’s Clothes Swap

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to an impromptu clothes swap. Actually, it wasn’t that impromptu – Kat, who is raising money to fund her trip to work with a charity in Mexico – had been planning it for weeks, but I didn’t find out about it until S of Beautiful Plumage asked me to go that same afternoon. I love a good clothes swap, and since this one was for charity I could hardly say no, could I?

I’ve been to a couple of small-scale clothes swaps and while Kat’s was held in her home on a quiet street in Southville, it was the most organised and well-stocked swap I’ve ever been to! The photos I took on my phone are a bit rubbish, but picture a living room piled high with clothes, accessories and jewellery, all divided into neat sections, including knitwear, skirts, jackets and even ‘sparkly things’.

Not only was there an abundance of clothes to choose from, there were also ample sweet treats that Kat had whipped up, including carrot cake, scones and fresh strawberries. Yum!

After some tea and cake, nine of us spent half an hour perusing ( I love that word) the extensive collection of clothes and selecting a few outfits to try on, before getting stuck in and swapping.

I came away with some fantastic finds, including a mustard coloured chunky knit jumper from Warehouse, a linen blazer and leopard print jersey dress. Once the weather picks up I’ll put up some actual outfit posts, but for now, check out my best finds, below.

I’ve mentioned it before on the blog, but clothes swaps are such a fantastic way to socialise with friends, clear out the clothes you never wear and pick up some new threads at the same time. And, in the case of Kat’s clothes swap, you can raise money for charity, too.

Have you been to any clothes swaps recently? What’s been your favourite swapping find?

Coffee coloured Topshop jumper
Coffee coloured Topshop jumper
Redoute leopard print jersey dress
Redoute leopard print jersey dress
Blue spotty F+F top
Blue and cream spotty F+F top from Tesco
Grey linen Primark jacket
Grey linen 3/4 length sleeve jacket from Primark
Mustard yellow chunky knit Warehouse jumper
Mustard yellow chunky knit Warehouse jumper
Grey wollen jumper dress
Slouchy grey jumper dress


Filed under clothes swap, ethical fashion, Primark, Tesco, Topshop

Rock The Week

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

  • I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a great weekend! Not only is this post number two of the day (you can read post one, Isms, here) but I’ve also been on a five mile walk around Bristol, taken more shots with my lomo camera, eaten a cheeky portion of fish and chips, and baked a cake – nothing momentous has happened, but it’s just been a lovely, chilled out weekend.
  • On Wednesday my first post for Oxfam Fashion went live, and it’s all about sustainability when buying new clothes. When I mentioned the post on here, I got a great response from Niki of Hip Shapes and Bristol Fashion, who makes her clothes last longer by up-cycling them. Read it here and share your comments – I’d love to know how other fashion bloggers choose to recycle their clothes.

Clothes swap

  • Clothes swapping. This week I was invited to another clothes swap and it was brilliant! I met some lovely ladies, found an amazing mustard chunky knit jumper from Warehouse, above, and ate my body weight in carrot cake. Full post and pics to follow soon.
  • Blog lovin’. I’ve recently discovered Lady Liquor Vintage and I’m thoroughly enjoying the abundance of vintages fabrics and suitcases that blogger Catherine finds. She runs her own vintage shop on eBay and has a great eye for finding kitch homewares and accessories.

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


Filed under clothes swap, oxfam, Rock The Week, Topshop

Rock The Week

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

fashion magazines

  • Magazine culling. I’ve written before about my love of magazines – not just fashion but food, photography, even the GQ (male) shoes supplement – if I like the cover, I’ll read it. I’ve been doing a bit of spring cleaning though, and this weekend turned my attention to my ridiculous pile of magazines. Plonking almost half my collection in the recycling box wasn’t easy, but it did mean I got to spend a good few hours reading old copies of ELLE, Grazia, Company etc and ripped out a few must-keep features and fashion spreads.
  • Daylight. Even before Bristol enjoyed a glorious weekend of sunshine and blue skies, I was ready to chat away about how awesome it is now that the slightly lighter evenings have arrived. Spring is almost here and not long after that comes pub gardens, afternoons in the park and bare legs – hurrah!
  • Six Items. This week I blogged about the Six Item Challenge, a campaign to highlight the effects of fast fashion through challenging fashionistas to wear just six items of clothing for the duration of Lent. To find out more and see how the participants are coping, visit their blog.

Clothes, Cameras and Coffee blog

  • Another ethical fashion post, not from me but the talented Roz, of Clothes, Cameras & Coffee., who discusses the merits of eco-friendly red carpet outfits, and her experience of the Fru-Gal Challenge – another way of confronting our increasing reliance on fast fashion and cheap clothing.
  • And finally… pancakes! Every Pancake Day ends with me lamenting that we really should try to eat pancakes more than once a year, because they are awesome. Every year, 12 months go by before I make another batch of pancakes. There’s no photo of my creations (served with the classic topping of sugar and lemon juice) because I was too busy eating them!

What has been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below….


Filed under charity shop, clothes swap, ethical fashion, fashion magazines, Rock The Week, vintage

Six Items

Six Items Challenge

Raise your hand in the air if you’ve been on a cheeky shopping trip this week. Yep, me too. I love fashion and the thrill of finding a bargain on the high street, not to mention the speed with which catwalk trends appear on the rails at Topshop, H&M and Primark. A replica Marc Jacobs dress for £13? Yes please! A different outfit every day for a month? No problem.

My wardrobe is bursting at the seams and I have clothes on every available surface of my bedroom, yet I can never find anything to wear in the morning. If this sounds familiar, imagine what life would be like if you had only six items to choose from.

The ‘Six Items Challenge’ began this week, coinciding with the end of London Fashion Week and the start of Lent, and sees participants shrinking down their wardrobes to just six pieces for 40 days, in a bid to highlight our increasing reliance on fast fashion – and the sweatshops that help make our fashion whims a reality.

Organised by Labour Behind The Label, who work to support and fight for the rights of overseas garment workers, this campaign aims to highlight the unseen perils of our ‘throwaway fashion’ shopping habits. Ship-Shape met LBTL last year to find out more about their work, and the benefits of clothes swaps and buying secondhand, so it was great to find out about this fantastic and challenging campaign.

You can read the rules here, but in a nutshell, participants are encouraged to ‘re-engage with creating clothing identities with less’ by relying on just six items of clothing for 30 days (after this week’s initial Lent launch), which doesn’t include underwear, accessories or performance-related gear, such as work uniforms or gym outfits. The team will be on the lookout for 10 new participants every couple of months, and hope to raise awareness and donations through sponsorship and documenting the process on their blog.

While I’m not sure I could cope with only relying on six items of clothes for a whole month (not least because I am constantly spilling food over myself) I think this is an incredible idea and I hope you do to. Could you survive with only six wardrobe staples? What would you choose and do you think this would change your shopping habits? Let me know by commenting below.


Filed under clothes swap, environment, ethical fashion, Fairtrade, London Fashion Week, recession, shopping, vintage fair

Clothes Swap: Topshop, florals & denim delights

Next floral trousers

I mentioned on a recent RTW post that my friend, S, hosted a clothes swap last month. I’m a big fan of clothes swapping for several reasons; aside from giving once-loved clothes a new home, doing your bit for the environment, and usually consuming a few glasses of wine and half a bag of kettle chips into the bargain, there is the complete randomness of it.

Attend a clothes swap at a friends house, the local church hall or at an established boutique and you will be confronted with a wealth of clothes and accessories you wouldn’t normally look for on the high street. You can delve into the personal taste of others and (hopefully) find some fab new clothes to add to your wardrobe.

At S’s event there were beaded peter pan collar blouses, floral print dresses and everything in between. Anything that didn’t come home with us was taken to a local charity shop so we weren’t the only ones to benefit, plus I think we all felt a lot better for clearing out our overloaded wardrobes.

So, what did I take home? Take a look…

Denim smock dress

Denim smock dress, no label, perfect for summer

Topshop feather effect skirt

Feather-effect layered skirt, Topshop

Next floral harem pants

Floral harem pants, Next. Granted, these don't look much on the hanger, but they'll look great with my white Converse and a plain tee

As well as this I also came away with a tan coloured waist-cinching belt (you can never have too many) and a pair of grey cable knit leggings, which I wore on my recent jolly to Manchester.

What’s been your best clothes swap find? Let me know by commenting below…


Filed under charity shop, clothes swap, Next, Topshop

Alright, our kid?

Outside Affleck's Palace, Manchester

Me with my Topshop coat, outside Affleck's Palace, Manchester. Scarf, vintage, yellow dress, Primark, grey cable knit leggings, clothes swap, blue over the knee socks, Topshop, gery legwarmers, H&M, boots, The Boot Room.

So, you can probably tell from this snap, above, that I decided to keep the Topshop coat from my recent shopping spree – and what a wise decision – this cold snap we’re experiencing doesn’t show any sign of leaving soon! It was even colder in Manchester, my destination of choice last weekend.

I’ve only ever been to Manchester once before, years ago, and I was struck by how different everyone dressed, compared to Bristol. Not bad-different, just different. There seemed to be more heels, more make-up but equally more ironic hipster, grungy looks too. This time Mr Ship-Shape and I had to contend with snow and ice (apparently not so much of a problem in Bristol), but on Saturday night there were seasoned locals walking down icey pavements in peep toe heels! I struggled in my biker boots, squealing at the slightest wobble, so I have to respect any woman how can walk through snow in six inch heels and make it look like her own personal catwalk.

The snow did put a slight dampener, literally, on exploring the city, but I did make it to the Northern Quarter, which was recommended by a friend, and was not disappointed. There were independent shops abound, including a Manchester version of Magma, and my favourite shop – Lomography. I waffled on about the delights of this shop a bit here, but suffice to say it had me dreaming about cameras for the rest of the weekend.

I paid a visit to Affleck’s Palace, a multistory marketplace that reminded me a bit of Camden market – the only place to by your clothes when you’re a teen looking for ways to stand out and blend in at the same time. I was drawn to perspex necklaces and retro rotary-dial phones and while I’m probably a littler older than their average customer, I was excited to be in a building that felt like a destination, rather than a soulless shopping centre.

We had a wicked weekend and I hope I can go back soon, preferably when it isn’t covered in snow. Have you been to Manchester? What do you love about it and where are the best shops/cafes/restaurants? Let me know by commenting below…

Oxford Road station graffiti

Oxford Road station graffiti

Snow! The view from our hotel room

Snow! The view from our hotel room

The Whiskycats performing at Sound Control

The Whiskycats, the gig we came to Manchester for, performing at Sound Control

La Sardina cameras at Lomography

La Sardina cameras at Lomography

More graffiti under the Oxford Road railway line

More graffiti under the Oxford Road railway line


Filed under clothes swap, H and M, Primark, socks, Topshop

Rock The Week

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

We'll Take Manhattan

  • We’ll Take Manhattan on BBC 4 last Thursday – Did you see it? Did you want to be Jean Shrimpton? Or any model in 60s New York? Or working for Vogue? Or perhaps you had a guilty crush on Aneurin Barnard’s David Bailey? No? just me then… If you want to see the actual shots Bailey took of Ms Shirmpton on their jolly to New York, click here (thanks to @swonderfulBride for the original link).
  • Pintrest – possibly the most addictive and time consuming internet fun since Wikitrails. Although I’ve had the account for a while, I’m still getting used to it. Let me know if you’re on it too or have any great tips on who to follow for style inspiration.
  • IFB’s New Year blogging goals – not so much goals as tips for setting them, this article breathes life into my blogging bones, particularly when work/life/the world is so busy at the moment. A must read for anyone new to blogging or those dragging their heels after Christmas.

Clothes Swap

  • Clothes swapping – a Friday night with wine, nibbles, gossip, good company, AND the possibility of a whole new wardrobe? Like, like, like. I’m a big fan of clothes swaps and held a clothes swapping party at my place a while ago. This time all of us came away with some new treasures (and, crucially, less than we bought to begin with) and the unwanted threads are going to a charity shop so everyone wins. I’ll write a longer post next week about my finds but for now the picture of clothing carnage, above, will have to suffice!
  • New blogs – my good friend and Bristol-based stylist, Amy, has take the plunge into the world of blogging. She has ridiculously good taste and has been my shopping partner in crime on more than one occasion! Take a look and say hello here.

What has been rocking your world? Let me know by commenting below…

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Filed under charity shop, clothes swap, photography, Rock The Week, vintage, Vogue