How to make your own Upcycled Vintage D&G Style Dress

Everybody loves a little black dress! But I’m sure you girls out there have one hanging in your wardrobe that could do with a whole new revamp! In just 3 quick steps!


I have started with a plain black tight strapless dress and some old vintage buttons. If you do not own a dress to work with you can pick one up at your local Oxfam or Oxfam Online Shop.  And
I’m sure a relative will have a box of old buttons you can use! If not, these are easily found in many charity or antique shops!



1. Firstly, I gave my dress a quick press to make sure there wasn’t any creases before I pointed out the central line


2. Secondly, I started by marking a straight line down the middle of the dress where my buttons will be sewn with tailors chalk. Which will rub straight off with a wet wipe


3. Finally, I finished by sewing all my buttons down my line, to reveal a classic plain black dress turned into a Victorian D&G style dress!



Easy, right? Give it a go and you will see how everyone will be impressed about your Victorian D&G style dress!

Post written by Leah Topham, volunteer at Oxfam Batley where she helps upcycle the clothes. She’s written this series called Rags to Riches where she lets us in on her DIY secrets, keep your eye out for her next post! You can also check out her last one How
to make your own Upcycled Vintage 20′ Cloche Cap


Shop With Oxfam Online

What Fashion Means to Me: Georgia Bridgett’s View

For me, the way a piece of clothing is cut, the shape it provides for a particular person, the array of colours we have to choose from, all work together to form a piece that will suit certain people and not others, or will be preferred by some and not others; that I find absolutely fascinating. The reason many of us love fashion is because it is a form of expression, it is empowering. It makes us feel good. I am fascinated with the way designers like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen take basic pieces like the t-shirt and put their creative energy into how it fits and falls. We all love a
beautiful design but we want it to complement different body types and skin tones.


My love for personal style led me to start my blog. I wanted to use it as a way of exploring my interests. Since I moved to Liverpool for university I have been rummaging through the abundance of fabulous charity and vintage shops. My finds started to become the heart of my blog and I increasingly started to question the ethical and sustainable status of high street stores. I wanted to understand how and where the garments I was buying were being made. This led me to find some shocking figures. The Guardian printed an
Oxfam report on Unilever’s treatment of its employees in Vietnam. Employees were struggling to provide for their families and ‘Of workers in the Cu Chi factory, 80% said they needed another source of income’.


Ethically Conscius


Workers in a garment factory in Vietnam where the employees work 12 hour days 6 days a week for as little as $1 an hour (Photo Credit: Eleanor Farmer| Oxfam) 



So charity and vintage shopping became for me a way of being ethical and sustainable in the consumerist world of fast fashion. It is fantastic that the money we spend on clothes from charity shops are going towards fighting incredible causes. ‘Shining Mothers’ is a women’s group in Nairobi that is supported by Oxfam. Jane, leader of the
women’s group, ‘trains other women on their basic rights and skills for running small businesses.’


Jane Muthoni, leader of ‘Shining Mothers’, buying ingredients to make homemade yoghurt which she sells to the local community in Kawangware, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016 (Image Credit:Allan Gichigi/Oxfam)

Despite the amazing benefits of charity shopping, it is a shame that it has a reputation for being for the less fortunate. I used to volunteer at a charity shop and I was often asked if we had any shopping bags that did not say the name of the charity on it. From my perspective they did not want other people to have the view that they couldn’t afford high street fashion. These customers tended to be the older generation whilst the younger generations today appear to be taking charity shopping as a new trend, a way of finding something quirky. I have a
friend who chooses only to shop in charity shops for ethical and sustainable reasons. I’ll always remember a short, deep purple cardigan she bought. It was knitted and had beautiful little buttons sown on and a ribbed rim. When she told me it was from a charity shop my heart sank – it was gorgeous and I was desperate to wear it! Only now with my own little finds do I truly appreciate the satisfaction of owning an item of clothing that contributes to your unique style. These pieces also have a story.  Perhaps that cardigan was worn on a trip to Canada or the French Alps. May be
the gorgeous vintage dress I bought from Pop Boutique in Leeds was worn on an evening out in 1960s Paris, walking by the Seine River. Or maybe it was simply worn to a family birthday party, whilst sharing laughs and food in good company. As I sit writing this blog post, a white beige cross-stitched jumper is resting by my side. I bought it today for £6 at a vintage fair in an old Church in the centre of Leeds. I rummaged through the racks of t-shirts, dresses and finally jumpers until I spotted it. The label says ‘CANADA’. Who brought it over here? Was it shipped with many others,
bought as stock? It has history. It will be loved all over again.


Laura Jones talking to a customer at the Cowley Road Shop, Oxford.  (Image Credit: Rachel Manns| Oxfam)

I can still appreciate the craftsmanship of designers and show my support for the ones who are environmentally and ethically conscious like Stella McCartney. I can still enjoy a high street purchase but I try to make sure it is from an ethical company.

The most beautiful designs begin with the beauty of ethical working conditions and sustainable sources and I hope one day all of fast fashion will become fair fashion.


You might also like: 


How to make your own Upcycled Vintage 20′ Cloche Cap

Header image

What Fashion Means to Me: Nicola Lucas’ view

Shop With Oxfam Online

How to make your own Upcycled Vintage 20′ Cloche Cap

Post written by Leah Topham, volunteer at Oxfam Batley where she helps upcycle the clothes. She’s written this series called Rags to Riches where she lets us in on her DIY secrets, keep your eye out for her next post!

Everybody has old hats that have been through all weathers and are now on the verge of getting binned! Why not up cycle your old hat, or find a plain one in your local Oxfam or from the Oxfam Online Shop, and transform it into one fit for any special occasion!



I have started with a plain black felt cloche cap, 5cm wide black lace, 2cm wide black ribbon, and some left over spotty fabric.


1.) Firstly I started with my spotty fabric I cut it down so it was approx 11cm wide, I then folded from the bottom to create a little more volume.


2.) Then Pleat the fabric as you pin it to your hat …You can choose how you want your hat trim to look. I have worked more towards a flower shape so I have pleated my fabric and pinned in half a circle.


3.) Then using a needle and thread, gather the edge of the lace to make it into a circular shape. I gathered two strips of lace, you can do as many as you want and any length depending on the look you’re going for.


4.) After Gathering the lace, lay it on top of the fabric already pinned to your hat, keeping in mind the design and shape you’re going for.


5.) Then using Ribbon twist it into the shape you desire and tack a few stitched to hold the shape together.

6.) Next, Pin your ribbon into the middle of your lace, and start to stitch down all the fabrics to your hat, remembering to remove all pins afterwards.




And there it is! As easy as that. If you try to do it at home please, remember to share the pictures with us: @OxfamFashion #foundinoxfam

You might also like: 

Header image

What Fashion Means to Me: Nicola Lucas’ view



Shwopping and Oxfam


Shop With Oxfam Online



What Fashion Means To Me: Nicola Lucas’s View

By Nicola Lucas

Fashion has always been important to me, ever since I was a little girl I can always remember being drawn to pink, and being quite stereotypically girlie. My mum tells me that I refused to wear pyjamas only nighties, all my sleeves had to be skin tight and I didn’t like anything baggy. So I think I knew what I liked pretty early on. Apart from a stint in uni where I studied Media and TV I have always wanted to work in fashion. Before moving to London to follow that dream people would say to me that London will be expensive, and those fashion offices are cliquey, but that didn’t
stop me, as far as I was concerned I just loved being around fashion whatever environment that was.  In all my experience of working in fashion I would definitely say that the good stuff outweighs any negatives.

Nicola window

Since I moved to London from a small town in South Wales my fashion choices have definitely been influenced by the places I’ve worked and the people I’ve met.  Also my style has certainly evolved. I remember the early days when I was interning and had very little money, I would definitely hunt out charity shop gems, which I still love doing today, you never know what items you’re going to find especially in a charity shop in a new area, something I love to do if I go away anywhere in the UK.


When it comes to ethical choices in fashion it’s good we have been made aware of the results of throw away fashion. I know it’s definitely made me think about my shopping habits over the years and I try my best to make considered purchases, I like to know that I’ll get my money’s worth out of something. I’ve learned that over time it is better to spend more on one or two pieces of quality clothing than have a mountain of things that are cheaper and will only last a couple of washes. That’s why I think vintage or pre-loved items can be a great way to build your
wardrobe. Vintage can be very good quality hence why it’s lasted the test of time. I also believe that sometimes it’s good to challenge ourselves with our style choices, so for instance if you only have a budget of £40 to go shopping with, rather spending it all in one place why not learn to thrift you’ll give yourself challenge and you might actually enjoy it!


Fashion to me is fun, it’s expressive and should be enjoyed by everyone. If you want become a more ethical shopper then try a few of my tips!

  •  Try opting for vintage clothes for classic designs and good quality.
  •  Always have a rummage in charity shops as you never know what you’ll come across. You can also try eBay for charity and Oxfam Online Shop to charity shop online.
  • Know a good tailor or alternations specialist to keep your wears lasting longer. Or, if you’re crafty, use online tutorials to learn how to do it yourself!

You might also like: 


Shwopping and Oxfam


Jean Valjean comes to Batley: Les Misérables in Oxfam

Shop With Oxfam Online

DIY Doily Tips: Upcycle Ripped T-Shirts

Article written by Rumaanah Bilal, volunteer at  Oxfam Online Batley 

To begin these DIY doily shirts, collect everything you may need. I created two different shirts but there are limitless designs that you could create! Start off by ironing the shirts to get rid of any creases. I have picked these navy and white tops to work onto. The white one has a hole so I created a design to cover this up. This is a great way to bring new life to a shirt you’d otherwise end up recycling.

What you’ll need:

  • Plain T-shirt (Use ones you already have or check your local Oxfam or Oxfam’s Online Shop)
  • Dollies (Again if you don’t have any you want to chop up it’s worth checking your local Oxfam or Online)
  • Scissors
  • Needle and Threads (mixed colours)
  • Pins

Start cutting into the areas of the doilies you like the best. I picked out doilies with floral designs as this is something I really love, but you could easily use the lacy parts as well – customise to your heart’s content to make this piece a unique beauty!

After getting your desired pieces start to place them on the shirts in different ways to see which layout looks the best. I came up with a lot of ideas and they all seemed to be really interesting and wonderful. Here are some of the designs I tried out:


As soon as you have arranged your designs, pin the pieces down and carefully start to hand stitch the separate parts to the shirt. I noticed the edges of the blue doily was quite frayed so I had to fix that by stitching it down tightly, but still making sure I maintained the shape. I cut out around some hexagons from a different doily and I placed them in a row down the sleeves, this way it covered up the hole and also made it quite stylish. In contrast to the white shirt having quite a bit going on, I kept the navy shirt really minimal by only putting a white trim around the neckline.
This technique would also look great along the hem or armholes of your chosen garment, and would be a good way to cover up any wear and tear!

Here are my final designs for both tops. I like how they turned out and would love to do more like this. I like the contrast between both tops. Both are very simple and can be easily styled with a pair of jeans. I love that you can save a lot and create something stylish, whilst saving clothing that would otherwise end up in recycling, instead of paying £20+ for a high street piece.

If you try out my embroidered t-shirt DIY please share the pictures: @OxfamFashion #foundinoxfam I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!

Shop With Oxfam Online

Oxfam is Launching It’s Own Newspaper! Fashion Pages Preview

Oxfam is launching its own newspaper this summer with copies available for free from every Oxfam high street shop it is the perfect feel-good paper to bring a wave of positivity to your day! There are stories from volunteers, Oxfam project updates, book reviews, games, a summer recipe and more it’s definitely worth a read. Today I’m going to give you a tiny sneak peek into the fashion content which focuses on Bridal and Festival fashion.


“Together, we save and rebuild lives in disasters. We help people build better lives for themselves. We speak out on the big issues that keep people poor, like inequality, discrimination against women and climate change. Together we can end poverty for everyone.”

The New Oxfam Newspaper

“From stunning designer bridal wear – more than 95% of our dresses are brand new – to world-changing wedding lists, you’ll find everything you need for your big day at Oxfam. Here four brides-to-be give our dresses a try. Keep an eye out for our Chippenham bridal department on Say Yes To The Dress UK too, TLC, 8 Septemeber, 9pm.”


Bridal Fashion #foundinoxfam

I love the wedding dresses featured, especially Tobi’s on the far right, so elegant and floaty! I recently got to have a nose around the online bridal collection to choose my seven favourites for my recent blog and had a great time drooling over the beautiful dresses!

“I knew Oxfam did wedding dresses but was surprised by the range. This one’s really fun – the Vegas dress! I love the huge skirt.” – Caely Beecham, Bride-to-be


Shop Bridal from Oxfam, from 11 high-street shops and Online.


Festival Fashion #foundinoxfam

“Vintage Street #foundinoxfam: Pair branded streetwear – new or vintage – with a hit of bling for a look guaranteed to make you stand out.” Look inspired by Rita Ora.


As I’m headed off to help the festival shop team at Latitude this week the festival fashion was great inspiration for my packing. I like the Classic Festival, Laura Whitmore inspired look best with its floaty, hippy, floral top and modern cut off shorts. With these complete outfits starting from £41 you know you can be decked out in style whatever festival you’re headed to this summer.

Shop festival fashion, vinyl and c-ds online or in-store. 

Shop With Oxfam Online


5 Reasons to buy Kidswear from Oxfam Online 

Hi, I’m Joanne Ginley. I’m a sometime blogger and volunteer at Oxfam Online.

Ask anyone who knows me and they will confirm clothes shopping is my favourite hobby! I love nothing more than scouring the shops or searching online for a real bargain. Firm believer in the power of accessories and currently developing a real liking for homeware. Today I’ve focused on the joys of Kidswear as Oxfam are currently promoting their children’s products in the run up to the summer holidays. These are my 5 reasons to buy children’s clothes from Oxfam Online, got any to add? Please feel free to comment!

Shop Quality Kids Clothing With the Oxfam Online Shop

5 Reasons to buy Kidswear from Oxfam Online 

Here at Oxfam Online we stock over 1,000 items of new and second-hand kids’ clothing and with new pieces being added daily we turn looking for a bargain into an online treasure hunt! And if that’s not enough to tempt you, here are our top 5 reasons why shopping with us makes perfect sense:

1: Designer gems: Did you know we sell designer items at a fraction of the RRP? Our selection is constantly changing but popular brands we often stock include Ralph Lauren, Barbour and Burberry. Perfect for picking something up for your mini-me!

Designer Kids Wear from Oxfam Online Shop

2: Brand new items: You won’t just find second-hand goods on the site we also have a selection of BNWT pieces – available at a fraction of the RRP and perfect for gifting.

3: Huge choice: We stock items for all ages; from babies to teenagers. Every parent knows how quickly kids grow out of their clothes, so finding quality clothing at affordable prices is a must. You will find a treasure trove of items online from cute formalwear to casual essentials, shoes, accessories, seasonal must-haves and everything in between. Our website is easy to navigate and you can shop from the comfort of your own home – without having to visit the shops with the kids!

Find Unique Items for Kids From Oxfam Online Shop

4: Unique pieces: Looking for something a bit different? You will also find unique hand-made pieces that no other child has in their wardrobe, including handmade knitted jumpers and vintage childrenswear.

5: Making a difference: By buying from Oxfam you are supporting our work fighting poverty in Britain and around the world. Because of you we can provide clean water for communities, campaign for girls around the world to be educated and help get women into work. Thank you for your support, we won’t live with poverty and we know you won’t either.

Help Fund Life Saving Support for Children Facing Poverty Worldwide

So have a look at the Online Shop and see what treasure you can find for your little ones! Don’t forget to share pictures of your best finds with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using #foundinoxfam

Shop Quality Kids Clothing With the Oxfam Online Shop


8 Fun No Sew DIY Crafts to Do With Your Kids In The Holidays

As Oxfam’s shops are currently focusing on all things child friendly I decided to have a hunt of Oxfam’s archives to see what DIY ideas my fellow bloggers have created that can help you entertain your children this holiday.

Shop Quality Kids Clothing With the Oxfam Online Shop

Pom-Pom Critters

DIY Pom pom animals

Image Credit: Pom-pom tutorial Kelly O’Conor, pom-pom creatures & animals from Pinterest


Help your little ones follow fashion blogger Kelly’s easy guide to make a bunch of different pom-poms. From there grab some glue and a collection of googly eyes, pipe cleaners, scraps of card and felt or anything else you can think of and let them get creative! I’ve created a Pinterest board full of ideas from these very on-trend emojis to little critters with feet and googly eyes from bugs to bunnies and monsters to
minions! There are endless possibilities.

Friendship Bracelets

Make Yarn and Thread Bracelets

Whether your kids make these as gifts or keep them for themselves they will love filling their arm with all these coloured strands. We have two tutorials on the blog, Boatemaa’s plaited one with beading or Emma’s tutorial for knotted or wrapped braids.

Personalised Top

DIY Customised Personalised Top

This can be a great way to get kids loving the clothes they wear – let them design them themselves! First of all they need to create a design so let them get to work cutting and sticking, drawing, painting, whatever they like to do best. Then just photograph or scan their design to get a digital version which you can crop and edit to get it looking its best. From there Cassiefairy’s tutorial will give you all the instructions you need to transform their design into a top. Just make sure you
takeover for the ironing stage!

Summer Wreath

Make a Summer or Winter Wreath

Ok I know, I know wreaths are supposed to be Christmassy! But I think this simple design by Cassiefairy can be adapted to any season. Choose bright sunshiney colours to create the perfect decoration to add so cute colour to a barbeque party. You could even knock up some matching bunting to pull the décor together. Cut triangles of fabric with pinking shears and fold bias binding along the top edge, sewing or sticking it down, and voila you’re done!

Make a Stock of Homemade Gift Tags and Cards

Card Making Ideas

Not only can card making be a fun way to fill your little ones time but it will come in handy once your back in term time and need to send that last minute birthday or thank you card without out loosing that personal touch. You can busy pre-folded blank cards from craft shops or just DIY your own by halving sheets of card. Then let the kids get to work! Our bloggers have come up with all sorts of ideas to get their creative juices flowing from Liz’s cut and stick collage technique to SJP’s cross-stitch idea or Emily’s cut out designs  they’re sure to find something. You can even recycle old cards into gift tags too as Liz shows you here.

Finger Knitting

Finger Knitting How To

If your little ones are more on the patient side then Liz’s guide to finger knitting might be a great way for them to get a new skill and a new scarf without need to buy any new equipment! If your kids love loom-bands then this is one they could really enjoy, with the added bonus that you won’t be using lots of non-biodegradable plastics to make this.

Clip In Hair Braid

DIY Feathered Hair Braid

As a 90s child these were all the rage in my primary school days! These clip in hair braids are a fab way to add a pop of removable colour to your kids hair letting them explore the wild side of their style! Made using reclaimed fabric and thread they’re really easy to make and are perfect if you’re heading to any family festivals this summer. Alternatively you can use one of the friendship bracelet ideas to make a thread one instead.

Junk Toy Challenge

Make Recycled Toys

Photos by: John Ferguson, Eleanor Farmer & Annie Bungeroth.

The children that Oxfam works with often don’t have the luxury of having toys to play with so they reclaim materials from around them to make their own. This summer Oxfam is challenging kids to do just that and share the end result on Twitter with the #junktoychallenge. Find materials that would otherwise be thrown away, empty milk cartoons or cardboard boxes and let them make their own toy to play with. If you share their finished creation before midday on Friday 28th July then they could be in with a chance to win some chocolate and see their toy featured in Oxfam’s new
newspaper. Find out more information here.

Shop Quality Kids Clothing With the Oxfam Online Shop


My Favourite Wedding Dresses from Oxfam Online: Money Saving Tips for Your Wedding Look

This week Money Saving Expert released a video of bride-to-be Sally hunting for her wedding dress naming Oxfam as the place to go for bargain new and preloved wedding dresses, scroll down to watch the video. 

Money Saving Expert claim that by shopping with Oxfam you can save hundreds of pounds without having to compromise on style. I decided to put this theory to the test and challenged myself to find 7 different styles all from within the Oxfam Online Shop’s bridal department (Yes that is the reason, no I am not using this as an excuse to look at pretty dresses all day … ahem!). The dresses I picked range from £50 to £600, a definite bargain considering that, as Sally points out in the
video, a wedding dress can start from £1000!

Wedding Gowns #foundinoxfam

Get the Looks:

Bargain: Size S, £50| Statement: Size 14, £350| Vintage: Size M, £289.99|  Bling: Size 12, £600| Minimalist: Size 12, £175| Body-hugger: Size 12, £100| Princess: Size 14, £225

The average Oxfam wedding dress sells for £250 and Oxfam aims to price at a mere 30% of the high street cost – even though the majority of the dresses they sell being brand new. Oxfam’s bridal range started in 1985 when volunteer Barbara Walmsley began hiring out dresses from home. Oxfam weddings has now grown to generate £150,000 each year, enough to provide clean, safe, drink water to 150,000 people. Buying an Oxfam wedding dress is a lovely way to give back on your big day whilst saving you a huge amount of money.   


Money Saving Expert on why you should consider a charity shop wedding dress:

Barbara Walmsley founder of Oxfam Bridal:

You might also like: 

Exploring the My Oxfam App
Exploring the My Oxfam App: One Stop for Shopping, Donating and Gift Aid
Latest Posts from Oxfam Fashion
Get the Latest Posts from Oxfam Fashion

Shop With Oxfam Online

4 Reasons to Use the My Oxfam app:

So I have to admit, I’m not a very techy person. An avid fan of the Nokia phone in all its indestructible glory I do what I need to do to manage blogging and then I’m out… However I have been feeling a little jealous that I wasn’t able to try playing on the new ‘My Oxfam’ app that has been making such a splash in the technical world, so, when I finally took the technical plunge of investing in a tablet, this App was right at the top of my download list. 

My Oxfam is really easy to find, just type into Google Play or Apple Store and the familiar Oxfam logo will appear. I found the app really simple to get started with, even for a technophobe like me! You can sign into the app either by making a new account or (if you like the lazy option!) through your G+ or Facebook.

My Oxfam App Getting Started


The first thing you see is a newsfeed full of Oxfam programme stories which you can click on to get snapshots and video clips opening your eyes to completely different ways of life in all the places around the world that Oxfam’s staff and volunteers are acting to help end poverty.

My Oxfam App Newsfeed


As a charity shopping fanatic the first thing I made a beeline for on the app was the online shop. You can bring up a side bar by clicking the three-line icon at the top left of the screen next to the app logo. This gives you loads of options to navigate around key Oxfam website content from within the app, including the Online Shop.

My Oxfam App OOS

I love the mobile design of the Online Shop and think I will now favour shopping through the app than on my laptop. It’s so easy to click through to what you want. Me, I want dresses. This is definitely a want and not a need as my double wardrobe is chock-a-block already, but hey, money to charity right? Who could say no!?

My Oxfam App OOS Filters

Once you’re into the category you want to shop then you can click the big green ‘Sort and filter’ button that will let you narrow down that search. (Sometimes you have to wait an extra couple of moments for the button to appear, clearly the big green ‘Sort and filter’ button is not the morning sort, I can’t blame it, nor am I!)

My Oxfam App OOS Categories

What I like about the category selector is that it lets you filter out several different categories at once so you don’t have to choose just one colour or price range or size but could, for example, select size 8 and 10 and Small and Medium dresses in Blue and Pink from the 1950s and 1990s between £2.50 to £20! If they have something you want, you’re going to find it!


However, the app is of course not only about shopping and keeping up to date but also a great way to support Oxfam. The app team have created a really simple way to manage one-off and monthly donations with a wheel design that you can simply scroll to the amount you want and you will see exactly what your donation could do for someone on the receiving end of Oxfam’s funding. Amazing! You can easily select to pay by either card or Paypal too so you can choose what suits you best.

My Oxfam Donation

After you have donated you get a lovely Thank You message and video and can see a wheel breaking down exactly where your money goes when you give to Oxfam. I love that you can feel such an instant connection with Oxfam’s work when you donate. The thank you message also appears on your Newsfeed in amongst all the articles about Oxfam’s work once the money has cleared letting you know your donation has been safely received and is being put to good use fighting poverty!

My Oxfam App Gift History

Track Gift Aid:

Another cool thing you can see is a record of, not just the donations you’ve made through the app, but a list of all the donations and shop payments by card that you’ve ever made. This even includes the amount you’ve donated by gift-aiding your donations as the money links through once the items you’ve given have sold.

If you want to give the app a go and find out how much you’ve given to Oxfam over the years then sign up today for free! Simple as that.

Download My Oxfam From Apple StoreDownload My Oxfam From Google Play

Shop With Oxfam Online