SLIDER

This Old Thing. My Relationship To Vintage

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Vintage opinion

This week my highlight will be Vintage shopping in Birmingham. I'm quite excited and scared at the same time because vintage in my childhood usually meant that I had to wear the old clothes from my sister. Luckily times have changed and vintage has now become fashionable.

You might remember Channel 4's vintage show with the charming Dawn O'Porter. Not so long ago, she hosted a clothing show called 'This Old Thing'. In the programme, she showed how to up-cycle clothes and re-use sustainable fashion for the longer-lasting joy of your wardrobe and how to create unique pieces that stand out from mass-produced fashion garments.

Vintage Clothing: A Cultural Thing?


Like many of Dawn's candidates in the show, I'm a bit reserved about vintage. I think the biggest mental issue I have to overcome to give vintage a chance is my cultural upbringing. It is marked by the German GDR times, which has shaped most of my understanding of values and morals. During the cold war, my country was separated (similar to today's North and South Korea) into the West and the East zone. The West was occupied by the British and Americans so the economy flourished and westerners always had the latest fashion, were allowed to travel anywhere in the world and lived in abounding consumerism.

West and East Berlin

The East (GDR), was occupied by the Russians (the Soviets) and people were kept in the country. My parents had no rights to travel anywhere, except for Poland and Hungary, hence why they lived off very little. The East was also marked by high inflation, so the little money they had was actually worthless. My parents never had a choice and today's overflow of variety sometimes exhausts them. I barely remember the actual times, but I still have many GDR traits that shaped my character. For example, be grateful for what you have or live of little and be modest. The biggest impact the GDR had on me is my opinion of clothing and shopping behaviour.

My Behaviour Towards Clothes Is Shaped By My Past


People rarely had anything back in the days. Clothes were passed on from generations. I was at the end of the family food chain and barely got new clothes as a kid. I had to wear discarded outfits from my sister. The few clothes we had, needed to be cared for to last as long as possible. This behaviour is still in me. When I buy a pair of shoes, it needs, ideally, last for the next 20 years. Same with dresses and shirts. I use extra delicate washing powder, let my clothes air outside and iron them to keep the fabric smooth and lasting. I find it very disturbing, that m British do not look after their clothes properly and instead of using efficient ways to preserve their dresses, shirts and blazers, they rather run into the next High Street shop and spend their hard-earned money on new stuff every single season.

Knowing the amenities of modern society including free travelling and fashion galore, I still end up buying a lot of things. My parents always complain about me and remind me of the old days. 'Think about the days, when we had nothing and now, you're wasting so much money' or 'You should be more grateful about the things you have now. Back in the day, we had nothing.' Buying every season is eco-unfriendly and wasting is frowned upon in German society. That's why selling and swapping platforms such as kleiderkreisel (vinted.co.uk) and ebay kleinanzeigen (gumtree.com for furniture) are massive and popular at home. Germans can't let go of the past and have to re-use anything.

What's vintage what's primark?

The Meaning Of Vintage


I'm getting a bit off-topic now, so coming back to vintage I get the impression many girly bloggers only know vintage as 'something looks cool because it is old' but I don't know if they get the true meaning of it. Vintage is unique, but it means also sacrifice and demands respect rather than to be marked as a fashionable trend. Vintage to me meant for a long-time wearing my sisters' clothes (she has a terrible fashion sense) and I've actually never been into a real vintage shop, simply because I'm overwhelmed by the diversity and the endless rummaging you could end up with in these shops. I like clear and neatly laid out fashion shops and I'm aware I miss out on great pieces that wait in the Vintage boutiques. I'd like to change my clothing behaviour and attitude towards it, like Dawn achieved it in the show with her candidates. I've decided to give it a try and I'll be going to the Vintage Kilo Sale on Saturday in Birmingham. I hope to find some treasures. Wish me luck!

Have you been to a Vintage Kilo Sale before? What is your view on vintage? Do you prefer vintage over the high street?

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin

Lazy Sunday OOTD #YourDreamcatcher

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Loungewear PJ's comfy joggers

Do you know the days when it's rainy and highly uncomfortable outside and you just can't wait to snuggle up on your settee with a hot cup of tea? Or when it is a boring and lazy Sunday, nothing is on at the cinema and you can just spend ages watching The Big Bang Theory and plan some blog posts? For those days comfy pyjamas or bottoms are perfect so today's OOTD post might be a bit unusual, but I'd like to show you my newest pair of comfy loungewear* from Your Dreamcatcher, a brand which sadly no longer exists but, I still would love to show you my OOTD as they send me a super comfy pair of bottoms from their range.

British brand Your Dreamcatcher creates casual women's leisure and loungewear. Their collection features vests, T-shirts and jewellery which all reflect the concept of 'the dream'. I was kindly sent a pair of joggers to review and got them earlier this month. Whenever I had the chance to wear them, I did, which was literally as soon as I came home. So for the last two weeks, I wore them constantly. Whether to snuggle up on the settee or to keep me warm at night (it does get really chilly now that it is autumn).

comfy joggers from Your Dreamcatcher
Lazy sunday ootd
Loungewear PJs

The grey bottoms are made of cotton and polyester and inside they are fluffy. The joggers are nicely tailored and have a great fit. They feel super comfy and aren't baggy at all. The waist has a drawstring and the legs are finished with elastic cuff at the ankle which makes them easy to roll up. Combined with a white vest or shirt, these joggers are very casual to wear and the logo on the top left underlines the look. If you haven't heard of Your Dreamcatcher, why not check out their website? Their affordable range starts from £8 onwards and the bottoms came £27.99.

Do you like loungewear and what do you like to wear on a lazy Sunday? 

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin

*PR sample

Bristol Fashion Week AW14

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Bristol Fashion Week

Earlier this year, I attended Birmingham International Fashion Week and I was very lucky, to be given a second chance to see a fashion show. I visited Bristol Fashion Week where countless trends and brands were showcased at The Mall in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol.

Bristol Fashion Week is the city’s biggest fashion event and runs from the 24-28th September, so if you haven’t got any plans for this Sunday, I highly recommend you to make your way over to Bristol. The show is amazing and brings the latest trends to the catwalk. Afterwards, you can hit the stores in the mall to shop the season’s must-haves.

Bristol Fashion Week tent at the mall
Catwalk Tent Bristol Fashion Week
The runway at Bristol Fashion Week

I spent all day at Bristol Fashion Week yesterday. The first show started at 1pm and I sat front row so I was close enough to see the hottest trends for AW14. The atmosphere in the fashion tent was amazing and as soon as the lights turned off and the loud music started, all eyes focused on the catwalk. Marks & Spencer opened the show with some stylish winter coats featuring faux fur.

Marks and Spencer Fashion Show

The catwalk scenes presented brands such as John Lewis, Timberland, Next, Warehouse, Coast and many more well-known high street brands. I really enjoyed seeing high street trends, something I was missing at Birmingham Fashion Week earlier this year.

From my experience with Birmingham Fashion Week, I expected the models to walk down the catwalk slowly, but I was really surprised how each catwalk scene told a little story and had a theme. The models came on stage, they danced and smiled and were so energetic and powerful on the catwalk which made it easy to watch. Gap Fashion presented their cool parkas in the London Underground followed by a hipster performance from River Island and Lipsy.

AW fashion trends
Autumn fashion trends at Bristol Fashion Week

I lusted over two outfits, which was a bomber jacket from River Island teamed with shorts and over-knee socks. The second outfit that caught my eye was an Aztec printed poncho during the Timberland show.

River Island Fashion Autumn Edition
Timberland autumn trends

Phase Eight’s scene introduced Ella Rothwell, a Bristolian singer, on the stage and she enchanted the audience with her souly voice and seductive Paloma Faith cover song ‘I can’t rely on you’. What a voice!

Fashion show at Bristol Fashion Week
Phase Eight Lingerie Fashion Show

In between the runway scenes, hosts Mark Heyes, TV fashion stylist, and celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton vowed the audience with their charm. They cracked jokes and shared their latest celebrity gossip and fashion tips: statement colours, faux fur and teddy bear fabric are the trends for AW, oh and Mark’s tip: an investment piece (aka an expensive bag or coat) will never fail you this season as it will glam up any outfit in an instant. My personal favourite was a poncho from New Look.

Bristol Fashion Week Cribbs Causeway
Mark Heynes and Andrew presenting Bristol Fashion Week

At 5pm, my friend Tamara joined me and we went to the highly exclusive blogging event. It was great to meet other South West bloggers and to see the show again from a different perspective (that’s why some of my pictures are taken further away from the catwalk).

With Tamara at Bristol Fashion Week

Bristol Fashion Week was a great experience and I definitely come back in the new year for their SS15 Are You Ready To Take Off Fashion Show.

Tickets for the show start from £8.95 for a standard ticket, £9.95 for a second-row ticket and £13.95 for a front-row ticket.

Thank you so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin

A Cosy Autumn Look With The Blanket Wrap

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Blanket wrap

Hope you are ok and had the chance yet to enjoy today's lovely sunshine? I used the wonderful autumn weather to shoot some ootd pictures with my new LYDC shopper that I got from vinted.co.uk. I had a £20 voucher from the #MyVintedCloset campaign and I kept looking for a new bag since June. The shopper has a great size and it looks great. I think it works really well with my New Look Poncho (no scarf!) and my leather boots. Hope you'll enjoy and let me know what you think of the outfit :)

New Look blanket wrap and LYDC bag
Autumn fashion LYDC handbag
Autumn fashion ootd blanket wrap
blanket wrap from New Look
Autumn fashion post
Autumn styling post including a blanket wrap

Here's What I’m Wearing:

Poncho: New Look (current season 2014, £19.99)
Cognac Leather Shoes: Clarks (season 2009 £100)
Belt: Mango (season 2010, £15)
Jeans: ASOS (season 2013, £30)
Bag: LYDC via Vinted.co.uk (gift voucher £20)
Long Shirt: Uniqlo (season 20014, £20)

Thank you so much for reading today's post. Have you bought a blanket wrap yet? What do you think of the trend? How would you style it?

Thanks so much for reading and till next time.
Carolin

O' Zapft Is. The Oktober Fest in Munich Has Started

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Dirndl Fashion Oktoberfest

I thought it's time to do a national pride fashion post and what would be better than to show you a traditional German dress from Bavaria? Don't worry, Germans do not dress like this all year, only for the October Beer Festival, the biggest national celebration in the world. Between the 20th September and 5th October, Germans gather together and go fashion crazy on the famous Wiesn in Munich.

Dirndl Fashion Munich Oktoberfest Dirndlfest

The October Beer Festival has spread to other cities but Munich remains THE hot spot. The Wiesn where the October Festival takes place is a massive funfair with tents and it is all about drinking and seen and be seen. In the day you drink beer and at night, it turns into the biggest single market that you can imagine. You can dance the night away or spot celebrities.

The Dress Code: Men Wear Leather Trousers, Girls Wear Dirndl


The dress code is typical Bavarian: men wear a crisp white shirt with leather trousers and a chic Bavarian hat. Girls wear a Dirndl, which is made of a blouse, dress and separate apron. The way you tie your apron's bow will show others your relationship status: single (left), in a relationship (right), virgin (middle), widow (back).

Usually, Dirndls are very colourful with typical Bavarian ornaments and patterns. Tartan is very common and accessory-wise you team your dress with pretzels, anything that has to do with hunting (e.g. deer, stag, antlers), blue tartan bows as the representation for Bavaria or Edelweiss (an alpine herbal flower). Girls also have braids in their hair which makes the whole appearance look very cliché German.

Oktoberfest Bayern Tracht
Bayern Dirndl Dirndlfest

I've never been to the Festival, simply because I haven't had a dress. Until now. the low-budget fashion brand Dirndlfest kindly gifted me my very first Dirndl*. Unfortunately, the brand no longer exists but I still want to show you my traditional Bavarian dress. My Dirndl came with a heart necklace to give my outfit the ultimate Bavarian finish. The blouse fits perfectly and the dress is a bit large, simply because I haven't got much of a cleavage. I love the lace detail and the quality of the fabric. The outfit makes me feel super stylish and prepared to hit the Wiesn.

Dirndl Bayern Oktoberfest Munich fashion

If you haven't found a Dirndl for the Wiesn yet, you should have a look at Dirndlfest's website. They have some super cute and sexy dresses in every colour, currently with a 50% discount plus matching accessories. Their delivery was super fast and your Dirndl is with you within two days. 

I've decided on this chic black and forest green Dirndl because it looks sophisticated and can be worn during the day and at night time. Classic heels give the outfit a timeless touch.

Here's What I'm Wearing:

Dirndl: Dirndlfest (season 2014, 70€*)
Shoes: Jane Norman (season 2014 £25)
Necklace: Dirndlfest (season 2014, 10€)

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin

*PR Sample

End Of Season OOTD. A Day At Sand Bay Beach

Monday, 22 September 2014

End of summer outfit

Summer has officially ended and to say goodbye to the season, I'd like to share my last summery OOTD for this year. Earlier this month I went to see my lovely friend Thursa in Weston-Super-Mare. We went for lunch first and afterwards to the beach (Sand Bay beach). The weather was gorgeous and the beach filled with walkers and cute dogs. Thursa brought her little pooch Bear along and we had a wonderful time. Hope you'll enjoy!

Beach outfit autumn
Fashion summer autumn post
Weston-Super-Mare beach
Cute dog at the beach
Floral dress New Look
Weston-Super-Mare beach outfit

For the day I opted for a flowery New Look dress which I had since 2010. It has a bit of a loose fit hence why I added a waist belt, which is currently very on-trend. Jewellery-wise, I kept it simple and only added my Alexi jewellery necklace and Olivia Burton watch - and what would summer be without flip flops?


Here's What I’m Wearing:

Flip Flops: New Look (season 2006, £16)
Dress: New Look (season 2010 £25)
Belt: Dorothy Perkins (season 2009, £15)
Necklace: Alexi Accessories (season 2014, £46.50*)
Bag: Dorothy Perkins (season 2009, £30)
Watch: Olivia Burton (season 20014, £69)

If you love beachwear, you may be also interested in my beach summer outfit from WearAll.

Thanks so much for reading and till next time, 
Carolin

* PR sample.

The Ten Benefits of Blogging. Part 2: Benefits 6-10

Saturday, 20 September 2014

creativity Bloging Benefits

Hi everyone, welcome back to the second part of The Ten Benefits of Blogging. I hope you've enjoyed the first part. Please find benefits 6-10 in today's post and how your hobby can help you to develop valuable skills and abilities.

6. Programming


Some blogs use self-hosting services, which means you'll need some Html knowledge as well as CSS (layout and web design). This special knowledge is advanced in comparison to an average IT literate person and is very time-consuming. I've been a bit reserved about it because it really needs discipline and patience to learn a programming language. Give it a try and decide for yourself what works best for your blog. Advantages are that you can customise your web design and are independent of how to use your webspace.

7. Creativity


Bloggers are confronted daily with the question of what to write. Fashion blogs do not only cover OOTDs nor do beauty blogs review products all the time. A mixture of reviews, features, opinion pieces and life experience give a blog its character and make it fascinating. Feel free to cover campaigns, post a picture story, try a new category or write a blog related poem – there are no limits in playing around with different text forms and showing off your imagination. Your creative content reflects that you can think out of the box, be independent and try to be unusual which makes you stand out from the crowd.

8. Consistency & Determination


Blogging is time-consuming, but the more you invest, the more it reflects your passion and hard work. Posting regularly shows consistency and your commitment to your hobby. You have a passion for it. People, blogging for years, have developed the skill to work consistently on long term projects and have therefore a long attention span. This ability is very precious. It is the key to gain special knowledge about a certain topic which makes the fine difference between a professional and an amateur.

9. Networking


As mentioned in point 5, Publishing & PR, blogging lives from sharing content with others and the interaction with the audience with your post. You can’t expect others to read your blog, if you’re not willing to invest some time to engage with your audience, meaning other bloggers. It is a two-way system of giving and taking.

The best way to get active with other bloggers is the interaction in the many blogger chats and on social media. Ask each other questions to get the conversation started and soon you’ll see that others can give some valuable feedback on your blog. Take part in blogger meetings to make friends and new followers. Follow each other, make compliments, interact as much as possible. People are more likely to acknowledge your blog when you put yourself out there as much as possible and show interest in their blogs, too. Also, reply to comments on your blog and leave comments on other blogs, which keeps the blogger-sphere alive. Networking is not only all about promoting your blog, but you will also learn how to speak to others easily and develop relationships, which can turn into friendships.

10. Statistics & SEO


Let’s be honest: everyone looks at their stats and analysis the keywords that directed visitors from Google to your blog. Everyone does it and it is very, very important that you do it, too. I know search engine optimisation (SEO) and Google Analytics are very dry and analytical, but this data analysis will help you to understand, which keywords were listed in Google and showed up when people searched online and generated traffic to your blog. Plus in the long run, a fully SEO optimised blog will result in a higher DA, which means your blog is rated of a higher quality and is, therefore, more attractive for brands and potential collaborations. Please see my post on how to increase your blogs' DA and make SEO improvements for further information. 

You should do a monthly analysis of your data, including keywords listed in Google that increased your blog's visibility, as well as other websites that lead visitors to your blog. My first blog Lunch Break Adventures was hosted by WordPress which had a very clear overview of the mentioned sections to look at. It provided detailed information on daily/weekly/monthly unique users and views. This data needs to be analysed regularly to gain insights into your audience. You will understand which keywords were researched and lead to your blog, so you can use this knowledge and adjust keywords and tags in up-coming posts. Tip: Always tag your images with keywords as Google lists them as well. I also found Audiense (formerly Social Bro) a helpful tool to understand my social media follower and the best times to tweet.

I hope you find blogging as inspiring and beneficial as me. Let me know if you have anything to add and leave me a comment. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Thanks so much and till next time,
Carolin

Alexi Accessories Review. A New British Jewellery Brand

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Alexi Accessories necklace

Unfortunately, the brand no longer exists but back in 2014, I always liked to discover new brands. On Twitter I came across Alexi Accessories. This British jewellery brand celebrates the essence of feminity and addresses young, discerning women who desire stylish and sophisticated jewellery, yet want affordable prices.

The Alexi jewellery collection ticks all these boxes. The range includes delicate rings, necklaces, pendants, earrings and bracelets. Most of the beautiful designs feature sparkly cubic zirconia stones and underline the fine, romantic character of Alexi Accessories which is a great change to the current statement trend that's dominating the fashion world.

The brand kindly sent me this lovely present the other day. Inside was a stunning 925 sterling gold necklace with a sparkly mini disc charm* which is part of their first signature collection.


Alexi Accessories jewellery

I love the cute pink ribbon and how much detail and effort went into the presentation. It makes such a big difference when jewellery brands care for their customers and the effort is reflected in the gift wrapping and the collection itself.

Alexi Accessories jewellery necklace
Mini Disc Necklace

My gold mini disc necklace is very delicate and the charm sparkles wonderfully. Engraved in the clasp is the brand's logo which reminds me of my boyfriend Alex. The necklace is very light and though it is so fine, the sparkly cubic zirconia stones make sure to catch eyes. The romantic necklace is made of real 925 sterling gold and goes with many of my girly outfits. For a full outfit post, please have a look at my end of season look shot at Sand Bay Beach in Weston-Super-Mare.

Mini Disc necklace ootd

The gold mini disc necklace costs £46.50 and is available on Alexi Accessories website. The brand has only launched their online shop a few weeks ago, so at the moment you'll only find another collection called Brooke, but there will be more added towards the end of the year.

Have a look around their website and you'll also find gorgeous pieces with sterling silver or a rose gold finish. They have wonderful designs and with Christmas slowly approaching, why not get some jewellery inspiration for the perfect gift? 

Thank you so much for reading today's post. Do you like dainty jewellery and what is the best outfit to wear it with? Let me know what you think about the necklace.

*PR Sample

Autumn Outfit Inspiration. My Germany OOTDs #MyVintedCloset

Friday, 12 September 2014

Germany OOTDs Fashion

The lovely team from vinted.co.uk reached out to me and asked if I'd like to be one of their top bloggers to support their #MyVintedCloset campaign. This campaign is all about autumn outfits, must-haves and how to organise your wardrobe for the coming season. Of course, I jumped at the chance as this is a very exclusive opportunity for me and also it is fun to work on diverse fashion related posts.

So in today's post, I'd like to share my holiday OOTDs. Expect fine British High Street fashion in combination with stunning German scenery. Let's start in the Erzgebirge Fortress Königstein.


New Look dress
Polka Dot New Look dress

I'm wearing:

Polka Dot Dress: New Look (summer season 2011, £16)
Bag: Michael Kors (£99)
Pony Hair Shoes: Taschka (current 2014 season, £125)
Watch: Olivia Burton (current 2014 season £69)

OOTD 2: Berlin Uniqlo Flagship Store


Uniqlo outfit

I'm wearing:

Shoes: Onitsuka Tiger Mexico Vulc (SS2014 £69)
Jeans: ASOS (spring 2014 £30)
Bag: Michael Kors (£99)
Blouse: Primark (summer season 2013, £13)
Cashmere Jumper: Uniqlo (current 2014 season £19.95)
Boyfriend Blazer: Primark (summer season 2011 £10)

OOTD 3: Dresden Frauenkirche


Summer outfit skirt
Zara shirt and Primark cardigan

I'm wearing:

Cardigan: Primark (season 2009 £6)
Bag: Michael Kors (£99)
Shoes: New Look (season 2009)
Watch: Olivia Burton (current 2014 season £69)
Gold Gemini Necklace: Gift from my parents (season 1991)
Shirt: Zara (season 2009, 10€)
Belt: Uniqlo (current 2014 collection, £15)
Skirt: Uniqlo (current 2014 collection, £20)

Thanks so much for reading and till next time.
Carolin

This blog post is part of vinted.co.uk autumn campaign #MyVintedStyle
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