North-West Christmas Blogger Meet: PRESTON EDITION!

Hii everyone,
As some of you know I work for The Body Shop and over the past few years I have organised blogger events in store. My personal favourite being the Christmas event!
So I'm planning another meet up for December but I want to meet as many local bloggers as possible, This invitation is for all bloggers in the North West region who fancy a trip to Preston to experience the Winter Wonderland. Beauty, lifestyle, fashion, fitness, food, whatever genre of blog you write-it would be lovely to get together.

The event will be on Friday 19th December & it will be after 6pm as I know a lot of people will be working in the lead up to Christmas.

The evening starts with a warm invitation into The Body Shop to tick off those last minute gifts on your list with an exclusive blogger discount, nibbles & a good natter about all things beauty.
Photo of the last year's Christmas blogger bonanza!

Next we can head over to the Lancashire Christmas markets for some traditional festive shopping around the log cabins and maybe a cheeky mug of mulled wine in the pop up Merry Monks Tavern bar ;)

The gorgeous new Turtle Bay has recently opened it's doors to Prestonians and it has such a great atmosphere so we can continue the party indoors (did I mention it was a rum bar!)

What better excuse do you need to parade your favourite Christmas jumper, finish off you last bits of Christmas shopping (& treat yourself too!) and spend a lovely evening with like-minded blogging pals?!

I cannot wait! If you want attend or have any questions please contact me on twitter @mynameisrachey

Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx

#CheapNChicChallenge: 22/30 AUTUMNAL CHARITY SHOP FINDS!

I'm hoping you are enjoying the #CheapNChicChallenge so far. I've got just one more week left & I have a few great posts lined up for you, including an exciting giveaway-so stay tuned! I shot these photos a few weeks ago when it was actually still summery. I am dressed 'neck-to-knee' in charity shop finds! I thought I'd style an outfit that has a vintage feel but still nods to the trends for Autumn.
Coat, Jumper Belt, Skirt -All Charity Shop Finds
Boots-New Look

The coat is my fuzzy lil bear baby. I bought it from a charity shop in St Annes where everything was only £1! The only downside was on that fateful day it was about 25 degrees out & I'd just been to the beach & the last thing on my mind was a huge furry coat. However this is a prime example of shopping for upcoming seasons. If I wanted to get an over-sized furry coat in the height of winter I'd definitely expect to pay more! It's originally from BHS & is a size XXL, again not my size but I want it to fit over 3 jumpers & a scarf :) 

The jumper was from the same charity shop (so again only a quid!) I'm a little bit obsessed with roll neck jumpers & the bright orange shade is perfect for Autumn. When I wear it with my glasses I do feel a little bit like Velma from Scooby Doo but I think it's a strong look :)

The Houndstooth skirt is an original 1960s St Michael found in a charity shop in Cleveleys. I can't remember how much this one was but it's a pretty snug fit! I'm a fan of houndstooth & I don't think  a pencil skirt ever really goes out of fashion.

The belt was 50p from St Catherines Hospice in Preston. I love the detailing to the buckle, it's almost a bit cowboy/western inspired. I tend to buy black belts so this brown one is a welcome addition to my wardrobe.

Have you found any amazing autumnal charity shop pieces?
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx

#CheapNChicChallenge: 15/30 Preston Charity Shop Map!

So today I've got an exciting post compiled for y'all.  Preston may be small, & mainly famous for a bus station but scratch the surface and there are some lovely places to discover. It's not named the eighth happiest place to live in the UK for nothing y'know, even if some trolls call it Depressedton (De-Preston) they just can't be bothered to appreciate the whimsy! After the #CheapNChicChallenge has finished I'm going to include more reviews of my favourite places in the 'city' :)

As you know I am THE BIGGEST fan of a mooch around the charity shops. I have developed a 'kooky keen eye' and can spot a vintage bargain a mile off. This has resulted in a fairly eclectic wardrobe, an obsession with eBay and I know the local charity shops like the back of my hand!

Preston has loads of charity shops, from the standard high street ones to some lovely independent shops where you can find some real gems.

Obviously everyone has a different agenda when they're 'thrift shopping' so you might be looking for a good quality, vintage dress or perhaps you're looking for something to cut up and customize.
I tend to have a good look around the charity shops every couple of weeks, and of course if I'm  just passing I'll have a little snoop around.

So I have been a kind soul & I've made a map of the charity shops that I visit regularly. I think hunting out new charity shops is like my sixth sense. What can I say-It's a gift ;)

Click on the map for a more detailed interactive view :)

I'm afraid you'll have to ignore K because British Red Cross has closed so a Tesco can be built there instead hmpf :( & it won't let me remove it

If you're from the Preston area I urge you to visit the charity shops instead of the high-street for just one shopping trip. I promise you'll be surprised, you'll save some money & you'll help a great cause.

Are you a charity shop convert yet? Where are your favourite places in the UK to go charity shopping? 
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx


#CheapNChicChallenge: 10/30 Fashion themed TV to get you thinking...

Hello Everyone,
We're a third of the way through & I hope you are enjoying the #CheapNChicChallenge :) I have another little prompt for you today-instead of spending an hour trawling through the ASOS website or perusing the Topshop sale why don't you watch a programme that will help you with the challenge & really realise you're wardrobe's potential!
I've been trying to ignore the tellybox & only watch TV that I'm really interested otherwise I'll waste time watching re-runs of Come Dine With Me and old episodes of The Simpsons!
Here are some of my favorite fashion-themed watching that you can watch on 4OD at the moment.

This Old Thing
I absolutely love Dawn Porter and her latest show is a treat for the eyeballs. Showing ways to re-work your wardrobe, gorgeous vintage shops & the general high-street obsessed to vintage lover make-overs. It's a good watch :) I have serious hair envy & I would like to own all of her whimsical. vintage dresses that fit her oh-so-perfectly.

Fabulous Fashionistas
I watched this documentary last year but it was such a lovely show that it stuck with me. It follows a group of older women who still have a lust for life! They tell the stories of their modelling, charity shop work, husbands, parties & how things were back in the good old days. There's a few heartfelt/weepy bits but it's such a good portrayal of these glam nannas :)

Mary's Bottom Line
I love Mary Portas too, She's a very love/hate character but you can't deny that she talks sense! This series was all about the 'Kinky Knickers' company she started to embrace craftsmanship & to try & give the UK textiles/manufacturing business a kick up the butt. Virtually all our clothes are imported now but years ago we were a thriving textiles nation. Now our mills are derelict & we're at a record high rate of unemployment. Hmm coincidence? It's a great insight into the trials & tribulations of starting your own fashion company. I want to start my own eco-knickers company. Sexy eco ones don't exists guys! A real niche market!

So I know this isn't a programme as such but this video of Vivienne Westwood is so unbelievably eye-opening. Our Viv is passionate about raising awareness of current climate issues and her incredible journey through the different trends & tribes is an interesting watch.

I hope that this post has given you some 'Wednesdayeveningwatching' ideas :)
Thanks for reading!
Rachelle xxx


#CheapNChicChallenge: 8/30 Ideas To Shake Up Your Wardrobe

Hello everyone :)
I hope you are excited for the second week of the challenge! I thought I'd share some prompts to give you a bit of inspiration.  I'd love it if you could leave a comment or even share your posts/photos using the #CheapNChicChallenge hash tag.

The Under £10 Outfit
Can you make up the majority of your outfit for under a tenner? Maybe exclude underwear and shoes but how about the rest? When you look amazing (if you say so yourself) in a cheap outfit it's a kinda justified smugness you're allowed to experience ;) Show us your best cheapy outfit as an instasnap or a blog post.
The 'Thanks It Was My Mom's From The 80s'
Everyone has seen Mean Girls and I love the quote 'Thanks it was my moms in the 80s...ooh vintage' but lets not dig out the 'Ugliest effing skirt I've ever seen' and lets raid our parents wardrobes! I have borrowed a vintage Levis denim shirt from my mum that I wear all the time! My mum isn't really that bothered about shopping & fashion but I bet some of you have super stylish mummas who have some vintage gems in their wardrobes or even better some 'Glam Nans' who can never throw anything away. Offer to help them sort their wardrobes and adopt the best bits as your own, free fashion with a lovely bit of history.

The Altered Beast 
Who used to play Altered Beast on the Megadrive? The main message from that game is if you want to be a dragon-you can, or maybe a bear? It's possible! Anyway everyone has something in their wardrobe that could benefit from a little tweaking. Whether you decide to DIY it yourself or send it on a little holiday to the tailors share with us your new and revamped piece!

The 'I Made It Myself'
There is no better feeling than when someone compliments you on something and you have created it yourself, same with clothes :) I'm not suggesting you whip up a ballgown (although that would be awesome) but how about finding a vintage pattern and attempting to sew a simple garment. There are hundreds of tutorials online for the most novice fashion designer.
My favourite GIF everrrr
The car booty looty
One of my personal favourites, show off your ultimate car boot/flea market finds! It's often the place to find the best bargains, other peoples castoffs can be great, as Macklemore says 'one mans trash that's another mans come-up' come up is cool right?

I hope this post has giving you a few wardrobe ideas or you've at least enjoyed the GIFS!
Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx


#CheapNChicChallenge: 5/30 How To Re-create Upcoming A/W Trends With Second-hand Finds

Today's post is to inspire you to give a nod to the upcoming trends even in your second hand finds! With London Fashion week fast approaching, the 'fash-pack' will be eyeing up the catwalks for the next big thing. We all know that fashion comes and goes so it makes sense that you can find pieces that reflect upcoming styles that were around the first time it happened. I'm not saying you will find exact replicas of the catwalk looks in your local charity shop (if you do you are a lucky thang!) but if you take details for the looks and are prepared to have a good rummage it's definitely possible to recreate the upcoming trends in a way that makes it your own...

 Sixties Revival: The sixties is always a fun era to replicate through fashion. Full of graphic, bold prints, mini-skirts and space-age silhouettes. Pair with a beehive do' & some winged liner & there you have it! 
It comes and goes a lot in the fashion world, whilst it's not likely that you'll find an original 60s minidress, it is likely that you can find something that will encapsulate the look! 
Orange & hot pink were big on the catwalk, look out for psychedelic prints, polka dots & polo necks to recreate the look. If you're looking for a night-time option statement circle sequins were a common detail this season and the charity shops are usually full of sequin numbers!

Folksy Layering: Oh the shearling, aviator coat, what a winter staple you are. Hopefully last years aviator jacket should have enough life left in it to be revamped, if not check out your local vintage shop/fairs as you can find some amazing 80s style shearling jackets that would be perfect for this look. 
Folky patterns have been everywhere this summer, in maxi dresses & kimonos but British winter is coming, we will surely freeze to death if we don't add about 20 layers! Charity shops are amazing for finding an eclectic mix of patterns, nothing there has been strategically planned as a collection so creating your own mix-matched/pattern-clash outfit is easy! Keep to similar tones to avoid the 'I've just bought ANY pattern look'. Winning patterns are paisley, brocade, ikat & florals for a bohemian style. Add a thick chunky scarf & a beanie hat for colder days. 

Velvet: Ooh swooshy, slinky soft velvet, you are one of my favourite winter trends. Velvet always comes back out for winter as it's such a versatile 'luxe' fabric. I would say a good 25% of my wardrobe is velvet :)
The good news is charity shops are full of the stuff! Velvet trousers that could be easily altered to a style you prefer, velvet leopard-print t-shirts if that's your thing (I have two!) & the odd velvet cocktail dress. As long as you don't mind people involuntarily stroking you than velvet is the best!
Over-sized Knitwear: In the colder months you can't beat an over-sized knitted jumper to snuggle up to. On the catwalk models were cocooned in huge knits, some with roll necks, other with arran details. What I will say is head to the men's section of the charity shop, vintage shop/car boot-wherever you may be & raid the manly knitwear! Men's jumpers in a L or XL look amazing as jumper dresses when worn with thick tights & boots. It's the whole effortless, 'I'm borrowing my boyfriends clothes' kinda look. It sounds obvious if you're looking for an oversized-fit but make sure you look at all of the sizes in the women's too. I've bought size 18/20/22 clothes in the past to achieve a cosy winter look. I wouldn't advise going for something that will totally swamp you but a well placed belt can always bring the look together.
Checks & Tartan: Again checks/tartan are a popular choice this A/W.  Last year I found loads of checked pieces in the charity shops & there are usually a lot to choose from. It's a classic, heritage print and looks as great on a thick wool coat as it does a cotton skirt. I have several hangers worth of tartan treasures which have served me well but I can never resist a new-to-me addition, I'm a bit bored with the classic red tartan after witnessing the entire 14-18 year old population wearing tartan-print dresses & leggings last winter but a green or blue palette still excites me :) Again charity shops are usually brimming with the print. It's always amazing if you can find a real Scottish tartan or a Burberry-esque check. I bought a green check coat last year which is one of my favourite winter pieces for under a fiver!

Matching Co-ords: This is one trend that I have never actually dipped my toe into! I really loved the crop top & skater skirt combos I've been seeing this summer especially the fruity-printed ones! The upcoming months call for warmer fabric & more of it! A matching jumper & pencil skirt is a look I'm going to try! This one is a little trickier as it's not often there will be a matching  vintage crop jumper & skater skirt but if you use your imagination there are loads of matching suit blazers & skirts that could be tweaked to make a gorgeous set of co-ords! Alternatively there are often long, vintage dresses that could be reworked by a tailor (of yourself if you're a sewing machine whizz) basically given the chop & turned into a skirt & top.

There we have it, I hope this post has given you a bit of inspiration so you feel confident in re-creating catwalk looks with your second-hand finds :)
Keep me updated with your finds & outfits by using the #CheapNChicChallenge on Twitter & Instagram, 

Thanks for reading :)
Rachelle xxx


#CheapNChicChallenge: 3/30 My Favourite Second-Hand Finds So Far...

Hello everyone!
To inspire you on your second hand quest I wanted to share some of my favourite pieces of my wardrobe that I've bought second hand. A few have been featured on here before or you may have spied them on Instagram!

Windsmoor 80s Pink Coat 
I bought this coat from Oxfam in Liverpool last year, Whenever I wear it, it instantly puts me in a good mood as the vibrant fuchsia brightens up any grey day! I paid more than I would usually pay in a charity shop but £16 for a coat that always receives loads of complements & the money goes to a good cause is a win in my books.

Oasis Check Trousers
Being a lady of height I always struggle to find well-fitting trousers. I bought these in St Johns Hospice in Lancaster for £3 and they are the most flattering pair of trousers I own! They are a size 12L which initially I would've ignored in the shop as it's not my usual size but I tried them on regardless and I'm SO glad I did.

Black Fur-Lined Pixie Boots
I bought these boots from the flea market in Preston a couple of months ago. They are vintage but they had never been worn. They cost just £5 and I've worn them loads! They were made in Britain and are excellent quality :)

Topshop Blue Dress
This find might not be the kookiest or a one-off vintage piece but I still really like it. It's originally from Topshop and I bought it as a last minute addition to my wardrobe a couple of hours before a night out. It was only £2.99 which is a bargain! I love the shade of blue and the ruffled effect of the fabric. I used to think that there was no point buying second hand high street clothing as it's no where near as good quality as vintage but if you love it-buy it!

Checked Flannel Shirt
This is the perfect oversized, cosy flannel shirt. It is an extra large/tall mens shirt which means it looks great worn over leggings or skinnies as the back is much longer. I found this on the vintage stall at the flea market and paid just £2 for it :) It's a classic red & blue check which I doubt will ever 'go out of fashion'.

Next 90s 'Mom' Jeans
These are another flea market find! Original 90s Next button-fly jeans :) Everyone was going crazy buying the £40 Topshop mom jeans when these are the real deal and only £2!! They look cute rolled up and I'm debating whether to distress them a little more but I can't decide.

Handmade Fruit Shift Dress
Ahh one of my favourite recent finds! I got this dress from Debra charity shop in Preston for £4.99. It's handmade which adds to the charm but I adore the print! Fruit prints have been huge this summer so it was great to find something with pineapples on. I wore this to Glastonbury and it's become a firm wardrobe favourite.

What is the best thing you have ever found in a charity shop? Please do share!
Thanks for reading :D
Rachelle x