Tag Archives: clothes swap

Outfit Post: Seeing Red

Red opaque Primark tights | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Red is a colour that rarely makes it beyond accessorising an outfit. Marilyn Monroe wore a slick of red on her full pout, Dorothy had her ruby slippers, and Grace Coddington, Florence Welch and Vivienne Westwood have their flame-coloured locks, but on the whole I think red can be a colour that insights fear when it comes to wearing it on the body.

It’s no surprise, when you think about everything that red represents; anger, power, passion. We all know how wearing a red lip can completely change the way we feel. Red, in all it’s guises, is a ‘look at me’ colour, one that refuses to sit in the corner, hoping someone, somewhere, will notice it – just look at the way Valentino has used it throughout his career.

When I picked up these opaque red tights (in Primark, of all places) a couple of years ago, they sat in my drawer for months before I plucked up the courage to wear them. Minimal editing has taken place here – they really are that bright! With the weather being so bitterly cold at the moment, tights, leggings and patterned trousers are my friends right now, and I love how a splash of colour on the bottom half of my body can completely change and energise my appearance.

I lover wearing colour and patterns on my lower half becuase I get all of that excitement and ‘power dressing’ without having to carry off strong colours against my pale skin, or worry about bold patterns clashing with my hair.

In this outfit, which I wore to dinner on Sunday, I kept the rest of the look fairly simple, wearing a navy H&M blazer, the chambray dress (woefully in need of some ironing) that I found at a clothes swap and a pair of beaten up ankle boots, also from Primark.

Do you own any red clothes or accessories, or do you prefer to save it for your lips instead?

Primark tights and H&M blazerRed opaque tights and Primark ankle bootsNavy blazer and chambray dress

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Winter Warehouse wonderland

Warehouse pleather pleat skirt | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Two weeks ago I hit a mini shopping milestone – I bought my first piece of clothing online. Aside from groceries, I don’t really shop online. As far as clothes, shoes and accessories go, I prefer to see them, try them on, prance around the changing room in them and feel them against my skin before parting with my cash.

However, after seeing Amy’s take on this Warehouse skirt, and finding out it was in the sale after spotting it in her original post, I knew I had to bite the bullet and buy it. I’ve been looking for a leather skirt for ages and while this one is a little more plastic, than leather, it’s proved a satisfying way to dip in to the trend and shop online, too.

I wore it yesterday when Mr Ship-Shape and I ventured out of the house to go for a roast dinner at The White Bear on St Michael’s Hill (yum!), despite the snow. Yes, the snow – there, I mentioned it.

I’m fully aware there are probably a million posts of bloggers looking cute as a button frolicking with their friends/dogs/babies in the snow floating around on the web right now, but this weather is my nemesis.  I have the balance and coordination of a newborn deer on a good day, which means snow, ice and I are not good friends. At least Bambi makes skidding around all day look cute…

I paired the skirt with a jumper I found at Kendal Calling festival this summer, some chunky pearls I found at Amy’s clothes swap and some earmuffs that my sister-in-law bought for me this Christmas – perfect for keeping off the chill without ruining my fringe!

Jumper – festival charity shop / Skirt – Warehouse / Leggings – Sweaty Betty / / Leg warmers – H&M / Egale boots – The Boot Room / Pearls – clothes swap / Earmuffs – Christmas present

Warehouse pleather skirt and boots | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionWarehouse skirt and charity shop jumper | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionCharity shop jumper and pearls | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

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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

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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

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

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.

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

The significance of spring cleaning

wardrobe stuff Polaroid

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks spring cleaning my flat, de-cluttering and generally trying to be a bit more tidy, which is harder than it sounds when you have as much stuff as I do! Books, cameras, clothes, shoes – half of which I rarely read/use/wear but can’t bear to part with – find their way into every corner of my life. I love rummaging in vintage shops, charity shops and jumble sales, and my finds are often shoehorned into wardrobes, drawers and bookshelves – if there is an empty space, I will fill it. With (almost) anything.

My recent spring clean, particularly that of my clothes, has been very therapeutic (my bursting-at-the-seams wardrobe is certainly grateful to have lost a little weight) but it has also been very emotional. This may sound strange, but I think there is more significance lurking in your wardrobe than you’d think.

I’m a natural hoarder. In my younger years that meant keeping stickers and envelopes with my name on, now it’s magazines, clothes and accessories. As I was sorting my unwanted clothes into piles last night (for charity, recycling and selling) I encountered many flashbacks in amongst the belts, shoes and dresses.

There was my first wide, waist cinching belt that came free with a magazine about seven years ago, a polka dot tea dress from Primark that I went on to buy in every available colour during my second year of uni, when Primark was split over two dodgy, dimly-lit shops in Broadmead (now Poundland and part of Cabot Circus) and the shoes I wore on my 21st birthday. There are also pieces I’ve clung on to for sentimental reasons; gifts from my mum, vintage belts and dresses from my nan, clothes I have grown out of, or that are now too big for me since I lost weight.

I’ve kept these items not because I wear them even occasionally, but because they hold a significance that I attach to most of my material possessions. You must have a song, book, or outfit that transports you back to a particular day or period of time. I believe our clothes have the ability to capture a moment, like a photograph, and suspend it until you decide the time has come to move on.

So far I’ve given three huge bags of clothes to local charity shops, kept some back for a future clothes swap, and put worn clothes into the recycling box. I can’t say giving away memories, disguised cunningly as clothes, has been easy, but it does feel good de-cluttering my life and knowing than someone else is going to get enjoyment from things I never wear anymore.

Do you have an outfit you can’t bear to part with? Or perhaps you’ve recently got rid of a piece of jewellery or clothing that you’ve had for years? Share your thoughts by commenting below…

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Filed under charity shop, granny fashion, vintage

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…

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Filed under charity shop, clothes swap, Next, 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