Thursday, 30 June 2011

To Do List

Do you have any pieces of clothing in your wardrobe that you never seem to wear for one reason or another? I have loads. The obvious answer would be to clear it out and recycle it in someway either by selling, swapping or donating it to charity. But I am far too much of a hoarder for that and I am not going to let the fact that an item of clothing is a bit too long, uninspiring put me off. I decided that I need to fix some of the issues with the clothes that I don't wear that often.

I love the fabric of the first dress and it fits perfectly on the bottom half but is too tight on the bust (very unsual for me as I am not exactly big on top but have big hips) I plan to make this into a skirt with an elasticated waist. The second dress is vintage and  absolutely love the floral pattern but it is too long and just feels a bit frumpy. Both of the t shirts are just a bit boring and shapeless, the first is actually a maternity top that I bought wore when I was pregnant.

All of these projects are scheduled for the weekend. I will let you know how I get on. With festivals and other fun stuff coming up, I will definitely have plenty of opportunity to wear these pieces as long as this beautiful weather holds out.

What are you doing this weekend?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Monday, 27 June 2011

Floral Overload

To celebrate the 2nd birthday of her blog on 6th July, Intrinsically Florrie has decided to have a virtual tea party and is inviting both bloggers and non bloggers to join in by sending a picture of their floral outfits. I love Intrinsically Florrie for her amazing fkoral outfits and this was the perfect opportunity for me to have a go at mixing up my own multi floral outfit. Florries outfit includes a total of 16 floral items. I wasn't able to cram quite this many into my outfit but managed 6. If I had some floral tights and the weather permitted I would have happily worn them plus floral nails and floral sunglasses.

Cardigan- Marks and Spencers
Dress - People Tree
Shoes - Temps De Cerises
Hair Flower - Dorothy Perkins
Bag - Vintage
Necklace - a present from my sister

The bag is vintage and was a recent purchase from Oxfam. Unfortunately it was quite a bit smaller than expected but was so pretty, I couldn't bring myself to send it back. It does however fit my iphone just perfect so make a great iphone case. The dress is part of a collaboration between People Tree and Laura Ashley where there have used vintage Laura Ashley prints and recoloured them to make them up to date. If you like it, they have quite a few items from this collection including this dress and a very nice cropped jacket in the same fabric at half price here.

I also spent this week making cupcakes for my daughters birthday. She was insistent that I should make them rather than buying them and actually I was glad I did as I really enjoyed it. I did cheat a little buy buying ready made frosting and sugar flowers. Next time I might get a little more creative and try making my own frosting.

Hope you had a lovely weekend. What is your favourite floral outfit?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Friday, 24 June 2011

FBFF - Blogging and Personal Style

This weeks Fashion and Beauty Friend Friday is about how blogging has affected my style.

This was partly fueled by a suggestion from Suz of MissVinylAhoy and partly by my own realization that I like some odd things since I started blogging – things I never would have looked twice at before.

Funnily enough I have written quite a detailed post on this subject which you can read here. But I have decided to also write a fresh post as life and style is constantly changing and I am fascinated by personal style and how .

1. Since you began blogging do you notice a change in the types of things you gravitate towards while shopping? yes I definitely buy more colourful clothes as these tend to look better in photographs. The photographs I take also highlight which styles of clothes suit me and don't suit me so hopefully I buy more of the styles and colours that suit me. Finally I have much more awareness of ethical fashion so try and buy it where ever possible. To fuel my constant desire for new outfits I have also developed a bit of a charity shop addiction.

2. Do you find, as a fashion blogger, that you dress differently from your family and friends? Do they comment on that? yes everyone knows I am obsessed with fashion so they often comment on my outfits which tend to be more colourful than most of my family and friends. Mr Style Eyes regularly comments on my bonkers outfits.

3. What’s the weirdest fashion that you secretly like, even if you aren’t bold enough to wear it? I love unusal head wear and hats but I don't often have a chance to wear them. I bought a great fascinator with a red leather swallow shape, I was going to wear it to a Burlesque night at Christmas but couldn't go because of the snow and haven't managed to wear it since. It isn't really the sort of thing that I would wear to pick the children up from school.

4. Looking at current trends – what would you like to try but need to build up the courage to do? There are not really any current trends that I would like to try but don't have the courage to. I am fairly adventurous with my choice of clothes and would try most things as long as they weren't too revealing or unflattering for my bodyshape (this rules out quite a bit). It generally tend not to buy those really way out trends anyway as they go out of fashion too quick, I like to buy clothes that I can keep and wear season after season.

5. Toot someone’s horn – what fashion blogger out there inspires you with her bold fashion choices?
I rarely read magazines anymore and get most of my inspiration from fashion bloggers. It would be impossible to name just one but I love Fashion Pearls of Wisdom for her amazing Vivienne Westwwod collection and vintage picks, Intrinsically Florrie for her beautiful florals, Franca at Oranges and Apples for her bold choices of colour and Annie Spandex for her creative DIY's.

You can read more posts on the subject over at Modly Chic.

So how about you, does fashion blogging affect your style?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Ethical Fashion and Charity Shop Bargains

Please excuse the strange photo, but I wanted to show off my latest charity shop find. I don't know what is happening with my camera today, the photos came out really dark and I had to adjust the exposure to make them visible.

I bought this dress from Oxfam online which has some great stuff. It is originally from the Marks and Spencers Limited Collection. If you love charity shops but don't have any good ones near you or don't have time to trawl them, Oxfam online is amazing. It has all the best stuff including vintage from shops all over the country. You can easily search by style, size, colour etc making it really easy to find what you are looking for.  I paid £12.99 for this dress, it is in perfect condition and I am guessing it would have cost a lot more new. I also got an amazing vintage dress which is a bit warm for this weather so I will probably wear a bit later in the year.

I have just cleared out a load of my clothes and donated to a charity shop so thought I deserved a little treat. I think both donating clothes and buying from charity shops is an amazing way to help the charities and also lessen the environmental impact of fashion by recycling. Funnily enough, I often find that I wear my charity shop clothes more than the stuff I buy new. Perhaps this is because I am not seduced by the latest trends which allows me to focus on buying the colours and styles of clothes that suit me.

I got the sunglasses from Urban Outfitters to replace my old and very scratched pair. All I need now is some sunshine so that I get a chance to wear them. It just rained and rained today- I got soaked!

While on the subject of bargains, I wanted to share with some of the amazing finds in the sales at the moment. All of them ethical and very stylish.

People Tree also have a sale on with up to 30% off including the youth collection.

Just to let you know that this post does contain affiliate links. If you are interested in ethical and eco fashion, you can also check out my ethical fashion guide (a work in progress) and my new Fairtrade and upcycled clothing pages.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Vivienne Westwood's Ethical Fashion Africa Project

Vivienne Westwood has just launched her Ethical Fashion Africa Collection a collaboration with International Trade Center and Yoox. The collection which has been designed exclusively for Yoox will be available from both her own website and the Yoox website and  features a selection of handbags and keyholders in Vivienne Westwood's signature style with a taste of Africa. The bags are made in Nairobi using recyled materials including roadside advertisement banners and safari tents.

The interesting thing about this collection is that whilst it was launched at a party held with the glamorous backdrop of  Pitti Immagine in Florence it is about much more than luxury and glamour. Vivienne Westwood has always done things her own way and this project is no different. She wanted to send a bold and innovative message that is all about giving women the power to make a difference for themselves by teaching them precious skills. She actually travelled to Nairobi in Kenya to teach the African women  how to use locally-sourced, recycled materials to produce fashionable bags and accessories. The result is not only a fabulous collection but also the learning of new skills that will help these women to live sustainably both now and in the future.

This amazing initiative has also been documented and made into a film by photography legend Juergen Teller.

I am a big fan of Vivienne Westwood anyway but this collection is great, it looks lovely and sends a really postive message. Having such an influential designer getting involved in the ethical fashion industry in this way can only be a good thing. Perhaps other designers will follow suit.

Vivienne westwood ethical fashion bags

vivienne westwood ethical fashion africa collection

vivienne westwood ethical fashion

vivienne Westwood handbag

My favourite is definitely the last. What do you think?

You can check out the whole collection and video here.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Weekend Outfits

Top - ASOS
Yellow blouse - H! by Henry Holland at Debenhams
Shorts - Dorothy Perkins
Boots - El Naturalista

On Saturday evening I took my oldest daughter to the JLS concert in Swindon for a birthday treat. The concert also featured Olly Murs, probably my favourite of the three and  Alexi Jordan. It was one of those occasions when you don't really know what to expect in terms of rain, cold and mud. I toyed with the idea of wearing wellies but decided to just wear ankle boots instead. It was really cold and wet but luckliy not too muddy. I was glad I chose to wear this outfit as I felt like I had dressed up and made a bit of an effort but also with my trusty green parka over the top managed to stay quite warm. Tights and shorts is a suprisingly practical combination as tights don't soak up half as much rainwater as jeans. In the end we decided to leave at 9pm, half an hour before the end. I am so glad we did as we missed another major downpour and avoided 2 hours of sitting in traffic to get out at the end. I was safely snuggled up in front of the TV at home with a hot chocolate and almond macaroon by 10pm.

Dress - Second hand shop
cardigan - Marks and Spencers
Shoes - Dkode
Locket - vintage (a present)

As it was Father's Day on Sunday, I cooked dinner for Mr Style Eyes, the children and in laws. The sun was out (for a change), so I decided to get a bit dressed up in one of my many dresses (with the summer weather being as it is, I like to cease every opportunity to wear a summer dress). This was one that I bough a few weeks ago from a local second hand shop for £8. I love the bright and cheery floral pattern and it fits perfectly, making it one of my favourite dresses at the moment. I also decided to try my hair slightly differently. I almsot always wear it down but though I would try a messy bun for a change. This also gave me a chance to wear some earrings which I rarely bother with as they just disappear under my hair.

Hope that you had a lovely weekend?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Friday, 17 June 2011

DIY - an Erdem Inspired Jacket in 20 Minutes

Photo: Dave Dunan- Image credit

When I spotted this beautiful printed blazer in the Erdem pre fall 2011 collection, I really wanted it. Of course my budget won't stretch to Erdem no matter how much I want.

But it suddenly occurred to me that I could create my own version of this jacket using this Reiss blazer that I picked up from a charity shop a while back. I love the fit of the blazer but the plain brown colour just bores me so much I have only managed to wear it once.

So I gave it a try and to my delight it worked out even better than expected. Mr Style Eyes gave me the usual bonkers look when he saw me attacking a perfectly good jacket with a bottle of bleach but even he had to admit it looked pretty good in the end.

It took me only 20 minutes using a bottle of bleach, a washing up bowl and a pair of rubber gloves. I put some bleach into the bottom of the bowl and diluted it a  little. I loosely scrunched up the jacket and rubbed into the diluted bleach then I cut off the string and squirted neat bleach randomly on the jacket and rubbed with my hands (in the rubber gloves), then waited until the fabric started to change colour. Once I could see enough change I rinsed several times and then rinsed and spun in the washing machine. I then hung to dry and pressed.
DIY Erdem inspired jacket

I really loved the effect which worked particularly well as the fabric has a sheen to it. I could have made a smaller scale and more intricate pattern using smaller amounts of neat bleach. Other interesting effects could have been achieved by dabbing the bleach on with a plastic bag or sponge or even using a brush. The effect will differ depending on the type and colour of fabric that you are using. This is a really quick and easy project for upcycling an old suit jacket or blazer which has become a bit tired or got a mark on it. If you haven't got one and want to give it a try, there are loads of tailored jackets in charity shops.

So here are a few outfits that I put together with my new Erdem inspired blazer, I am sure that there are plenty more to come.

Top - Charity shop then upcycled with bleach
Skirt - Swapped on Posh Swaps
Shoes - Dkode
Necklace - Urban Outfitters

Jacket and shoes - as above
Dress - ASOS

Jacket and shoes - as above
Dress - Missguided

So what do you think?

Have a great weekend

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Primark - Stitched Up

Today I recieved an email from a PR company advising me of the breaking news, that after a long investigation by both Primark and the BBC Trust, the trust has confirmed that the  2008 Panorama programme “Primark on the Rack”, which claimed to show three young boys being used to manufacture clothes sold in Primark, was based on fabrication and littered with poor journalistic practices. In an effort to spread the word and let everyone know the truth they have created a You Tube video which gives further  information on the verdict.

This is great news for Primark. I was interested to see from the Primark website that they seem to be doing quite a bit to ensure that they are ethical and this is clearly communicated, perhaps as a result of this programme (or perhaps would have been doing it anyway).  Either way it is great to see that they are working on so many different ethical initiatives and to become more sustainable by recycling and reducing their carbon footprint.

There are however still a few question marks over the verdict. The report did state that the programme "had obtained clear evidence that work was being outsourced from factories in India in contravention of Primark's own ethical trading principles". Funnily enough not mentioned on Primarks website or video.

The whole case does highlight the difficuilty by fashion retailers (including those marketing themselves as ethical) in monitoring the whole of their supply chain. With the BBC being unable to clearly represent what is going on, it is certainly no easy task. But hopefully changes will have been put in place on both sides to ensure that  this never happens again.

So will I be shopping at Primark now?

The answer is no, I have never bought anything from Primark even before the Panorama programme. Their overall brand message to me says 'fast fashion' which is not sustainable or good for the planet no matter how much you recycle and reduce co2 emmissions. They even state this on their website " the Primark story has been one of continuing success founded on a unique combination of fast fashion and lean operations" This just isn't for me. I try to buy high quality clothing that will last, even though it usually costs a bit more.

What do you think? Will you be shopping at Primark?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Comfy Flats

As much as I love a pair of heels as much as the next girl, 90% of the time I end up wearing my flats because they are more comfortable and practical when I have a distance to walk (I like to walk whenever possible for excercise) and chasing around after children. The problem that I have is that I love to wear dresses and skirts but it can often be difficult to find the right pair of flat shoes to go with skirts and dresses. For years I just wore a pair of plain black ballet pumps, they went with just about everything but quite honestly they really started to bore me.

So in my ongoing quest for comfort, style and shoes that are a great investment and will get loads of wear, here is a round up of some of my favourites on Spartoo.

Blowfish sandals
These Lakota denim sandals by Blowfish look really cool and comfortable. They offer a bit more support than a flipflop and are really trendy too. They would look great with denim skirts or shorts and some pretty coral nail polish on the toes. 

francois girbaud biche ballet pumps

These pumps by Marithé et François Girbaud are really something a little bit special and great for wearing with slightly smarter outfits. They have a patent panel and corset inspired laces.

This is another really beautiful pair of ballerina pumps by Cafe Noir. the shiny finish and gold insignia make them a little bit different and perfect for wearing with a little black dress when heels just aren't practical.

ballerina pumps by regard
These sandals by Regard are delicate enough to wear with a dress but also a bit more edgey  than the traditional ballerina pumps. The neutral colour also means they make your legs look long - bonus!

These shoes by Pataguas are a cross between daps (as they call them round here) and a gladiator sandal, love it!

With flats this gorgeous,  I am definitely considering saving my heels for evenings and special occasions.

What do you think?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Monday, 13 June 2011

Red and Black Dress - Casual Style

Dress - People Tree, Jeans - customised with bleach, Shoes - Dkode

I really love this People Tree dress but since getting it for Christmas I have only managed to wear it once. Perhaps because I have being thinking of it as a party dress and I don't go to that many parties. I decided to rethink it and make it into a more casual outfit that I can wear everyday as I love the bright red colour but wearing it with black tights and heels does limit it a bit I also think all red and black looked a bit too harsh. I dressed it down by wearing it with some rolled up skinny jeans that I customised with bleach a while back.
Does anyone else have this problem, too many party dresses and not enough parties to go to? perhaps i just need to get out more!

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Friday, 10 June 2011

Summer Trends - FBFF

This weeks Fashion and Beauty Friend Friday  is Summer Trends:

What are the top 5 Summer trends that you are looking forward to wearing this season? (Can be anything from makeup,shoes,accessories, clothing, etc..)

As I have already written quite a bit about some of the more generic trends like floral prints,colour block etc, I have decided to be a little more specific with todays trends.

Floral Palazzo Trousers

floral palazzo trousers

According to the style rules, I shouldn't wear patterns on my bottom half as I have big hips but I can't stop gazing at the floral trousers that are around . Add to that my height (5ft 2) and the loose fitting (and long) styles that are around and I can see it could be quite difficult to find a pair to suit. Floral trousers offer so many possibilities for pattern mixing I am definitely going to keep on looking.

Coloured Jeans

In terms of wearabilty, coloured jeans have to be my number one trend for the summer. They are a trend that everyone can wear and are definitely going to make the world a more colourful place this summer. Again they offer endless outfit possibilities and whilst the most popular choices are royal blue and red jeans my favourites are slightly more unusual bright yellow and pink. I spotted these pink ASOS ones on Cherry Pie recently.

Rainbow Stripes

rainbow stripe dress

Much as I love stripes which I think look amazing with florals, plain old stripes on their own are a classic look that I have seen so much of they are starting to bore me. I am loving the rainbow striped dresses that I have seen around though.

Chiffon Kimonos

chiffon kimono hippy jacket

I love vintage clothes and this summer there seem to vintage inspired pieces every where. Some of my  favourites are the chiffon kimonos which are a great way to glam up a pair of jeans or shorts . I spotted Oh My Love on Style of a Fashionista which has made me want one even more.

Red Sunglasses

red sunglasses

I usually try to buy clothes to last and avoid buying stuff that I know I will wear for just one season. When it comes to sunglasses though it is a completely different matter. I wear them so much that they end up getting scratched so I tend to buy a cheap new pair each year. I love the trend for fun statement sunglasses and this year I particularly love the red ones, great for brightening up a neutral outfit.

So over to you. Which trends are you loving for summer? You can check out the other FBFF posts here

With warmest wishes

Thursday, 9 June 2011

My Dream Fashion Job

If you haven't already heard, Very have just launched a fabulous competition to win your dream fashion job. It is described as including attending fashion shows, designing a collection, rubbing shoulders with celebs and sharing your style with the world!  As it happens this really would be my dream fashion job so I have of course entered without hesitation. Now comes the teensy weensy little favour request. Please can you vote for me?

You can vote or enter yourself by going to the competition page on Facebook here. My profile is Ceri Heathcote and uses the picture above.

Thanks so much if you do vote and of course please let me know if I can help you out now or in the future.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Celebrate World Oceans Day With Eco Surf Wear

Happy World Oceans Day!

Today is World Oceans day, a global celebration of the worlds oceans and their conservation. World Ocean Day has been unofficially celebrated on June 8th each year since 1992 when it was proposed by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro. It is co ordinated globally by the Ocean Project and World Ocean Network. The purpose of the day is to honor the ocean and appreciate the key role it plays in our lives and the important ways that we  can help protect the worlds oceans.

Being by out of doors and enjoying the natural world is a great way and for me being by the sea is one of the best ways to do that and helps me to feel respectful of the beautiful world that we live in. I grew up by the sea and regularly sepnd my holidays by the sea in Cornwall near the surf beach of Watergate Bay. I have probably mentioned before that this is one of my favourite places in the world and being there last week made it easy for me to realise that there are some great eco  surf wear brands popping up. I spotted just a few in some of the local surf shops and wanted to share them with you as I love the laid back and colourful surfer styles.

Seasalt Cornwall

A family run business based by the sea in Cornwall, they were the first fashion brand to have clothing certified to Soil Association standards, they are also Winner of the 'Natural & Organic Awards 2010, UK's Best Organic Retailer and also the largest seller of Soil Association Certified product in the UK. They describe themselves as classic seaside cool.


A pioneers of ethical performance outdoor clothing, Patagnia has a whole range dedicated to surf wear. Patagonia not only make clothes to have a minimum impact in the environment but are also innovators in recycling and sponsor a number of environmental projects and campaigns.


This Isle of Wight based brand makes clothing from natural organic fabrics in a Fair Wear Foundation audited, wind powered factory. It is a fresh and young brand that is all about mixing eco with trend.

What do you like to wear on the beach?

Don't forget to check out more eco and ethical fashion in my directory.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X