Monday, 11 January 2016

Not Buying it - Days 10 and 11

Day 10

Here I am wearing the £1.00  green and blue cardigan I couldn't resist (oh - the shame)! I paired it with green skinny jeans from a charity shop and a blue top which I bought in Co. Sligo in the summer for 2 euros.

The boots are another pair of my daughter's cast off's - they have cut out sides so I have to make sure I have  plain black socks on when I wear them!

My necklace is from a charity shop, the earrings are from - where else? Sainsbury's! The cuff with the big blue stone was bought on Saturday from the RSPCA shop for £1.99. I've bought quite a few bangles over the past few days. I realised I didn't have some colours in bangles/bracelets and also I don't know why, but some of my bangles - one of which I've had for about 20 years - no longer fit! I couldn't actually get my hand through some of the bangles without some serious discomfort.  Surely my hands cant' have grown? Or maybe it's the joints getting bigger?  Anyway, by the time I'd sorted through my collection of bracelets and bangles to see what fitted and what didn't; I didn't have too many left!  The perfect excuse to look in the charity shops to replace them - and I didn't buy any clothes even after visiting 4 charity shops between Friday/Saturday. Feeling very smug....

Day 11

I bought this necklace from US on line retailers Sheinside - I love the colours and it should go with lots of outfits. It was £4.00. The earrings were bought in a charity shop for 99p ages ago and its the first time I've worn them.

This top was bought about two or three years ago in a charity shop; the jeans are M & S and are charity shopped. The top is from Primarni and the boots are my daughter's cast off's. They are extremely comfortable and as I volunteer on Mondays from 9.30 until 1 pm I'm on my feet for hours and need comfortable footwear.

The bracelets are part of the recent haul of bangles and bracelets. These are coral coloured, with one which is hard to describe, but I think it's the colour of Jasper - a reddish/pinkish brown?

You may have noticed that I've added a 'What I'm Reading in 2016' list to the right hand side. I'm an avid reader and have been since the age of 4. From June 2007 I've kept a list of all the books I've read, and what is interesting that I read less now I'm retired! That doesn't make sense in a way because I have the time, but of course since I've retired I've discovered blogs and blogging  (still reading, I know but I don't record it) and rediscovered crocheting. You can't read and crochet at the same time - at least I can't - what a shame! 

When I worked, I read most lunch hours and if there were quiet periods and I could get away with it (!) I read, so I did quite a bit of reading at work. I hope to get my reading levels up again this year; I averaged between 120 - 150 books a year when I was at work and in 2015 I only managed 57. Did a lot of crocheting though!

Currently, I'm reading the Neapolitan novels of Elena Ferrante - a set of 4 novels set in Naples about two women who are best friends. I got the set as Christmas presents and I'm on Book 2 at the moment and thoroughly enjoying them.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Not buying it - Day 9

I had planned to go walking with the Ramblers today but with all the rain we've been having decided not to - too muddy! I don't mind getting dirty but I'm scared of falling and breaking bones. OH and me will go for a long walk tomorrow whatever the weather and we'll be walking on pavements and paths so less chance of slipping.

I'm wearing an asymmetrical top from M&S, bought in Barnardo's in Ampthill for £4.00. Navy blue top underneath was from the £1.00 rail in Age UK in Wellingborough. Leggings are from Sainsbury's as are the boots. I bought them last year at 50% off so only paid £27.50 instead of £55.00. They still have them this year and when I was there on Thursday they have 50% at the moment.

For warmth I added this cardigan coat which I bought from on line retailer; Sheinside.

This is the the handbag I bought in Keech Children's Hospice shop for £2.75  some weeks ago and I really like it - the contrast of colours and the little cut out bird design. The heart necklace was charity shopped, as were the silver bangles and the watch. I bought the earrings but can't remember where - but it definitely wasn't Sainsbury's!

I'm heading over to Patti's, 'Not Dead Yet' here  to link up with Visible Monday. I haven't been for a few weeks - I wonder what's on the menu?

Friday, 8 January 2016

Not buying it - Days 7 and 8

I've heard of bloggers who post photos of their outfits, but they don't actually wear them in their day to day lives. I just want to let you all know that I wear what I post - in all it's glory or shame. If I make fashion faux pas they're mine and no one else's. If you like them - great and if you don't - tough; go look elsewhere!

I can't tell you how excited I got when I first discovered fashion/style blogging. I read my first blog via Pinterest, which I discovered about 18 months ago looking for free crochet patterns. Sometimes pins were posted about older women's style and fashion and so I followed those links. And through those links what an amazing group of people I've found; all of whom are genuine, 'what you see is what you get' bloggers. To see real, actual women of all sizes, shapes, colours etc. wearing real, i.e. affordable clothes, was both a revelation and a joy!

No more stick thin, very young models and outrageously, ridiculously priced clothes!

Day 7. I usually wear this tunic with brown leggings but I got some new brown tights as a Christmas present from my daughter's ex partner and couldn't wait to wear them. The tunic is charity shopped and my brown ankle boots are from Debenhams; a Christmas present from OH last year. I'm thinking this tunic is too short without leggings, so I won't be wearing it with tights again!

For warmth I added a short sleeved cardigan in a sort of bobbly knit finish. I bought this in a charity shop in Exmouth when I went to stay with my best friend in Devon last year. My bangles are different shades of metal and are all in one piece - I bought them in a car boot sale for 50p. Earrings; which you can see better in the first photo above were from Bedford Market, many years ago. I'm also wearing a charity shopped ring with a topaz coloured stone which cost a £1.00.

So, it's been a week now since I pledged to try and 'shop' my own wardrobe and yes I've lapsed; I've spent £1.50 on two items of clothing from charity shops despite trying not to buy more, but for two new items in I've put two old items out so it's back to square one for the second week - must try harder...

Day 8.  8th January 2016

I went for a monochrome look today - I love colour but I'm very partial to black and white as well.
The oversized beads were from The Children's Society and cost £2.50. The gold earrings were bought from a lovely shop in Bedford called All Ears  about 15 years ago and were only a couple of pounds. I also have a silver pair the same.

The black jeans are from M & S and were charity shopped. about 3 years ago. The striped top is from H & M and was on the reduced rail in Age UK for £1.50. The waistcoat I've worn on a previous post and  is from Zara,  it was £3.00 in  Save the Children. The brothel creepers/beetle crushers were bought on line.

As I'm short and have short arms and legs I nearly always find that most jeans are too long. With skinny jeans its ok - you can roll/fold the legs up, but these jeans are quite thick and don't fold up so well. I'll either have to cut and sew a hem on them or I may discard them - I've almost got rid of them on two previous occasions but gave them a reprieve. The other thing is that  they're low rise jeans I've learnt not to buy low rise jeans as my tummy roll simply hangs over and creates a 'muffin' top. Thank God for high rise jeans; long may this trend last! I think I've just persuaded myself to recycle these jeans....

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Not Buying It - Days 4, 5 and 6

Day 4. This dress was charity shopped as was the cardigan. The leggings were bought on E bay a few weeks back. The boots are my daughter's cast off's. The watch was a Christmas present about 4 years ago from my daughter and the necklace was a Christmas present 2 years ago from my brother. Earrings are from a charity shop and are real silver with a dark blue stone for the princely sum of 99p!

Day 5.  Skinny jeans from Primarni as are the desert boots. I bought the identical pair in The Children's Society charity shop but they were a size 3 and too tight; I usually wear a 4 and I have wide feet. I gave the size 3s to my daughter in law and bought myself a new pair (£10.00). Navy blue t shirt charity shopped, the waterfall cardigan is a Christmas present from my middle grandson. The beads were bought in the Oxfam shop in Newport Pagnell a few weeks back and were £2.99. Earrings were a gift from my ex mum-in-law.

Day 6. At last I decided to wear my 'hands' tunic. I'm still waiting for a yellow cardigan to arrive - a belated Christmas present from my OH. I had planned to wear the yellow cardigan with this tunic and with some yellow tights, but the tunic is too short to wear on its own. So, I wore plum coloured leggings bought from E bay, tunic from Save the Children £1.99, teal coloured cardigan another Studio catalogue bargain at £4.00. The boots were bought from the Reuse Centre in Bedford for £2.50, just before Christmas. I think my navy blue leggings might have looked better with the tunic but there's always another time!

The necklace was bought in a charity shop and the earrings are from Sainsbury's - again! I like their earrings; they often have really lovely ones, but I usually wait until they are on offer before buying them.

I have a confession to make. See how I've slipped it in here at the bottom rather than starting the post with it? I have lapsed...."forgive me Father I have sinned. It's been ONLY 4 days since I last bought some clothes in the charity shop". I couldn't help it - 50p for a pink and black plaid shirt - in my size! I couldn't pass it by now could I? And then...and then the very next day out for a long walk, I passed two charity shops and saw  a green and blue patterned cardigan for a £1.00 in my size. I bought it. It would have been silly to pass by such a good bargain - so I didn't. So, I've spent £1.50 on clothes despite my pledge not to buy any more but on the other hand I will not pass by a bargain. The thing with charity shopping is that if you see something good or a fantastic bargain, buy it, it is highly unlikely to be there the next time you visit!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

A Local Fashionista!

I've lived in Bedford for 35 years this year and for many of those years I have seen this lovely lady around town.

She wears amazing outfits of her own making and I would describe her style as 'Modern Edwardian'. She normally has a close fitting knee length top with a full skirt underneath and usually a huge cartwheel type hat. It was pretty cold and today so she's wearing a fur one. In the summer she often carries a willow basket and sometimes a shopping trolley (as above).  She wears masses of jewellery and always wears gloves ,often elbow length.  I have never seen her in a coat - whatever the weather. You can see what looks like a capelet in her trolley above to match her fur hat. She is a local 'character' and today I finally spoke to her!

I  was out for a long walk on my own and met her on this bridge which leads into the town.  I  asked if I could take a photo of her, as I admired her style. She was most agreeable to this. Her name is Naomi Brown and she buys all her clothes from charity shops and refashions them to her liking. She is, luckily, handy with a needle! She is very tiny, about a size 8, but I have no idea of her age. I think the outfit today is not totally reflective of her usual look and I will hopefully get some photos of her in more outfits as I see her around.

When my partner first moved to Bedford  nearly 16 years ago, he asked me one day if I had ever seen this lady in her finery - and of course I had, and knew immediately who he was talking about. (We call her the Edwardian Lady) but today I found out her name and how she creates her outfits! I told her I would put her photo on my blog and she seemed happy with that ,but I must ask her when I next see her if she knows about/reads style blogs especially those for older women. 

A true original!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Not buying it! Days 2 & 3

 This is the second day of my New Year Challenge - to try and 'shop' my own wardrobe with out buying anything, clothes wise, from the charity shop. I reckon I can make about 6 - 8 weeks worth of outfits, wearing a different outfit each day. Maybe I can't, but I'm going to find out! My necklace is from a car boot sale some years ago and my earring are from Sainsbury's bought when they have 20 or 25% off.

My red brothel creepers/beetle crushers were £4.00 in a charity shop, brown skirt from £1.00 rail  in charity shop some months ago, M & S top the same. The cardigan is from Primarni and I bought it about 6 years ago!

So, this is the second outfit worn on 2nd January, 2016.

I think it will be quite a challenge as I'm used to supplementing my clothes with 'new' ones on a regular basis. As I won't be doing that any more will I will able to create a different outfit each day or will I have reuse some items to create a new look? I think it maybe the latter....

Day 3 - 3rd January 2016

I didn't get a chance to take a photo of what I wore on 3rd January 2016 but I can describe it to you - I wore the red tunic I've got on below with the same gilet (both from charity shops in Donegal) but I wore red leggings and black brothel creepers/beetle crushers with it instead.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

New Year's Resolutions

I don't make New Year's resolutions. The last time I made one was New Year's Eve 2005/06 and that was to give up smoking. That was 10 years ago and I haven't smoked since then. Yes, I put on weight and I haven't really lost it - but hey, who cares? I'm healthy, exercise regularly and try to eat healthily although my downfall is sugar. I love chocolate and cake and biscuits and have to watch that I don't over indulge....

The necklace was 2.00 euros from an Irish charity shop in Donegal and the earrings, which are rather mediaeval looking I think, (I have a black pair as well) were bought from a charity shop for about £1.00 each about 3 or 4 years ago.

Everything  (bar the boots) I'm wearing is charity shopped. The skirt was on the £1.00 rail as was the grey long sleeved top. The cardigan I picked up on Tuesday last for £1.99 in the British Red Cross shop in town.
The watch, ring and bracelet are all charity shopped, too. The boots were bought on line.

As it's 10 years since my last New Year's resolution I think I might make one this year and that will be to try and see how long I can last not buying any more clothes from the charity shops. I have enough clothes,
I would think, to allow me to wear a different outfit everyday for 6 to 8 weeks. I try to operate a '1 in and 1 out' policy but I still have loads and loads of clothes - 38 stretchy tops being one example!

So, that's my aim and I shall keep you updated. I wish I could do a post everyday but I just wouldn't be able to manage that. I might manage a photo a day though - food for thought there. The downside is, when I do go to charity shops now (and I can't stay out of them); what do I buy? I'm not buying clothes; not buying any more wool, trying not to buy books as I've just about run out of shelf space - what's left?  I've more than enough jewellery, handbags, scarves and footwear. I have a few hats. I like bric-a-brac but there's a limit storage wise and I think I've reached it now. Can I actually go into charity shops and not buy anything at all? Watch this space!

I have edited this post as I have accepted my own challenge! Day 1 of 'Not Buying it' starts with this outfit which I wore on New Year's Day - 1st January 2016