A GUIDE TO CHARITY SHOPPING!

I really think charity shopping should be classed as an art form. And for a charity shop lover like me living in Kenilworth is ideal, every other shop is a charity shop which means i often dedicate an afternoon to looking up and down the high street.

Over the past 5 ish years I’ve become an avid charity shopper. I am addicted to the idea of finding something special or something one of a kind. Ive put  together a list of 4 key things to follow if your looking to become a charity shopper or already are one and just haven’t been very successful till now. Ill also include some of my best charity shop finds to give you a look at whats out there. Also to you people who are grossed out by charity shops there is such thing as a washing machine!

1)Feel for quality:
Don’t spend hours looking through every single item on a rail, its just a waste of time. learn what good quality looks and feels like and eventually you will be able to look at a rail and the quality/branded items will just jump out at you. Your looking for thick luxurious fabrics. A trick if your shopping for men or items to sell on is to search through the shirts section. Make this easier for yourself by learning logos of brands and then its as simple as flicking fast through the shirts looking for that one stand out label.

2)Hit specific areas. You don’t need to worry about hitting every single corner of the shops. There a only a few worth while areas to hit and they are: Mens shirts,womens jeans/skirts, mens t shirts and accessories.

3) see it how it could be:I tend to look at an item with imaginary scissor lines, For example: A skirt can be shorneded or taken in , a t shirt can be cropped. A pair of jeans could be frayed. Use your imagination and think of how you could customise the item to suit you or current trends.

4) Understand your not always going to find treasure. Charity Shopping is a hit or miss situation, one trip you could find 5 items and another trip you will find nothing of substance but understand that they are constantly getting new donations and often when you find one item you will find more than one in one go as people tend to make donations of bulk and will have other items of your taste and size.

Now to some of my best Charity Shop finds.

VINTAGE TEDDY-BEAR SILK LINED COAT!

I found this coat a good 4 years ago in a charity shop in kenilworth for £10! it was such a good find as the quality is amazing and I found it right at the beginning of the faux fur/ fluffy coat trend so had been worn year in and year out every Winter since! It has been washed multiple times and always comes out fresh and fluffy and adds interest to any boring outfit. Teddy bear coats have been everywhere on the high street this winter and have cost a good £60 upwards! HERES AND EXAMPLE OF A URBAN OUTFITTERS EQUIVALENT

REAL LEATHER MINI-SKIRT

I found this Leather miniskirt on a recent charity shop trip where I found around 5 items. This fits me like a glove and sits high waisted just how I like skirts to be. The Leather is in amazing condition and i haven’t taken this off every since. It looks amazing with jumpers/turtle necks and ankle boots for the  ultimate 60’s vibe which is my astetic. This cost me £4 and has also been all over the highstreet for much more and often only pleather. HERES AN EXAMPLE OF A FAUL LEATHER TOPSHOP EQUIVALENT

METALIC RUFFLE T-SHIRT 

I found this top a few weeks ago and although its nothing AMAZING i picked it up for a few reasons. 1) it being a trend piece, ruffles and metallic were both trending this past whole year and this will continue throughout 2018. 2) The quality. The t-shirt is from M&S which tells me it will wash well and not bobble. Its just a plain tee with a facelift, its as easy to style but adds interest and trend substance to your a look.

LEVIS JEANS

This is one of two pairs of genuine Levis Jeans I found in the same charity shop as the leather skirt recently. I always make Levis a priority on my list to look for every time i go into a charity shop because they are so well made, expensive to buy new and also hot right now for the 80’s/90’s revival. I particularaly search for Levis because the vintage shape fits my body shape better than jeans you can buy on the high street due to the snug waists and rounded loose fitting hips and leg. With the Two pairs I found on this trip i have frayed the hems to give a more relaxed and modern touch to them. A tip for finding Levis is to know the colours and feel. Levis jeans are distinctly better quality than other jeans and are much higher percentage pure denim than newer style jeans. You can flick through the jeans section very fast when looking for Levis as all you need to do is have all the jeans with their backs to you and flick through looking for that iconic leather label. One pair cost me £3 and one cost me £4. Much cheaper than the exact same thing “vintage” shops are selling for £25 upwards.

VINTAGE VELVET COCKTAIL DRESS

This is a beautiful Vintage cocktail dress I found a month or so ago. Its amazingly well made with darts and seams that make it fit like a glove. This was something I went out looking for but it caught my eye due to the quality of the fabric standing out at me. Its very 80’s party style which I love and this is my version of a body con dress which isn’t something I usual would wear. I think this dress is also trend based for this coming year as it has the velvet slip dress kind of feel too it which can be seen all over the high street at the moment. I haven’t yet worn this because i am going to shorten it to give it a modern twist and then I’m looking forward to having somewhere to wear it to.

KANGOL BERET 

This is my favourite recent find. I have been wanting a beret for a few months but didn’t want to pay the high street prices for something i knew i would be able to find in a charity shop if I looked hard enough. I was particularly hoping to find a Kangol one because it is the ultimate hat brand and the best quality. I was rummaging through a basket of hats and the logo jumped out at me. This only cost me £3!

 

If you found this guide at all useful please leave a comment! Feel free to follow me Here on my instagram to keep up with more finds and to see how I style these items. Thank you 🙂

A YEAR IN MOMENTS AND OUTFITS

Firstly let me say Happy New Year ( little bit late but still acceptable I think). I hope everybody had an amazing 2017 despite all the rubbish thrown at us all within it. Lets hope 2018 is the year of taking control.

At the start of 2017 i remember thinking it was going to be MY year, I was going to pass my driving test/buy my first car, have my 18th birthday and move to university. All these moments have now been achieved and I feel reminicing is needed. I thought a good way to pin point times throughout 2017 and link to my love of personal style i would pick some of my favourite looks and give a little bit of an insight into what was going on in my life during that time.

February 2017: First time in NYC

This is one of my favourite moments from 2017. I got to visit my dream destination NYC with some of my best friends. I think everyone needs to visit New York at some point in their lives its s culture shock and will leave you with dreams and aspirations bigger than you thought were possible. I want to be wowed again like i was this day during 2018. There are many more places on my hit list to visit. This particular picture is of me and one of my closest friends Ella during a street art in Brooklyn which i suggest everyone visiting NYC does!

Outfit details: Vans old skool high-ups in metallic , H&M black knit & Gold M&S Crushed velvet midi dress (don’t avoid m&s they are changing with the times!).

August 2017:Lake Garda get away.

I had finished College and was relaxing all summer. Lake Garda is a dreamy place and definatly fills you with inspiration to dress like a sassy dancing emoji. This is a firm summer 2016&2017 summer favourite for meI felt so sassy in this look and it will defiantly be coming back out to join  me and my Aperol Spritz this coming summer.

Outfit details:The dress was a H&M special and sold out within a second for obvious reasons! The colour suits the lakes ascetics perfectly and gave a nod to the ruffle s/s trend. The shoes are Next (who i always check for shoes as I’ve found a few amazing pairs in there before.)Faux Snake skin lace up block heels.

September 2017: First week at Nottingham Trent University.

This post is from my first week at university and specifically my first day of lectures. You can see my lovely room in the background…Going to university has been eye opening to me. I have learnt so much in the first term that i already know was invaluable information. I have met people from places i had never even heard of and realised I am actually not too bad of a cook. I love this look because I think it is perfectly me. I feel confident and put together when i wear this but not boring which is something i try to never be. Therefore it was the perfect choice to wear to meet new people.

Outfit details: Top and knitted dress from Zara and shoes are converse.

October 2017: Settling in.

Although this isn’t a particular occasion i have to put this post in because 1 its one of my favourite looks and 2 it falls at the time where i began to settle into my new city. I love this outfit because its one that really suits my personal style. I am heavily influenced by 1960’s silhouettes and Mod trend looks. I think the 60’s silhouette is so flattering and timeless and this mini dress in leather pulls together my love for both those trends. I styled this up differently when it got colder with a polo neck , fish net tights and doc marten boots.

Outfit details: Dress is Zara, socks are Primark and my AMAZING boots that get many compliments from older ladies are Topshop.

December 2017: Theres no place like home.

Back at home again. Moving to a city really makes you appreciate home. Kenilworth is s relaxed and peaceful i am so happy to call it home. This is one of my current favourite looks because it is so relaxed and comfortable but i don’t feel any less sassy when i wear it.  I have Kenilworth’s charity shops to thank for this one. Don’t be scared to go into a charity shop. There are so many gems to be found for a fraction of the price “Vintage” shops sell them for.

Outfit details: Levis jeans and ruffle metallic top from local charity shop, Boots and faux fur bag from Topshop, Belt is vintage.

25th December 2017: Christmas Day.

Christmas came round again and although it was dysfunctional due to my house being a building site we managed to have a relaxed and food/ fun filled day. The older you get the more important who you spend Christmas day with is. This is hands down my best Christmas day outfit ever! And i can’t even take the credit for myself. My Mum knows me well. Although we have the charity shop to thank again for the fabulous Beret. Currently wearing the jumper while writing this.

Outfit Details: Beret is from a local charity shop and jumper and skirt are H&M.

So there it was , a  look into a few key moment and looks of my 2017. I hope you all are having a great start to your 2018. This blog post made me realise how many fab things I’ve found in the charity shops and has inspired me so keep looking out for a potential “Do’s/ Don’ts of charity shopping”.

If you fancy keeping up with my 2018 styling or just a bit nosy you can visit my instagram HERE!!!

THE PROCESS OF CREATING A CONCEPTUAL SHOOT!

Recently i was given an assignment which challenged me and my group  to create a photo shoot based off of an existing shoot which we would need analyse and condense down into five key words that we think best describes the shoot. We were also given an accessory to “sell” through the shoot. Mine was “Bag”. We would then have to come up with a concept using the five words and our accessory.

My given existing shoot was “Game,set,match” a vogue shoot by Craig McDean.

The five words we chose from the given shoot were: Gender submissive, surrealism,clashing, nostalgic and twisted romance. We decided we didn’t want to create a obvious handbag commercialised shoot so we started looking into other options for the accessory bag ,these were: prescription bags , plastic bags,body bags ,and oversized prop bags.

We decided on plastic bags as they seemed the opposite of glamorous. The concept was a robbery using plastic bags. We would incorporate gender swaps and surrealist props along with a carefully chosen location to make sure our shoot linked to all our chosen words.

These were our three chosen final images which were displayed along with a verbal explanation.

WILL 2018 BE A YEAR WITHOUT FUR???

Michael Kors has committed to going fur free starting 2018!!!….. Finally.

I know we should be celebrating that another designer brand is going fur free but i cant help but say it with a hint of sarcasm. It is ridiculous that as we come to the start of 2018 that there are still brands lagging behind in this area! Faux fur is so advanced and easily accessible compared to how it used to be that i believe there is just no excuse for any brand to not be recognising this. However , this is after all the reality so i would be stupid to not congratulate the brand on their choice weather its late or not as there are still many brands who haven’t made the commitment.

An image from a Peta march back in 2010 accusing Kors of using Rabbit and reptile skins in his garments.

The brand will phase out production by the end of December 2018 and this apply company wide including the Jimmy Choo brand which Kors acquired in January of 2017! This is a decision that has been made due to the pressure from animal rights groups and the changing taste from their consumers. Micheal has been quoted to say “due to technological advances in fabrications we now have the ability to create a luxe aesthetic using non-animal fur” he then goes on to announce that they will first showcase these uses of faux fur in the runway show coming February 2018.

This decision from Kors allows the brand to join a growing group of established brands such as Gucci who went fur free October this year and also brands such as Calvin Klein ,Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger who have already made the decision to move from animal fur to faux fur. We still have a long way to go in means of o fur on our cat walks as 70% of designer brands still showcased fur on their runways during 2017 but Kors is another step towards ending the fur trade all together!

If you want to see more brands going fur free please sign the petition HERE!!!

LUSH!!! WHAT THE FUR???

I was walking through Nottingham City Centre today and noticed Lush had a new campaign in the window. Where as most brands are decked out in Christmas gear this time of year Lush is using its influence to spread understanding on a much bigger, more important issue.

Lush have partnered up with Animal Protection group Humane Society International to draw attention to the horrid truth that consumers are unwillingly and unknowingly buying real fur labeled as fake fur. The Humane Society has done extensive research into this matter and it is now clear that items such as Pom Pom keyring made from Rabbit are being sold for £5 and knitted hats made with Marmot fur for as little as £3.50!As well as Parkers with fur hoods being sold for £35.

WHY IS THIS AN ISSUE?

Even though a huge 80% of the UK are unequivocally against the buying/selling of real fur there are still a small amount who are indifferent or uninterested in the subject. I belive that these people must just be uneducated on the subject as if they were educated on it they would not be able to ignore the facts. Animals ranging from Rabbits to stray dogs are kept in tiny metal cages, forced to live in their own mess and often become dis-formed due to lack of food and medical attention. There is absolutely no respect or mercy shown to these animals when they are skinned alive or electric shocked to death. This is why brands such as Lush are so key in shedding light on the situation and drawing us to whats important.

It is a common conception that real fur is more expensive than fake sure and therefore consumers presume what they are buying from the high street is fake due to the price. However the sad truth is that in the countries the fur is being produced in the animas are so accessible and easy to skin that they are most commonly than not less expensive than the production of faux fur.

HOW TO SPOT REAL FUR!!!

Although the farming of fur is illegal in the UK there is currently no law against the importing of fur however most brands are unaware when using real fur as there is also no law on labeling fur/faux fur correctly. So here are the two main ways of spotting the difference to save yourself from falling into the trap.

SPLIT THE FUR: By separating the fur into a parting you are able to see what it is attached to. Fake fur will be attached to a mesh like fabric that the strands are glued or sewn into. Real fur will be attached to a thin layer of the animals skin.

CHECK THE ENDS: Fake fur will be blunt on the ends from where the strands have been trimmed by the machine to reach the desired length where as real fur will taper to a point.

The key outcomes of this campaign are to educate the public on what they could possibly be buying and to also gain signatures on the petition to get the importation of fur into the uk to be banned. If you are interested in signing this petition click HERE. More information can be found HERE on the Lush website!

“ATH-LEISURE” STREET STYLE

A recent assignment saw me being a street style photographer. Channeling my inner Bill Cunningham who i have recently see a documentary on at the Broadway cinema in Nottingham, i headed out onto the uni campus and around the city to find some people to capture .I was given a trend story to work on, mine was Active. We were asked to look into three areas of the trend story.

  1. Historic references to the trend
  2. visual merchendising around the trend story
  3. “people” how is it being projected by the public? Who’s wearing it? When are they wearing it?

It was that last section which we simply called “people” that saw me taking some street style photography. I was looking for ways in which “active” has been turned from literally sports/ gym clothes into the trend which is most commonly known as “ath-leisure”. This A/W  the sports lux style has became “body kind not body con” meaning we are leaning to a more comfort based look which draws its inspiration heavily from stereotypically male silhouettes.   We are seeing a huge revival of 90s hip hop silhouettes and the re launch of fabrics such as velour and silks which gives a high end luxury almost boujy feel. These people are defiantly not about to go on a treadmill. There is a significant difference between sports wear and the active inspired ath-leisure I was looking for which I was very picky about when taking my pictures.

LAYERED-LUX! This particuar look was a good example of how active wear has been developed into less obvious sports clothing. The relaxed silhouette and layering effect is still seen and a hint to the look is given with the cap. This is a great example of active as everyday and is a subtle not to the trent without covering yourself in logos or screaming “I am healthy I promise”.
MUSTARD MOVEMENT! I chose this image because its the opposite from the last. It is very clearly a nod to active wear with the “go-faster-stripes” and matching set but is much more of a relaxed less high performance fabric in a more on trend colour way which links it perfectly to the idea of ath-leisure.
KEEP HYDRATED! I absolutely lovee this!!! This to me opitamises how active has been adopted into street style. Its a gimmicky way to push the idea of active with the hoodie silhouette and the witty nod to keeping hydrated while also just having fun and looking fab in pink. Teamed with the docs makes it even more trend based and less on the sports side. My absolute favourite!
GO FASTER STRIPES! This image is a good example of how most people are adopting the trend story. trainers and loose fitting clothing with the 90’s style hip-hop inspired trousers which every high street shop are selling a version of right now. Topshop and Urban Outfitters to name a few. teamed with a pair of trainers for a casual but cohesive look.
SOPHISTICATED SPORTS!I love the way this look incorporates two key trends for this season. Active and Oriental. It plays on two of the key fabrics as well. Velour and a fabric that behaves like silk. The trousers while fitting the active “go faster” theme also are hitting on another key trend right now which is 70″s flares. in my opinion she just got everything right even down to the customised Old Skool vans.
PEAK TO PAVEMENT! “peak to pavement” is a quote i found on WGSN (trend forcasting database). It basically means a garment that is fit for the mountains and the city. I think the stand out piece for that idea is a puff jacket. The puffer jacket originates from varsity jacket /bomber jackets which obviously started with American sports teams and has been adopted by street style and recently enlarged and exaggerated till it reached the puffer jacket as seen in this picture!

I really enjoyed this first snippet at street style and its extremely rewarding to go through the images after the event and notice the patterns linking the images.

!!!Disclaimer!!! the reason there are no males features is because as a group we split and i was focusing on female. Also I don’t claim to be a good photographer in the slightest.

A CONCEPT IN PINK!!!

Nearly a month as a FCP student at Nottingham Trent university now and assignment one is over and done with. To get our thinking heads on we were given a short two week brief to complete in which we would be given a colour and have to explore its “positive and negative” connotations. This would then progress into a further task.

I was given PINK!!!

What are the connotations that come along with the colour pink? I have created a mind map to outline some of the sections that come to mind for me.

By doing this I could see that Pink is not just a colour of clothing and that the negative and positive connotations were very clear. I decided the most prominent sides were…. 1) the barbie princess tacky grossness which i decided to called obvious because positive and negative were too subjective and 2) the political gender segregative side of the colour which i called “Not obvious”. Using these two contrasting sides of pink i went on to create two mood boards that hopefully showed the direction i was taking the research in!

Using the research on Pink i created the concept of a low-fi shoot focusing on the gender norms side of the colour. Taking the piss out of expectant parents who throw gender reveal parties i created this image and short video trying to get through that children are being surrounded by these “ideals” before they are even born.

 

WHO IS THE FCP BEAST?

The “FCP Beast” is the name my lecturers have given the mindset of an FCP student ( Fashion Communication and Promotion). Its a hypothetical beast who encompases all the traits of a FCP student. We were set the task of drawing the “FCP Beast” in groups in an attempt to harness what our aim/job is as a FCP student as a lot of our work is ideas and concepts and it would be nice to see a physical write up of what we are as a degree and what our morals and aims are.

We started by mind mapping words and phases we as individuals see our course as. Some of the popular and most common phrases were as follows.

“The bridge between the company and the Consumer”

“The ideas that are the frontage of a company/brand/product”

“Concept Creators”

We then went on to think about what our jobs are as a FCP student and what traits the Beast would take from us. These are the “Beasts”

!!!DISCLAIMER!!! None of us claim to be artists hence why we are not designers! The drawings are laughable but they do the job of getting the point across.

 

As you can see on this particular Beast some of the main points highlighted are eyes and ears! As communication students we are constantly making sure we are aware of everything and noticing everything. Everything has a pattern and everything is a result of something so noticing new patterns not just in fashion but in lifestyle and so on is key to helping us understanding the world around us ,and therefore being able to advise people the best we can. We also know that listening is key ,as producing an idea or concept for a brands product for example is very difficult if you don’t have all the information. We listen ,think and then explain! A “fearless and risk taking mouth” is needed!

One particular part of this Beast that i love is the conveyer belt feet , they are  “constantly moving”! Fashion literally means change and nobody will succeed in this industry if they won’t change and evolve with the the consumer and give them what they need at a given time! We as FCP students are supposed to be the knowledgable people available to brands/ people who are  not so much themselves. We need our fingers in many pies! “pie fingers” as its called on this Beast. 

NOTTINGHAM! THE PLACE TO BE!

I moved to Nottingham just over a week ago to study Fashion Communication and Promotion at Nottingham Trent University. (side note, “id rather be a polly than a C***” ). Needless to say its an amazing city in general but specifically for anyone studying within the arts. However i don’t think i would have known this if I hadn’t been set the labourious Freshers week task of a “Treasure Hunt” around the city. 45 locations May I add! After two days of walking around a city   you get to know your peers and all the sights along the way, which means i now have an in-depth understanding of both . Which by the way are both amazing.

Along with my treasure hunt buddies we devised this mood board of all 45 of the most important spots for creative souls in the city. Ill break down a few of my favourites spots for you now.

 

Nottingham is an amazing City and I’m looking forward to exploring it more in the next three year that I live here!

@rockcitynottingham

@ideas_on_paper

@hopkinson21

@foreverrecords 

Photography – by Tiffany Holland

My Social Media – @elliejackson12

60’s CYBER STREETS!

60’s Cyber Streets is a shoot styled and directed by Myself and Ella O’Reilly ,as part of a brief for our BTech Diploma. This brief was to design and produce a Outerwear Garment which were styled by us during this shoot. We chose to play on the space age feel the fabrics gave off and went for a out-of-space with sports lux style due to the key trends at the time we shot this. Our locations were chosen on the idea of putting out of space/ high fashion in a casual down to earth environment. Models were Lucy Coles and Elli Partridge and my partner in the shoot was Ella O’Reilly. FOLLOW ELLA HERE!