Fashion

ALL HAIL THE HIGH STREET… The classic white shirt and tee are the ultimate wardrobe staple by SASH standards and this season the high street has absolutely nailed it. We’ve been utterly overwhelmed with choice. We’re also HUGE fans of pale blue too as a fabulous pairing with with denim. Here are a few of our favourite High Street finds this season :Ever the frill-seekers we spotted this one in a daily email drop from Sheer Luxe it was featured in a gorgeous pale blue which was an immediate sell out! We did manage to nab it in white though –  a complete steal at £29.99.

Whilst shopping for the frilled front style above, we spotted this slightly looser style with a wide cropped sleeve which bows at the waist to add shape. Again, another at under £30 and is perfect with jeans or can be smartened up with chinos for work.


Marks and Spencer are doing great things this season, this off the shoulder number rocks with jeans or chinos now, and denim cut offs come summer. Fits true to size but is slightly cropped so size up if you want some extra material to play with.

This Gap shirt could easily pass for J Crew, at under £30 is such a great staple, smart and casual at the same time, looking equally good with boyfriends and more tailored jeans. We love the pop of red.

We haven’t shopped with La Redoute in years, it seemed to veer into frumpy so we had overlooked it- clearly it’s had a makeover and boosts a collab with Carven no less! Lots of hugely affordable treasures! Including this chic little twist on a white tee, super fresh and perfect for spring- true to size £22.50


Another off the shoulder steal from Zara at under £20- referencing the tibi original with the sleeves. Really fresh, we are imagining the below outfit as our go too, however legs are not summer ready as we write!  Have you found any high street gems recently? We would love to hear!


 

TIME TO WINE DOWN … 
For four decades, Paul Smith has been changing the way we dress. Since 1698 Berry Bros and Rudd have been changing the way we drink. As two of our favourite things, dressing and drinking this wasn’t one to be missed! It’s a collaboration between two distinctively British companies and we’ve got ours right in time for Fashion Week Fuelling!
Berry Bros and Rudd are London’s oldest wine and spirit merchant and have two Royal warrants. It’s the only brand to have eight Masters of Wine in its ranks.They have collaborated with the eponymous Paul Smith this year and produced 5000 limited edition bottles with this exclusive label which are available at the stunning boutique on St James Street.

We adore the unpretentious title of their own branded wines given their reputation and Good Ordinary Claret has been their best selling red for decades. A modern Bordeaux, ruby in colour and has notes of black cherry, bramble fruit and wood smoke. Easy Sunday afternoon drinking – tried and tested!

Good Ordinary White is a classic White Sauvignon. It has notes of gooseberry fruit, it’s fresh and zesty perfect with Seafood or Italian – ours was the perfect companion to our Seafood Linguine.
The brightly coloured stylishly designed bottles are currently featured in the windows of the St James Street Store. We’ve got a case for our rack for our SS16 ready to drink collection…


CANT’S INTO CANS AND DREAMS INTO PLANS… 

New Years resolutions are tiresome and just, well, not on our to do list for January. It’s that time of year when we are supposed to be detoxing after the festivities, saying no to prosecco, reigning in our spending and unsubscribing to the emails for further reductions on Net-A-Porter and then there’s counting the calories – no thank you! It’s all too much deprivation! So we’ve discovered a fabulous way to feeling good in January… Say hello to our new favourite hobby: vision boarding!

Both of us have been obsessed with creating Mood Boards for any occasion for years – be it our summer wardrobe, the holiday of a lifetime, interior room inspo for our homes or just simply hoarding cut-outs of images we adore. So instead of creating a list of false promises; things we are giving up and unrealistic expectations, all to be doomed and leaving us feeling flat by February, we’ve been trying our hand at Vision Boarding to realise our dreams for 2016!  

It is, quite simply a combination of a collage and a mind map of the things that visually reflect what you want to attract to your life – be it images you’ve taken yourself that hold great memories, places you want to go to, things you want to create, or just quotes that motivate and inspire you. It’s a visual reminder of your dreams and ambitions and helps you focus your attention on achieving those things. Which, as readers of The Secret, (anyone else a fan?!) we truly believe they are more likely to happen. What your place on your board you want to materialise – you’ve put it there and it’s up to you to make it happen! It’s a more positive way of deciding what you want and encouraging you to think how you’ll achieve it.

As much as we’d love to be sitting at our kitchen table cutting and sticking making a physical board (old fashioned creatives at heart!!) we’ve been vision boarding on the go with a fab app called “wish board” and would highly recommend downloading. We’ve set our first attempt as the background on our mobile and iPad to remind us and keep us motivated of our dreams for the year!


It’s even something you could do by month if your prefer to focus on the shorter term. We can’t wait to meet up later this month to create our vision board for the blog as we approach our first Birthday and will be sure to keep you posted… Positive vibes only this January… happy vision boarding!


A MERE CO. BEACH ATTIRE AT ITS MOST FABULOUS… 

~ Feminine ~ Light ~ Free ~

Earlier this year when we finally sat down to discuss creating a blog, we kept talking about what we wanted the overall feel of our Instagram to be, what we, at our hearts centre were going to portray. The beach, sunshine and a little white dress. These three things were top of our love lists, conjuring the magic that is the bubble you enter when departing routine for a week or two. Whilst scribbling and pouring our hearts out onto our iPads about everything we adore, we wanted to keep the beach a key theme, one that really embodied us and who we are,  hence our name… Salty Air Sunkissed Hair… We believe (and we KNOW we are not alone!) that life is simply better at the beach! Upon joining Instagram we almost immediately discovered A Mere Co. One of our key objectives for the blog was to find treasures, endeavouring to discover new and exciting brands that may otherwise remain undiscovered by many fashion famished souls! A Mere Co was just that kind of brand. Not yet to launch and with only peeks into their designs… Some through illustrations, and some through iconic vintage swimwear imagery we saw flashes of delight into their sun drenched world.



The dreamy mid mid dress in white..Also Available in pink and lilac.

A Mere Co’s story started at the beginning of 2015 with a strong desire to design beach dresses that would stand out from the masses. The masses being those dresses seen on every beach and sun lounger. The perfect antidote to the exuberant transparent animal prints and embellished beach wear the market is saturated with currently. These dresses are stand alone fabulous. They require no accessorising.  

The bohemian shirt dress in white with navy lace. Also avaliable in pure white, or with pink or lilac lace panels. 

The inspiration was the understated luxury of the rustic beaches of St. Barth. The unspeaking glamour of St. Barth can be felt in every design. So much thought has gone into every aspect of design. A mere co focuses on natural fabrics, researching heavily to create a product that would tick all the boxes in every aspect, they decided to chose linen for the fabric. For centuries, linen has been tested and proven to be the lightest breathable option for hot balmy days. These dresses are your go-to when the heat is on but you still need to look chic.



The stunning Mid Mid Dress in white

With the fabric deciphered, the designers created their vision for the collection. It would be feminine with a light 70’s Bohemian vibe. Although referencing the past these dresses are aimed at the modern woman. A woman who wants to exude a quiet glamour and sophistication without piling on different layers and accessories. One who wants to throw on her dress and forget about it whilst devoting her attention to laughing with friends and devouring a fabulous Al fresco lunch. Confident In the knowledge that she looks super chic, all whilst feeling cool and comfortable. As any woman knows, chic and comfortable rarely hold hands in the fashion world! Which is why A Mere Co is such an accomplishment.  

The wonderful “Flow” dress in white

As briefly mentioned above, Beach lunch was the core idea. How could you not adore a brand helping you to look great whilst eating! Step by step they considered how each dress would work in terms of (1) ease of putting it on – no zips or buttons, (2) what others at the table see – focusing  on small details (lace, cutouts, deep V, bubble sleeves) above the waist line, (3) small bright details that would play in the sunlight. What utter genius!



The unique and totally “stand out” Flora dress shown here in Caribbean Mint, also available in white, lemon, pink and lilac. 

On to the colours, meticulously chosen so they are ever so slightly beaten-up by the sunlight. These colours were developed especially for their collection, adding to the effortless folk flare cool of design.


The Flow Dress in Pink.

We have spoken at length with one of the talented designers and in his own words:

“The woman wearing our beach dresses wants understated elegance with comfort and just the right amount of cover, plus of course the luxe and rustic look of the softened linen”  
The bohemien dream that is the shirt dress in all avaliable colour options

We were extremely lucky to get our hands upon a few of the dresses prior to launch. Sometimes products don’t live up to the image in your mind when you receive them. This is NOT one such brand! We can confirm the  designs absolutely deliver. These dresses have an aura about them, a softness and sophistication yet slightly boho at the same time. We guarantee you won’t look like anyone else poolside. Trust us.

The Mid Mid Dress



The fabric which of course is the linen, is delicately weighty in feel yet extremely lightweight to wear. The slight weight stops the dresses from being opaque, a major plus point once past the age of 16! Small details such as pull ties you can adjust on some of the designs create versatility to the overall look. They also flatter your body, accentuating the figure without hugging or clinging to every curve, not a great feature if one is hot! As you can tell we are a lot in love with them and even though the rain may be hailing outside our windows, we are ALWAYS beach planning and dreaming in our minds!

The Mid Mid Dress in wonderful pastel tones and white.
The brand offer designs for everyone… Ranging from the wonderful sleeved “flow” dresses to the strappy cutout detailed “flora” there really is a dress for every beach bound woman.

Gorgeous illustration by Anastasya Faces, artist. 

A Mere’s dresses embody the Essence of a fabulous holiday. Stylish, relaxed and joyful. We hope you will adore them as we do and agree that they are a really wonderful find! Ours are packed for Summer 2016 already! 

The Shirt Dress in White and Navy


A Mere Co Beach dress are available from 17th December on beachflamingo.com and later from their own website. Do follow @a_mere_co on Instagram for updates and styling ideas as well as a peak into their design world. We will continue to keep you in the loop with new information as soon as we can. In the meantime… Happy beach planning!  


 

NEW BRAND DISCOVERY: ENTER WHIP AND BANG… 

As Instagram junkies ( who’s with us?! ) nothing excites us more than discovering a new, under the radar and perfectly priced brand. Enter Whip and Bang. Stumbled upon on a Sunday morning scroll, we were immediately taken with the brands use of colour and pattern. Their image of a girl riding a bicycle in a vibrant red shirt spoke to us! We screen shot it and featured it on our Instagram as quickly as our fingers would allow!


So casual yet so “stand out” and so many ways of making it work. With jeans, skinnies and heels. Weather permitting with denim cut offs, half untucked and paired with beachy messy hair ( just gorgeous! ). Or casually  undone with a vest or tee layered underneath, alternatively simply tied at the waist. With Autumn well underway and the cold settling in, we love these shirts layered underneath a big slouchy cashmere knit (borrow from the boys if you find yourself without one!) Did we say versatile?! This is why shirts are such big news. Always on trend, always relevant, and befitting of most social situations given the right styling. We contacted whip and bang asking for pre order details as the site was yet to launch. Securing the gorgeous “DAYA” which we have featured on our Instagram (and worn to death already!) Unwrapping our new shirt, we were not disappointed. The quality is impressive. Thick and luxe feeling, great length and impeccable stitching… something which can unfortunately be hit and miss, even in some higher end brands. The shirts are one size and fit most. We like an oversized feel so they are ticking all of our boxes. See images for visual inspiration and sizing ideas – If in doubt do contact whip and bang for further size information, they are super helpful and can guide you. Whip and Bang’s Instagram feed (@whipandbang) is also well worth a follow for styling ideas and inspiration. As well as peeks into future designs and photo shoots.


The “FORMENTERA” £75

The brand’s story started in April this year, with a vision of creating a wardrobe staple, a hero piece if you like. Something that could be your go-to piece. An item that would look amazing dressed up or down. Their love of colour, pattern and print is reflected in each shirt. Their vibrancy really resonates with their tag line:

” find your shirt and make some noise”

We love this brand statement! The shirts are inspired by travel and the people you may encounter whilst exploring exotic lands. Drawing inspiration from everywhere. All of their shirts are made in very limited runs. Meaning you won’t see anyone else in your creation… Such a great point of difference. As much as we love top shop and the great British high street, the chances of running into someone else in the same ensemble is high. We also love the fact that the shirts are handmade. The girls behind the brand are just so passionate about making things that make you feel and LOOK fabulous, and you really can feel that passion when you slip on one of their designs.


The “HUMM” £65

Close up of the stunning silk mix “FORMENTERA ”

The brand has just gone live with its online store. We couldn’t be more excited for this British brand and are assured there is MUCH more to come! We say find your shirt and MAKE SOME NOISE!!

The “DAYA” £65
 http://www.whipandbang.co.uk


FASHIONISTA GIFTING…

What to gift your most fabulous fashionista friends?! We have a few wonderful ideas we wanted to share with you. Both of us LOVE gifting! We are always on the lookout for treasures, taking delight in the whole ritual, the presentation – beautiful wrapping paper carefully adorned with ribbons and bows! Savouring the experience with a glass of fizz in hand! It’s one of life’s pleasures so we believe in taking time to make someone’s day that little bit more special. Finding joy in the small details, here are a few ideas to inspire you…

VINTAGE VOGUE

What could be better for a fashion crazed soul than a copy of vogue from her birth year and month?! Such a FABULOUS idea! Each having our own, we can divulge a little squeal of excitement upon opening! Praying at the alter of vogue as we do! These copies contain forgotten fragrances, vintage cosmetics campaigns as well as fashion gold (depending on your age of course!). Truly full of inspiration and “do you remember that?!” Moments! These look gorgeous atop a pile of coffee table books, splayed open in an office or simply framed. Devoured cover to cover we plan on framing ours… Will share the results with you soon … There are a few places to try when looking for your desired copy. We got very lucky at https://crazyaboutmagazines.com. Jay at crazy mags helped us track down an issue, and they are reasonably priced too. Super service and safely packaged to ensure no damage. eBay is another great source of rare issues. You could also try https://vanessatreasure.co.uk . Theystock a huge range of issues. Happy hunting!

MONOGRAMMED BURBERRY FRAGRANCE 

Total monogram devotees we could not resist this wonderful ( free ) sorry did we mention FREE?! Service! What an amazing and special gift to receive. Your initials etched into the glass. And a treasure to keep after the fragrance has been enjoyed. A word on the scent, it’s steeped in British heritage and smells floral but with a smoky edge- (that would be the patchouli). Inspired by its namesakes iconic trench coat and evokes an English garden after the rain. We suggest picking up a bottle of nail polish in dark trench to complete the indulgence! The perfect nude if ever we have seen one – tried and tested!
https://uk.burberry.com

BISCUITEERS…

We have both extensively used this company over the years. Their biscuit birthday cards are always SO well received and lovely to find on the mat!  We can’t recommend them highly enough, for any occasion you can personalise too. Their fashionista biscuit tin is surely the perfect gift- feeding the souls of fabulous fashionistas everywhere! Sugar rush guaranteed! If you ever find yourself in the gorgeous Notting Hill they have the most wonderful Biscuiteers Boutique and Icing Cafe!

https://biscuiteers.com

WHISTLE AND BANGO…


This little gem of a company hit our radar a while back, producing postcode bracelets in gorgeous colours. However having moved from London there sadly wasn’t a postcode bracelet for us. Well rejoice! They now offer a bespoke service, all postcodes can be equal!! Such a great idea, and such a wonderful present. Growing up you don’t imagine you will reside anywhere other than where you are, with all your friends just a stones throw away. Despite both suffering from Peter Pan syndrome (and proud of it!!) . Add in Marriage, jobs, babies and maybe a little wanderlust! And slowly you can find that you and your loved ones are scattered around the country or the world. This is definitely the case for our brood! What better way to connect each other than by wearing these fabulous enamelled creations! A re- invention of the classic friendship bracelet and connecting you across the miles! We are in LOVE. Also available to personalise with initials. The brand story and ethos struck a chord with us. Born from two friends with an adoration for jewellery ( self confessed accessory addicts full stop ) A percentage of the sale goes to their partner charity The single homeless project, so you are doing good and looking good at the same time! Their gorgeous Instagram feed will give inspiration on how to style your stack! A thoughtful and lasting gift, and one top of our wish lists. https://whistleandbango.com


BARGAIN FASHIONISTA FAY…

Hey Fashionistas,

I’m Fay and am delighted to be invited here as a guest blogger. I really love the diversity and beauty of SASH and hope my little offering will satisfy the gorgeous readers, as each previous blog post has satisfied me!

A very brief intro to familiarise you with the World of Fay. Like my musical taste; my life, career and fashion is eclectic- if I love it, I love it- I never want to be moulded in to a category. I work in the photography/ magazine/ celebrity and fashion industries where I get to meet and work with a variety of personalities and creatives to boot. Socially, I appreciate the simplicity of life, just as much as Its extravagance; a little breakfast in the kitchen with my gorgeous Husband or a splash in the Caribbean Sea, equally make me giddy with excitement. And then there’s fashion, something I’ve always loved, and over the years have studied and realised how so much can be expressed through colour, cut and exposé.

Before we get in to the full flow of why I’m here, I want to share my Style Goddesses and favourite designers to get you on to my fashion page, so in no particular order…

Audrey Hepburn, for her effortless chic, natural allure and timeless beauty

Olivia Palermo, for stylistically embodying everything I love about fashion

Our beloved SJP, somewhere in so many of us ladies lives a little Carrie Bradshaw- plus, that bod!

And finally, the Queen of Styledom, married to David and a Mumpreneur, Victoria Beckham A.K.A VB. I’ve loved all of her style eras but a particular favourite dates back to the Beckham’s move to Madrid! Those over-sized sunnies, Balenciaga bags, crisp white shirts, pencil skirts and sky-high Jimmy Choos ensembles, ticked all of my fashion boxes.

Designer-wise, I love anything feminine, well-cut and colourful. Think Sophia Webster shoes, teamed with a TIBI full pink skirt, silk Chloe cami, Ralph Lauren tailored blazer, Tom Ford sunnies and a Charlotte Olympia purse, and voila, you have my dream look!! Additionally, I still love the classic British luxury of Mulberry, the comfort of Helmut Lang, Zadig and Voltaire, the edginess of McQueen and Balmain, and anything oozing European chic- Moschino, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Marchessa, Sandro, Miu Miu, and so on- I salute you. (Told you I was an eclectic, didn’t I?)

And now, the purpose of my blog: Put simply, I am the Queen of Bargains- a Bargain Fashionista- and I want to educate you all on how to find a true gem! By a ‘true gem’, I’m not referring to the £20 dress in the Zara sale five ladies infront are purchasing at the same time- it’s gorgeous but is it the Pucci top that retails at £470 but you’re bagging for £40? Yes, the latter does exist!

Being a bargain hunter is something you’re born with. Daughter to a traditional Old Kent Road gent and Wife of a Stockbroker, the need to ‘get a deal’ is constantly drilled in to me by both men in my life. Plus, nowadays, the cost of London living, alongside personal expectation, is so high, we have a million things we need to prioritise and spend our hard earned cash on. My personal need to purchase under the RRP is at an all time high since discovering the best news that my Husband and I’s little duo will be growing by another pair of feet come November. The once frivolous spending on designer handbags needs to be curbed… after I’ve purchased my baby changing arm candy, of course!!.. So, my fashion talent is to keep on-trend with high-end clothes at a highstreet price and today, I’m going to let you in on some well-kept bargain secrets!!

Just like anything in life, you’ve got to be in it, to win it

TK MAXX

I get two reactions when I say, ‘This. Is. My. Favourite. Shop. EVER…” Either ‘Totally, I love it!” Or “It’s like a jumble sale, I can never find anything!” The latter is the most common.

Lesson number one in, ‘Fay’s Guide to Bargain Shopping’- to find a bargain, one must actually enjoy shopping. You need to be in a zone. No hangers-on around you. This is about you and your quest to find something magical. If your trolley isn’t over-flowing, you’re not doing it right! Or today just isn’t your day. And those days do come too. But generally, the TK days are fashion Heaven.

PRACTICALLY FREE SALE

Each season TK MAXX do a sale called, the ‘Practically Free Sale’. It’s a sale of a sale. And quite frankly, my fashion orgasm. If you’re not familiar with the TK set-up, than a very brief intro- there’s always a Clearance section in every store- a red ticket on the price tag, to be exact. The Practically Free Sale is a sale of the clearance, and is indicated by a yellow tag on the price tag.

In order to be successful in TK MAXX, you need to go to the right stores with an understanding of designer brands, and which stores stock what. Always seek out those which have a ‘Gold Label’ section (for Kent, try Lakeside retail park, or otherwise take a train into town and hit South Ken and Charing X! Basically, if it’s hitting a ‘wealthy’ audience, it’ll stock the best pieces!) and keep your eyes peeled! Another valuable section for a slightly lower-end price bracket is ‘Contemporary Designers’. These rails are home to Malene Birger, Antik Batik, Zadig and Voltaire, Paige Jeans, Theory, Seven For All Mankind, and many more. It’s also great for discovering new innovative designers before they emerge on to the highstreet- Cynthia Rowley, Band of Gypsies and American Retro are particular favourites. The remaining rails are stocked with tonnes of high-end, highstreet brands from Wildfox to AllSaints, with a great mix thrown in of Ralph Lauren and Fenn Wright Manson.

TK INFO: Gold Label is the section dedicated to high-end designers. Over the years I’ve seen the racks grow and now are better than ever housing Chloe, Moschino, Stella McCartney, Prada, Marc Jacobs, Helmut Lang, Temperley, Cavalli, Pucci, Marchessa, Christopher Kane,  Balmain, Gucci, Lanvin and Balenciaga- basically, you name it, and I guarantee you’ll find it! 

Finally, for underwear lovers, never pay full price for your basic Calvins again! Calvin Klein is a fraction of the price at TK with a price guide of lace thongs from £20 to £2, and the most beautiful Stella McCartney sets from £120 to £15!

Without further ado, here are just a few of my many delights purchased in the Practically Free Sale… The pictures of me were taken from my most recent jaunt to sunny Portugal, after all, save on the garms, splurge on that tan!

MARCHESA_LILAC_DRESS_TK_MAXX

DRESS Marchesa RRP £1580

FAY’S PRICE £47

‘Oh Marchesa, Marchesa, wherefore art thou Marchesa…’ I’ll not spend too long rubbing this bargain of my life in your face. Put simply, it was sold out in shops. It is Marchesa. I bagged it for £47. The End.

FAY_SASH_AMERICAN_APPAREL_TOM_FORD

DRESS See By Chloe SUNGLASSES Tom Ford (RRP Dress £95 Sunglasses £185)

FAY’S PRICE Dress £3 Sunglasses £99 Gold Hoops £1 Baby Bump £Priceless

I really believe accessories can make an outfit and therefore I do not mind spending money on them if they’re quality goods that will last for years. I adore sunglasses for hiding a multitude of sins and my Tom Ford’s are among my faves- this particular pair were purchased from secretsales.com. The black cotton sun dress is such a valuable piece for any wardrobe and at £3, it’s kind of a no-brainer. I threw it on here for a quick mocktail at one of our local Portuguese haunts but it also doubles up as a great under-garment.

KARL_LAGERFELD_TK_MAXX_SASH

LEATHER TROUSERS Karl Lagerfeld (£695)

FAY’S PRICE £40

Certain classics just never die- the white shirt, skinny jeans combo, for example- alongside this goes leather trousers. These burgundy Karl Lagerfeld biker-style leather pants are my pride and joy. In recent months, the closest my skin has got to them has been a casual stroke, but I promise them, just a few months more and Mama’s butt will fill them once again… For now, I just live with the absolute joy these babies were mine for a mere £40.

Fay_SASH_Portugal_Antik_batik

ANTIK_BATIK_PORTUGAL_SASHDRESS Antik Batik SUNGLASSES Missoni GOLD CUFF Jenny Packham EARRINGS Italian Street Market 2 Euros (RRP Dress £185 Sunglasses £125 Cuff £320)

FAY’S PRICE Dress £20 Sunglasses £20 Cuff £30

I really love the comfort of Antik Batik at my ‘normal’ size, but this dress was an even bigger God-send to me being pregnant in the heat. Again, the accessories make this otherwise simple outfit, stand-out. The Jenny Packham cuff made my life bagging it for £30- the weight and workmanship of the product screams quality- and I always get huge compliments on the chandelier earrings bought for me by my Mum and Dad from a little stall in Rome’s backstreets!! Got to love a holiday present!

balenciaga-black-black-grey-white-striped-cotton-twobutton-blazer-product-1-3092484-386181910

BLAZER Balenciaga RRP £850

FAY’S PRICE £47

I do not think you can beat a great blazer- I have approximately twenty in my wardrobe. This statement sold-out piece from Balenciaga made me break out in to a hot sweat at a mere £47! I love everything about it… And not just because it’s a bargain either.

If you haven’t already picked your coat up and left for the local TK Maxx, some final delights to start your car ignition… Left to right:

Pucci lace top RRP £470 FAY’S PRICE £40

Helmut Lang Tailored Jacket RRP £475 FAY’S PRICE £18

Ralph Lauren Pinstripe Tailored Skirt RRP £375 FAY’S PRICE £13

Helmut Lang Sports Bomber Jacket RRP £175 FAY’S PRICE £17

eBay

One very random Sunday the power of eBay hit me. I had been using the platform for years to sell my unloved treasure and funded many new exploits with the proceedings, but using it to purchase had never occurred to me. It was with one click of the finger that I entered a whole new World of shopping, and I loved it! Of course, being the friend that I am, it wasn’t long before I was sharing my new found wisdom with the girls. Of course it is very frustrating when you’re not quick enough and get outbid (grrr!) But one day a loser, the next a winner in the eBay World, and I have won many a time!

eBay Lesson: I only buy items from eBay, which are new with tags or been worn once. I’m happy to settle for the ‘worn once’ option because I’m very guilty of doing this myself, and so I know clothes in this condition are practically unworn! Of course, I have had some irritating faux-pas where certain sellers have lied about the quality or condition of the item but the only annoyances are a) that little image you created of yourself in said bargain is now a shattered dream and b) it’s a waste of precious shopping time… That said, money-wise providing you ensure to pay via PayPal there is a 100% money back guarantee.

Always use eBay to find anything that is seemingly sold-out or discontinued in the shops. Equally, for the home, it is a God-send for sourcing one-off pieces such as fabulous antiques or bespoke furniture. Finally, many fashion industry gurus such as high-end stylists and models have profiles on there. You can create a list of your favourite sellers to be alerted as soon as they list a new product and the same applies to any favourite designers you may covet!

Here are some of my favourite eBay finds:

Fay_SASH_Ralph_Lauren_Portugal

Fay_SASH_Ralph_Lauren_Portugal

RALPH_LAUREN_SASH_PORTUGAL

HAT and DRESS both Ralph Lauren (RRP Hat £150 Dress £110)

FAY’S PRICE: Hat £20 Dress £22 (Both purchased brand new with tags)

The above ensemble was for a day at Faldo golf course in Portugal. Before you wonder, I’m not a Golfer but after my Husband developed an equivalent obsession with the sport that I have with TK Maxx, my choice was simple- either join him or don’t see him!… Fortunately for me, as his talent for the game has increased so has the quality of the golf course and so I now use our golf exploits as an opportunity to keep fit with the walk, spend some quality time together, and then take a well-deserved rest over-looking the most stunning views.

FAY_SASH_PORTUGAL_MOSCHINO

SWIMSUIT Moschino SUNGLASSES Missoni (RRP Swimsuit £180 Sunglasses £125)

FAY’S PRICE Brand new with tags £12

Catering to my baby bump this year wasn’t as easy as I thought, particularly when it came to swimwear. Once our holiday was booked, I set about my mission sourcing some beautiful Mulberry bikinis and one-pieces but naively forgot one thing- I’M PREGNANT! Needless to say, the Mulberry size 6 never made it out of its beautiful little bag but this terrific eBay Moschino find did. I’m not sure I resemble anything of Pamela Anderson but I love the Baywatch vibe of this classic piece, and at a mere £12, I’m sure it out-prices the highstreet!

MULBERRY_SASH

WEDGES Mulberry (RRP £395)

FAY’S PRICE Brand new in box £50

I had to save the best until last- these Mulberry wedges, brand new in the box have been my ultimate eBay Summer purchase. At £50, the bargain speaks for itself and I expect to flaunt these bad boys for many years to come!

Bicester Village

My assumption is many of you know about this shopping haven already? Tucked away in the gorgeous Oxford, it’s reachable by train or car. I find the best time of year to go is, again, for sale season, particularly post-Winter sale, mid-Jan. My advice would be to arrive at Bicester for it opening because it’s always packed! If you’re feeling ultra treat-worthy, invest in a little boutique hotel stay because it can be a rather long journey back to London after an intense session of shopping cardio. Again, you can find some fabulous hotel deals around and it makes for all the nicer shopping expo!

Bicester Tip: A lot of the shops do a postal service; Mulberry, in particular, have been a God-send to me over the years! Always ensure you have Wifi access nearby when you call because the staff will let you know exactly what’s on offer and let you Google whilst they hold the line!

Here are a couple of my fave Bicester purchases!

As I mentioned at the beginning, I am a HUGE Mulberry fan. Though, I honestly (yet reluctantly) acknowledge in recent years, certain designs of theirs have diluted from the timeless elegance that Mulberry have gained such a great reputation for, I still remain a loyal customer.

The pieces shown in the gallery are just a few of my delicious Mulberry outlet finds- left to right:

The Butterfly Clutch retailed at £1500 but was purchased by my Husband for £475. This bag is simply stunning and worth every penny. I wore it on my wedding day and will cherish it always.

The shoe boots are trendy and the perfect accessory for any AW outfit… Did I mention I paid £35 for my pair? They retailed at £375 #FashionOrgasm

The Oversized Ava Rivet Suede Clutch at £150 is one of my best investments- the retail price (from memory) was £475. I have had it for years and it still compliments all of my night outfits. I’m not one for small bags, hence I chose the oversized version. 
Mulberry-Polly-Push-Lock-Tote-Most-wanted-1

The Polly Push has become one of my favourites in my Mulberry collection. After Princess Kate and Olivia Palermo were spotted with theirs, the range quickly sold out in the shops. Fortunately for me, my Husband snagged this gorgeous burgundy version, as advertised here in Harpers Bazaar. The RRP was around £895 and was mine for £650. Admittedly, not my usual bargain percentage but, if the handle fits?

Well, that concludes my bargain piece… I hope you’re not too jealous?! You’ve no need to be, just take my advice. Hit these shopping portals and report back to me with your fashion finds!

Fay xx

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