I’m wearing: Black Topshop skinnies, Office suede Chelsea boots, Cos white tee, Zara denim shirt and vintage tan suede tassel jacket from Hanks Vintage on eBay.
From the whimsical 1920’s flappers dresses, to the 50’s Rock and Roll revolution, prompted by none other than the King himself, native American fringe-wearing wanderers, and the 70’s Woodstock boho beauties – the tassel trend has been dinging high on the fashion radar for over a century, and for good reason, too.
It’s really important to keep these wearable and diverse trends relevant and alive, not only because they look effing awesome, but because it makes it that much more alluring when you uncover a gem, (like this little tan beauty I’m wearing from an eBay vintage store) from an era that precedes a current trend mania – Which then means we don’t have to bop along to the high street and attempt to replicate an original trend, by buying new.
It can be tricky to be a curator of quality and style in a somewhat disposable world. A lot of clothes being made on the hight street right now are, unfortunately, not constructed with durability in mind – And in fear of sounding like someone’s monotonous Grandmother, they just don’t make clothes like they used to.
It’s always worth going down the vintage route for investment pieces such as jackets, as they’ve undoubtedly been made with love and care and designed to last a lifetime. From generation X, to bikers, to aged rockers – the perennial fringe et tassel are a staple statement, and, I hope, will continue to be so for many generations to come.
The positives of recycling trends:
1. You’ll look far more unique and inspiring than anyone else wearing the current high street ‘trend’, if you nab something of the same trend, but from way back when.
2. Anything vintage always looks effortlessly cool regardless of era.
3. Buying investment pieces that have already stood the test of time, and continue to stand a lot longer, will keep the pennies safe.
4. Being a purveyor of quality and vintage is a positive for the environment and you know you’re contributing, even on a smaller scale – it all counts.
Elizabeth Miles Instagram: @elizabethmiles_
How much second hand, is too much second hand?
It’s come to my attention of late that the majority of my outfit posts typically include: 1 vintage piece, sometimes 1 high street piece (very seldom), and the rest are always charity shop finds. I appreciate that the point of blogging is often to promote new brands and quirky, artisan, boutique shops, to drive traffic to their site. But for me, a die-hard-charity-shop advocate, this remains to be something for me to explore.
I undoubtedly enter in to charity shops everyday, if I can. Most charity shops replenish their stock daily and there is always such a plethora of delights available – but you’ve got to want to find them. I remember a friend would always moan to me whenever I passed a charity shop and the compulsion to go in was too much to ignore, so she would be dragged in with me by her hair (not her hair or any other bodily part for that matter, but what a fun idea). “But I can never find anything and nothing is laid out properly”, she would always lament. “What, you mean like Topshop?” I responded.
Some people just won’t find the hassle and hours of rummaging in the depths of BO ridden, mystery stained garments (and this is a sweeping generalisation here, guys), worth it. And who can blame some people? For me, the excitement of the unknown that somewhere in that shop, could be the coat of my dreams is palpable; it’s like I’m accepting a Charity-Shop-Challenge in which to find the best bit of clobber in there. And if it needs a little spruce, then it gets a little spruce. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, ALWAYS. Although I do need to stop buying clothes that have a little nick at the hem, or a rip in the collar, in the hope (no hope) that I will someday sew it up and replace that extra missing button and return it to it’s natural glory. Sometimes this happens, but sometimes clothes I buy in that state get relegated to a pile and put on my ‘to-do’ list.
What are the benefits of shopping charity shops?
Not only are the pluses of charity shops being fiscally kind to your pockets and the environment, whilst heightening your chances of finding something unique, but you are giving back to charity AND recycling. At a time where up-cycling and ‘refashioning’ are at the forefront of the ethical fashion frontiers minds, charity shops are the perfect place to tick off so many ethically sartorial shaped boxes.
Don’t be scared to shop charity. There is literally something for everyone and if it’s not clothes you fancy, then guaranteed you’ll find something weird and wonderful for your bedroom that you don’t need but can’t live without.
I’m wearing: Afghan waistcoat: Wow Retro, Polo neck and belt: Charity shop, Flares: Mango, Shoes; Topshop
Elizabeth Miles Instagram: @elizabethmiles_
There are gorgeous hues aplenty floating around in the sky at the moment. Autumn urges you to whack on an oversized, baggy, knit jumper and gad about in the crunchy leaves listening to The Kinks, ‘Autumn Almanac’ and you find yourself jumping around on fast forward like something out of a kooky 90’s Blur music video, if you have time for that sort of thing…
We all faithfully adhere to the whims of the Autumn/Winter Fashion Gods, but what does Autumnal fashion really represent? Is it the magical transition from a luke-warm summer to piss-freezing winter? Yes. Minus the magic. Does it suggest we must all adorn ourselves in burgundies, magentas and maroons? Sure, if you want people to almost register that you look like you’re trying to recreate a Monet landscape, but ultimately the pay-off here is questionable.
Perhaps it’s about gripping on to the warmth of your vanilla chai tea or pumpkin spiced latte cup through your gloves and trying to manage drinking it whilst not looking like a total retard in the latest snood? Perhaps for some. Don’t get me wrong, I bloody love a good Harvest Festival Songs of Praise sing a long, as much as the next person – which you could view as an indirect way of saying I think they’re dry as hell – but what I’m not sure I subscribe to is the hype surrounding a season shift.
Yes, the orangey reddy glows are nice, but let’s face it: the cold sucks, and that’s what’s happening here. It’s getting cold. So we have to try to cope with it as best we can. Reality check; winter is coming, and it is brutal, so wrap up warm, don’t catch a cold, start booking in the soups, parsnips and hot pots, whatever you need to do to survive, but let’s draw a line under all this “isn’t it wonderful” bollocks once and for all shall we?
I’m wearing: Yellow fedora: My Granny’s (vintage), Leopard print shirt: Charity shop, Cable knit jumper: Charity shop, Leaves & roses: My garden’s own.
The bandana is back! (for my neck at least)
I’m at an age now where I can recount being an ’emo’, with mixed emotions, (touches of embarrassment, hints of fondness and lashings of nostalgia). During the early-mid naughties it was in part, a socially accepted norm, to be an ’emo.’
One fundamental part of my uniform during those heady times, was my red bandana. I swore by my red bandana. It was always round my neck worn like a cowboy/wannabe gangster, or folded over and donned round my noggin, a la 50’s pin-up style. Sometimes, even tied to another bandanna and worn as a belt! How kooky(!) *sigh*
ANYWAY, I visited my parents last weekend and stumbled upon the forgotten, dusty gem of a neckerchief and decided to bring it back to life once more, and tie this simple outfit together with a pop of colour at the neck and striking orange woollen coat that I unearthed in a small town (always the best kind) charity shop for nine whole English pounds and 50 pence.
Not forgetting my new Mango black jean flares which I absolutely adore and have worn 4 days in a row this week already. I’m starting to think my work colleagues may think I binned all my other trousers and have since sworn to wear these forever and ever amen. (Maybe I might just do that?!)
What will be your next rediscover?
I’m wearing: T-shirt: Cos, (similar here) Flares: Mango, Cowboy boots: Rokit Vintage, (selection at Rokit here) Coat: Charity Shop, Satchel: Vintage, Belt: Vintage, Sunglasses: Camden Market cheapies, Bandana: Old school emo shop.
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night.
Yes, it’s happened. The Summer -> Autumn transition is truly in full swing and there is nothing you can do about it! Whether you’re a Summer sun worshipper, or an Autumnal Angel, there is no denying the leafy months have a lot to offer on the fashion front.
I am in love with the Autumnal hues of this vintage 70’s leaf print bikini, which I feel is an homage and very direct nod to the leafier months that are slinking in. It marries perfectly with the deep purple tones of the crochet knit; both from my new favourite vintage store, Pop, in Covent Garden. Both being firm favourites of mine in the colour department, I will undoubtedly be carrying them both through to the leafier, cooler months.
I’m wearing: Vintage 70’s bikini from Pop Vintage in Covent Garden, Purple crochet knit waistcoat: Pop Vintage, also, Sandals: Birkenstocks, Hat: Store in New York I can’t quite remember the name of!
Elizabeth Miles Instagram: @elizabethmiles_
I’ve been cutting and tearing old pieces of clothing to absolute shreds for years now – I believe they call this ‘customising’, these days?
I took a jaunt home to visit my parents recently and no trip home is complete without a mass stopover at the many ‘full-of-crap-but-some-absolute-gems-to-be-had,’ style charity shops, where you can still get a jumper for 50p and a gorgeous vintage dress for £3.50. Gone are those days of cheap actual charity shop loving in London. Anyway, I digress and that topic is for another time.
As I was
rambling wanging on about, I eye-balled this gorgeous floral print dressing gown in what could only be described as a mix between a super soft tea towel and velour in material and touch. At a size 20 it looked like a tablecloth indicative of the 60’s. Luckily, those two nouns fit perfectly in to my sartorial vocabulary and I had to buy it as I knew something beautiful could be made from it. Being a non-London charity shop it cost less than your habitual morning coffee – (It was £2.00)
It had a hidden zip fastening from the collar to about 2 thirds of the way down at the front and ever so nearly grazed the floor on me. I lopped off essentially half of it’s length, turned it back to front so the zip was at the back and proceeded to raid my mama’s vast belt collection to see which would look best cinched in at the waist to take out some of the mass bulk material – And Fanny’s your Aunt, a cute floral mini dress was born. I especially adore the high neck and elasticated sleeves – thus rendering my modern day take on what was most probably some old lady’s bed wear garb!
I’m wearing: Old 60’s dressing gown – charity shop, hat: Primark years ago, belt: My mama’s from the 80’s, Shoes: My sisters, tassel cardigan: again, my sisters! Satchel: vintage
I had initially spied this dress on a fashion blog I stumbled across a few weeks ago and had been dying for an easy-to-wear bell sleeve piece for a while. Upon discovering it was a Zara number I immediately had to procure one for myself (and at only £19.99 in the sale, it was a no-brainer!) In fact, if you mosey on over to the Zara website right now, they have unfortunately, sold out of this sassy white number, but they do have a gorgeous patterned alternative and it’s now a mere £7.99! WHAT a Summer BARGAIN I hear you cry!
Now, I hadn’t actually intended on sharing this information with the entirety of the inter-web, but on one particular weekend of late I wore this dress from Friday, right through to Sunday, bar sleeping in it, of course; (yes, I a vile creature) because I loved wearing it that much and it was unbelievably easy to throw on with my gladiator sandals or heels.
I’ve always adored a good bell sleeve, but they’ve become so accessible and they’re fast becoming a go to for the throngs of the fashion forward. This is inevitably due to the 70’s being back in full paisley force and permeating the high streets thick and fast. However, I’m not sure if the bell sleeve is going to become a staple piece in my sometimes sartorially intransigent wardrobe for the foreseeable, or I’m just caught up in the hype for now.
Although, I will just point out, make sure you aren’t about to cook up a 3 course meal or partake in any arts and crafts when wearing a bell sleeve, as it could end up rather unappreciatively messy.
Sorry for being so rubbish on the blogging front, things have taken a back seat slightly with moving house and a hectic work schedule!
I have shared a cyber friendship with Kara Marshall for around 8 years now?! Having never met I couldn’t wait to ask her to shoot for Rock and Soul for our soon to launch vintage leather jackets range!
Her personal style is truly awesome and as a model with Nevs Models, she is hugely versatile and edgy. With her Northern Soul charm and boho appeal, I knew she would rock the leathers we were shooting.
Rock and Soul Leather jackets – Behind the scenes shots:
Amazing Makeup Artist Kari-Anne Habbershaw
Kara & Buddy the dog!
These gorgeous leather and faux fur coats will be available next week! Check our instagram for sneaky peeks, soon!
I think its fair to say I’ve been pretty blessed this year with the amount of travelling I’ve gotten to do. From spending a month in Australia with my Mama visiting crazy relatives, to partying in the desert at Coachella for my birthday in April, driving down the West Coast, to then most recently, visiting my boyfriend in New York at the end of his 2 month work trip.
All of these trips have had at least one thing in common – MY WANT AND DESIRE for tracking down the best of the old and oldest of the not so new – CHARITY SHOPS/THRIFT STORES (or op shop if you’re in Aus) are my true bloody love and I must get in them whenever and wherever possible!
As I wasn’t blogging when I was away during my earlier trips in the year, I wanted to share a recent mini shoot I did in New York with my boyfriend and an iphone for my New York blog post… Which is far less ominous than it sounds!
I had originally arranged to do a proper shoot for Rock and Soul with some friends out there, but sadly it fell through. So me and my boyfriend took to the streets on our last day and spied some cool hot spots for some rad shots.
I love this baggy Doors band t shirt that I got in Beyond Retro a while ago. The denim Levis cutoffs were actually my dad’s way back when and my mama had them taken in years ago to wear as jeans. So I decided to well, cut them off? The long maroon crochet knit is also Beyond Retro. The black boots I got in a Charity Shop and they told me in there that a shoe shop had recently closed down nearby, so they donated all their remaining stock to the charity shops, which i thought was wonderful!
This purple velvet dress I also got in a charity shop and it cost about £2? I don’t feel it needed much adding to it as i love the simple shape and the colour alone is gorge!
Quick outfit change in a New York side street!
Being in New York, I couldn’t not take a visit to the infamous address – 64 Perry street. (This is actually where it was filmed in the West village and not where Carrie was supposed to live on the Upper East Side.) The legendary stoop in which so many SATC shots were filmed. We just so happened to bump in to the lady a couple of times, that owned the building. I wont give away too much on what she had to say about it, but she may have mentioned that agreeing to this location being used was one of the biggest mistakes of her life! She was however, a wonderful lady!
Sorry it’s such poor quality, it was on an iphone and it was raining!
Thrift Store dwelling.
Brooklyn Industries clothes store.