Valentine’s Day – The Final Countdown

Valentine’s Day/Galentine’s Day, whatever you may be celebrating, there are just a few days to go before you need that perfect gift for your loved one.

This is my final gift guide for Valentine’s 2018, with failsafe products that will earn you plenty of brownie points from your loved one. There is not a cute teddy, bunch of flowers or sickly looking chocolates anywhere in this guide.

Go shop!

ThatchFace Beard Oil

I love a product with a good story behind it, and ThatchFace beard oil certainly fits that bill. Set up in 2017 by Ben and Leanne Cleaver, the Thatchface beard oil uses a range of different oils and scents to create beard oils that are non synthetic and leave the beard feeling conditioned and moisturised. My husband Pete loves the Got Wood fragrance that  draws on the scents of cedarwood, sandalwood, pine needle and a hint of lime to give a warm and masculine scent. The scent is not overpowering, but is fresh and pleasant, and the dropper style bottle means that you do not use more than you need, meaning it lasts for ages.

10% of the profit from the ThatchFace range goes to men’s cancer charities following Ben’s own fight with testicular cancer. If you buy this as a gift, either for Valentine’s Day, or just for a loved one to try, you can give this in the knowledge that it is also doing some good in the fight against Cancer.

Got Wood Beard Oil £11.99 Click to visit ThatchFace

Romantic Handbags from Chi Chi London

Let’s be honest, buying clothes for a loved one is a minefield, especially if you are not sure of their size. Buy too small and you could disappoint, buy too big and you may just hit a raw nerve. A solution could be a beautiful handbag like these from Chi Chi London. One size fits all, and they have such a romantic look, they are sure to delight any fashion lover.

See the full range here.

Chi Chi Cooper Bag
Was: £38.00Now: £30.00 Click to visit Chi Chi London

Chi Chi Pia Bag
Was: £35.00Now: £20.00 Click to visit Chi Chi London

Chi Chi Shiloh Bag
£32.00 Click to visit Chi Chi London

Say It With Flowers

Flowers are the most traditional, popular, and, let’s be honest, the most cliched gift to give on Valentine’s Day. But, this year, Selfridges are thinking outside the box when it comes to flowers, with flower fragrances and prints that allow you to give a bloom without a petal or sneeze in sight. You can say it with flowers in a way that will last long after you’ve put the real thing in the bin.


HAPPY SOCKS Floral-print slim-fit stretch-cotton trunks
£20.00 Click to visit Selfridges


PAUL SMITH Floral silk tie
£90.00 Click to visit Selfridges


FLORIS Rose and oud room fragrance 100ml
£25.00 Click to visit Selfridges


BOTTEGA
Bottega Pinot Noir Sparkling Brut Rosé glass pack 750ml
£36.99
Click to visit Selfridges

 

 

Father’s Day – Stylish Gifts for the discerning Dad.

Father’s day will soon be upon us,and, if like me, this thought fills you with dread, help is at hand. Here are some stylish gifts that should suit every dad, from the cool and trendy dad, the dad in need of pampering, and the dad who has everything. Step this way for some hints and tips for making sure your daddy enjoys his special day.

BHS

Don't you just love this - BHS £12

£25 BHS - Let him wear it all day long!

Tan leather shoes £38

 

Burton

Burton £25

 

For those 70s vintage dads...

 

...or maybe 1980s retro dads?

 

For the frustrated rock star, how about an inflatable guitar?

 

Selfridges  – celebrating daddy cool season

Vivienne Westwood Union Jack tie

Paul Smith car cufflinks £65

 

£35

 

White Stuff

 

Netherton shirt

Preeti Design – for the  dad who has everything!

Backgammon set

Why Charity shopping may just be fashion’s next big thing.

Charity Shop Hats

Image by hartman045 via Flickr

Charity shopping is the next big thing in fashion. For whatever reason, whether it be the deep economic recession leaving us less disposable cash in our pockets, or the resurgence in vintage dressing, or simply a desire to step outside the normal fashion perimeters,  more and more people are taking their first trip to a charity shop, and liking what they find.

I first discovered charity shopping in mt teens.  I visited my local shops on a regular basis, hunting for a-line skirts, crushed velvet apparel, vintage underskirts and nighties, and 70’s Adidas tops. I loved my local charity shops, but they weren’t for everyone, with a somewhat musty smell to them, decrepit volunteers manning the tills and a general feel that someone might’ve died wearing the clothing.

But charity shopping has completely changed in the last ten years. Gone is the sometimes dirty clothing, almost all charity shops now steam clean items so they smell fresh and new. Some items, are new, with tags intact due to the nature of our throw away society. The shops are bright and airy, with shiny laminate flooring and bright, trendy shelving units. And the clothes are properly sorted, usually by size, sometimes by colour. You can go to the exact section you want to without having to trawl through endless rails of unsuitable clothing. Many charity shops have a vintage section, a treasure trove of amazing and unique vintage finds. Some charity branches have bridal sections, for the budget conscious on their big day.

But most amazing of all is the new stock many charity stores now sell. Oxfam have a fab range of fair trade jewellery and beaded bags, Scope also have a fab (and mega cheap range) of jewellery and bags called the equality range, whilst cancer research have the most amazing eco bags, including a fabulous can-can dancer bag designed by Red or Dead founder Wayne Hemingway.

So, what can you expect to find in charity shops nowadays.  As expected, there are a great deal of low-cost high street brands like George and Primark, as you would expect, the ‘fast fashion’ aspect of these brands means they are discarded quite quickly. But you can also find Higher quality high street brands like Monsoon and Wallis in abundance. You can also find Jigsaw, Precis Petite and Planet items in most charity shops. One of my best recent buys was a pink and grey graphic print silk dress from Jaeger, which I picked up for just £7.  It had a definite Peter Pilotto feel to it, and after I added a thick belt it got rave reviews from family and friends.

You can also find a range of designer wear, I got a great men’s Paul Smith suit from a Wednesbury charity shop priced up at £5. I sold it for £50 on Ebay as it didn’t fit the hubby. I’ve also brought items by Jil Sander, Tods and Miu Miu from charity shops. Vintage items, such as Kelly style bags and vintage pearls, are also great finds, and are often only sold for a few pounds. In addition, the book section can often add to your style collection. I found a shabby, but now much treasured, book which contained a history of illustrated Vogue covers from a charity shop in Ironbridge for £2.  I now donate all my read fashion magazines to a local charity shop, where they are sold again. Now, that really is recycling style.

Buying from charity shops is ecologically sound as it is another form of recycling. It raises much-needed funds  for good causes, whilst providing the shopper with an outfit that hasn’t cost the earth, either financially or ecologically. For the true fashionista, check out the charity shops in Chelsea and South Kensington. On a recent trip to London I saw shoes by Chanel and Gucci, and a whole range of Lulu Guinness bags. Also, get yourself to Mary Portas‘s Living and giving store in Westbourne Grove. Famous Fashionistas have been known to donate their cast offs to this store, so you could be wearing a famous bargain.

If you’re still not convinced – check out some of my charity shop finds pictured below…and if you know a great charity shop near you, share it with your fellow fashionistas by leaving a comment below.

My fashion finds from Charity Shops

Blue 1950's Raffia bag, St Katherine's House Hospice shop, Cannock.

Amazing Miu Miu shoes, Cancer Research shop, Putney.