Simplicity in Silk – How to Style a Silk Blouse

Recently I found a beautiful pure silk blouse in my local Oxfam store on Bold Street in Liverpool. I instantly knew how I would wear it – my incredibly comfortable cropped straight jeans and loafers. The simplicity of this outfit is perfect for a casual day at home. The first time I wore this I was at home studying…cat by my side and fire warming my feet (thinking about aesthetics here). The pure silk falls beautifully and is so soft. I would say I felt pretty smart – the buttoned-up style and collar with
the elegant material creates the illusion of being dressed up (even when you replace the jeans for flared black trousers and you’re giving off a classic casual ’70s look which is always a yes from me).

Another look you could go for is pairing the blouse and cropped jeans with skinny ankle boots and some tights – I am constantly considering layers with this sharp winter weather. I love layering in winter as it not only looks great but it means it is easier to reuse your favourite pieces throughout the year.

Whilst writing this article I was planning social media for a Clothes Swap event run by Just Love Liverpool, a branch of the NGO Just Love UK. This organisation aims to spread awareness about social injustices such as slavery, sex trafficking and homelessness as well as raising awareness of how to be more ethical and sustainable, including when it comes to thinking about what we wear. I was reflecting on the incredible way in which reusing clothes is not only helping our environment – did you know that ‘UK households binned 300,000 tonnes of clothing in 2016‘?  but it is also causing us the evaluate questions such as how are our clothes being made? Where are they coming from? These questions I have found are being asked more and more as we have seen an increase in the number of social media pages now devoted to ending fast fashion and believing in
alternative ethical and sustainable ways.

If someone asks me where I bought this blouse and I say a charity shop, immediately I’ve got a conversation starter in which to spread awareness of the injustice of slavery. Simply buying a blouse from a charity shop is making a statement that fast fashion is out of hand and there are alternative ways to shop. Charity shopping is fun (how many times have you found the oddest and most random things that probably haven’t seen the light in decades?). But at the same time, we can be activists for so many issues!

A devastating issue that I am passionate about is tackling the gender inequality and utter lack of women rights when we look at the unethical practices of factories focused on producing the cheap t-shirts for example we can purchase on the high streets. “A recent report  by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) revealed that recruiters in southern India convince parents in impoverished rural areas to send their daughters to spinning mills with promises of a well-paid job, comfortable accommodation, three nutritious meals a day and opportunities for training and schooling, as well as a lump sum payment at the end of three years. Their field research shows that “in reality, they are working under appalling conditions that amount to modern day slavery and the worst forms of child labour“.

Isn’t it unfathomable that we are still living in a world where slavery is still a major issue? Over 40 million people are trapped in slavery right now.

Furthermore, with their 12 partners across the world Oxfam interviewed ‘hundreds of women workers and many farm and factory managers, supply chain agents, retail and brand company staff, unions and government officials’. They discovered that ‘Fewer than half of the women employed in Bangladesh’s textile and garment export sector have a contract, and the vast majority get no maternity or health coverage – but 80 per cent fear dismissal if they complain.’

The clothing industry is clearly intertwined with issues of gender inequality. Women are severely devalued and frankly it would seem dehumanised. By charity/vintage shopping and raising awareness at the same time, we can create a huge impact on the clothing industry.

So, this silk blouse from an Oxfam store on a small corner of the world sure can do a lot of loud talking…

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How to Use Preloved Style to Stay On-Trend in the Workplace

The Daily Mail recently challenged its readers to identify the preloved Oxfam outfit from the high-street outfit. So I wanted to see whether work outfits exclusively from Oxfam Online Shop could live up to the latest styles. The way you dress in the workplace says a lot about your work attitude and, according to Rudi Dalman, “we all often think about impressing our boss,” but can you
impress them with your thrifted wardrobe?

Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional it’s easy to be too busy to keep up to date with the latest fashion and styles. I’ve come up with my list of must-have items to keep an eye out for on your next charity shop crawl to get the perfect on trend work wardrobe for less.

 
  • A Go-To Blazer

Wear it with a comfortable denim or as a part of the two-piece, it will make you look extraordinary in both cases. Stash it on the back of your office chair to combat the office.

  • Button Down Cotton Shirts

Wearing cotton button down shirts at work is great but having too many white cotton button down shirts gets boring. Go for different but classy colours and pair with classic slacks for a Jenna Lyons look!

Smart Casual from Oxfam Online Shop: Jeans (Levi, Size 32″, £14.99) / Jacket (Next, Size 12, £9.99) / Blouse (Reiss, Size 8, £6.99) / Shoes (Guess, Size 7.5, £24.99) / Watch (Quartz,£12.99)

  • Denim for Fridays

Yes, you can wear jeans at the workplace, but make sure they’re not distressed boyfriend jeans or too tight dandy ones! Instead, pick something which goes with your workplace and looks professional in a meeting. Once you are done with work, you can straight go to a bar to enjoy the weekend.

  • Ankle Length Slacks

An ankle length slack is good to go for Monday blues. Ankle length is very ‘in’ at the moment as they look very elegant. As winter is on its way, try pairing them with a button down shirt and blazer.

Work Dresses from Oxfam Online Shop: Dress 1 (M&S, Size 8, £29.99) / Dress 2 (M&S, Size 14, £9.99) / Dress 3 (H&M, Size M, £5.99)

  • Knee Length Dresses

Add a few knee length dresses to your workplace wardrobe. There are a variety of knee length dresses which you can wear at the workplace like a long sleeve polka dot dress or a floral design. You can also go for a classy LBD (Little Black Dress) and try on a pair of black heels with it!

  • A Day-to-Night Dress

There can be a party invitation during weekdays and you can’t give excuses like “I have work to do,” right? Don’t miss happy hours just because you have to rush home after work to change. So, pick a dress which can help you slay your fashion look and make you look elegant at the workplace and fun-loving at your favourite bar.

  •  Tailored Pencil Skirt

Find a perfectly tailored pencil skirt which suits you the best. It is easy to get dressed and makes you look sophisticated for the workplace. You can even save few morning minutes.

Work Outfit from Oxfam Online Shop: Blouse (Ossie Clark, Size 10, £14.99) / Skirt (River Island, Size 14, £7.99) / Shoes (Sam Edelman, Size 7, £25.99)/ Watch (Accurist, £7.99) / Coat (Vintage Aquascutum, Size M, £70.00)

  • A Mix of Blouses

Choose bright and happy colours for week days like Wednesdays and Thursdays, when you are so tired of your hectic week. A mix of colourful yet sophisticated blouses will make you look gorgeous regardless how tired you are! You can try them with comfortable denim or classy slacks, whatever you prefer.

  • Trench Coats

The chilly weather is around the corner and you surely don’t want to get cold. How about wearing a turtle neck paired with jeans and trench coat this winter? It will make you warm and stylish at the same time.



 Do any Oxfam items feature in your work wardrobe? Share your favourite finds with us using #foundinoxfam on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

 

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What Fashion Means To Me: Ceri Heathcote’s View

In some ways the word ‘fashion’ has some quite negative connotations for me.  Fashion is often associated with clothing that is worn as a way of fitting in. To me it implies an almost slavish devotion to wearing what has been decreed by the fashion powers to be as ‘on trend’.

The definition of fashion in the Cambridge dictionary  as  ‘a style that is popular at a particular time‘ implies that
we would only choose to wear something because others are wearing it and also that we should change our style regularly to keep up with the latest fashion, which these days can change in the blink of an eye. This week it green is the new black, next week navy!

The emergence of ‘fast fashion’, allowing low cost clothing to be quickly manufactured in the latest style along with the dictation of trends by fashion magazines, has led to some of the big issues around sustainability in the clothing industries with unimaginable amounts of clothing being consigned to landfill. Clothing has become disposable as people try to keep up with the latest style of the season or lookalike designer and use shopping as a past time to satisfy their boredom.

That said, I often use the word ‘fashion’ to refer to clothing in a more general sense. In this respect, clothing or fashion is almost the opposite to the real meaning of fashion. It is about expressing myself and my personality in a creative way. It is about standing out from the crowd and looking different rather than fitting in and being the same. I don’t want to be told what to wear, I want to decide what to wear. I love bright patterns, bold prints and statement accessories but my clothes also have to be practical for my busy lifestyle.

I also think that fashion should make you feel good about yourself. For me this means that the clothing should have been made ethically with a minimal impact on the environment. Shopping in Oxfam shops gives me a way to indulge my love of the clothes and update my wardrobe whilst minimising my impact on the environment and helping a worthwhile cause.

 

I also focus on buying good quality new pieces that I can keep and treasure for years. Brands like People Tree, Thought Clothing, Bibico and Nomads, are all great for beautiful and unique styles. With these brands, I know where and how the clothes have been made and can feel confident that people are not being just so that I can keep up with the latest trend.

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How to DIY your own Lace Bottom Tailored Trousers

As all you fashion lovers will have probably seen in almost every high street shop, Lace trousers are totally on trend this season! Why not Revamp some boring old trousers into an on trend pair of beauties?

What you need

– Some Old Trousers

– A Lace

– A Sewing Machine

– Needle & Thread

If you don’t own any old trousers, come and visit us in any of our local Oxfam Shops or in our Online shop.

Follow these steps

1.  First of all, I started by shortening my trousers by 7″. When shortening I took into account that the hem was 1inch so overall they would be 8 inch shorter. If your not sure how much to take off, put them on and ask someone to give you a hand measuring so you can see how long you want them.

 

2. Secondly, I turned the raw edge over by 1.5cm and did a full machine stitch all the way around to hold in place. The reason I didn’t use an over locker is because I know many people don’t own one so I have done the way everyone would be able to do if they owned a sewing machine, but with an over locker would be much quicker and easier.

 

3. Then turn up again another 1.5 cm and sew. This will lock in the raw edge and make a nice neat new French seam.

 

 

4. Now to the best bit using whichever lace you desire.

I used heavy weight hole lace which is easy to cut into shapes to appliqué on. I cut the same parts of the lace for both the front and back of the trousers so they match. Pin in place making sure both legs are matching!

 

5. Finally,  using a needle and thread I did little tack stitches on parts of the lace where it wouldn’t be seen to hold it to the trousers!



 

And…Da Da! You have your own on trend lace hem trousers!


Don’t forget to share all your creations with us @OxfamFashion #foundinoxfam

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 a Victorian D&G dress’

 

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5 Reasons to Buy Your Wedding Dress From Oxfam

With the average cost of a wedding in the UK estimated at £25,000 what better way to get fantastic value for money than buying your dress at Oxfam Online Shop or in one our our Bridal Boutiques? Not only will you look good but you will feel great knowing your cash is being used to fight poverty. Oxfam Bridal even recently featured on an episode of Say Yes To The Dress!

 

Here are my top 5 reasons why you should try Oxfam Bridal for your wedding gown:

1. Huge selection

Oxfam has over 1,000 vintage wedding dresses from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and contemporary styles online. The online site makes it really easy to search through our selections from the comfort of your own home. Your dress will be delivered by courier to your door and we offer free returns. What could be simpler?

2. Unique Styles

Want something different that will make you stand out from the crowd? Your friends looked amazing in their traditional gowns but you want something that little bit different. Maybe you are planning a vintage wedding with a 50s feel just like film star Grace Kelly or have your heart set on a classic 90s minimalist affair.

3. Brand new and designer dresses

Oxfam has a selection of dresses that are brand new with tags still attached offering brides-to-be excellent value at a fraction of the RRP. The Batley range currently includes dresses from big name designers including Vera Wang, Biba and Jasper Conran!

4. Manage costs

The average cost of a UK wedding is estimated at £25,000 – that is a sum that is out of reach for many. The dress is often one of the biggest costs and by using Oxfam you can find your dream dress at a fraction of the cost. Prices currently start at £39.99.

5. Help make a difference

By buying from Oxfam you are supporting our work fighting poverty in Britain and around the world. Because of you we can campaign for girls around the world to be educated, respond to disasters and help get women into work. Buying one dress has the power to change lives; it means we can provide support for eight refugees or buy a family of goats. Thank you for your support, we won’t live with poverty and we know you won’t either.

But don’t take our word for it. Here are the thoughts of some of our customers:

“I chose to buy my dress from Oxfam because I liked that I could give something back” Kat

“It’s a brand new Johanna Hehir dress….it was the first dress I tried on and it felt really special” Lucy

Shop online now or visit our Bridal Pop-Up Shop in Batley

Don’t forget to share pictures of your best finds with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using #foundinoxfam

Post written by Joanne Ginley, a sometime blogger and volunteer at Oxfam Online. She says “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. I’m a firm believer in the power of accessories and am currently developing a real liking for homeware.”

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5 Top Tips for Charity Shopping from Preloved Style Expert Paloma in Disguise

I have done a few charity shop outfit round-up’s over on my blog, Paloma In Disguise, throughout the years but I have never done an Oxfam round-up over here, on the Oxfam Fashion Blog. I thought it was about time since many, many of my photographed blog outfits over the years have consisted of a lotta, lotta Oxfam. 

Combined with a few tips to ensure you get the most out of second-hand shopping I thought I would go through a few of my favourite Oxfam purchases.

 

Tip 1: Visit Often

My number one tip to ensure you get the most out of charity shopping is to visit often. Whether it’s a fleeting visit as you have a few minutes to spare, a scroll on Oxfam Online Shop or you have decided to spend the afternoon browsing the charity shops. Due to the nature of charity shops, you never know when someone your size, with your style and a beautiful wardrobe has dropped of a whole load of loveliness. The more you visit, the more likely you are to find things, from the quirky vintage dress you didn’t know you needed (which was
the case with my paisley pink, full length shirt) or the jumper in the style and colour you had been after for bloomin’ ages. By going fairly often (read: a lot!) I have found a heavily embellished top for New Years Eve, a black midi dress convenient for every single day of my life and a glitterball of a jumper that dresses up even the most casual of outfits! The term ‘right place, right time’ was invented for charity shopping – I’m sure!


Boots, belts and bags
Tip 2: Don’t forget the Accessorise

I should listen to my own advice here. I’m first to the rail of dresses in all charity shops. It’s like I’m on a mission – and that mission is to rummage through every single dress. Then before I know it, it’s time to leave and I walk straight out past the basket FULL of bargain belts. I have found some amazing belts, necklaces and bags over the years that really are a fraction of their original high-street/designer price. Charity shop bargains at their absolute best.


Tip 3: With a little DIY…

Sometimes charity shopping can be daunting in that it’s unlikely you are going to find exactly what you’re after. However, that doesn’t stop you buying something similar and adapting it a little. After a specific slogan T-Shirt? Chances are your local charity shop will sell plain t-shirt’s that, with a few iron on letters from the ol’ internet, can lead to exactly the slogan t-shirt you were after. I shared my own how-to with Oxfam Fashion and created my own lil’ slogan top here. Hems
can be taken up and waistbands can be taken in. One of my most worn Oxfam dresses was my denim button front dress which was originally so long in the length that I would have had a denim train had I left it long. After cutting the hem of to suit short ol’ me better, it is still is the dress I go to for a little effortless, comfortable dressing.

 


Tip 4: Be open minded

Another thing I am a repeat offender of. Someone will tell me that they picked something up from Oxfam. Next time I’m in there I will be not-so-unconsciously scouting out for that particular item and chances are, I won’t leave with it because it won’t be there!  By looking for specific items, you can miss the things that, with a little thought, can be slotted into your wardrobe perfectly. On the hanger, the check blue shorts weren’t something I thought would work well with the tops and shoes already in my wardrobe. I went ahead and bought these anyway and they
became my absolute favourite outfit when paired with a white shirt and sandals. This was also the case with the check green and red skirt in the autumn before. Worn with thick black tights and either a leather or faux fur jacket, this became my favourite autumnal outfit of 2015. By trying on a few pieces you wouldn’t normally choose, and thinking up a few outfits to incorporate the item into, you can find new favourites you could have missed.

 

Tip 5: Go with a friend

This tip goes with Tip 4. I find that by going with a friend I am more open to trying things I wouldn’t have tried had I been mooching around by myself. By discussing items I am unsure of, my friends can often provide outfit combinations I wouldn’t have thought of or prompt me to try on clothes I may have dismissed. It’s usually these things I end up loving that little bit more.

And that’s it! Five charity shopping tricks I always use to ensure I don’t miss any second-hand bargains. I wish you good luck as you scour the shops for those hidden gems!

 

Enjoyed Hannah’s tips? Put them into practise, head to your local Oxfam or Oxfam Online Shop now. 

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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.

 

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What Fashion Means to Me: Nicola Lucas’ view

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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!

 Nicola

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!

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What Fashion Means To Me: A.K.’s View

There are so many things that come to mind hearing that word, right? Such as style, trend, imagination, innovation, expression, and fantasy. Basically, fashion is a way of introducing yourself without having to utter a word.

It’s like you enter the room and people can start speculating the type of individual you are, by the way, you dress.

To some people, dressing up can be a form of expression like poetry. It is a complete way of life, and of course profession. It is a varied form of art, a glance into someone else’s personality. It is, by all means, a conception of direction, exhibition, and entertainment. Fashion defines the type of a person you are or at least shows the world what you want them to see.

It is not easy to find the meaning behind fashion; it is not a simple question with a definite answer. Fashion is idiosyncratic, which means, it is different for different people.

It Speaks For You, And Lets You Express Yourself

Fashion can affect various aspects of our life. It exhibits itself more than in the clothing, feelings. It really has the power to make us feel stronger about something we truly believe in. It can be used as an outlet to show your expressions, opinions, and to inspire the world.

It can be used to convey not only the conceptions we have of ourselves but also the image we want to portray, as an individual’s wardrobe chiefly reflects their personality.

 

 

 

Comfortable Fashion Is the Best Choice

Your dressing should speak the message that you want to convey the world. While body confidence is above everything else, one should never wear something they’re not comfortable with. Choosing to wear clothes that fit your body well can make you feel over the top. Fashion is not just pushing your boundaries and going for outfits you would rather avoid. It’s feeling good in your own skin, with comfortable yet stylish clothing. Never allow yourself to be pressured to try trends that don’t suit you or to wear clothing that isn’t
comfortable for your body.

Fashion Plays a Great Role in the Human Transformation

You can let the world glimpse into the type of person you are; just by the way you choose to dress. It provides with a creative outlet that can constantly change and improve. Fashion is an easy way to express yourself if you’re not comfortable in expressing it in words. You can challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone by putting yourself on display for the world to see just like the celebrities do in an event like met gala. It can be very empowering once you get the hang of it.

I believe fashion should be portrayed as something that represents a rhythm but each one of us has our own steps that we choose to move with. We should move freely, without any bounds. It’s always awe-inspiring seeing people embrace their awesome sides when they decide to take matters into their own hand and shine out in the crowd.

We were created in a unique way, and what’s better to show our uniqueness the way we want, through the way we dress? I can’t think why not. It is time to stop being slaves to the ‘new trends’ and embrace the creativity within you.

“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.” – Gianni Versace

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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!

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