Monday, 13 July 2015

Second Hand Style #1: My Summer Wardrobe

I've only just got back from attending the final day of the Ethical Fashion Show, but before I review the day's talks and introduce you to some amazing up-and-coming eco fashion brands, I thought I would do a quick update of some secondhand pieces I've recently added to my summer wardrobe, courtesy of many hours spent trawling through Ebay! In the spirit of shopping ethically, I tried to identify the key pieces missing in my wardrobe and only buy classic, quality items that I will keep for many years to come, rather than disposing of when next summer's trends start to emerge.

My favourite buy is probably my A-line lemon yellow midi skirt, which has fast become the most worn item in my whole wardrobe! This is a classic example of how you shouldn't be put off if something doesn't quite fit right or is too long - if it's a basic shape you can easily alter it with a quick bit of sewing. This skirt is vintage Marks and Spencer, back when most of their production was UK-based, and was originally a size 16 (waist 30in - how modern sizing has changed!). By taking it in an inch or two it now fits perfectly, and the cotton/modal fabric blend makes it a great weight for summer. 

Vintage Marks and Spencer midi skirt, £3.99 via Ebay incl. postage and packaging
Next up are two dresses - a more formal, classic black dress that will look just as good dressed up with heels or down with summer sandals, and a lightweight cotton cover up that will be ideal on the beach over a bikini. The first dress needs the length taking up a bit before I can wear it (a similar process to taking in the skirt, tutorials to follow), but I'm sure it will become a firm fixture in my wardrobe after it's been altered.

Left: Black Zara dress, £4.19 and cotton cover up, £4.49 via Ebay incl. postage and packaging

Lastly, two examples of how Ebay can either totally impress or massively disappoint! The Dune espadrilles on the left were a bit of risky buy as I am generally in between shoe sizes and never know when ordering online if they will come up too big or too small. But aside from having to punch a couple of extra holes in the straps, I was so impressed with these, which are real suede and must have only been worn a couple of times. Less impressive were these American Apparel denim shorts, which unlike the photo turned up dirty and marked. Three goes with a scrubbing brush were enough to get the worst of the stains off, but the inner pocket is still a different colour and spoils what otherwise would have been an amazing bargain.

Dune suede espadrilles, £23.15 and American Apparel denim shorts, £10.00 via Ebay incl. postage and packaging
Have you found any bargains on Ebay or in other secondhand shops? What are your top tips for second hand shopping?

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