Category Archives: Zara

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

Sunshine and Italian wine

Accessorize maxi skirt

The title of this post pretty much sums up my recent holiday. I spent a blissful seven days in Southern Italy, reading books, drinking the local wine and eating LOTS of pasta!

The holiday started on a low note when I realised I’d left my DSLR battery at home, tucked into it’s charger after I ran it down taking photos at CLIC Sargant’s Fix Up Look Sharp launch. Fail.

For me, photography is a key part of any holiday (regardless of whether or not the results end up on Facebook, Flickr or anywhere else) and I was gutted not to be able to use my DSLR. Thankfully I was able to buy a cheap point-and-shoot in the local supermarket, which went some way to satisfying me need to capture every vaguely interesting field/pizza/building that came into my line of vision.

These shots were taken on the terrace of the house we were staying in, and waking up to a view of lush, green fields and clear blue skies each morning was wonderful.

This floral print maxi skirt from Accessorize kept the mosquitos at bay, and the pastel fringed scarf from Upper 5th kept me cool in the scorching heat. The vest top is from Zara‘s recent summer sale, and I love it! The detail on the back is so intricate but it the cut and pipping gives it a sporty/functional vibe too.

As much as I enjoy A/W dressing, I do love wearing such bright colours and clashing patterns – this maxi skirt only ever sees the light of day about three times a year!

Accessorize maxi skirt and Zara vestAccessorize skirt and Upper 5th scarfSoaking up the sunItalian vineyardsFloral print and lilac nails


Filed under Accessorize, holidays, Zara

Rock The Week

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

  • Girly dinners. On Wednesday I had dinner at my friend B’s flat (the dinner party I attempted to make peanut butter blondies for) and five of us spent the evening eating amazing food, gossiping and making Oreo milkshakes. I had a great night and it was only dampened (quite literally) by walking home in the rain with hole-ridden shoes.
  • High street/designer collaborations. This week I blogged about an article I penned for Running in Heels. The topic was all about the collaborations that appear in Topshop, H&M etc and how I’m getting a tad tired of them. I also featured a sparkly, ballerina-inspired outfit earlier this week, above.

  • Lists for life. This week I stumbled on Gala’s 100 Things To Do Instead Of Procrastinating On The Internet list (reposted via Charlotte’s Web). I love these kinds of lists – they’re like affirmations and I’m happy to say that I can tick a lot of these off on a regular basis, though sadly I don’t yet own the world’s funkiest blender….
  • Dancing to Def Leopard. Last night a house warming party in Cheltenham turned in to a random evening in a venue called 2 Pigs, where we spent the wee hours of this morning dancing to Def Leopard, Thin Lizzy and Guns n Roses – amazing!

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

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Filed under Rock The Week, Running in Heels, Zara

Leather, sparkles and ballerinas

Zara skirt and colour coded books

Tonight I’m staying in and playing the domestic goddess as I attempt to bake some peaunut butter blondies, but on Saturday I went out for some cocktails and thought I’d share the outfit I wore.

After hanging pictures, cleaning the house, mounting the TV on the wall (possibly Mr Ship-Shape’s proudest achievement of the weekend) we went into town for happy hour at Las Iguanas, which sparked a mini cocktail crawl around central Bristol.

For the occasion I decided to wear the sparkling ballerina-inspired skirt I found in the January sales at Zara, which I can’t believe I almost considered taking back! When I was younger, I had a similar skirt from H&M which was shorter, more like a rara skirt really, and this feels like its grown up replacement. I paired it with white vest top and black lace body (just showing) and the leather jacket is one I picked up when I went to Florida a couple of years ago. The belt is vintage, courtesy of Grandma Ship-Shape, and my silver tap shoes are from Peacocks. They are falling apart at the seams and hurt my feet if I wear them for too long, but I love them! Do you have a pair of shoes you just can’t part with?

Zara skirt and leather jacketTa-da! More booksZara skirt and leather jacket

Skirt, Zara / silver tap shoes, Peacocks / belt, vintage / leather jacket, American (possibly from Macy’s) / white vest top, H&M / black lace body, good old M&S


Filed under Florida, outfits, Peacocks, vintage, Zara

Je t’aime Zara

Zara tee goes to France

Bonjour, and greetings from sunny France! I’m sure some of you are feeling a bit dazed and confused after the long weekend, how did you spend it? I’ve been eating ridiculous amounts of cheese, cycling on the wrong side of the road, and reading books in the sunshine.

I thought it only appropriate to take my collection of striped t-shirts and Breton tops on holiday, and today I’m wearing this oversized t-shirt from Zara. I’ve taken a couple of scarves with me on this trip, but I keep returning to my current favourite, the red paisley scarf I found at the Bristol Flea Market. This, plus a pair of denim shorts, has been my uniform for the last few days, but I’m looking forward to wearing some summer dresses as the week heats up! Did you wear red, white and blue for the Jubilee? Let me know by commenting below…

Zara stripe tee

A typically French outfit

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Filed under denim, holidays, Zara

Should I stay or should I go?

Topshop hooded coat

On Saturday I went shopping to catch the last of the sales. This happened to coinside with payday – bad idea! As a result I got carried away in Topshop and Zara, plucking out t-shirts, coats and even a bottle green blazer while in the queue for the tills. I didn’t try half of it on and now I’m torn between what I think looks good, and what I don’t really need.

So it is that I call on you, the blogging world. Do I keep these beauties or do I send them back to the shops from whence they came!?

Topshop rust coloured coatRusty brown coat hooded coat from Topshop, over the knee socks, also Topshop

Not my usual style but I love the colour, the leather piping and the chunky buckles. It’s a bit Red Riding Hood meets Paddington Bear, which is always a good thing in my book.I do own quite a few coats though. And it’s not really winter anymore. But, I haven’t bought a new coat for a coupe of years, and it is quite cold at the moment…

Cream Zara t-shirtCream devore t-shirt, Zara

This oversized t-shirt is a sizer larger than I normally wear from Zara, but I was struck by the exposed zip (unseen, at the back of the top) and the delicate devore style, plus the fact that it was only £7.99. Was this a bargain or  should it go back to the shop?

Stripe Zara t-shirtStriped Zara teeNautical t-shirt, Zara

Chunky blue and white stripes, single breast pocket and oversized, baggy shape. I love nautical/Breton/stripy tops but I already have a couple and I’m not sure if this one is too big.

Metallic and black netted skirt, Zara

I have a confession where this impulse buy is concerned. I used to have a short, tiered skirt in a similar fabric, a bit like a ra-ra skirt, from H&M that I loved. I wore it throughout uni but I took it to the clothes swap on Friday as I haven’t really worn it for a couple of years, but instead of letting someone else take it, I decided I couldn’t part with it. Then, less than 24 hours later, I found this. It’s a little bit ballerina, a little bit Carrie Bradshaw, and the grown up version of my H&M skirt. But…does it actually suit me?

Bottle green blazer ZaraBottle green blazer, Zara

My ultimate impuls buy – I saw it in a queue at the till and frantically tried it on while juggling my two t-shirts, a skirt and my handbag. I love it. Ok this isn’t up for judgement, I’m keeping it!


Like I said, I normally try everything on before I buy it but I was caught in a whirlwind of payday shopping. Let me know what you think – should these stay in my wardrobe, or go back to Cabot Circus? Answers on a postcard, or you could just comment below…


Filed under Broadmead, Cabot Circus, Topshop, Zara

A Roman Holiday

Colour clashing at the Colosseum

Colour clashing at the Colosseum

As promised earlier this week, here are a few outfit snaps from my holiday to Rome last week. Due to flying with EasyJet, case space was limited to I took a mix of separates and dresses, with my trusty pair of tweed and faux leather boots from Primark. Walking is one of my favourite ways to explore a new city and these boots did me proud, allowing me to explore the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and more without a hint of ‘my feet huuurt’ whining.

I was also happened to be in Rome at the same time as the Versace for H&M launch. While the label isn’t really my cup of tea I did enjoy people watching, gelato in hand, as local fashionistas paraded around Via del Corso with their gorgeous carrier bags in classic Versace prints.

One thing I didn’t get about my time in Rome was the sheer number of otherwise very chic Romans walking around in sleeping bag jackets or as I once knew them, puffer jackets. If you were a teen in the late 90s you may well have had one of these coats. At the time I begged my mum for a lime green number but these days, or at least in Rome, the colour palette is a lot more somber. Of all the hundreds of men, women and children I saw wearing these coats, maybe a three pulled the look off. The rest looked like they’d taken a tumble in Millets. Is this a legitimate trend in the UK? Answers on a postcard please…

Versace for H&M window

Versace for H&M window on Via del Corso

Versace for H&M bag

Versace for H&M carrier bag with trademark print

'Sleeping bag' coats at the Pantheon


Wrapping up for cold Roman nights: Scarf, vintage / Leather jacket, Macy's / Rose print dress, Tesco / Black leggings, Sweaty Betty / Grey knee high socks (rolled down), H&M / Boots, Primark

Colour clashing at the Colosseum: Mustard vest and fuchsia tights, Primark / Red skater skirt, Zara / Tan woven belt, swishing session / Scarf as before

H&M dress at Villa Borghese

Exploring the grounds of Villa Borghese: Floral print dress, H&M / Preppy blazer, Peacocks / 'Love' necklace, Accessorize / Scarf, belt, socks and boots as before


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Filed under Accessorize, florals, H and M, high street, holidays, Peacocks, Primark, vintage, Zara

What a difference a day makes…

…twenty four little hours. That’s all it takes for a heatwave to turn into a blustery, cold and downright miserable day. After a deliciously hot journey to London last week, I awoke the next morning to a rather murky looking south east London that made a mockery of my red Zara skater skirt and mustard yellow Primark vest.

Fast forward a few days and it’s all jumpers and boots in a bid to shrug off the cold weather. I’ve been living in my Mango chinos and nautical stripy knit jumper from Primark this week but I’m already on the look out for The Winter Coat. This year The Coat could be a trench, a tailored wool number or a brightly coloured 60s pea coat. So long as it keeps me warm I’ll be happy but for now, as I can’t let go of our belated British summer I thought I would post some pictures of London at sunset, instead of heavy winter coats. Enjoy!

The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square at sunset

Trafalgar Square at sunset

The London Eye

The view across the river: The London Eye

Big Ben!

Big Ben!

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Filed under A/W11, London, photography, Primark, Zara

Ship-Shape does… Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out

 Vogue FNO London logo

After a whirlwind trip to London for Vogue’s annual Fashion’s Night Out I am seriously considering going on a diet. Clothes, shopping and glamour aside, my dinner on Thursday was made up of popcorn (sweet AND salty), frozen yoghurt, cupcakes and gin. All important food groups I’m sure you’ll agree, but nevertheless I felt a little below par the next day!

Having never been to FNO before I was somewhat overwhelmed at how London’s shopping hub (Oxford Street, Regent Street, Mayfair and surrounding areas) transformed into one massive fashion shoot. Models, designers, celebs and bloggers joined thousands of shoppers in sipping champagne, posing for photos and Bangle Bowling at Hermès.

At first I felt empowered walking into stores like Burberry and Roland Mouret, sipping champagne, ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ over spotting designers (Christopher Bailey and Mr Mouret himself) and enjoying a visual splendour of clothes and accessories that I normally only get to see on the pages of Vogue or Elle.

But as we power walked our way across London, squeezed through crowds only to join endless queues and marvel at those who did all this and more in a pair of skyscraper heels, I couldn’t help but feel a little small. Wearing flats didn’t help (brown leather and tweed ankle boots from Primark), but I think more than that it was the realisation that, like most shoppers there, the next day life would go back to normal. Like a hoard of fashion-hungry Cinderellas, the party would last for one night only before the comedown of real life – bye bye Birkin, hello housework.

That’s not to say we didn’t have fun ambling tipsily through the city, lusting after clothes or making a few minor splurges at Zara and Forever 21. You can see a selection of photos from the night below, including my gorgeous knitted dress from Zara – picked up in the sale, of course – this Cinderella is still on a budget after all…

Frozen yoghurt at Juicy Couture

Frozen yoghurt at Juicy Couture

Shoes and cake at Hobbs on Regent Street

Shoes and cake at Hobbs on Regent Street

Bangle Bowling outside Hermes

Bangle Bowling outside Hermes

Excess and glamour at Juicy Couture

Excess and glamour at Juicy Couture

Zara knitted dress bought at FNO

Zara knitted dress bought at FNO

Forever 21 waterfall jacket  and Zara t-shirt

Forever 21 waterfall jacket and Zara t-shirt

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Filed under A/W11, Fashion's Night Out, London, Vogue, Zara

Hell Hath No Fury…

Primak floral trousers

… like a women scorned and in possession of a credit card. The term ‘retail therapy’ was made for a lover’s tiff, a hard day at work or family stresses. I don’t know about you but some of my best style decisions have been made during a period of sadness or anger (most notably a perfectly fitting pair of Topshop jeans purchased in the break-up fug of October 2004).

A significant shift in life can prompt major changes in the wardrobe department and while my life is pootling along quite nicely at the moment, it didn’t stop a domestic dispute with my other half becoming a perfect opportunity to make the most of the sales at Cabot Circus yesterday.

New Look and Zara are two staples in my wardrobe – I’m constantly impressed with what they both have to offer, New Look in particular has become a real fashion contender in the last five years. Zara offers timeless, elegant basics and statment pieces that walk the line between exciting and reliable – pieces that you know will become instant classics.

Add to this that both these stores just happened to have items I had been lusting after for months – in the sale – and you have a situation that might have to eventually involve my bank manager. However with a bad mood in tow and a thrill for  a bargain I was more open to taking risks (see Primark’s floral golfing trousers, above). I even threw caution to the wind by falling in love with a full price polka dot skirt with woven tan belt, below, from New Look.

More photos to follow once I’ve road-tested all this loot but for now I am basking in the glory of my therapeutic sales trip and contemplating a online session too….

New Look salesNew Look sales detailsZara sales pieces

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Filed under Cabot Circus, florals, nautical, New Look, Primark, Zara