Monday, 5 September 2011

Essentials: Free wardrobe?

A little while ago in July, I shared with you that I was partaking in a little challenge, which spurred me on to do a clothes swapping party. Well, that challenge has now come full circle, is done and dusted, and I'd love to share it with you. A friend had put me forward to do a fashion challenge for a UK women's magazine, Essentials. After being considered as a possible candidate, I received a phone call from the journalist writing the article, to inform me that I had been chosen along with two other ladies to participate. The challenge was to come up with, and execute ideas to obtain an autumn wardrobe for free. This was right up my street as I'm always looking for ways to be thrifty, especially when it comes to clothes! But, getting a whole wardrobe for free seemed quite daunting, as very little in life comes without a price tag attached to it. However, I sat down and thought about ways to be creative to achieve my goal, and I was very surprised with the results. Anyhow, this is the article as it appears in the October issue which hit the shelves last week.

That's me on the left in front of my wardrobe and in my favourite the sewing machine!

The idea that I had to obtain my free wardrobe was firstly to host a clothes swapping party. As I went into great detail about this in a post I did on the 15th July, I won't talk about it too much now. All I can say was that it was abundant in fun, a great success, and definitely something I would do again. I tied this in with my second idea, which was to invite a few independent shops and charity shops to come along to the swap to sell and promote to the ladies. I was chuffed to bits to have both  Kidney Research UK and Barnardos participating, as well as the lovely Sarah Ruppin from Rehab Vintage, and Olivia and Katie from Vintage White Heart Rose Boutique in Huntingdon. I am very grateful for their willingness to come along, and in return for coming along they kindly contributed to my free wardrobe. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I also look forward to featuring Katie and Olivia's shop on here soon, so do look out for that!

Well, apart from the clothes swap, I also set to work re-fashioning items of clothing I already had. I managed to jazz up a cardigan that I had bought a while back because I loved the colour. It was, however, too big for me, so I took it in, added some new buttons and a lace collar, and ended up with a new addition to my wardrobe!
I have gained some fabulous new clothes, well, new to me anyway. Remember, one woman's trash is another woman's favourite pants!

Black Skirt and Floral Blouse, Kidney Research UK
  And here are some of the new additions to my wardrobe!

 Navy and White Polka Dot Skirt, swapped


Blue striped shirt, Barnardos

Gorgeous Retro Dress, courtesy of Rehab Vintage
So, as you can see I am as pleased as punch with my new garments. If I've learned anything new from this experience, it is that nothing should be discarded to the rubbish heap. Recycle, re-use, re-wear, re-fashion! I would urge all of you to try and do the same. It is immensely gratifying! As I am a keen advocate for supporting charities by either donating, or shopping in their stores, I will also be casting a light on the two charities that gave of their time to attend the clothes swap. If you have never shopped in a thrift shop, I hope that you will think twice before walking by, and would take the time to pop in and look for those pre-loved items that still have a life to live! Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear your ideas on free clothing...good idea or not?


  1. I just bought Essentials mag today, really inspiring your featured in it :) well done thats amazing

  2. Thank you Haidee! I was tickled pink to have the opportunity to do it. I have also looked at your blog. You are one stylish girl! Lovely! Thank you for becoming a follower. x

  3. This looks fantastic! You look gorgeous in your outfits. It sounds like loads of fun too. I wish I could buy it. I like the interiors features in Essentials too, but sadly, I am too far away. xxx


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